If the Shirt Fits…
|April 8, 2011||Posted by Lauren under Running|
Dear Race Organizers,
I love race t-shirts. I really do. Short-sleeved, long-sleeved, technical or cotton – I love them all. So much, in fact, that I’ll gladly fork over my hard-earned money for whatever outrageously high price you want to set for your race registration….as long as you promise to give me a shirt.
Yes, a good race shirt is as coveted by me as a nice medal. But I don’t really discriminate. I keep them all. Shirts from high school that are misshapen and stained, shirts that have gone through so many wearings and washings that they never smell quite as fresh as they should, and shirts that are so big, I’m probably better off wearing them to bed than running in them.
And that brings me to the reason for this letter. Because I fear some of you don’t realize a very important thing: when it comes to running shirts, size matters. Yes, I’ll ultimately wear any shirt you want to give me (no matter how large or obnoxiously colored it is), but sometimes a girl just wants something that actually fits, you know? Especially so that I can run in it and proudly show off my accomplishment to every single person I pass along the way.
On that note, here are two very important things I think you should know.
1.) A men’s shirt is shaped differently than a woman’s shirt.
It’s true – not all smalls are created equal. Men don’t exactly go for the short, tailored waist look. And I don’t think they really mind their shirts big and boxy. But women – we’re built a little differently. We like to run in fitted tops, not ones that have so much extra fabric they fill up like a parachute when the wind blows.
So even if you offer me a men’s small, chances are it’s going to be just a tad bit roomy. And while I appreciate that it so nicely covers my J-Lo booty, I can’t help but feel as though I have t-rex arms when I’m struggling to push those sleeves up above my elbows.
2.) You’ll probably need more of the small sizes than you expect.
I know that runners come in all shapes and sizes. And I know that it can be really hard to plan for these things, even when you ask people their shirts sizes before-hand. Many woman order one size and then upon getting to the race to find a men’s t-shirt waiting for them, immediately switch to something smaller. Because….well, we already covered that one….
But, the fact of the matter is that a lot of runners are on the smaller side. And so chances are that you’re not going to use up those 500 XXL shirts you decided to order “just in case.” Instead, the smalls and mediums will be gone within the first half hour, leaving those stragglers who come late to packet pick-up the chance to take home something extra special: a commemorative race dress!
If they’re anything like me, chances are they’ll probably wear them anyway. Since my entire non-work wardrobe pretty much consists of race shirts and jeans, I figure an extra-large race shirt is better than no race shirt. But that doesn’t mean I’m not in search of the perfect shirt every time I get to an expo. And the ones that do have women’s sizes and do fit? Well, those are the ones I’ll be wearing for a week straight after the race.
So the next time you’re tempted to order an abundance of super large men’s sized shirts for your participants, I beg you to re-consider. There’s nothing to lose – tight tops that don’t completely cover a person’s stomach are all the rage these days anyway.
In the meantime, do you think I could find a tailor to take some of these in?
With a huge thanks for all you do,
A regularly-sized Female Runner