Lululemon Align Pants Review

Dude.

Lululemon has a new (to me) pair of all-purpose/ yoga leggings. And they are uh-maze-balls.

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Don’t ask me why they styled them with these hideous slides. There are many mysteries in this life.

They’re called the Align Pant. And they’re made out of clouds and dreams.

They’re so stretchy you can put them on on a fat day and not hate yourself.

And so buttery soft and pliable, you put them on and feel like you are instantly as flexible as a pretzel. *high kick*

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Why is this awesome? Well, I’m a little heavier after a summer of work (read: not working out) and wine (because summer), so my workout pants all shame me every time I rally hard enough to put them on…

So I’ve been looking for a pair of “throw on, feel ok, even on not-skinny days, but don’t have to size up” magic pants, totally did not expect for them to come from Lululemon, but here they are.

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I mean seriously, I’ve tried on probably every style of legging that Athleta has, which is saying something, but couldn’t find what I was looking for. No, not even the Powervita line (which is supposed to be their soft and supportive but not too-compressive fabric).  Powervita was soft, but not like these puppies. MAN. They are soft. The fabric is called Nulu.

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Lululemon Align Pants

+super soft-feeling Nulu fabric

+mega stretchy, not compressive at all

+high waist

+flattering heart-shaped seam above your butt that makes you look like you have glute muscles

+double seam on the inner thigh, so there’s no seam right in the middle, I’m assuming so there’s less chafing

+leggings you can still wear on fat days

+they come in dark, creamy fall colors

+f yeah

I’m really excited to have something that doesn’t make me feel like shit when I put it on, which is how all clothes make me feel right now. So I’m really excited for these kind, soft pants. Maybe I’ll take a picture one day, but not today, because like I said, I feel like shit in my own skin. I’m sure you understand. Sad trombone high five, sister. Whatever. #Fitfall?

Anyway, look, they have a pocket too.

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New fitness fashion brand: JoyLab by Target review

Target has been sniping successful brands and making their own versions for a few years now, but this spring they’ve really stepped on the gas in the fashion brand style-biting department…

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I get that they have to follow trends, but it’s a little blatant. And as a card maker who’s had one of her designs low-key copied by Paper Source and who has a few other maker friends who this has happened to…I can only imagine how these big, established brands feel about Target copying their whole entire vibe. Eeeeeesh. Not very cool. Anyway. Tabling the issues of brand-swiping and business ethics and moving back into FITNESS FASHION REVIEW LAND…

Target now has a fitness fashion brand called JoyLab that’s kind of like Outdoor Voices + all the other cute fit fashion brands rolled into one trendy package.

JOYLAB REVIEW

The quality is pretty good. Better than Target’s terrible Champion/ C9 stuff (so thin, so clingy, makes me so angry), but not as thick as “real” fitness brands. Then again, what do you want for under $35 per piece? Basically, if you have cellulite, you might be able to get away with their pants, depending on the color and how few fucks you give. But I only found one pair of pants that I felt OK in, and they have a distracting pattern.

But the bra tops are all really cute. They cover a lot of different trends in color, pattern, and cut. Mostly I noticed a lot of “long line” bras/ bra tops which means they go further down towards your waist and *some* people can wear them as tops with high-waisted leggings. ICYMI, this is my formula to find out if you are one of those people. (From my post about jog bra trends from a while back.)

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And JoyLab has a lot of cute jackets and sweatshirts. A few different takes on bombers (mesh, scuba, sweatshirt, etc.) and a lot of cute sweatshirts. But the sweatshirts are mostly pretty cropped, so I only tried on the (totally predictable for me) big baggy long one. I’d put pictures of the jackets and sweatshirts here, but the pictures online don’t even come close to doing them justice. You have to see them in person.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT JOYLAB BY TARGET

  • Affordable. Pants $35. Bras $20.
  • You get more than what you pay for in the style dept.
  • You get about what you pay for in the quality department.
  • 900 times better than C9.
  • Check out their jackets.

