Thursday, December 22, 2011

What to wear.....what to wear....

If you've been skating any amount of time, you'll have noted the wide variety of skating clothes. There's black slacks, and black tights, and black skirts....oh you know.  Yeah, the teenagers who look like grasshoppers, and the rare adult woman who looks like that too, can wear tights with exotic trim. The rest of us, those of us who are 'people of size', 'shapely',  or 'Rubenesque', or 'curvy', well, for me at least (at the shorter end of the human spectrum), anything on a 'skating clothes' website is too long or too skinny.

Below stairs
So far, I've stayed with L.L.Bean slacks since they have a nice distribution of petites in stretchy slacks. Unfortunately, they change the line every season, so there's nothing consistent. Every year I have to start over. The only thing I prefer are slacks with no pockets. Just one less thing to catch your hand on.  The L.L. Bean slacks wear like iron though. I have a pair from when I first started skating that I still occasionally wear. This is a pair with a small hole in one thigh, from the time I fell on the tail of the blade when I was doing a Jenkins spiral (you don't see those anymore).  They're still wearable, but I'm afraid after these many years the seam up the back will split at some point. And then it's 'oppsie daisy get off the ice'.

I'm a two layer shirt person. I wear a sleeveless shirt on the bottom and a long sleeved shirt on the top. This allows me to put on my elbow protection under the long sleeved shirt, without having to hide in the bathroom for modesty. And I find this keeps me warm, without bulking up under the jacket sleeves.

I didn't know that adult skaters were as snooty about skating clothes as teenagers. I skated at a rink for a while, and one day decided to retire my white denim skating jacket after I bought a new fancy-shmancy athletic jacket over lunch (hard to find those that fit someone 5'2"). As I was throwing the old jacket in the trash in the ladies dressing room, a cheer went up. I put on the new jacket and someone yelled, "You're a real skater now!"

I find I sometimes need to bring something on the ice with me: a camera, or an iPod. Since I'm small, the pockets in my jacket are too small to hold these things (plus the wallet, the car key, and the headphones). When I have to bring more than I can hold in my jacket pockets, I hand it over to Dance Coach. He has the big man's long jacket, with four zippered pockets in it. He denies he has any pockets (!), but I just point them out. In effect, I treat my coach like he's a purse---my very own Coach bag.

I'll be here all night folks. Don't forget to tip the waiters.


  1. Until i started backspins i wore track pants. Catching my blade and falling in a tangled up pile was enough to switch me to leggings. Showing my giant backside in the middle of the mall is less frightening than letting that happen again.

    I wore under armour frosty tights for awhile, but reecently found the cute over the heel leggings from ny2sportswear fit pretty well in size large. They are just made for someone 10 inches taller than me, so they get bunched up on my calves. No blade catch issues.

    And honestly wearing those makes me feel like a real skater...haha.

    I usually just wear a tshirt on top.

  2. "My very own Coach bag." Love it!

    I have several pairs of black dance pants. I struggle with size, I'm short. So if I find some that fit, I stock up. Some rinks I wear a tank top and fleece pull over. If I'm in a notoriously cold rink, thermal shirt under the fleece and a warm up jacket over that. Extra ponytail holders on my wrist. My video camera/practice agendas/dance diagrams/videos are all on my phone, which I keep in my sports bra. The expression on Coach's face the first time I pulled it out in front of him was priceless.

  3. @Jessim--I don't blame you for the fear of the spin. So far, I don't spin. Someday I'll have to squeeze my elderly lady butt into tights so I'm 'spin safe', but not yet.

    @Mer I keep an iPod in my bra when I'm doing yard work. Pulled it out one time to turn it off when my neighbor wanted to talk to me. Bug eyes all over the place. I just couldn't do that to my coach on public ice. (although I would like to see what would happen hee...hee)

  4. I wear the black stretchy pants from LL Bean, too. I like the "original" style with pockets because I always need a place to put my Kleenex. On top I just wear one of my many t-shirts (usually featuring Snoopy) because I skate in a shopping mall rink and it's not cold.

  5. Give me five, Nancy! Bearers of the L L Bean flame!