by Morgue Anna
So last time we covered kit. Today we try to cover you! By helping to answer that all-important question: What should I wear to play roller derby?
If you search “roller derby fashion” or other variants it’s all knee-high socks and hotpants, ruffled pants and Lycra, which is all very well but not exactly everyday wear is it? When I first started derby, my training wear consisted of a kilted mini skirt, striped socks and a band t-shirt, and I fitted right in with my team-mates. 3 years on it’s not just me who looks different. I believe there are 2 reasons for this:
- Roller derby has evolved in the last 4 years, we have left a lot of the “cheesecake” factor behind in pursuit of greater recognition as a sport.
- I’ve evolved too. Roller derby isn’t just something I do twice a week anymore, it’s become an all consuming passion, something that made me get over my gym phobia and my refusal to diet in pursuit of being, fitter, faster stronger.
So what advice would I give to new girls coming into the sport? Well first of all, don’t go overboard buying “fitness wear” I still wear my band t-shirts! Below is my guide to derby dressing.
Which ever style you feel most comfortable in, tight or baggy it really makes no difference. Long sleeves should be dodged as most elbow pads slide if you have material between the pads and your flesh.
Long is best when you are starting out as you will be falling a lot, and trust me, you will value the extra protection the material will give you. Like myself, a lot of players train in long Capri-style leggings. If wearing long pants that go under your knee pads choose a close-cut style; baggy will cause your pads to move about when you skate, something which is definitely best avoided.
Striped socks are still in, they are brilliant as they can be pulled up to prevent scrapes on your shins. I also like padded trainer socks, they are great for long periods of skating as they reduce friction and thus blisters and other sore bits.
Yup, you need to think about pants. When you are learnings it really doesn’t matter what type of underwear you choose, granny pants, thong, shorts, it’s irrelevant. However, once you start scrimmaging it suddenly becomes rather important. Allow me to enlighten you why…
When you scrimmage your team mates will push you, pull you and generally yank you around the track, especially if you are new to pack-work as you will often end up in the wrong place by sheer lack of experience. Your team mates will often do this by grabbing your waistband, sometimes this grabbing gets your undergarments too. This is why wearing thongs is a really bad idea. If your team mate grabs you by the waist band of your granny pants or hot pants its no big deal but if she grabs the waist of your thong and yanks, well….nobody wants that.
In my opinion, a sports bra is an essential. Get fitted at a proper shop. Derby is a high-impact sport, it takes its toll on the ligaments supporting your gifts, the greater those gifts the more support they will need. Sports bras come in many types, colours and price-points these days, so you have no excuse for not defending those assets!