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Q&A with K & A

Fun and Fit: Do (Sexy) Clothes Make the Workout?

Determining the best attire depends on your motivation — and your definition of 'sexy'

Dear Fun and Fit: Do you think wearing sexy workout clothes makes you work out longer and harder?

— Noël in Missouri

Fun and Fit:Q and A with K and A, aka Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, and Alexandra Williams, MA
Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A, aka Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA, and Alexandra Williams, MA

Kymberly: Dare I give in to temptation and go with the obvious answer here?! I must or Alexandra will beat me to it anyway. If your sexy workout clothes aren’t making someone harder, then the answer is no, they have no effect. If you wear sexy workout clothes and the words “longer and harder” get whispered in your finely tuned ear, then yes, wearing them makes a difference. Over to you, Alexandra.

Alexandra: The answer is yes, especially if they’re on someone else! Whenever I wear sexy workout clothes, I find only that people constantly ask me, “Whose clothes did you borrow?” Actually, if I wore hottie hot pants, I might work out with a bit more effort as a means to get my parts tucked back up. Mostly my extra bakery bits (muffins, bread basket, biscuits) fall out of sexy clothes and therefore kill the description that starts with “sexy.”

And how about those “lift and separate” sport tops that provide cleavage where tumbleweeds formerly blew? I’m not sure how sexy I look giving myself a black eye with every bounce! Although (true story) I have found that extra cleavage to be a good place to stash the microphone when no mic belt is available.

K: Being active is all about feeling good about yourself and taking care of your body. If wearing certain clothes helps motivate you, then wear them, by all means. The idea behind tight-fitting workout wear is that you want to be able to check your form and alignment during exercise. Or maybe it was so that others could check out your form. Hmmm, something to consider.

My take on this: Wear what makes you happy and motivated to exercise. And comfy. And not too smelly.

A: When I was in graduate school, we learned that the answer to almost every question is, it depends. It depends on how you define “sexy.” Do you mean curve-hugging in an alluring way, or do you mean something overly tight that makes you look like you’ve got piglets fighting under blankets? Do people look, er, well, askance at you? Do you spend more time tucking yourself back in than you do actually exercising?

When working out, wear what you can move in comfortably and effectively — and without embarrassing yourself
When working out, wear what you can move in comfortably and effectively — and without embarrassing yourself.

It depends on your goal. Are you wearing the clothes to motivate yourself or draw attention? If it’s to motivate yourself, you should wear exactly what you want (that follows local laws). If it’s to draw attention, then what kind of attention? Admiring? Horror-stricken? Here is the advice I give my students every quarter at the university: Wear what you can move in comfortably, effectively and without embarrassing yourself.

In the end, I wear sexy workout clothes only when I’m working out as an excuse to stalk some poor unsuspecting (yet good-looking) soul. In which case, paisley is involved.

Readers: What is your favorite workout outfit? Is it sexy or, “Aww heck, this is clean and sorta fits”?

— Identical twins and fitness pros Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams have been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UCSB for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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