Stink like a girl / Vapor Fresh sports laundry detergent review.

 

#FitGirlProblem: The stinky jacket.

The stinky jacket is the jacket you wear to and from the gym, or put on after your workout before you take a shower. The stinky jacket could also be the layer you start your run in, but eventually peel off, about three minutes after you’ve sweat into it. I have 1.5 stinky jackets. I wear them because they’re my coolest, longest, best jackets. They make me feel like a superhero badass person. They’re the ones that made me say “really? over $100 for a hoodie?” when I bought them, but I reach for them every single day and they make me realize how absolutely unflattering and shitty the cheap ones are.

But I also hate wearing them as stinky jackets because they’re the kind of jacket/hoodie things that I like to wear in athleisure situations, too. (This is where the .5 comes in. One of my stinky jackets I very rarely use as a stinky jacket, mostly as a running around jacket, but all it takes is one time and…yeah. I think it’s probably a stinky jacket.) It would be nice if stinky jackets didn’t have to be stinky jackets only, and I didn’t feel like I had to buy yet ANOTHER expensive fancy hoodie jacket thingie for everyday use because the other one and a half fucking reek. And they do. They fucking reek. I don’t think other people can necessarily smell them, but I sure can. Because they get jammed up in the armpits after workouts when I’m wearing sleeveless tops, grinding stinky deodorant wax and weight training funk all up in that fabric…not their fault. They’re armpit thongs, basically. How could I expect them to not fucking reek?

And yes, of course I wash them. I wash them all the time. And yes I use my special detergents. But that’s not cutting it. Them shits still stink.

MEANWHILE, as I was pouting about my 1.5 stinky jackets and trying not to buy another expensive workout jacket…Vapor Fresh sent me a new sample of their detergent! So I thought I’d tackle two birds with one post.
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What’s this Vapor Fresh you speak of?

Vapor Fresh by Raw Athletics (rawathletics.com, vaporfresh.com) is a sports laundry detergent that says it has stain and odor lifting technology and is designed to clean sports apparel and everyday laundry. Perfect, because that’s how I roll. I wash everything together and just use my fancy delicate detergent for the whole lot. Which I shouldn’t. See my earlier post about washing your workout wear here.

FYI: liquid detergent = usually bad for stinky and/or sweat-wicking things. Why? Fragrances, dyes, softeners and brighteners can clog fabric, trap the stink, and jam the wicking fibers so they can’t wick anymore. (Read more about it in the drop-downs here.)

What’s good about Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent:

  • not liquid
  • fragrance and dye-free, hypoallergenic
  • eco-friendly, biodegradable
  • no harsh chemicals
  • uses cold water compatible surfactants (soapy sudsy things that break down oils)
  • a lot smaller than a box of Tide or a jug of Cheer or whatever
  • can be used with regular and HE washing machines
  • made in Illinois!

Did it make your stinky jackets not stink anymore?

No, and then yes.

First pass: no. They still stunk. Then I read the directions on the package of Vapor Fresh, and it said “for heavily soiled laundry, allow laundry to soak with detergent for at least 10 minutes prior to washing.” And the website says to do it for “at least 30 minutes (!)” So technically, I didn’t give the stuff a chance to do its job on those deodorant-filled stinky jacket armpits.

So I dug out my washing machine manual, learned that I have, of course, been using it incorrectly for years, and figured out which settings have extra long soak times. Alternatively, you could just pre-soak the items in question Woolite-style in the sink like this.

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Pre-soaking is a bit of a pain in the ass, but it’s worth it to save an expensive jacket from stinky jacket doom, right? Now we know.

DID IT WORK, THEN?

YES. They came out…NOT-STINKY JACKETS!

