Fabletics Breezy Top

FABLETICS = subscription-ish fitness fashion company associated with Kate Hudson’s little ass. You join, and every month you have to buy or skip. They show you outfits based on your shape/style preferences. If that’s your thing, fine. I prefer to shop by piece. But you can do that too.

I have ordered four things from them, but I’m only talking about the Breezy Tank today because it’s my favorite. IMG_5343

This top is cotton-ish, thin, and super-drapey on one side. It’s a long tunic length and asymmetrical.  The left side is longer, has a bigger arm hole, and has more fabric that kind of drapes under the waist. I totally dig it because I like the big-armhole-shows-a-sports-bra thing but I can’t rock too much exposure because I’m not little in the middle right now. (And I have much back.)

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The quality is good, especially for the price. The draping is great. If you get it big enough it won’t be too clingy. (I’m getting better at buying for the size I am, not the size I think I should be…two tricks to that: 1. Telling myself this is a temporary state of affairs and 2. telling myself that I prefer a drapey fit, so I have to size up. You know. For style reasons.)

I’m not sure if it would be flattering on all body types, but I’m stoked for anything drapey and flowy in a new shape. I keep on buying baggy tanks on repeat and it’s getting silly. So FUCK YEAH for the Breezy Tank. Thanks, Kate Hudson’s sort of company!

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Calia by Carrie Underwood

Hey, Aimee, have you heard of Calia by Carrie Underwood?

Yes, of course I have! I pretend-shop for all the workout clothes all the time. Duh. But I haven’t written about it yet because 1. I’ve been busy with the newborn and 2. I checked it out a while back and my take was “Eh. It’s ok. But I’ve seen it all before.” However, it is sort of a big deal: it’s lovely-ish fitness stuff that’s more affordable than Lulu and very accessible. So OK. Fine, Carrie Underwood. Here you go.

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Get it, girl.

Calia by Carrie is a fitness apparel line by Carrie Underwood for Dick’s Sporting Goods. Dick’s is like Sports Authority but nicer. Carrie Underwood is known for American Idol, songs about Jesus and slashing tires, big blonde hair, lots of eye makeup, and really great legs.60553794cd84a631a91fc7988c66827a carrie_underwood2 carrie-underwood-300

She’s a vegetarian and often a vegan. She works out a lot. She tours a lot. (See legs.)  She married some hockey player and just had a baby around the same time I did. And yes, of course, she’s already rocking a mini dress. (LEGS.)

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Post-Baby Carrie

But she’s a celebrity and I’m not, so let’s not compare because I don’t have a staff or a tour or mini dresses to get back into. But lets do be happy that her waist looks (a teeny bit) thicker, as it should, and lets feel better about ourselves (me) that our (my) midsection is still thick four months after baby because 1. I haven’t been able to work out and 2. even Miss Carrie, who can and does, still has it. SWEET!! But lets also give much respect to the legs. THE LEGS. Bless your Barbie-worshiping, singing about Jesus driving metaphorical cars-heart. THE LEGS! Well done, woman.

She built those legs.  She did the “soft teen turns into tiny, ripped, mini-dress rocking super-star” transformation thing that happens a lot with Idol Alumnae (Katharine McPhee, Jennifer Hudson), so I say she is qualified to venture into fitness fashion. And everyone knows country = money, so congratulations, Dick’s Sporting Goods, for jumping on that obvious money train. (Darius Rucker, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Republicans, etc. etc. etc.)

Calia by Carrie Underwood lives here caliastudio.com and the Dick’s site is here. I have no problem with her #staythepath / work in working out / the gym is where you are-type messaging. Totally authentic to what she does, having to train while touring and all. The ads look nice and the pink wash matches the color pallette of the line. Oh wait, I’m not supposed to be a Creative Director right now, I’m supposed to be a fashion blogger. Sorry, I’m both. Once a MadWoman always a MadWoman.

The Clothes

Calia Tops are $30-50-ish. Sweaters are more like $80. Every single piece is something you can find somewhere else: rouched tanks, cocoon cardigans, batwing sweaters, etc. You know, basic, sort of pretty stuff. Which is why I got that meh feeling back when I first checked it out. It’s nothing innovative. It’s nothing new. It’s just a “you gotta have one of each of these kind of pieces because they sell” kind of a thing. Which is exactly appropriate. I guess. But if I had the opportunity to create a line, I’d want to try and introduce at least one iconic piece that had something interesting or different or risky going on. (Like Stella McCartney for adidas, with the chest straps.) She probably couldn’t, even if she wanted to. Big business. Blah blah blah. But that’s how I feel about it. It’s perfectly safe.

