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A story about clothing mods & culture.
Words by Will Harper-Penrose
Images by Daniel Evans
Running is a form of expression for me and I care as much about what that looks and feels like as I do about my splits and performance.
Since I was a teenager and a drummer in a skate punk band, I’ve been cutting my clothes up, sticking pins in them and at times scrawling on them with pens and paints. I guess I’m still sticking holes through my clothes every time I pin a race bib, but that’s less expressive and more a necessity. It’s hard to rebel against that convention.
Chasing the runner’s high has replaced the endorphin rush of performing on a stage, for me. Music, running… it’s all art.
Cutting the sleeves off a T-shirt is a simple thing to do, but there’s no going back from it. You’ve got to commit. In running, commitment really is all we’ve got. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to put the work in and not make excuses. There is no substitute for hard work.
Maybe as a bit of a mutiny against the constant need to inject new technology into running clothing, it feels good to run in a cut-up cotton t-shirt, short shorts and some minimalist sandals. No compression, all expression. It doesn’t have to end with the sleeves, some of the greatest runners of all time have been shirt shredders too, running in self styled crop tops and even crops with western frills. Dan ‘LEJOG’ Lawson even dyes his tees with turmeric for its healing properties and radiant glow. There are no rules. This is anarchy, so let your freak flag fly.
A muscle tee is great to run in, even better with some go faster holes in the right places for airflow. Grab an old t-shirt, a pair of sharp scissors and get creative.
Scared? Here’s a beginners guide.