Shit. Now I don’t get to go buy a new fancy workout jacket. 😦

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VAPOR FRESH: THE VERDICT

I know that Vapor Fresh won’t harm the performance (wicking, stretching, compression) of my workout clothes, and I am happy to report that does remove B.O. when you follow the directions. Which you think would be, like, the definition of any laundry detergent’s job, but you tell me. How many of your workout shirt and jacket armpits can you stick your nose into? Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Available on Amazon , $22 for a 5lb tub, which is good for 36 regular/ 72 HE loads of laundry.

 

 

 

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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. 😉

 

Pretend Shopping Spree: Reebok

Like I said in my previous article about Reebok, I have a lot of respect for this funky, gritty, true to itself brand. They’re doing great work right now. And they’re making some great looking workout wear. For to enjoy: Reebok.

1. Combat Bralette $60 2. CrossFit High Impact Bra $70 3. Reebok X Tristan Eaton Collage Tight $65  4. Dance Shattered Glam Tight $55  5. Cardio Woven Jacket $110  6. Reebok X Face Stockholm $50

Striped Stretch Pant Fail

Striped Athleta Chaturangas

When they came out last year, I was like “Whaaaaa? Those are cyuuuute.” But I own at least 4 pairs of Chaturangas already, and sort of doubted horizontal stripes across my widest bits would be a good idea.

But I have seen them on different ladies with different body types, and they do kind of look cute on a lot of people, so I kept them in the back of my mind…

Then I was out negative-shopping last week (returning things) and saw a pair on the sale rack at Athleta, so I had to try them on.

If you were wondering if striped leggings are for you, (and you’ve got a booty) here’s your answer: 

NOPE.

Oh well. A few more notes on them:

FABRIC:  much less stretchy than the other chaturangas I have.

FIT: the cut and rise are the same.

Reebok embraces its funky funky truth.

Reebok.

When I say that, what comes to mind?

For me, a child of the 80s and a teen of the 90s, I think of these:

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Like, totally bubble gum pink!

and these:

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Pump-pump it up!

Reebok was Nike before Nike was Nike. (Step Reebok, anybody? PURPLE PINK TEAL BLACK!) There was a little bit of celebrity endorsement, but bold, bright funky products were the star, because, after all, Reebok let U.B.U.

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Cow spots and southwestern? These were EVERYTHING!!!

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Did Reebok invent cross training? I don’t remember. Probably not, but here’s an article. CLICK.

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PSYCH! These are from 2014! (blacktop tribal)

And since then…um…crickets? Not really. They never stopped existing. But you tell me what Reebok has been known for since then. (Oh yeah, Easy Tone. I got a check from the class action suit. Whoopsie!)

Cut to: twenty years later…CROSSFIT. Such a funky, fringe, down and dirty sport-hobby thing. Reebok embraced it, branded it, and made it A THING. (Their CrossFit logo has even taken over and become their brand logo.) When I think about CrossFit (grunting out basic exercises in an extreme way and probably twisting an ankle?) I think “no thanks, weirdo. I care not about your WOD.” But when I watch it on TV, I am RIVETED!!! It’s like track and field. It’s basic in the best, “pared down to simple feats of physical strength, technique and endurance” way possible. Totally kooky, but totally owning it. And the ‘bok is all about it.

Reebok has a history of embracing specific sports and fitness trends (aerobics, Step Reebok) so this is a move that’s true to the brand’s DNA. It’s authentic. It feels right. They’re also the official footwear brand of the UFC, they have a line called “combat” (Fuck yeah!), and they have a partnership with Les Mills developing apparel and workouts. (Les Mills = Body Pump.)

Reebok is getting back to what they’ve been best at. Not trying to out-Nike nike or out-pro UnderArmour, but instead being a little funky dunky fringe, and celebrating specific, not-mainstream sports. They’re reissuing a lot of classics, and their current collection of fitness apparel reminds me of the late 80s/early 90s era when they were last kicking ass. (Check out their “Rally” summer lookbook here.)  It’s all coming back together. Good on you, Reebok. U.B.U.

