Run Cute Even If You’re Cheap


Today’s guest blogger is Maggie!  Maggie and I met through Chicago Running Bloggers since as you may or may not know, I also have a fitness blog and consider myself to be an avid runner.  Maggie has great style when it comes to dressing fun for a run so I hope you get some inspiration from her!


Hi Loop Looks readers! I’m Maggie, and I blog about running at and sometimes post my outfit of the day over at Lazy Fashion. Today’s post is about having fun with your running clothes.

The easiest way to do that is pick out running clothes in fun colors, which is really easy right now since the trend is OMGBRIGHT colors. Even the affordable places (Target, Old Navy, Marshalls/TJMaxx) are on board with the brightness.

Bright Resolution Run

Dash into the New Year 5KRunning For Kicks 4 Mile Turkey Trot


You can keep things cute by adding in some fun touches. One thing that I’m trying to make “happen,” is knee-socks-as-arm-warmers. Even elite runner Tera Moody got the memo! I prefer to cut off the toes and turn my cheap ($2.50-$5 at Target) knee socks into “arm warmers.” They’re so cheap, you can toss them aside once you actually warm up. (Although I tuck them into my waistband.)

Fast women at #zooma #crbzooma with @looplooks 2012 Chicago Marathon

But I do wear some knee socks as socks. Compression socks, that is. Or compression sleeves (allows for more flexibility so I can wear my preferred running socks – Injinji toe socks). Luckily, compression socks and sleeves come in all sorts of fun colors.

Meeting Sara Hall at @zoomarun #zooma #crbzooma Applefest Half Marathon 2012 Chicago Marathon


Your clothes aren’t the only place to add some fun to your running wardrobe. There are quite a few options for headbands to keep your hair tamed, and also keep your ears warm.

One of the latest trends is no-slip headbands. You can buy these from countless suppliers – I love Active Bands, Bani Bands and Sparkly Soul. You can find tons of colors (in solids and sparkles) and fun prints and patterns to match every outfit and holiday.

picplz_upload Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K

In the colder months, I also like to keep my ears warm. Bondi Bands cover my ears, wick sweat, are thin so I don’t overheat and come in fun colors and prints.

Oak forest fleadh 5k ZOOMA

When it gets colder, long haired ladies have three options when it comes to wearing a winter hat: Tuck all of your hair under your hat and look like a boy, wear pigtails, or wear a ponytail hat.

You can save $20-30 and make your own ponytail hat out of a $5 fleece hat from Old Navy. I just use the tool from my manicure set that looks like a seam ripper to rip a hole in the seam of the hat, just big enough to fit my ponytail through.

ponytail hat


Finally, another trend in the running world is sparkle skirts.

My running club jumped on the sparkle bandwagon and purchased green skirts for last year’s Shamrock Shuffle (and other St. Patricks Day races), and resurrected them this winter for Christmas-themed races. We get a lot of attention, and it’s really easy to spot each other on the course! If you’d like to sparkle too, we got a group deal on the skirts through

Those are my “tricks” for looking cute while running without shelling out the big bucks at those certain specialty stores aimed at active ladies. Do you have any other ways you keep things cute?

20 replies on “Run Cute Even If You’re Cheap

  1. abby

    I do the cutting-the-toes-off socks trick too, especially for races since I usually end up tossing them. Another money-saver is to cut the sleeve off an old t-shirt and use it as an ear-warmer or headband. My ears are always cold!

    1. Erin @ Loop Looks Post author

      That is a great tip for the ear warmer! I usually wear a fleece headband in the winter but sometimes that’s just a bit too warm! An old t-shirt sleeve would also make a great neck gaiter.

  2. Bethany @ Accidental Intentions

    Looking cute has never been a huge priority for me when I’m running (I’m usually happy if I’m even matching haha) but I really like some of these ideas, especially the hat and arm warmer ones! I got a pair of arm warmers a little while ago and LOVE them, but it’s definitely more economical to go the knee sock route, especially since those would be a lot less traumatizing to part with when you get too warm. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Maggie - Mag Mile Runner

      Thanks! When it comes to running and working out, I prioritize function over fashion (I have yet to get on board with running skirts – other than ones that sparkle for theme races), but I figure if I have to wear running clothes anyway, and Target sells cute stuff … may as well look cute! 🙂

      1. Amanda - TooTallFritz

        You’d wear running skirts if your butt didn’t fit in shorts. I still don’t have one pair of run shorts. And I’m so “over” the skirt thing. I’ve been into capri’s for the last year or more and just want to wear those all the time, even though I have like 30 skirts. 🙂 However, the weather isn’t cooperating so I’ve been wearing my capris with calf sleeves or compression socks! LOL!

        1. Erin @ Loop Looks Post author

          Capris with compression socks! I may have to do this since I only own two pairs of running tights. I have a hard time with shorts, too. I like them tight but not too long and so many of them seem to ride up.

  3. Emily

    I love the bright colors!!! I’ve learned that the theory that you feel better when you dress better is the same whether it’s in the office, on the town, or in your running shoes! You are absolutely right, who needs to spend $20 on armwarmers when you can create fun armwarmers out of knee socks!?!?!? And I really love the ponytail hat idea. (I usually stuff all my hair into my hat so I look like a boy. When I add sunglasses to that look, watch out! =D)

    1. Erin @ Loop Looks Post author

      I’ve perfected the fleece headband with a baseball cap so I can keep my head warm and my ponytail sticking out. But the idea of creating your own ponytail hole appeals to me because then you can put it where YOU want it!

  4. kilax

    Like Bethany said, looking cute while running is also not a priority for me, but I do appreciate that discount stores sell running stuff! I would never be able to afford an all “name brand” running supply! 😉 My mom gave me an Old Navy long sleeved top with a hood that has a pony tail hole in it! LOL. I am wearing it today at home 🙂

  5. Amanda - TooTallFritz

    I have got to jump onto the “knee socks as arm sleeves” bandwagon! I am so picky about them and they have to fit just right and I still LOVE to throw them away even though I’ve paid a ton of $$ for them. My fav arm sleeves are on last chance at for $12-$15 but the knee socks would still be better (particularly when I toss them).

    Oh, and I have a really “great” (and expensive) pair of black arm sleeves with fold over mitts that chafe me under the arm. Anyone want those? Grrr…..

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