Running Fashion Police: Going Shirtless!

In honor of the first day of summer, Mint gave us some great tips for staying cool. I’m here to continue that conversation by telling you to take off your clothes! That’s right ladies, we’re going shirtless! But first a little mood music:

You might think you need a 6-pack to rock the bra and shorts look, but all you need is some confidence and the right garments for you. That means a good bra top and a flattering pair of shorts.

For the bra, I suggest you wear something a little more substantial that will not show everything once you get sweaty. I admit that I’ll occasionally run shirtless in a cheapy dark colored Target bra, but only when I’m out on the trails and not close to anyone. I love my running buddies and they love me, but they don’t want to bear witness to my headlights!

Brooks Juno Bra
The Brooks Juno from the back. Secure enough for C/D cups and still very stylish!

If you’re on the smaller chested side like me (even when nursing AND pregnant), consider a compression style bra with thick enough fabric in the front to keep everything smooth. Many nicer bras have a wicking layer to keep your ta-tas dry. You won’t look like you’re entering a wet t-shirt contest after your tempo and that’s pretty much what we’re going for!

For those larger chested among us, we’d opt for something a little more substantial. Moving Comfort (now Brooks) makes an awesome choice in the Juno Bra. While normally I’d say the hook and eye worn as outerwear is a little gauche, the cool assymetrical keyhole design of the back totally makes up for the closure element. Imagine the awesome tan lines!

Now even trickier than getting the bra right is getting the shorts right. Those of us who’ve had children know how scary low-rise shorts can be! For those most daring among us, go for the low-rise boy shorts like these ladies:

Super cute houndstooth Run Bunz from

When I’m in my best shape I’ll dare to go there, but it’s maybe 3 months out of the year that I can pull that off. When I’m not at my leanest I’ll still go shirtless, but I’ll opt for my (and Clove‘s) old stand-by Nike Tempos or similar shorts with a wider non-pinchy waistband that sits just below the belly button and a loose flattering fit.

Nike Twisted Tempo Track Shorts

They flatter me even when I’m a few lbs. over race weight and come up just high enough on the waist without going all mom-jeans or 1993 on me. These shorts look great on a variety of body types even with no shirt. You don’t need a perfect body to go shirtless. It gets hot and it gets uncomfortable to wear a shirt sometimes. Put on your most flattering shorts and a good bra top and rock that shirtless look!

And if after this pep talk you’re still embarrassed to go shirtless, might I recommend you head to the nearest beach on a hot day and take note of how many men hold themselves to your shirtless standards. Not many. So girls, when it’s Hot in Here take off all your shirts! And be proud!

How do you feel about running sans shirt?

Disclosure: I was not paid by any retailer to promote their product. I am on a racing team sponsored by Nike Running and I appreciate it immensely! 

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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  1. Yeah – I can’t do it. I am way too self-conscious. I know it is silly when I am in top shape, but I just can’t go there. 🙂

    1. I used to not be able to either, but then I did. And then I swore I’d never wear bunz and then I did. It’s really not nearly as bad as you fear and I’ll tell you on those hottest days I’d never go back to wearing a shirt again! Try it 🙂

  2. so the question i have is, will we be seeing the a pregnant shirtless lady on the trails this summer?

    1. Now that’s a whole other story. Not sure I can go there. This might be weird, but I already feel a little vulnerable running while pregnant that running shirtless makes me feel even more so. Not sure I can do it. We’ll see how it goes when I head out for my run later. Maybe I’ll try it and report back 🙂