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Here’s Why You Have to Stop Working Out in Boardshorts Now

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Stop Working Out in Boardshorts

It’s the stank. Don’t do it. Photo: Victor Freitas


The Inertia

Dudes, sit down. We need to have a serious talk about men’s fashion. Specifically, the intersection between men’s boardshorts and workout attire. This intersection should not exist. These two fashions are one-way streets on opposite sides of Fashion City. At no point should they be meeting for a salty embrace under the bench press. Am I the fashion police here to tell you how to dress? No – most days I look like I walked out of a PacSun circa 2004, so I can’t really claim any fashion authority. But I can warn you that your trunks are more likely to make you the most rank guy at the gym.

Maintaining your fashion sense while sweating is an undeniable trend. If you look good while working out, the thinking goes, then you feel better about yourself and push yourself harder. As a result, guys seem to be drawn to the fun and creative patterns boardshorts offer as opposed to the traditional training shorts. For many, they have become a go-to short for non-aquatic athletic activities.

But, despite being designed for surfing, a physically demanding sport, boardies are not meant for traditional exercise. If you look on the care label of your favorite trunks, you will notice they are made of tons of polyester and a small amount of various stretchy materials (typically elastic, spandex, or whatever the stuff Felipe Toledo’s yoga instructor’s garb is made of). This combination is great for surfing since it gives you a lightweight and flexible short able to withstand all manners of ripping. These also seem like the exact traits you would want out of a workout short – so why look elsewhere?

Because boardshorts turn the lower half of your body into a Petri dish. Polyester famously does not breathe, so wearing it while you sweat invites a party wave of odorous compounds onto your nether regions. They also are not cut like a traditional training short, so there is less airflow moving through your undercarriage. This greatly increases your chances of people looking at you the same way they look at rotting shellfish.

Thanks to the particular body parts that are suffocating, the stench that someone in boardshorts can generate while working out is much worse than typical BO. You already know the aroma – an intoxicating blend of armpit and ass that forces crowded rooms to choke back vomit. Somehow, the originator of this smell usually does not seem to realize how disgusting he is and is unable to pick up on the social cues from everyone around him. If people around you always keep their distance and recoil in horror at your presence, then it’s a safe bet that you either reek or are part of the surf school flooding my local break.

Aside from being a social pariah, continuing to invite the Florida Everglades into your pants could lead to skin problems. Rashes, acne, and fungus may not smell bad, but they are going to look and feel super gnarly in the exact places you do not want to look and feel super gnarly. It would be difficult to explain to your Tinder date that your situation downstairs is a result of your dedication to the weight room and not an STD. Love is temporary, but herpes is forever.

Are all men that wear boardshorts to exercise stank dudes with STD-like symptoms? No. Boardshorts do not instantly transform you into the most offensive guy in the gym, but they do set you up to fail. Regardless of if you are a funk-prone person or not, it’s common courtesy to try your best to avoid being compared to a dead pile of seaweed. So, do yourself and everyone else around you a favor and save your boardshorts for the beach. It’s hard to maintain that athletic fashionista aesthetic when you smell like a rank gym sock.


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Fashion & Style

Freck Beauty Cheek Slime Is the Only Blush That Stays Put

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Blush is a powerful makeup product. Applying a few dabs of color to the apples of your cheeks is one of the easiest and quickest ways to look alive (especially on 2-D Zoom calls) while also sculpting your face. The issue is that blush—primarily cream blush—has a tendency to melt off of your skin and vanish into thin air not long after you put it on. This has been my experience, until I discovered the Freck Beauty Cheek Slime ($18).

As someone who is a huge blush fan, I’ve tested a lot of them. Like clockwork, whichever color I’ve applied to my face inevitably disappears way too soon, leaving my skin without the flush that I wanted. But the Freck Beauty Cheek Slime, which is a liquid, is the only one that I’ve ever used that actually stays put all day long.


Photo: Freck Beauty

Shop now: Freck Beauty Cheek Slime, $18

I’ll admit I was nervous to try a blush that’s a liquid, since it seems that like slime, it would drip all down my face. You only need a tiny bit per cheek, and once you pat it onto skin using fingertips, it really does stay put. A few taps makes the color blend seamlessly onto your cheekbones for a perfect flush, but it’s also buildable so you can go as subtle or as full on as you’re in the mood for. The slime isn’t just for brightening up your cheeks, either—it doubles as a lip tint, and you can also swipe some onto your eyelids for a monochromatic makeup look.

