Team Red Cross fashionista provides style tips for marathon runners

One runner, on the first-ever Boston Athletic Association charity team Team Red Cross, has a particular flair for fashion. On Monday, Rue La La’s own Dani Incropera will bring her style savvy to the 26.2-mile stretch of road from Hopkinton to Boston as she runs the Boston Marathon for the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts.

The 28-year-old from Chelmsford, who works as a senior marketer at the online private sale shopping/fashion website Rue La La, decided to run marathons to entertain her “competitive spirit and belief of living a healthy lifestyle.”

“For me, running has been the only thing in my life that’s remained consistent,” she said. “I use it as my personal tool to always strive to be an all around better person.”

Later this year, she will be launching a lifestyle fitness site called “Define By Dani.” Here, she answers five questions about bringing your own personal style to the Boston Marathon course.

What’s your own personal fashion when you run?

I would have to say my personal fashion when running is reflected first in my attitude and then my apparel. If I feel confident, strong, and excited to take on any training route, I am more apt to hit the road in better style.

I like to look sleek but strong and always put in a personal twist, statement piece, or special piece of meaning into my training gear. A usual running outfit would consist of mostly black and white, form-fitted layers with a punch of neon color (red is also a perfect option for this punch of color). I always wear a cross necklace that my mom had made from two baby earrings around my neck. She wears one and I wear one so when there are times of doubt or struggle I look to that. 

For this marathon I am wearing a black head band that says “FOCUS” in capital letters with a sequined red bow in my pony tail to represent the American Red Cross. 

I also like to use my nails or toes for personal expression. Right now on my toes I have the Boston Marathon colors – yellow and blue. The base of the toe is yellow with my goal finish time (3:35) on my two big toes in sparkly blue. On my nails I will have a bright red color with a white cross on each of my ring fingers.

If you feel confident and prepared in your training, you are going to look great no matter what because you won’t look like your hurting to get to the finish!

What are some suggestions/tips you can give other runners on what to wear?

1. Everyone thinks all runners are super skinny and lean but that is not the case. My biggest tip is to wear something that makes you feel secure, confident and proud. You don’t want to be thinking that bystanders are looking at your butt jiggle or your tummy sticking out. Rule of thumb: Cover up what bounces, bobs or flops.

2. Carry or wear a piece with meaning. When you are feeling pain, or having doubts of finishing the race, this piece will give you the strength you need to NEVER STOP and NEVER QUIT. It will remind you to push through until you cross the finish line.

3. You want to wear something that reflects or defines your own identity or personal style. For me, I am pretty intense but playful at the same time, so wearing the “FOCUS” headband shows my intense side, but the sparkly red bow shows my playful side. And for example if you are goofy or quirky wear some crazy pattern on your spandex, socks or on a headband! And if you are more chic/classic, stud earrings that don’t bounce can be the perfect option (pearls, diamonds, or cool little bows or flowers), all FAKE of course -you would not want to risk losing anything real while running for this long.

4. As much as I love fashion, do not put fashion before comfort. When running this long if something is rubbing, chaffing, falling down/rising up, or twisting or slipping… do not wear it.

5. It is always fun to have a themed color for each marathon. That way your fans can spot you easily. My last marathon, pink was my color and the one before that, orange… but of course this year will be red.

Why are you running for Team Red Cross this year? Is red a good color for marathoners?

I am running for my sister, who is a collection technician for the American Red Cross. She works so hard and is saving lives daily through her work that I wanted to show her how much I support her and what she does. 

Red I think is a great color for the marathon (especially sequin red). 

What are some of the biggest fashion faux pas runners can make?

1.  Not upgrading their gear for over five years. I see this especially in men, where they are wearing the same short shorts from the 70’s, faded baseball cap from the 80’s and swishy warm-up jacket from the 90’s… ditch it all and start fresh!

Just like regular day-to-day fashions, running gear goes out of style too. Where I work at ruelala.com, we always have Puma, Reebok, Lucy, New Balance, Saucony, etc. for 30-70 percent off, so no excuses. You can use my personal invite to get in http://www.ruelala.com/invite/daniincropera

2.  Socks that are three times too big and roll out the back of your sneakers. Get nice clean socks that fit.

3.  Wearing baggy spandex or spandex with pill balls all over them. 

4.  Anything that has permanent sweat stains on it – chuck it! All in all if its over five years and smells, look like it may smell, have any sort of stain, throw it out! Not to say I love running in some of my favorite old T-shirts once in a while but everyone knows what needs to be chucked immediately instead of holing on to it. Who knows your next new running purchase may bring you new energy and new luck.

About Team Red Cross

The American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts has selected 21 runners who are passionate about the Red Cross mission and its programs. The team will be one of six, first-year charities accepted in the B.A.A. Boston Marathon Charity Program, making a total of 31 fundraising teams to run the course on Monday, April 16.

Each runner has committed to raise a minimum of $4,000, with a total fundraising goal of $75,000. All funs will benefit American Red Cross programs and services throughout Eastern Massachusetts.

To learn more about the team and its runner, or to make a donation, visit American.redcross.org/bostonmarathon

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