Walk into a Sports Authority or Dick’s Sporting Goods and you will see lines of the same t-shirts lining the walls, neon in color and plastered with motivational phrases like the classic “Just Do It.”
But two Brooklyn women got tired of the status quo and decided to create a clothing line that speaks to a different kind of athlete.
“I’m a runner, because I don’t want to look like a meatball,” reads one of the designs created by the new, Brooklyn-based athletic wear company Whiptail Athletic.
The idea behind Whiptail is simple, explained co-founder Jaimee Nelsen.
“Let’s be honest, why do half of us work out?” Nelsen asked. “To look good naked. It’s just having fun with that, and that’s okay. It’s just a matter of not taking yourself so seriously.”
Whiptail is all about not taking itself too seriously, with t-shirts slapped with silly phrases and images, ranging from triceratops doing tire flips to Vikings working out on an erging machine.
“I’ve always kind of seen it as social commentary on current workout culture,” Nelsen said. “It’s trying to mix the geek and athlete together. It’s for individuals who are just kind of individuals.”
As athletes themselves, Nelsen and her partner Sarah Litt are well aware of the needs specific to athletic clothing.
The t-shirts are made to be soft and smell-resistant, Nelsen explained, so that “you can work out in it if you wanted to, but you can also wear them out.”
And, she said, Whiptail will ideally not be stopping at t-shirts. Nelsen and Litt have both played rugby with New York Rugby Club for many years, a sport that is well-known for players with body shapes and sizes that run the gamut.
“I think my ultimate pipe dream is to do some athletic clothes that fit athletes that aren’t pink or purple,” Nelsen said. “Just functional things. Like spandex that actually fit you, or women’s shorts, but if you have a booty you can still fit in them.”
Whiptail will have its launch party this Friday night at the Brooklyn Pub, with first come first serve free beer and t-shirts for sale starting at 6 p.m. All are invited and will have a chance to meet the Whiptail co-founders and learn more about the company.
For more information on the company and to see the t-shirt designs, check out their website