The formula is infused with plant-based collagen, glycerin, quinoa seed extract, and carrot root extract, so it also hydrates (score another one for the makeup-meets-skin-care-trend). It comes in two shades: Cuffed, a muted coral pink, and Fielding, a darker, orange-brown. I’ve been rocking Cuffed, and ever since I started wearing it for (virtual) meetings, I’ve never received more compliments about “looking fresh.” I truly feel like I’ve finally found the one blush that gives me a flush that could only otherwise be achieved by meeting Timothée Chalamet IRL.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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Why Lululemon Athletica’s $500 Million Acquisition of MIRROR Makes Perfect Sense

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On June 29, Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) announced a strategically important move to acquire MIRROR for $500 million. MIRROR makes digital workout displays that it sells through its website for $1,495. It operates in the same interactive fitness space as Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ: PTON), so there is plenty of competition. The deal will be funded with Lululemon’s available liquidity sources, including over $800 million of cash. MIRROR will continue to operate as a stand-alone company. 

The upstart fitness brand was founded by Brynn Putnam, a former Lululemon ambassador, and launched just two years ago. The two companies collaborated last year on content after Lululemon made an initial investment in MIRROR. Several Lululemon ambassadors have launched content on MIRROR recently, making the deal a natural progression of how the two brands were already working together. 

Now that MIRROR will operate as part of Lululemon, management has big plans that could be very beneficial for both companies. Here is why Lululemon and MIRROR make a perfect, and powerful, combo in the world of fitness.

A woman working out at home.

Image source: Getty Images.

MIRROR fits Lululemon’s omni-experience strategy

In a statement, Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald said, “In 2019, we detailed our vision to be the experiential brand that ignites a community of people living the sweatlife through sweat, grow, and connect.” 

Under McDonald, Lululemon has been pushing deeper into experiences to build brand loyalty and drive higher engagement with customers. Lululemon has a five-year plan to blend physical and digital experiences, including sweat activities. Last year, Lululemon opened experiential stores in Chicago and Minneapolis with locker rooms and other features to deliver engaging experiences for guests. 

“The acquisition of MIRROR is an exciting opportunity to build upon that vision, enhance our digital and interactive capabilities, and deepen our roots in the sweatlife,” McDonald said. “We look forward to learning from and working with Brynn Putnam and the team at MIRROR to accelerate the growth of personalized in-home fitness.” 

A presentation slide from Lululemon illustrating the growth of Mirror's business.

Image source: Lululemon Athletica.

The $500 million purchase price could look like a bargain in 10 years

If you’ve been following Peloton, you know how fast the market for interactive fitness is growing. MIRROR is no different. It currently has an annual revenue run rate of $100 million, and that’s with a relative lack of brand awareness. 

While management expects the deal to be modestly dilutive to Lululemon’s full-year earnings per share (EPS), there are plenty of synergies between the brands that will enhance Lululemon’s growth beyond the market of selling pricey digital workout mirrors.

Like Peloton, MIRROR already has high engagement with its product and a stream of recurring revenue through subscriptions. What Lululemon can bring to the table to help MIRROR scale into a larger business is more robust marketing channels to lower guest acquisition costs, distribution channels, and access to millions of loyal guests who shop at Lululemon every year. 

MIRROR also provides Lululemon ambassadors an outlet to continue creating more content, which will be significantly enhanced now that the two companies share the same resources and talent pool. 

Lululemon is also looking forward to product integration. There could be major cross-sell opportunities down the road for MIRROR products in Lululemon stores, not to mention special benefits to members of Lululemon’s loyalty program, which it is currently testing in select cities. 

Creating the ultimate lifestyle fitness brand

As MIRROR takes advantage of these new opportunities to grow, Lululemon expects the business to reach profitability. The market for interactive fitness is steadily growing. As a reference point, consider that Peloton already has a market value of $16 billion. McDonald mentioned during the call that the global fitness activity market is worth $500 billion. 

MIRROR is a small but fast-growing upstart, with a long runway of growth ahead. It’s based in the U.S. with opportunities to expand internationally. Lululemon has millions of loyal customers who will be willing to try out a MIRROR product, especially as Lululemon creates its own workout programs for the device.

If MIRROR can continue growing at its current pace with the help of Lululemon’s marketing muscle, it will help build the ultimate lifestyle brand, while adding a growing stream of subscription revenue to Lululemon’s business. This growth stock is more than just an apparel store now.


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Fashion's betting on optimism

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Designers are finding a personal connect with poetry during the lockdown, realising that like with clothes, words have the power to comfort and …

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