I Broke Up With My Leggings for Bike Shorts—and I Didn't Hate It

The resurgence of the bike short trend as seen on Kim Kardashian West and Emily Ratajkowski brought back a memory I hadn’t thought of in a while: In college, I wore bike short to class a lot. It was the mid-’00s, it was a campus with a very laid-back dress code, and in between classes and my college dance team, I was in and out of dance rehearsals about five days a week. This is practical, is probably something I’d say to justify a pretty inappropriate look for an academic setting. All this didn’t stop me from getting back into a pair of spandex shorts in public last week.

On me: Outdoor Voices TechSweat Flex Shorts ($45)

I’m here for any sort of polarizing athleisure trend—whether I decide to participate or not—but before I could give this one my own stamp of approval, I felt like I needed a test run with this old favorite. Cut to me on the subway wearing a pair of fairly short shorts from Outdoor Voices as I was coming home from a spin class last week. They were super comfortable throughout my class, and I loved the color, but I’ll admit that I was very aware of my legs outside of a workout setting—not in a bad way, more so in an, I wonder how long it’s been since my upper thighs have seen the sun? kind of way.

The next day, I took a longer pair of Alala bike shorts on a run in the park. Since I’m not super tall, the hem fell a lot longer than where my fingertips stopped, and I loved that the rise was super high and supportive around my waist. While I’d usually wear a pair of leggings for a run outside, on this especially hot day, I was grateful to be in something skimpier and thought it was silly I would even consider wearing anything with more fabric. I was so comfortable that I didn’t walk directly home after my run (okay fine, jog) but took a detour to get a coffee and pick up a few groceries.

On me: Alala Harely Shorts ($75)

Full transparency: I don’t think I’m ready to pair my bike shorts with pumps à la Bella Hadid (yet). However, as someone who can be a bit of a creature of habit, owns too many leggings, and defaults to wearing them constantly for errands and all forms of breaking a sweat, switching things up and breaking a (tiny) habit felt exciting. Plus going back to an old favorite was pretty rewarding, especially since I liked them so much the second time around.

I’ll be wearing both these bike shorts again, for the record, and highly encourage any other leggings-only enthusiasts to switch up their routine too. The below are a few of my suggestions on where to start.

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