Here are some JoyLab things I bought:

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Here are some other JoyLab things I tried on:

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Here are some other cute JoyLab things:

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And Imma just put this here…

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Lululemon Jacket Round Up

I had a “treat yo self” moment this week and an hour to kill, so I went in to Lululemon to buy me a jacket. (Because Athleta has shit for jackets right now. Waiting for some new options for spring, but…right now there’s nada.) So for your virtual shopping pleasure, here are some Lululemon Jacket Reviews.

First I tried the Define Jacket, which is super popular. (Don’t judge my footwear, I was heading to a meeting after this. And yes I have giant water-ski clown shoes for feet.)

Here’s what you need to know about the Lululemon Define Jacket:

  • it’s tight AF
  • it doesn’t cover your ass
  • but it comes in the best patterns they have in the store

 

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Lululemon Define Jacket

 

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Lululemon Define Jacket

 

Then I tried the Round Trip Jacket. I was curious about this one because of the almost empire waist detail, hour-glass friendly cut, and interesting gathered material panel in the back. But…

Here’s what you need to know about the Lululemon Round Trip Jacket:

  • The material is really thin
  • The front seems kind of blah
  • But the back is as cute as it looks in pictures
  • It covers your ass
  • Yes I’m cross-eyed and have a double chin, apparently

 

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Lululemon Round Trip Jacket

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Lululemon Round Trip Jacket

 

Then I tried the Stride Jacket II. Which is what I was really there for, because I own three jackets in the same shape/ length, and that’s what I’m most comfortable in.

Here’s what you need to know about the Lululemon Stride Jacket II:

  • The fabric is thinner than past versions
  • (most lulu reviews, for all products, bitch about the declining quality of all of their fabrics)
  • The colors are super boring and limited and I’m mad about it
  • I mean, can we be done with this heathered burn-out thing already? Can we do something else please? Does spandex only come in heathered basicness? C’mon.
  • But it covers your ass the most
  • It’s the longest jacket you can get at Lulu
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Lululemon Stride II Jacket

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Lululemon Stride II Jacket

 

I also tried the Sleek Essentials Jacket. It seemed…simpler and thinner than most Lulu jackets. It’s a more affordable Lulu jacket. But I didn’t like it more because it was tight and short.

Lululemon Sleek Essentials Jacket

  • cheaper
  • feels and looks cheaper
  • short and tight-ish
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Lululemon Sleek Essentials Jacket

 

 

I also tried the Gait Keeper Jacket. Which you would think I would like because it’s basically got a peplum (read: pear and hour-glass friendly). It really sticks out in the back, almost like a bustle, which makes it pretty unique and interesting and style-y. But the cut is higher in the front. And the front’s a little plain. So…meh. Not good enough.

Lululemon Gait Keeper Jacket

  • Cool peplum detail in the back
  • Covers your ass
  • Short and plain in the front

 

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Lululemon Gait Keeper Jacket

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Lululemon Gait Keeper Jacket

 

So I ended up with…what I already have, what I know I’m comfortable in: a really long, looser-cut jacket. But now I have a lighter-weight one for running and spring time running around. Now…if they had the Stride II in the cool black and white blizzardy pattern that the Define jacket comes in…then I’d be really stoked! HEAR ME LULU? Y’ALL SHOULD MAKE LONGER JACKETS IN COOLER PATTERNS. WE WILL BUY THEM SHITS.

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Public service announcement: The Contour Jacket looks like another pretty long option. I didn’t get to try that one. It’s online only and sold out in my size in black, because of course. Maybe if I can’t bring myself to settle for the boring ass color of the Stride Jacket, I’ll return it and order a blue Contour Jacket. Maybe. But you know how I feel about color…so probably not.

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Lululemon Contour Jacket

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Lululemon Contour Jacket

 

And if you’re into long jackets like I am, I’m still liking my Stronger Hoodie from Athleta. Although I think mine might be a CYA (cover your assets) length, which they don’t seem to have right now. Mine’s pretty damn long. But at any rate, it’s a warmer, cozier, fleece-lined option.

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Stronger Hoodie from Athleta

 

 

Bandier is giving Carbon 38 a run…

Move over Carbon 38, I’m maybe feeling Bandier.

Bandier is a fitness fashion boutique selling their own and other brands, online and in some brick and mortar locations. And they have some pants that cost $50, while Carbon 38 doesn’t.

