Commuter Jackets Worth Checking Out – Title Nine

Title Nine: Like I’ve said,  I have a ton of respect for them, their message, and their sports bra expertise. But their clothes just aren’t quite my style. So I was surprised and stoked to see some pretty slick commuter jackets in their fall catalog. (Commuter means biking, but they work for any kind of schlepping outside of a car.) And they’ve got some good looking leggings too. TitleNine.com

Trinity Jacket from Title Nine

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Accelerator Trench from Title Nine

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Peacekeeper Trench by Title Nine

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Master Trench by Title Nine

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And you can’t be mad at the founder of Title Nine or her message. Go Missy Go.

8-4-MM

 

 

 

Zella is stellar.

Hey, today’s the last day of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. So I apologize for being so late to the game on this, but HAVE YOU TRIED ZELLA? Zella is Nordstrom’s fitness wear brand, and they’re pretty great. My sister-in-law convinced me to try them after swearing they were “non-cellulite-showy-offy.” And at $30 a pop (until tomorrow, then $44) for their super-popular “live-in leggings,” I mean, come on. Done.

I ordered a few different pairs, and even in purple, they are flattering. No celulite. Not too thick. Not too thin. Not too low. Not loose, but just tight enough. Im an idiot for not trying these before. EXCELLENT value. Pro pro pro. I’d take better pictures for you BUT THERE’S NO TIME! The sale ends tomorrow. Get it! (zella pictures are linked) And YES, Zella comes in plus sizes.

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sorry for the shitty photo. Guess my mirror is dusty.

 

How to wash your workout wear.

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OK. So. Now that you’ve ponied up 100 bucks for a schmancy high performing pair of workout pants, you need to take proper care of them to make them last.

Why? Because if you don’t, they will start to hold onto odor, they’ll stop wicking, and they’ll lose the perfect stretch and compression you paid so much for.

HOW should you wash athletic clothes? 

-In COLD water. (hot is bad for elastics)

-Only with other performance fabrics. Why? Because heavier/ rougher fabrics will beat up the sport fabric. Rough it up. Stretch it out. Cause it to pill.

-And HANG DRY. Before and after you wash. You should really hang your workout clothes up after you peel them off. Let the sweat evaporate, don’t throw them into your laundry pile all crumpled up and wet to fester and rot. Hang them to dry after washing, too. I am personally a hang dry-only freak. I hang dry everything except for sheets and towels. Because I can’t handle the emotional damage that shrinking will cause. I’m dead serious about this. Do not wash my clothes. Beware the wrath of the girl whose favorite whatever doesn’t fit anymore because it accidentally got thrown in the dryer. You do not want to be on the receiving end of that torrent of uncut rage and tears.

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Don’t even aim a blow dryer at my shit. I will cut you.

WHAT kind of detergent should you wash your athletic clothes with? 

-POWDER not liquid. Why? Because you don’t want residue. Any residue stuck to the fibers will coat them and keep them from wicking. You also don’t want fabric softeners or “optical brighteners” because they also coat fibers.  So unfortunately, Woolite is out.

-This is also why “Tide plus Febreeze” or any regular wash that just adds an odor eliminator doesn’t cut it.

-Most “sports detergents” focus only on body oils and odor. Apparently, active wear really likes to become permanently stinky. Because body oils and stinks bond differently to synthetics than they do to cotton. I guess I’ve noticed that a little, but overall, I’m more concerned with keeping the wicking performance and elasticity. And I assume if a detergent is good enough to preserve elasticity, it’s probably already got the odor and body oils thing covered.

Even the most “sporty” sports detergents (Win, Sport Wash) are liquid. So despite their macho labels, high prices, and sports-store distribution, they’re totally not ideal for keeping the physical performance properties of the fibers in tact. WTF right? BUT. Good news…

There are a few powdered sports washes out there, Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent (which is a good source of information, too) and Sports Suds. I haven’t tried either, but it seems like they should be good.

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I usually use Forever New. It comes in through the “fine garment care” door instead of the “odor eliminating” one. It’s for delicates and it says that it “preserves fiber flex” and “maintains elasticity.” I mean, if people wash their french lingerie in it, I trust it.

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Here, I’ve done the shopping for you!

Forever New: $14.50 for 32oz (16 washes)  on Amazon, prime eligible.