Bottoms are $40ish for shorts, $65ish for tights and capris, and they’re so boring they just put me to sleep scrolling through them. Except these. These are kind of interesting. And props for the proportions and flattering seam-lines and wide waist band (good for muffin tops).

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Calia by Carrie Essential Tight Fit Printed Capris $65

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Calia by Carrie Essential Tight Fit Printed Capris $65

Also, there’s just so much heather grey. I love grey. More than people. But heather grey is the worst color for workout pants because it’s super bump-showy and sweat-showy.

There are also some bras, accessories and panties. The balconette bra is interesting, and the accessories are pretty enough. They’re just not necessary. Does Carrie Underwood need to make a yoga mat and a yoga block and a head band (nay, 5 different kinds of headbands) AND underpants? If I have my branding hat on, I say just do a few new things instead of doing everything. Even if everything is great, it’s too much to absorb right off the bat.

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Calia by Carrie Inner Power Heathered Balconette Bra $41

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Calia by Carrie Inner Power Heathered Balconette Bra $41

That being said, I kind of like the fruit infusion water bottle and would totally try the toeless grip socks for Dailey Method, despite the creepy mannequin foot model. Dailey Method socks always slip off of me. Aaaaand I have tingers. Toeless socks are worth a shot. And shit, two pairs for $10 is great. Imma order some of those right now. Carrie wins again.

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Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 9.22.48 AM Calia by Carrie Fruit Infusion Water Bottle $30 and No-Toe No-Heel Grip Bottom Socks $10 for 2 pairs (!)

Pretend Shopping Spree at Nordstrom’s Zella

Zella is Nordstrom’s fitness apparel brand and they make good stuff for a good price. Also, they make plus sizes. No excuses for anybody! Here are some new cutes I’d like to order. If I weren’t 8.5 months pregnant…

PULSE TANK $64 // Love the racer front styling. Great if you’re proud of your shoulders.

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SPA OPEN BACK SLUB KNIT TEE $54 // Easy breezy version of a sweatshirt.

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LIVE IN 2 SPACE DYE CAPRIS $52 // Space Dye = Sweat Camo.

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SWEAT IT SOFT SPORT PANTS $58 // Sexiest sweat pants ever.Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 9.44.51 AM

 

BOMBER JACKET $158 // Look for lots of laser cut details this spring.

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MORE MESH TEE $68 // Yessssss. Tough. Love it. Possibly inspired by the mesh shapes with puffy outlines motif from last spring by ….crap I can’t remember which designer. Anyway. I see you, Zella. Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 9.54.01 AM

 

New hot shit.

Yep. Still pregnant. So I’m just going to keep on fantasy shopping. Enjoy.

KORAL ACTIVEWEAR

This stuff is what Victoria’s Secret models probably actually wear to workout.

Lustrus Legging: $92 on revolveclothing.com

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Caliber Hoodie: $190

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Summit Bra and Transport Leggings: $110 and $118 shopbop.com

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MICHI NY

Sexy / Edgy / Badassness  MichiNY.com

Revolt Tee $95

revolt tee $95

Lure Shirt $158

michy lure $158

 

Luna Legging $179

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Helix Bra $169

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JAWBONE

And of course, a half a year or so after I get my Jawbone UP24, they come out with a cuter one: UP3 by Jawbone  $179 coming soon. Jawbone.com  Self Magazine is showing one in grey. GREY! I love grey more than people. Definitely like this better than the really bracelet-y Tory Burch type thingies that other trackers are making. Keep it sporty, y’all.

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HEROINE SPORT heroinesport.com

This is a new “hybrid activewear collection” from NY designer Nima Taherzadeh of NIMA. Most of the stuff is OK, sure, but I’ve seen it. But the bras are quite interesting. You know. If you’re a skinny little thing who can go topless when you work out. Bless your heart.

Performance Bra: $75

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X-Bra: $85

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SPLITS 59

Sexy slim pants and stuff favored by Dailey Method instructors. splits59.com

Langley Slim Fit Tight $106

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Nova Trailblazer Performance Capri III $98Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 3.43.35 PM

 

 

Psst: Athleta Sale!

Athleta has a ton of stuff on sale, my pretties. Right here.

Scoop up some sweet clothes to sweat in for your New Year’s New You resolutions.

Please. Somebody buy cute things, because I’m 30 weeks pregnant and I can’t.. Waaaaaaah. Do it for me!

