Running in Formal Wear

Hard to say it’s officially a trend, but a few runners out there are scaling it up. I talked to two last week, and based on our conversations, a movement toward formal running attire is definitely happening.

Billie Johnston enjoys her Saturday morning ten-miler in an elegant, black, evening dress (with slits), a pearl necklace, and a rhinestone-studded purse slung around her shoulder. I asked why she runs in such a nice outfit.

“I like to look good in public, just like any other woman. And I tell ya, I get a lot of looks. I can’t count how many times a car passed by, honked, and the guy put his thumbs-up out the window.”

It’s not just women either. James Dalton runs in nice slacks, a sport jacket, and a shirt buttoned to the top. On Mondays, to celebrate the end of the weekend, he’ll run in a suit and tie. Like Johnston, he enjoys looking good.

I joined James Dalton (left, with sunglasses) for a run last week.

I joined James Dalton (left, with sunglasses) for a run last week.

“When you look sharp you run sharp. And I just love it sometimes when I run past a group of people, and they start applauding. It’s such a good feeling.”

Though they look good, I’d be concerned about overheating on a warm day. Yet both runners are adamant it doesn’t bother them. Says Johnston, “Guys are always asking if I want to stop and have a drink from their water. I almost always do.”

Dalton adds, “Women like to pull a handkerchief from their purse and offer to wipe my brow. Of course, I can’t say no to that.”