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#PearShapedProblems : training tops and running pants

Here’s what happens when I get dressed for bootcamp: I spend ten minutes trying to figure out which pair of black workout pants is tight enough to stay up during jumping jacks and such, thick enough to camouflage cellulite and sweat, but not so tight that my saggy double butt or lady bits are on full display.

 

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This chart is from YouBeauty, click on it for their butt-type specific exercises.

THEN, I put on whatever flowy top makes me feel least gross and goes down the longest.

THEN, I go to class and either my pants fall down the whole time, or my top flies up during burpees and mountain climbers and hip hikes.

The pants issue, I’ve figured out. I needed to 1. stop wearing Athelta Chaturangas and LuluLemon Wonder Unders to bootcamp, because both of them shits is designed for YOGA. Stretchy material, wide waistbands, basically designed to slip down and give you penguin crotch and muffin top if you dare to jog in place in them.

So I dug out my tub of workout clothes that are a size smaller, and (yippee!) some of those pants fit now. And most of them were intended for running and training, not yoga. So we’re good there. Also: don’t be afraid to wear something that feels “tight” because basically, if it feels “comfy” when you’re not working out, it’s going to fall down when you are. And nobody cares about your butt once the workout starts. Everyone’s busy either worrying about their own butts or trying not to quit and walk out in the middle of class. Just like you. (Want the full education on workout-pant types? I wrote about it here.)

Now the tops: that’s a little harder. You know I loathe clingy, roll-showing, muffin top maxing, tech tops. And I’d rather not wear a wife beater type tank top in public just yet. (mushy middle) So I basically have ONE TOP that really works for boot camp. The Athleta Breathe tank, which has a shit-ton of ruching and is really long, so it stays in place pretty well, but also has some distraction/camo action. Well, they don’t make that tank top anymore. So…sweet.

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Athleta Breathe Tank

What about bubble tops, Aimee?  Fuck bubble tops, that’s what. I’m a pear, so they balloon out at the one place I’m small – my waist, and also, because of my shape, they just slide up towards my narrowest part anyway. Also, I think they’re ugly. Unless you’re a super apple. Then, they’re probably your best option.

So I’ve been on the lookout for something that might work, and I sort of found something. It’s called the Sweat it Out top from Lucy. It’s sort of a straight cut, so it is snug-ish at the hip, but doesn’t cling anywhere else. So the cut is working in my favor. But it’s not perfect because the fabric is slippery. It’s better than a lot of tech fabrics because it’s thick (awesome) and seamless and doesn’t look cheap and tacky as fuck. But, it does slide up a little. I even made a point of wearing it with a more brushed cotton type of pant rather than a slippy slidy pair, and I still had to pull it down a fair amount. I will say it never rode all the way up, though. Just a few inches. (PS, they’re on sale now. Probably because you can’t tell the quality from the photograph.)

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Lucy Sweat it Out Tank

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I’ll keep my eyes open. And I might try some other kind of ruched top from Athleta like the Fastest Track or PR Tank 2 or Pure Tank. I don’t know. They look pretty tight-fitting. Might just have to suck it up and wear my Old Navy tank tops. They might not wick or anything, but at least they’re the right shape and they’re not slippery…(FYI, some of the shittier colors of the Fastest Track are on sale for as low as $18…)

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Athleta Fastest Track

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Athleta PR 2 Tank

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Athleta Pure Tank

 

 

 

Pretend Shopping Spree: Olympia Activewear

Olympia Activewear: the coolest sports bras in town by a San Francisco-based designer. Good job, Ms. Kaili Lickle.

Let’s pretend for a second that my boobs aren’t “I have a baby”-sized. And while we’re at it, let’s pretend that my ass isn’t “I have a new baby”-sized either. Here’s what I’d love to wear from Olympia.

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Tough, hardcore and beautiful. Perfect.

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Sporty with a sophisticated softness. Perfect.

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Awesome details on the waistbands and knees.

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Perfect proportions on the trim of the shorts and where the calf fabric starts on the leggings.

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And then this is actually something I could wear IRL.

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Also, cute headband. 🙂

Love love love the Olympia.