If I could fit into real clothes, here’s what I’d get: Plie Tights, Embodiment Tights, Stripe Crop Tee, Shanti Tie-Dye Tank, Bhakta Sweater, Cashmere Crave Sweater, Some grey Plattan Headphones by Urbanears, and yeah, sure, a Rope Belt for the fuck of it.

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Long-ass hoodies.

WHY I GO LONG.

Pregnant or not, I am a pear. And I have a long torso. And I prefer long tops over short. And by “prefer” I mean “can only buy.” Because anything that’s not “long” will hit at my hip bones, and then ride up because the waist band is naturally going to try to find its way to a narrower area, that being my waist. Which means if my jacket is not long, all it’s good for is showing off my muffin top zone. I have a few jackets that I love, but never wear, because I was an idiot and bought pretty things that weren’t the right shape for me. Don’t do that. There’s no point in that. Repeat after me: The shit must fit.

You know I love me some Athleta, but so many of their tops and jackets are short. They’re even short on the models. I always look through the catalog and think “Um. You guys can see that right? Why would I buy something that looks too small on HER?”

But guess what. This winter they’ve got a purposefully long jacket. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO PEARS EVERYWHERE!

They call it the CYA (Cover Your Assets) Strength Hoodie. I have not tried it on but it looks like it’s intended to be their version of the Lululuemon Scuba Hoodie. Which is a somewhat thick terry cloth (sweatshirt material) hoodie. I don’t consider the Scuba to be a perfect long option. I’d call it a medium length. But if you size up enough, maybe. I have a Nice Asana jacket from Lululemon that is legit-long. Long long. It absolutely covers all of your bits. It’s great. But it’s not available anymore. A very good alternative is my very first Lululemon jacket, the Stride. Also great. Stretchy Luon fabric. Fairly long. I’ve used it for workout, for a layer under my puffer, as a cardigan substitute. It’s kind of my favorite item of clothing. It’s my armor. Too bad I’m too baby-fat to wear it right now. 😦

ATHLETA CYA STRENGTH HOODIE $128

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LULULEMON SCUBA II HOODIE $108

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LULULEMON NICE ASANA JACKET – no longer available

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LULULEMON STRIDE JACKET $118

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 11.07.37 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 11.06.21 AM Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 11.07.27 AMAnd I just noticed Nancy Rose featuring some long-ish hoodies on my Instagram feed, so I checked those out for you. You’re welcome. I have not tried any Nancy Rose tops or jackets myself, but I do have a pair of pants, and the fabric is good, so I’d imagine their jackets are good. $170 good? I don’t know. But that’s up to you.

NANCY ROSE FAVORITE HOODIE $148

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NANCY ROSE MOTO JACKET $168

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And finally, a jacket I actually CAN wear right now with my baby-fat ass: The humble Gap Fit Maternity Lightweight All Weather Hoodie. I had one, but had to exchange it for a different size. Yes a bigger one. Shut up. That’s on backorder until January. And they’re just plain sold out online. Which makes me mentioning them kind of useless, but hey, maybe they’ll stock up in January. I thought the fabric and cut were really great for the price. I don’t know why they call it lightweight. It’s not thin at all. It’s the same weight as a medium-weight sweatshirt. I plan to live in it. If it ever gets here.

GAP BODY MATERNITY LIGHTWEIGHT ALL WEATHER HOODIE $54.95

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And pregnant or not, here are my fit tips for long-torso/ pear-shaped long-jacket shopping.

1. Don’t be vain. If you have to size up to get the length, that’s more important. Sure, a smaller size might fit better on the waist, but it doesn’t matter if the stupid thing is going to ride up. And if you feel like you’re between sizes, or need the top from this one and the bottom from that one, let it go. It’s really worth it to wait to find the right fit. You will wear the shit out of it for years and years. I’ve had my Lululemon Stride jacket for like 5 years and it’s still my favorite and it’s still going strong.

2. Wider waist bands are better. The wider the waist band (or more accurately, band at the bottom that will be on your butt) the less likely it is to ride up. Think about it like an Ace Bandage. A skinny one will move up and down because it doesn’t have enough real-estate to pull weight vs. the rest of the jacket, especially when you move. A wider band has some magical height-to-width ratio going on and physics helps it want to stay where it is.

3. Baggy on bottom isn’t necessarily best. You don’t want the bottom to be tight. You don’t want it to be loose. You want it to be snug. If it’s loose, then chances are the whole jacket is too big and you’re going to feel shlumpy in it. Also, you’ll get air up in there, which will make you cold. Also, it will add bulk on the bottom. And the whole point is to look and feel as sleek and streamlined as you can, right?