Here are some tasty things I saw on their site:

Terez Performance Leggings $78

I can tell that they are white on the inside, so they’ll look grey/see-through when stretched, which is a bummer. But still. I haven’t seen this kind of illustration-style graphic on leggings before…

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Kule X Bandier The Jordyn $125

Kule is the hipster sweatshirt brand of the moment. So Bandier is on top of it with this collab. I’m not showing you the velour track jackets because I refuse. Nor am I going to show you the leggings with black and white horizontal stripes that are a riff on Althleta and Onzie and a few others. But I do love these “knee socks built in”-looking leggings. Pretty clever. (I apologize for the arrows. I’m a lazy screen-grabber, those arrows are from the bandier site, they’re not active.)

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Beyond Yoga Ombre High Waisted Long Legging $115

I know. Burnout fabric is years old. Ombre is years old. But put them together and it feels a little new. And super cozy. Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 11.24.18 AM.png

Laain Sheila Diamond Legging $215

I can’t decide if these are rad or if they’d be a sweaty mess but I can’t look away, so I think I might love them…And I love blue on blue…so, yeah. I LOVE THEM! Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 11.31.18 AM.png

The Upside Tails Bomber $305

Now I’m not saying this will work, but mega points for trying.

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Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack $175

How cute is this? Is it rubber???!!!?? No. It’s neoprene. So great.

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Terez Tall band Capri Iridescent Oil Spill $59

And for Halloween extra credit: Unicorn Pants!!!

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What I like about Bandier:

  • The site isn’t overwhelming.
  • They don’t show pictures of things that are sold out (Why, Carbon 38? Why?).
  • It’s a little more funky than “sexy rich lady.” (Still, lots of expensive things, but the vibe is different.)
  • Check ’em out.

Flattering fall hoodies and a photography fail.

I’m shopping for a long fall hoodie or jackety thingie because

1. I don’t wear short ones, see my previous post about long hoodies here. And

2. My Athleta CYA Strength Hoodie is looking a little faded and sad, because it’s black and cotton and I’m dumb and that’s what happens.

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Athleta CYA Strength 2 Hoodie

I’ve been eyeing the Blanc Noir New Traveler Jacket on Carbon38.com (schmancy fitness fashion webstore) for over a year, and never pulled the trigger because it doesn’t have a zipper and it’s basically a sweatshirt cardigan that costs two hundred bucks. But I always look at it…because a hoodie just feels too functional and basic and a little flair goes a long way in me not feeling like a pajama person.

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Blanc Noir New Traveler Jacket

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Blanc Noir New Traveler Jacket

So I googled it to see if it was cheaper anywhere else, and I saw a NEWER updated version (Blanc Noir Update Traveler Jacket) on Blanc Noir’s own site. Even better! Love it! HOT! And it has a zipper!

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Blanc Noir Update Traveler Jacket in Charcoal

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Blanc Noir Update Traveler Jacket in Charcoal

 

So then I googled THAT jacket to see if it was cheaper anywhere else, and it’s on Zappos.  BUT, look at the difference! Same jacket. Same color, supposedly, but…um…WHAT THE WHAT?

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Blanc Noir Update Traveler Jacket in Charcoal…on Zappos

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Blanc Noir Update Traveler Jacket in Charcoal…on Zappos

Same jacket. Supposedly the same color. Two different sites. WHAT’S THE TRUTH??? Probably the Zappos version. Probably the one that looks tackier and cheaper. Lesson: photography and styling (and filters) matter, kids. Also, I probably won’t buy anything and just keep on wearing my faded black Athleta Hoodie. Probably.

Although…upon further investigation…there’s no white piping on the Blanc Noir site’s version…maybe they really are different colorways…two colorways that reflect two very different taste levels…perhaps this is a merchandise labeling mistake…OK. Maybe I’ll buy the grey on grey one…Maybe.

Workout pants: Will they stay up????

Pear-shaped problem:

Any pants that fit your ass are usually too big in the waist, and slide down as you work out.

OR, if you buy pants that are stretchy enough to fit your ass and not be baggy on your waist, that material is too stretchy to stay put during any kind of real workout, and they slide down. (Athleta Chaturanga and LuluLemon Wonder Unders are two examples of such pants.)

