To Tuck or Un-Tuck

I was at a race not too long ago when another runner asked for my opinion. She was trying on a tech-tee (not my fave, but to each their own) prior to the race. She just pulled it on over the running clothes she was already wearing. “Hmm.” She was deliberating. “Does it look okay?”

I didn’t know the woman, but I don’t mind saying what I think. “It looks a little big,” I told her as I messed with my Garmin. “You could probably go down a size unless you plan to tuck it in.”

“Tuck it in??? While I’m running?!” Apparently that was the wrong thing to say. Is it uncool to tuck in your running clothes? News to me! Although, it’s not like I’m the last word in running apparel. I wear a SPIelt wristband, a SpiBelt fanny pack looking thing, a visor on occasion, and tops that are tucked in.

I’m no fashion maven. Exhibit A. Note: the SPIbelt is outside the poncho. And yes, I tucked in my shirt before the race started.

Part of the reason I tuck in my top is that I am really annoyed by any kind of movement on me while I run. (It even took me a while to get used to carrying my own water because I don’t like the sloshing.) I also don’t want to worry about my clothes shifting around. If I tuck in my shirt, then I know it’ll stay put. Untucked, that shirt might need constant adjusting.

When I’m working out, I don’t really care about how I look. Sure, I like cute tops and bright colors and fun outfits, but who cares if my hair is messed up? What does it matter if I’m looking dorky? Can this be the one time that it’s okay to take a pass on fashion? I don’t go to races to look cute. I go to run.

Do you tuck or untuck? Do you get all dolled up to work out?*

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17 thoughts on “To Tuck or Un-Tuck

  1. I’m not a tucker. In fact, I don’t think I’ve tucked in a shirt in years. I can say that I am definitely picky about my workout clothes; each activity requires a specific type of clothing, which has taken a lot of trial and error for me to figure out. I’m SUPER picky about capris/shorts (hello, problem area) but with tops, unless I’m doing a long run or a race, I wear those $3-4 ribbed cotton tank tops from Walmart. I own about 15 of them, all in bright colors. I do not get dolled up; I wear a hat and generally look like a big mess when I’m at the gym or out running. It’s so funny when I see people from the gym in other places. They never recognize me without my hat on. I always say, ‘it’s amazing what a shower and a little make up can do.’ ;)

    • I have never seen my running club peeps anywhere except when we are running. I imagine their reaction would be similar to your gym-mates. When I run, I am awesome, but I look a hot mess! That’s just the way it’s gonna be.*

  2. In my whole life, I have never voluntarily tucked in a shirt (only if my Mom or a soccer coach/ref made me). My shorts are what bother me the most so for running I wear fitted capris and for soccer, I’m just screwed. For my tops when running, it’s actually movement in my shoulder area that bothers me. I guess because that area (underarm/sleeve) is what can move and rub the most for me?

    Anywho, I guess that lady expected you to be a fashion superstar AND read her mind so you could say what she wanted to hear! Well, there’s always next time ;)

    • I do love a fitted capri pant. Makes my legs happy.

      Yeah, this lady had a tone of voice that had me thinking, “Why’d you ask me then?!” I am many things but a mind reader is not one of them.*

  3. You know if I got asked a question like that and someone responded to me like I didn’t know what I was talking about….I’d slap the shiz outta them. Not saying, just saying.

  4. I HATE tucking in my shirt period. I have to admit, I’ve never noticed someone having a tucked in shirt while running, although your reason makes sense I just don’t like all the fabric bunching at my waistband.

  5. Oh my gah this reminds me of my run the other day! I was wearing the Rock n Roll Dallas tech tee….that’s a mens XS because they ran out of my size in women’s anyways it kept coming up so you could constantly see my stomach while I was running. But I don’t ever tuck shirts in so I didn’t even think about that although maybe next time I will.

  6. I’m not a tucker when I run or any other time- it just feels strange to me (I wish I could be one of those cute pencil skirt wearing ladies with the tucked in dress shirts). When it comes to running I stick my hair up and go- no makeup. For yoga classes I make an effort because a few of my girlfriends are there and everyone else is really cute- I know, I know…

  7. I’m usually not a tucker, but I do have a couple of race shirts that are ENORMOUS on me (i.e. they look more like dresses than shirts) – so when I wear those I do tuck them in. In general, I don’t try to doll up when I work out, but I’ve found that I do feel better and more motivated when I dress better. Therefore, I do look for fun, flattering workout clothes where possible.

    I definitely relate to what you mentioned about not liking any movement on you when you run. I am STILL trying to get used to carrying a handheld water bottle and having it slosh around. Many years ago I ran some race where I saw a woman wearing a portable CD player around her waist (this was back before we all had iPods), and the CD player bounced up and down a good three inches with every stop she took. It bothered me just seeing it!

    • I agree about fun, flattering workout clothes. If I feel blah, it’s really hard to get motivated. That’s why I like to mix and match bright colors in my workout clothes.

      The CD player so would have bothered me! I I can’t run behind people who have bouncy water belts. It kills me!*

  8. Wait, do you mean tucking your shirt into your shorts? Or tucking your shirt under the belt you wear? My gut is too big to tuck in my shirt into my shorts and me feel comfortable! :)

  9. This post just made me laugh. I guess I would have never thought about tucking or not tucking when it comes to workout clothes. I always just think workout clothes are a little more fitted therefore no tuckage needed. So I guess I’m not a tucker.

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