Right. The whole point of being picky about your workout wear is so it makes you feel good and comfortable and powerful and stoked. Your workout wear should make you feel like you’re wearing your very own superhero suit. If it’s not making you feel like a badass, screw it. It’s not doing it’s job and it’s not good enough for you.

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I’m ready for boot camp now.

 

Workout Review: The Dailey Method

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I’m going to review the three workouts I’ve been doing the most this year. Starting today with The Dailey Method. First, here’s a little bit of my history with going to fitness classes. If you don’t give a rat, just skip down to the review I won’t hate you. 🙂 Long story short: I used to hate classes, but now I dig ’em. Note: being a bit pre-fit makes a huge difference in how pleasant or un- they can be.

MY HISTORY WITH TAKING FITNESS CLASSES: 

In the past I’ve been pretty anti-class. I tried some at Crunch in San Francisco, and they just made me feel fat and gross because everyone else was all skinny and fit and rocking full WorkOutFits. This was ten years ago, when I was still wearing mesh basketball shorts and before I ran a marathon. Before then, I was very into home workout videos/DVDs. And before that I did home workouts that were on TV, like Body By Gilad. I was an original Firm believer. Knew about Beach Body back when they sent out a paper catalog, did Tae Bo, all of that jazz. Then I went to the gym to do the stairmaster, treadmill, elipser, and use the weight machines. A little Body for Life. Then I got more into running. Then P90X and then I tried classes again: some spin and some yoga and some Zumba.

Spin was tolerable because it was dark so it was easier to block out the skinny bitches and avoid comparison. Zumba I started doing when I moved out to the burbs, and it was full of old biddies so I felt like a rockstar. Yoga usually draws all types so it’s generally non-threatening. FYI, the spin class I used to take in the burbs was in glaring full yellow light, with a boom box of country music, and it took place literally on a basketball court, during a basketball skills clinic for five year olds. For real. Not quite the same as the dark, cool, techno experience at Crunch in San Francisco. But highly entertaining nonetheless. Anyway, that’s my history with classes.

ENTER GROUPON…

In the last year or so, I snapped up a Groupon for Dailey Method and gave it a shot. I have a lot of friends who did it in SF (where it’s from) and loved it. (I just never had the time to do it, or anything at all for that matter, when I lived there.) And I have the Physique 57 DVDs and so I kind of had an idea of what it would be like.

SO WHAT IS DAILEY METHOD LIKE?

Friggin’ hard. That’s what it’s like. If you’re not strong already, it’s frustrating and painful. And even if you are in shape, it’s still going to be awkward at some point because you’re getting into all sorts of weird positions and then you’re going to be pulsing. Yep. Pulsing. Gross.

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IT’S HARD. HARD!

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Also? Dailey Method doesn’t count for hardly any steps according to my UP 24. 😦 Bullshit.

But it’s also FANTASTIC. This is a rich lady sport, so the studio is clean, and bright, and colorful and feels kind of like a spa. It’s a lovely place to be. Everyone is paying out the wazoo to be there, so everyone takes it seriously, focuses on their own shit, and generally brings it in the fitness fashion department.

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I kinda love it!

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There are people of all shapes and sizes and ages and even stages of pregnancy. My favorite classmate is a proud breast cancer survivor in her late 60s who rocks the brightest tights I’ve ever seen. Every. Single. Class. She lost 30 lbs doing Dailey and didn’t change anything else in her life. She kicks all of the ass.

There’s a lot of emphasis on getting into proper position/ alignment first and then working. You work a muscle with light weights or body weight and high reps until you’re burning and shaking, and swearing under your breath. I’m serious. Shaking is a good thing in Dailey Method. It’s not the end, it’s the midpoint. Then when you think you’re going to collapse because you no longer have legs, just jelly sticks, or that flames will literally start shooting out of your quads and melt your stretch pants, you do some more. Then you stretch that muscle.

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There are a lot of planks and on-your-toes squats and plies and sometimes there’s a shitty terrible awkward position like pretzel sometimes there’s not. There’s always something that sucks to do but builds rock hard thighs FAST. And there is always a ton of core work.

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RESULTS?