I recently convinced myself it was OK to get a few fresh pairs of workout capris and was picky about the stay-up factor. I bought three pairs from Athleta (currently not feeling LuluLemon at all) and get this: I KEPT ALL THREE. Whattttt?

Here are the three winners of WILL THEY STAY UP?

Athleta Shine Stripe Sonar Tight:

WILL THEY STAY UP? YES!

Higher waist. They have that double decker waist band thing that Athleta does on their training pants which does add a little bulk to the midsection but not THAT MUCH and if that’s what it takes to have pants that stay up, that’s fine. It’s not like I’m wearing crop tops for fuck’s sake AMIRIGHT? haha. Crop tops. BWAHAHAHAHHAHA. Those are for young people. Stupid stupid young people. Anyway, I ran in them. Outside. And YES! THEY WILL STAY UP! They will also look stupid with any shoe that’s not plain grey or black, but oh well. THEY WILL STAY UP.

Next up…

Athleta Laser Mesh Sonar Capri

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WILL THEY STAY UP??? YES! THEY WILL STAY UP!

The seams near the hips are a little weird, and I almost took them back because I thought they look a little bit like someone drawing circles around and pointing to my saddle bags, (Notice how the model has her hand in front of hers? Not an accident.) but…meh! Nobody in boot camp is looking at my shit, so fuck it. I like the polka dot cut-outs and I’m too lazy to find another type of pant that won’t fall down but has a modern detail on it so IMMA KEEP EM.

AND YES THEY WILL STAY UP!

last but not least:

Athleta Circuit Capri

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OK. These are the weird one-offs I was curious about a while back. (See post here.) They are less expensive than any other pant from Athleta, and aren’t a line like the Sonar or Chaturanga, but they’re high-waisted and their description said they were for high intensity training, so…I had to check them out.

What’s different about them is the fabric: it’s a little thicker than the normal Athleta fabric (which is good, because Athleta’s fabric is a little on the thin side) but it’s really slippery. Like, slipperier than a bathing suit-slippery. Slipperier than 80’s shiny purple spandex-slippery. I don’t know why. And I thought that would make them fall down, but…they didn’t, so I’m keeping these guys too. Who knew?

The only bad news is they only have them in pink, and in XS or XL now…so I’m sorry that I brought you late news on that. Maybe they’ll bring them back for the spring catalog.

But what have we learned? If you’re a pear and/or have trouble finding workout or running pants that stay up, try the Athleta Sonar line. And no, they’re not paying me. But seriously, they should probably start, right? AHEM.

Good luck getting your workouts in over the holidays! I’ll be using Aaptiv / The App Formerly Known as Skyfit. I’ll let you know how it goes. MERRY ALMOST CHRISTMAS!

 

 

New Balance x J.Crew

J. Crew now has a workout wear line, in collaboration with New Balance.

  1. Because, of course.
  2. Because everybody else has one and they’re the only two brands left.
  3. Because NB makes retro 80s preppy runners that J.Crew does sell, so it’s actually a totally organic pairing.

Real talk?  J.Crew having a workout wear line is funny, and don’t think I’m not going to call their shit out for it. There has never been a single muscle on a single female model in all of J.Crew, and the preferred workout program of the waif prep schooler is anorexia/bulimia, not Crossfit or even barre. Maybe her mom went to a barre class once, but she joked the whole time about how she needed a martini to get through it. Yes, I know J.Crew is an aspirational brand that true East Coast Wasp folk with Old Money and Important Art don’t really shop, but I’m a middle class girl from the midwest, so that’s as far as my actual knowledge of/ignorant assumptions about true prep go.

Deep breath. Focus. OK. J.Crew x NB. Let’s seewhatchagot.

Highlights/ Actually Useful Sport Pieces

1. Seamless Hoodie 2. Softshell Jacket (Practical, cool, athleisureness.) 3. Perfect Tank Top (Love the thick stripe, perfectly sea-preppy.) 3. Performance Color Block Leggings (Get the blue and orange, not the blue and grey b/c they’ll chop you off and make you look thicker in the thigh.) 4. Polka Dot Running Short (So cute they look like PJs.)

