The Secretary of Defense has announced the authorization of physical fitness attire to be worn in commissaries and exchanges. The change, which was announced in a memo dated Nov. 2, is effective immediately.
Don’t run out to your base exchange in your favorite pair of joggers just yet, though. The memo states that the secretaries of the military department can make exceptions to the policy for service members based on mission requirements and the need to maintain good order and discipline.
This means that your base installation may not allow physical fitness attire for service members. Military dependents, however, are now able to wear physical fitness attire even if service members are not allowed.
According to the memo, physical fitness attire must be “clean, serviceable and in good condition and appropriately modest.” This means that although you can wear your favorite Lululemon leggings to the commissary to pick up your groceries after a workout, you still shouldn’t walk in with booty shorts and a sports bra.
This updated policy applies to all DOD installations’ commissaries, exchanges and their annexes.
Military spouses around the globe are rejoicing at this change in policy. For years, athleisure wear has been popular among young adults, with members of the military community sharing online that the archaic policy of no PT gear in the installation commissaries and exchanges has been a point of frustration. Many active duty service members and military dependents have been at the mercy of an angry master sergeant or recruits during Corporal’s Course turning them away at the doors of the exchange because they weren’t dressed exactly to the installation’s dress code.
“As a new mom, it was always really frustrating to have to change into jeans for fear that some Gunny was going to get on me about wearing leggings into the MCX when all I needed was diapers for my baby,” one Marine spouse said in a Facebook group.
“I used to keep an extra change of clothes in the car just for this reason, which always seemed ridiculous when athleisure wear is a common trend. This is a welcome change,” she said.