Yes. I definitely got results from doing The Dailey Method, and I never went more than 3 times a week. I also bought both DVDs and use those when I need to. My results looked like this: a general “tightening” of my whole torso, everything sucked in and shrunk. My thighs got BIGGER because I was growing strong quads and my butt got smaller. My arms got tighter. And the “bottom butt” or “second butt” or “pooh bear butt” or the “butt under the butt” went away.

COST? 

Dailey Method is very expensive (at least $150 for a monthly pass). But if you frame it as a hobby instead of a gym, then it’s easier to wrap your head around. $150/4 weeks = $37.50 a week. How much do you spend on lunch? Or on random shit you don’t need at Target? Just sayin’. It can be done. And it’s much more valuable than a lot of other crap I unthinkingly spend money on.

IN CONCLUSION:

THREE WORD REVIEW of THE DAILEY METHOD: Hurts. So. Good.

I’ll review the Boot Camp I went to next. Coming soon.

Here are some pictures from my Dailey Days.

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They’ve got home videos too.

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Dailey Method: work up a sweat standing still.

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Barre stretches feel good.

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My favorite exercise. Standing leg hold.

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Pants that last? Kyodan. (and are they secretly lulu?)

Had somebody ask recently about durable leggings:

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Good question, CJ!

I personally haven’t had any durability issues with any pants except the cotton ones form Old Navy Active. (They fade and look pretty homeless pretty fast.) Everything else seems to last a reasonable amount of time. (Grain of salt: I am a workout leggings hoarder and many pairs in rotation, so each pair gets rest.) So I’m not an expert in durability. BUT I do have an outdoor roller-blade hockey playing friend who took a pretty gnarly knees first-spill on asphalt in a pair of capris by Kyodan and she swears they didn’t suffer a bit. Pretty impressive. I mean, if they can stand up to asphalt I would think they can handle a year of thighs rubbing together? (That’s where my stuff wears out first. I think I patched a pair of favorite jeans like 7 times in the crotchular area. #pearshapedproblems.) Anyway. Kyodan.

What is Kyodan? It’s a more affordable fitness wear brand that’s carried at T.J. Maxx. People really like them, and they even have a Facebook fan page. That says something.

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These running capris from Kyodan cost $25

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These guys are $20. And they look a lot like the Chaturanga from Athleta. 

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Hell, as long as I’m looking around for Kyodan on TJMaxx.com, here are some more things from them:

Kyodan Open Back Burnout “long bra” tank $17

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Kyodan Aztek Mesh Back Athletic Shirt $20

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Now, there are some rumors going around the interwebs that Kyodan might be manufactured in the same facility as LuluLemon, and might be a way to get Lulu without paying out the lulu for it. But there are also a lot of people who say that’s bunk and the quality is not the same. I don’t know. I have a hard time shopping in T.J. Maxx for non-home stuff. (I can’t stand digging through sloppy unorganized racks. It feels like a garage sale.) BUT, they have a website, so you don’t have to work too hard to buy some Kyodan and find out for yourself. If you do, let me know the verdict!

My favorite tights: Chaturanga from Athleta

So, you know I have over 20 pairs of workout tights/capris/pants/leggings whatever you want to call ’ems. Anything dark, knee length, and thick enough not to show my cottage cheese, and high enough to hold in the muffin top, I like. But I think I just realized I have a favorite.

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I just got a fresh pair of Chaturanga capris from Athleta. I already have a full-length pair that I wear in the winter, which I love. And I just pulled these on and they’re just…so easy. So stretchy and forgiving and comfortable. I guess most of my capris are “performance fit” which means tight as hell so they squeeze you in and support your muscles and jiggly bits. So it is such a treat to pull on a pair and not feel like a sausage for once. I love you Chaturanga.

http://athleta.gap.com/browse/search.do?searchText=chaturanga

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Already had Chaturanga Odyssey Tights (looks like space dye in real life)…..Just got Chaturanga Stardust Capris. (looks like cheetah/snow leopard in real life)

Note: they are NOT thick, which I usually would not recommend. And they’re probably not great for running because they’re not performance-tight (which means they’ll probably slide down as you run). So I can’t recommend them for running. BUT I can recommend them for pretty much everything else. As long as you get a dark pair, preferably a pattern, you should be comfortable and camoflauged. Just like Imma be all friggin day in these puppies. Ahhh. Chaturanga.

They come in every length: shorties (tiny for you obnoxiously fit skinny minnies), shorts (not sure who, but if that’s your gig go for it) jammers (ditto. maybe under a skirt or something? it’s a mystery to me. but to each her own), capris and tights. In whatever pattern you could want, even crackly faux-leather and stripes. Bazam.

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