And the Ehhhhhhh, not so much-es.

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1. Seamless Capri Leggings (pro: they’d be super comfortable. con: they come in three shades of hell no, super unflattering if you have any bumps and also they will show all of the butt sweat.) 2. Performance Capris in Color Block Polka Dot (Light grey? For the back panel? That’s not gonna work. For an-y-body.)

That’s it. I don’t have time to go through it all. Overall: it’s brand-appropriate in style, patterns and colorways. But none of it is anything you can’t find anywhere else. Conclusion: they’ve checked the obligatory “we have a fitness line now” box, it all makes sense for them, but it didn’t push anything, and it’s definitely not a “holy shit did you see what J.Crew did in fitness???” Which is kind of a shame because I think there’s a lot of potential there… I have ideas….call me Jenna. 😉

 

Athleta Pretend Shopping Spree

Hey there.  Sorry I’ve been MIA. It’s because:

1. I haven’t been shopping much because day care is really fucking expensive. Like, more than my post-grad education-expensive. Not kidding. #americawehaveaproblem

2. I’ve been busy working because, see 1.

3. I haven’t been working out because I HAVE HAD A STUPID SINUS INFECTION FOR OVER HALF THE YEAR. No joke. You know how you feel when you have half a cold, and aren’t really snotting all over anymore, but your head is full of pudding and you can’t think straight and you also feel like someone is sucking 70% of your life force out of you at all times? That’s me. Most of this year. It’s not cool.

I have, however, become a Ketonian, which I’d love to tell you about, and will, soon, but not now. More important? Fall fitness fashion.

Pretend shopping spree at Athleta:

You KNOW I love me some Athleta. I’m wearing Chaturanga Capris and the Daily Tank right now, with my murdered-out Nike Frees.

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So for this fall, Athleta is introducing some Shapey/Supporty stuff called Sculptek. But I don’t care. At least not right now.

What I do care about is:

The HIGH NECK STRIPE CHI TANK because it’s basically what I’m already wearing, but in a cute stripe. If I had to uniform it for the rest of my life, I would have to just admit that it’s tunics and leggings for me. Has been since I was 13.

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The SCOUT SLIP ON BY DR. SCHOLLSNEW WAVE BY OBTB, and SODA JOGGER BY ASH because when I commute to the city for an on-site gig, I have to walk a mile from the train station to the office, hauling a computer. And that’s when shit gets real. Gotta have #cuteworkshoes

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THE ANYTIME BRA because when I’m not working on-site, I’m usually athelisure-style because it’s still sweltering here and even walking the dog equals sweating. And sweating in a real bra is GROSS.

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THE LASER MESH SONAR CAPRI because I’m kind of low on pants that really stay up, and I’m trying to start running again. And they’re fucking cool. screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-9-00-30-am

THE CIRCUIT CAPRI because they seem even more serious about their “not fall down” nature with their elastic topped high-rise waistband.screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-9-01-52-am

 

THE LEA WEDGE BY SOREL because they were my clients, and I love them, and that boot is awesomely rugged/ rustic/ and futuristic at the same time. Oh, and waterproof. (See city walking needs above.)

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And of course, the GLEAM TIGHT 2.0 and SUEDE  because let’s be honest, unless I’m going to the city I’m probably not wearing pants. Half the time. At least. screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-9-08-27-am

HAPPY FALL FASHION SEASON!

Oh, and I went to Luluelmon yesterday and peeked around. They have what look like could be some powerful running tights, but they’ve jacked up their prices again, so I just said WELL FUCK YOOOOOU, THEN and walked out. $150 for running tights, guys. That’s like, five minutes of day care. Too expensive.

F-YEAH! NIKE

Let’s pause for a commercial break. Literally. In real life, I am an advertising Copywriter/ Creative Director, and I’ve worked on a lot of sports brands (adidas, Nike, the WTA, ESPN, Fox Sports, etc.) The Olympics are starting today and that means HERE COME THE BIG SPORTS ADS! For me, it’s like the Superbowl of Superbowl ads for the Superbowl of all sports.

And Nike, or rather their advertising agency, Wieden and Kennedy just BROUGHT IT.

Get stoked, people. Sport is happening. Whoo!