McMaster has a few different on-campus locations where one can purchase athletic wear. However, for students who are looking for modest-friendly workout wear, you may have to search elsewhere or try to compromise fashion for fitness.
As someone who values fitness, finding the courage to go to the gym when I wear hijab was a challenge in and of itself. Apparently, that was just one of the other obstacles that a hijabi might face when trying to go to the gym. Along with the challenge of finding the willpower to budget time for the gym, as most students universally understand, budgeting for clothing that would keep me covered enough to be able to squat without worry and not breaking the bank to do so become another concern.
As most of us know, finding good workout clothes isn’t easy and being able to afford the quality you are looking for is even more difficult.
At the McMaster Campus Store and the Maroon Shop, athletic wear is available for purchase at reasonable prices. However, I find it difficult to find something that is comfortable, modest-friendly and that doesn’t make me look like a I’m drowning in fabric.
In fact, I have yet to find something that doesn’t, and would rather not have to budget time and make the trip to Lululemom to pay a ridiculous amount of money for about two inches more fabric on a shirt.
At that point, going to the gym would be not only a time investment, but a monetary investment that, along with the amount I am paying for a gym membership, would not be worth it for me.
Personally, since I’m on campus for more than eight hours a day, the Campus Store and Maroon Shop are a conveniently close location for me to purchase quick, functional clothing that would stop me from making excuses to go to the gym. But finding a long-sleeve shirt that has enough length or bottoms that are not tights or men’s sweatpants is usually a disappointing experience and my usual resort to buying larger-sized men’s shirts that make me look like I’ve been swallowed by fabric just makes me want to make more excuses not to go to the gym.
On a similar note, McMaster should consider jumping on the Nike bandwagon and making athletic hijab available for students to purchase as well. But this would be something to consider for the further future, after more modest athletic wear can be more accessible to students who spend most of their lives on campus.
Finding modest-friendly clothing to workout in is something that not only hijab-wearing women might face. For some people, workout in in clothing that isn’t too revealing or tight is a preference that makes going to the gym a more comfortable experience.
The campus store does offer some fashion clothing that is modest-friendly, however, these options are usually not light-weight material and when you are already wearing an extra layer, this is something you would want to avoid if you can afford to.
McMaster’s Campus Store and Maroon Shop should consider making modest athletic wear more accessible to who favour modest wear, as it would encourage a greater interest in athletic participation.
Whether it be for going to the gym or for sports participation, the investment would be appreciated by students with diverse preferences.