We wear short shorts

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Nair commercial from the 80s.

I know that I’m not only one who has notice. Surely other women are wondering, where have all the athletic shorts gone?

I am a shorts girl. Sure, leggings are cute, but they are just not my go-to activewear. This is for two reason reasons.

I am a sweaty mess when I exercise. Having to peel of my sports bra after a workout (which is a workout in itself) is bad enough. The last thing I want to do is peel off leggings.

And, it is really hot where I live. Africa hot. Literally, I live in East Africa. Most of the year is it too hot to exercise outside until after 4:30 pm. The less I have to wear, the better.

I moved overseas in 2011. On a return visit to the US in 2013, I wanted to buy some new running shorts. The newest style for activewear was short shorts. The “longest” pair of shorts I found had a 3 inch inseam. This just isn’t enough. I tried on dozens of shorts and bought none.

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“Chub Rub Club” – patch design by Nation Of Amanda!

Shorts that have a short inseam don’t provide the coverage I need. I lost my thigh gap 20 years ago, so for most of my adult live I have learned to live with what I affectionately call my chub rub. You know, when your thighs rub together.

The thing about activewear, and about shorts in particular, is that if they don’t fit properly they can’t serve their basic function. If the inseam is too short, I am constantly tugging and adjusting my shorts during my workout, pulling the shorts down, or trying to remove bunched up fabric from between my legs. A low waist and short inseam is the worst. I can’t bend over without flashing the world. Instead of focusing on my workout, I end up adjusting my shorts and thinking about how uncomfortable I am and I how look. And trust me, I don’t think I look sexy.

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Not sexy.

A review of popular brands online and in stores demonstrates that the athletic short style hasn’t changed much. This is surprising given that the average woman is the US is larger than a size 14 and is curvy in the hips.

If fact, it appears the number and variety of shorts has remained the same. The stores are full of leggings. All you have to do is walk into a women’s department or activewear store to see that leggings dominate women’s apparel. Or maybe you are like me and get multiple ads for new brands of leggings on your social media news feeds. It’s not surprising that sales of leggings grew 40% between 2011-2016.[1]

The short shorts

If fact, it appears the number and variety of shorts has remained the same. The stores are full of leggings. All you have to do is walk into a women’s department or activewear store to see that leggings dominate women’s apparel. Or maybe you are like me and get multiple ads for new brands of leggings on your social media news feeds. It’s not surprising that sales of leggings grew 40% between 2011-2016.[1]

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Athleta Race Run Short 4.5 inch inseam

I have found a few brands making shorts with longer inseams. A personal favorite of mine is the Athleta Race Run Short, which has an inseam of 4.5 inches. Nike has multiple styles of shorts with 4+ inch inseams, including plus sizes. The Nike Flex description is promising. It states that mid-rise waistband is tilted up in back for a natural fit and coverage while you bend and stretch.[2] A pair of shorts that doesn’t rise up when I bend over? Sign me up.

I know I am not the only one missing a good pair of shorts. I have had this same discussion with other women on the train, in department stores, and even while out to dinner with friends. Why do we keep buying leggings? My answer is because the suppliers and brands aren’t giving us any other option.

 

Like, Lara Croft, I will keep searching for the elusive sport short for the average woman. If you know of any good brands, please let me know, I will add them to my limited collection of women’s activewear that actually fits and functions.

 

 

 

[1] Euromonitor International, Passport Womenswear in the U.S. February 2017.

[2] https://proudmaryownit.com/product/nike-flex/

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