This post is rather late – I spoke about Fat Lass at The Back in my healthista.com page a few weeks back – and I was supposed to write a review then. However in my infinite wisdom I decided to go back on the High Fat Diet that week which meant dragging myself out for even a ten minute run was miserable – and, while I wore the shirt on that run, it didn’t seem like a particularly good test. Then it got super-hot and I wanted to run in a sleeveless tank, and then I had to wait until I did a couple of longer runs, which, erm, didn’t happen until this weekend! But it’s done now and I have to say I really like the shirt. Here’s why….
1) It makes me laugh: Come on, it’s got Fat Lass at The Back written on it in HUGE letters – how can that not amuse you. But I also like the label that comes with it, that clearly points out that this shirt will not make you go faster – or look like a shrink wrapped chicken. I’ve been noticing recently that health and fitness is getting really po-faced. I’m going to test things and everyone is so serious (while I’m at the back giggling) and social media is becoming a warzone of ‘look how committed I am to being healthy’ – erm, it’s exercise, it’s like playing for grown ups – it’s supposed to be fun people (or you don’t want to do it!). This brings back some of that fun.
2) It would be a talking point in any race – which is nice. I like it when people talk to me during events – it’s one of the reasons why I only run with one headphone in so should someone strike up a conversation I can have a chat back. Admittedly, sometimes I can’t chat back as I’m in pain/having a brief moment of madness when I decided to go fast/wondering why on earth I decided this running lark was a good idea – and therefore grumpy – but this would be a talking point.
3) It’s incredibly flattering. The range originally started off as Fat Lad At The Back a cycling-wear range for men – founder Yorkshire cyclist Richard decided that most cycling ranges were only for the skinny and so, he wanted to create one for the erm – fuller figure fella. They sourced a supplier in Italy to make good quality kit – and offered it in a range of sizes – but then the ladies wanted in, so they started a women’s cycling range – this the ‘Scarper’ Running Shirt is their first foray into running wear. To determine what size you need you measure your waist and bust and choose the appropriate size. This is important as the range is tapered in at the waist – but flares out so it doesn’t tighten over the stomach. It’s the first piece of kit I think I I’ve found that gives me a waist but doesn’t make me feel fat as it does it (annoyingly The Boyfriend took a rubbish picture of me in it and then got bored trying to take another one, so you’ll have to have this glary selfie with my office in the background to see what I mean!). It’s also just long enough to hide your bum.
4) It wears well – by that I mean it doesn’t seem to rub, chafe, ride up, flap about or generally annoy you. The first time I wore it the collar was a bit stiff but a wash sorted that out. The only thing I could potentially see being a tiny problem is the inside of the zipper at the neck which I had to position carefully so it didn’t rub – I could see that possibly causing problems over a very long run like a marathon (when let’s face it, anything even remotely chafey becomes the equivalent of rubbing your skin with glass). It’s also very strokey – the fabric is so soft – which, I admit, is a bit weird, stroking gym kit is not something you should probably confess to online.
5) It comes in some seriously inclusive sizes – I’ve done a lot of interviews with experts talking about reasons why larger people don’t exercise – and one of them is that comfortable kit doesn’t come in big sizes. If you’re trying to run, cycle or even walk – in something that rubs, chafes, scratches and generally makes you feel bad about yourself, it’s an added hurdle. But FLAB (see, even their acronym is tongue in cheek) go up a size 50 bust and a size 46 waist. Admittedly, you’ve got to a have a bit of confidence to have the F word emblazoned on your back, but as Julie over at the Fat Girls Guide To Running proves, there’s a lot of curvy women out there packed with chutzpah and wearing trainers!.
So is everything in the garden perfect….okay, I have to admit there are two things I don’t like 1) It’s not a cheap shirt retailing at £49.99 which goes against my never spending lots of money on kit principles – although I admit, if you do like to spend money on kit I would be worth it. 2) I have to give it back – I’m going to miss it!!