Vapor Fresh: $22 for 80oz (32 washes) + shipping on their site, same on Amazon, but prime eligible.

Sports Suds: $21 for 14oz (34 loads) through Amazon, prime eligible.

I was about to just order some more Forever New, but after doing this research for y’all it’s obvious that these other guys are cheaper per load, so I’m going to try Vapor Fresh, too. Although, I’m still not sold.  I don’t trust a detergent designed by a boy to eliminate stink to take care of lycra and preserve stretch as well as a lingerie detergent. Hmmm… Either way, I’ve gotta stop using the Tide with Febreeze. My clothes just feel slimy. Bad news.

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE  The residue from liquid detergent is coating your washer too. So you’re supposed to clean it out by washing old towels in your new powdered detergent first. Not sure how this is going to work for me since we wash everything else in liquid…but…I guess we’ll just have to gradually switch from liquid to powder for everything. No reason not to.

Here’s what Sports Suds says about that:

http://www.sportsuds.com/First-Use-Information.html

So. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you you’re doing everything wrong. But now you know. And I learned some new stuff too. If it makes you feel better, I can’t do my stinky-ass laundry for a few days because I’m waiting for the special detergents to get here…

 

 

Why so ‘spensive? (The rise of $100 yoga pants.)

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Oh, workout clothes. You so silly. The really good pants can cost $100. And the nice tops can cost $70ish. You only wear the stuff for an hour at a time. And then it’s going to smell like butt. Literally. Where do they get off charging that much for smell-like-butt clothes?

Well. Back in the day I would have thought it was just branding and luxury marketing and all that seventh grade stuff. Charge more and people will think it’s better. Then every yoga mom has to have a Lulu logo on her butt.  But now that I actually design and manufacture stuff myself (paper goods, not clothes. bsandrs.com) and have a friend who designs and manufactures jeans (tallwaterjeans.com), I understand the work that goes into production and development and how much quality costs. And also, the more workouts I try, and the more laundry I do, the more I appreciate high-functioning stuff.

So. Why do they charge that much for smell-like-butt clothes? I’ll tell ya.

1. Quality of fabric. The fabric matters a ton. The fabric is what determines sheerness, wicking, longevity, fit, whether or not your cellulite shows, whether or not they keep their shape or stretch out, how easy they are to get in and out of, and whether or not the pants will slide down when you get sweaty. That’s why LuluLemon got big. Not just because they were design leaders, but also because of Luon fabric.

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LuluLemon

 

2. Technology. Not only do they have to be the right thickness and all of that, these fabrics have to breathe and wick and stretch both ways.  They have breathable panels in body-mapped places. And those silver seams? Those actually cool you down and don’t absorb your stink. (I worked on adidas for years. Trust me. I know things.) F-yeah, science.

athleta

Athleta

3. Design. Designing fitted things is hard. Designing fitted things that stay in place while flexing to and fro is hard. Figuring out how wide to make a waist band and how tight or high it needs to be to keep your poppin fresh dough from spilling out is hard. Placing the seams in a way that draws the eye around your leg, cutting the strap so you don’t get armpit boob, adding a key pocket without actually adding a pocket is hard. (It adds material, complicates pattern, takes longer to manufacture…) These are the things that make good pieces good. And they’re what make you keep on choosing to wear that one top or those certain pants instead of all the others.

Splits 59

Splits59 Spinning Crops

 

 

4. Engineering. If you have more than a B cup you know you need a real jog bra, and you understand what a feat of engineering that those suckers are. (Bounce. Moving Comfort.) And some workout pants even have built in spanx-y panels and butt lifters and stuff (Lucy). Compression patterns support your muscles and help you work longer. It’s way more complex then sewing two halves of a pattern together.

Moving Comfort Rebound Racer

Moving Comfort

 

So you see, a quality piece of fitness apparel takes a lot of work and design and R&D. It’s made with stuff that costs a lot more than cotton because it has to do a lot more than cotton. And the benefit you get out of that piece (comfort, support, confidence, performance) is directly related to how much work went into creating it.

I still have my first pairs of Athleta and LuluLemon capris. They’re at least 5 years old. And I still pick those guys from my drawer before all of the rest. Meanwhile, the Old Navy Active yoga crops I just bought for less than the cost of my lunch are thin and scratchy, don’t have stretchy thread, and will be busted in a matter of months. There’s cost per wear. And there’s just wasting time churning through cheap stuff when one great piece will remove “shop for gym pants” from your to-do list for years.

