The Sacai x Nike Collection Looks Impractical for Real Athletes — 13 Other Puzzling Pieces Of Women's Gym Apparel
If you're anything like me, your daily gym apparel consists of whatever pair of gym shorts happen to be clean along with a giant t-shirt I no longer deem appropriate to wear on social occasions, both of which I've owned since roughly the eighth grade. But high fashion brands have a much different vision of what women want to wear while getting their sweat on. The results are often spandex-laden, featuring strange mesh panels, straps, flowy bits, and an overall surprising lack of support. Athletic wear companies seem to forget that not every woman is a supermodel who wants to roll up to the gym looking like she just stepped out of the hottest BDSM sportswear campaign known to man. Some of us just want to look semi-presentable, sweat it out without our boobs gyrating uncontrollably or our ensemble falling to pieces, and escape back into our regular, decently fashionable lives completely unscathed.
Nike's most recent collaboration with Sacai underscores this athletic corporation point of view on women's apparel perfectly. While the collection is undeniably interesting and experimental, a valid point has been raised regarding how wearable these pieces are for actual athletes. An article written by Megan Weigman over on Slate rightly, and smartly, points out how rather than creating a useful, well-designed collection, Nike and Sacai have actually delivered looks that are not only comical, but insulting, to female athletes. Weigman argues that the clothing they've created suggests, "that female athletes prize style and appearance over functionality and performance." Despite Sacai designer Chitose Abe's insistence that functionality and fabric innovation were of the utmost importance to her in the design process, the actual clothing's flowing peplums and hand wash only labels seem to loudly say otherwise. For Weidman, "this is yet another example of adding a traditional female element (pleats! lace!) and labeling it as 'designed for women.'” There is no consideration for function, only for the frivolous hallmarks of stereotypical womanhood.
While Nike and Sacai are definitely guilty of making some workout-unfriendly sportswear, they certainly aren't the only ones. Women's websites are chock full of these type of insane pieces of gym apparel. I've pulled together a few of the best in the slideshow below so we can all hit the gym in absurdist style this spring!