New Protein Yums! Brand review: MyProtein

Long story short:  There’s a new protein source in town. It’s called MyProtein. And it is good. If all you need is a thumbs up or thumbs down, then THUMBS UP, I say.  Their shop is here.  And right now you can get 20% off of all protein powders with code POWDER. You’re welcome! MyProtein.com

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Here’s my review:

I have a new baby. I don’t have time. And I’m tired. So my way of getting protein lately (other than a steady stream of grocery store rotisserie chickens) has been eating box after box of protein bars. But I can’t be trusted around those things. A box might last me a week. Or I might take down six bars in a sitting BECAUSE THEY’RE CANDY.

So the other day, while my brain and my finger were fighting over whether or not I should push the “Buy another box of protein bars with 1 click” button on Amazon Prime (on my phone, while feeding the kid), a miracle happened!

Someone from MyProtein contacted me and asked if I’d do a review if they sent me some food stuffs to put in my face. Um. HELL YES I’ll do a review! Perfect timing, psychic angel person from MyProtein! Boom.

Here we go:

MyProtein is a new company, they’re from the UK and distributed in the US from Aurora, Illinois. Of Wayne’s World fame. And a half hour from where I live. (Yay, quick shipping!)

They make protein powders and shakes and supplements and even some gear. The protein products are all low-carb, sugar-free, etc. They also make jerky and peanut butter and snacks, so it’s kind of a no-brainer one stop-shop for quick protein stuff. And I’ve just about reached the maximum number of rotisserie chickens one person should consume in a lifetime, so, YES YES PERFECT THANK YOU! Quick protein!

They sent me some shakes (delicious), some peanut butter (perfect), some jerky (gone in 60 seconds), and some Omega 3 (haven’t touched it yet because I’m still taking plenty of for-the-baby vitamins).

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First of all, points for clean design. A lot of protein/ supplement brands look like a ‘roided up fire monster mated with NASCAR (aka: MMA) or they’re so girlie they look like they belong in the barbie shampoo section. MyProtein products look like they don’t think you’re an idiot. So thanks for that.

Here’s what I got and what I thought:

MyProtein Beef Jerky (original flavor):

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This is the first thing I opened. And by that I mean I ate it immediately after opening my box of goodies from them, because jerky.  It was tasty, not too sweet, and  fresh.

I also got single packet samples of flavored whey protein powder

Strawberry: Yum. Tastes like Strawberry Quick.

Cookies and Cream: A little more “cream” than cookie. Think of it as Double Stuf Oreo flavor.

Salted Caramel: Brilliant idea!!! Tastes like Kraft Caramels. The cubes with the cellophane wrappers from childhood? You know what I’m talking about. Anyway, it’s not super sea-salty. But I’d just add salt to my smoothie to get it there. Yum.

Chocolate Peanut Butter: also tasty. Not fake-y.

But the part I was most pleasantly surprised with? The shaker. Seriously.

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I hate shakers. They’re awkward to drink out of and they’re big and cluttery. But this one has a spout and it is easy to drink out of. This one I will not throw away. They seem to know what they’re doing, these MyProtein people.

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And then, their Peanut Butter. Guess what’s in it? Peanuts.  That’s it. No sugar. No salt. No extra oils. No weird things to keep it at an unnatural consistency. Just a big jug of QUICK PROTEIN STRAIGHT FROM THE EARTH! Usually I can’t keep peanut butter in the house because I’ll eat half a jar in a day. Or an afternoon. But this stuff, because it’s not sweet or salty, you eat what you actually need, and then you’re like, “OK. I’m good.” And you get on with your life. Also, it doesn’t separate much. So, bonus.

They also have this cool thing where you can get plain whey protein, but then buy flavor drops instead of having a huge jug of one flavor. Great idea, right?   10966230-1094305484410114

Overall: I’m impressed. I like the stuff.  And I’m ordering more.

MyProtein. Check em out: MyProtein.com

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