I am absolutely not trying to peer pressure you into buying something you can’t afford. (Hello, I wear old navy tank tops 90% of the time.)  But I am for sure telling you that there IS a difference and you will get A LOT of use out of the good stuff for a LONG time.

And yeah. It’s way cuter.

LuLuLemon

 

New Brands and wanty wants: Nancy Rose, T&F Store, Splits 59

Good News: I’ve been working out a lot latey, loving boot camp and P90X3 and love/hating Dailey Method. Starting to see some results. So obviously I’m like “I want a new fancy cute top. I deserve it.”

Bad News: At this moment, budget says NO, STUPID!

That’s why I’ve been doing all the DIY shirt stuff lately. Also: I haven’t been using all of the (bright, cheap) ribbed tanks I have. They’re right there. As long as I do a little something something with my hair and a headband, I can still make a WorkOutFit out of them…But you know how it is. Women be shopping.

So let’s pretend for a minute. Gotta get it out of my system. Here are some new (to me) brands and some stuff I’m trying not to by. 🙂 Obviously first thought is LuluLemon. But, eh. Any rich housewife can get that. Athleta, I’ve got that covered. IF I were to go shopping right now, I’d try to find some less common stuff. And let me tell you, it’s totally out there!

T&F Store. (Track and Field Store) TFStore.us

Ever wonder what the epically lovely looking Brazilians wear when they work out? You know, if they choose to, because they don’t have to because of their ridiculous genetics? Prolly this stuff. T&F store liked some of my Fitstagram Pics, so I checked them out. Super cute! Unfortunately, the only US store is in NYC. But I’ll bet there will be more soon. And THEY’RE WELCOME TO SEND ME GORGEOUS WORK OUT WEAR IF THEY’RE READING THIS…;)

T&F Store Run Mist Leggings: panels. Moving lines. Pleathery shiny calves. Yes.

T&F run mist back T&F Run Mist

T&F Store Sky Fitness Shorts: GOLD. SHORTS. GOLD! Somebody with the legs to pull these off please, please get them. How can you not be happy wearing or seeing these? They’re gooooolllld.

track&Field sky fitness shorts

SPLITS 59

I’m still irrationally in love with these Raquel Classic Flared pants from Splits 59. Probably because they’re the exact opposite of what would look good on my body type. And the colors are great, uncommon, primary colors. The green online isn’t accurate. They’re a great kelly green in real life. All of my Daily Method instructors rock these and they look so strong and lean and dancer-y. Good for them. And for you if you can pull these off. Get it.

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The other brand I learned about through the shopping rack at Dailey Method is Nancy Rose Performance. I have a pair of capris: they’re cute, high quality fabric, and fit well. They’re a little lower cut than I like, but thanks to all of the functional strength training I’ve been doing, I can wear them now. With a baggy tunic, of course, let’s not get crazy. But at least it’s not muffin top town. ANYWAY: I finally looked them up and WOW.

Nancy Rose Performance = Flattering, ballet inspired design and high quality materials. You want a nice top? Mostly you can get a tight-ass tank that shows the rolls or (like me) a tunic that flips up in boot camp. Enter Nancy Rose: Tons of different shapes and cuts with flattering lines and wraps and peplums oh my! Form fitting, without being too form revealing. PERFECT.

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WHATTTT???? Stuff for apples and pears and beanpoles, not just instructor-shaped fitness professionals! So good. So easy to wear. Thank you for existing, Nancy Rose!

 

 

Gym Shirt DIY

Old Navy T-shirts make me sad. Real sad. I bought these V-necks a while back because I thought they’d be a cheaper version of my favorite American Apparel V-neck that doesn’t seem to exist anymore. But no. It’s all about the fit, and these fit as basic and sad as can be. So they deserve to die.

First I hit them with bleach and RIT dye. Then I took my Nike tank, which has a nice loose-ish long-ish fit, and used it as a template, and turned those stupid shirts that made me feel sad into easy to grab no-brainer, I know that will work gym tanks. I mean, why not? Nothing to lose.

I also tank-ified a Nike men’s T-shirt so now I might actually wear it. I just can’t do sleeves when I work out. Why?

