Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Working Out in Style

After quite a hiatus from exercise I am finally back, full force. You probably don't know, but in July (2012) I broke my foot and was unable to do any real exercise for quite some time. I dealt with lingering foot pain into the fall and didn't want to risk re-injury, so I steered clear of weights and running. Really the only thing I did on occasion was the elliptical, but even that would hurt my foot after ten minutes or so. Now I'm feeling fully healed, and after losing quite a chunk of weight from a healthier diet, I decided to pair it up with exercise for even better results. 
I was quite active in sports when I was younger. I attended a college prep school where we did all kinds of sports (really)-- lacrosse, cricket, in-line skating, field hockey, basketball, volleyball, etc. The list goes on. I was on the basketball and volleyball team in middle school, then did athletic training and fencing when I was in high school. Since my school was private, we wore a uniform, and that included a P.E. uniform. I think I still struggle with breaking out of that "uniform" mindset... I'm often tempted to pick out similar outfits day after day. 
Now that I'm older and back into working out, I can start browsing all those beautiful work out clothes. To me, so much can make or break a workout garment. For example: I purchase a pair of North Face capri pants in a cottony material that I loved the fit of. But when working out, with my upper legs rubbing together as I furiously elliptical'd or ran, the material started to pill and that always drives me crazy. In my opinion, workout clothes should be comfortable, flexible, long lasting, adaptable to surroundings (heat, cold, sweat), and wearable. I don't want to be embarrassed if I go to a cafe afterwards and I'm in my native american t-shirt. I want my clothes to be transient as well. (Though I have a soft spot for those goofy spirit t-shirts, what can I say). 
Nike has released a new shoe that is just so beautiful and I need to own. I NEED. TO OWN.
Photos taken from Nike's website, I did not photograph these myself.
These to me are the perfect workout shoe. Feminine, durable, strong, and useful in a variety of athletic arenas including dance, pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. I have heard nothing but good reviews so far. I really love Nike. I think they have an amazing marketing and advertising team, they know their market, they cater to it, and they do it with products that last a long time. You know how much I love quality. They are finally available at Nike's website for $110. (Oh and this shoe does come in a deep pink/ red color but it says it's sold out online)
Another product I've lusted after forever is the Lululemon sports bra. Everyone knows Lululemon, right? 
Photo from Lululemon's website
This sports bra is not meant for intense activities like running or punching or anything. It's also not meant for girls that are busty. But since I'm not too big chested and I enjoy yoga and pilates, this bra just does it for me. I love the simplicity of the front and the intricate back. Wonderful material that is purposefully made with sweating in mind. It is also supposedly chafe resistant, soft, and quick drying. Umm... yes please. Available on their website here for $44. 
Moving on with the cute bras, Nike has a really beautiful one that I have my eye on. Honestly I've never purchased or worn a Nike sports bra before, but I hear good things. Mostly I think this would look gorgeous under a v-neck white shirt with the bra peeping out just a little bit. 
Photo snapped on the Nike website
Isn't it just so pretty? It's $45 and just awesome. I love printed/ graphic/ bold sports bras, don't ask me why! Available here
The last sports bra I'll post is a cheaper yet still high quality option, and that's Champion's C9 line for Target. I doubt this is available outside the US, but it's such a reasonable price for a wonderful product. They have a lot of wonderful vivid neon colored sports bras with both thick and thin straps. Pretty good coverage (but I'm not sure, I have a smaller bust) and just SO comfy! 
Photo from Target's website
It's $12.99 and lasts a long time. Be careful though, the color can and does fade over time without proper neon treatment, so make sure you wash neons together, wash the item prior to use, and follow the instructions very carefully. You can buy it at any Target store or on their website!
There are so many running shorts out there and someday maybe I'll like running shorts. Maybe in 15 more pounds I'll like them! But for now, I love tight cropped pants. I think they make my legs look better and they can go well with a cute oversized shirt. Lululemon once again produces just such a beautiful product that is chafe resistant as well! I've never owned the work out pants with a higher waist, but I can see the appeal of it whilst doing yoga. 
Photo from Lululemon.com, I am not taking credit for it! 
The little top designed part can be folded down to reveal a different pattern which I think is so cool and smart! These looks so comfy and multi-tasking. They cost $78 (eek!) and are found on Lululemon's website or at their stores in major cities. 
The last item that just really puts the whole "chic exercise" outfit together for me is that casual, loose, nice but not trying-too-hard oversized long sleeve throw over. I say that because it's the kind of shirt that just hangs off of you just so, and is paired so well with the above tight yoga pants. It pulls loose around the neck to reveal the straps of your cute sports bra.. Its just perfect. Last summer I was in Key West, Florida and visited a little boutique that was selling Fresh Produce, which is a company I had seen before in Sanibel Island, Florida. Their clothing is usually what you would expect older women to wear, but that never deters me from checking just to see if anything looks cute (stores like J.Jill, you know?)
Photo taken from Fresh Produce's website
I own this shirt in a sort of lilac or periwinkle color. It's not the most versatile color but I basically try to pair it with everything because it is the comfiest shirt ever. I take comfort very seriously. It comes in a variety of colors including black, white, tan, red, orange, yellow, green, etc. etc. The list goes on. Quite a few colors, needless to say. It's $49, which I know is a lot, but I get so much wear of this I don't even think about how much I had spent on it. Well worth it in my opinion. Anyway, if you live in or near Florida I'm sure you could buy it at any "beachy" store or a Fresh Produce store, otherwise, you can find it on their website
Anyway, that's all. I'm done daydreaming about expensive workout clothes now. I have other expensive products to search out and drool over!

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