1. I feel all constrained and claustrophobic and sweaty.

2.  I have pretty broad shoulders, so tanks help me look more balanced.

3. I’m not going to show my legs (like ever) and I like my arms, so bare arms, covered legs is my gig. Again. Balance.

 

 

May & June WorkOutFits

Here are some of my recent WorkOutFits. Apparently I like two things: neon pink, and black grey black. I could wear pink on top of black or grey on top of black all week, and not repeat an outfit. Some of these look like repeats, but I swear they’re not. ha! The yellow and purple is a total anomaly. But…pretty fun I must say.

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You’ll notice I wear mostly tunics. Because I’m a pear, and it just kind of grazes over my figure. I wear a regular tank top for boot camp, because they often have us on our hands and feet jumping around, so you don’t want your shirt to fly up. I should be wearing something snug in the middle to Dailey Method. But…that’s more of a fashion show scene, so I don’t care. I bring out the good tops for those classes.

I love capris and knickers. That’s all I wear. I have been rocking a baggy shirt tight pants look since I was 13. What works for your body works. Stick with it. Like Mr. Rodgers. Plus, capris and knickers are the most supportive, easy to move it, easy to forget about things there are. Maybe shorts work for you, great. Not me. Long pants? only in the winter. They feel too damn hot. Calf sweat? Ew. I dress like a football player. Just without all the terrible color choices and ugly graphics. And white pants. Seriously, they need to cut that out. I could really help the NFL with their styling. It would actually be a dream job, so if you work there, gimme a call. 🙂 Please. I mean it.

Evolve Yoga Clothing: Pretend Shopping Spree!

Well. I hate Facebook ads as much as the rest of you, but since I started blogging about fitness wear, they’ve actually started to be pretty useful! Thanks, internet, for delivering brands I never heard of, directly to my eyeballs.

Today I clicked on Kira Grace. Why? Because as I’ve said, I have over 20 pairs of black workout capris. So I’m kind of looking for a little variety. Probably not in color or pattern, because while I love that shit, it probably won’t get worn as much as something black just with a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

Like panels and cut-outs and ruching oh my!

Kira Grace Romance Mesh Ballet Legging

Kira Grace Romance Mesh Ballet Legging

The Kira Grace leggings had a sheer panel that I liked, and that led me to Evolve Yoga Clothing, which is AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME SAUCE. They’re an Oregon-based yoga apparel site and they stock fun fun things. Love love. Here are some things that I would buy right now if I hadn’t just ordered a stay-in-place sporty pretty swimsuit from Title 9 called the Rizzo.

Rizzo Tankini

Rizzo Bottoms Rizzo Tankini

 

So, here you go.

STUFF FROM EVOLVE FITWEAR I WANT TO BUY RIGHT NOW BUT SHOULDN’T BUT MIGHT: 

Onzie X-Back Fitness Bra

Is that Minnie Driver? No. But I like the moxie.

Tonic Peak Cutout Legging

Tonic Peak Cutout Legging

These, I kind of need. They’re cutout without being trashy, you know?

Teeki Clouds Hot Pant-made from plastic bottles
Welcome to fun town!!

Jala Clothing Jessie Legging

Jala Clothing Jessie Legging

Black. Pattern. Cellulite camoflage potential. Yup.

Liquido Cobra Leggings

Liquido Cobra Leggings

COBRA! WHAT??? HOTTTTTT! LOVE IT!

Teeki Balanced Traveler Hot pant

Teeki Balanced Traveler Hot pant

Wowie zowie. Too bold for my big ol’ butt probably, but somebody please buy these happy pants.

Omgirl Nomad Legging

Omgirl Nomad Legging

Aww. That’s nice…

 

LVR Ombre Terry Leggings

LVR Ombre Terry Leggings

These are terry cloth: sweatshirt material. Cozy for colder times.

Spiritual Gangster Sacred Yoga Tank

Spiritual Gangster Sacred Yoga Tank

Sure. Why not.

Jala Clothing Sari Terry Top

Jala Clothing Sari Terry Top

I am actually trying to learn this technique right now. I’m applying it to my not-flattering generic basic workout shirts so I can try to give them a chance before I just donate them for being ugly.

 

 

So there you go. Some super fun stuff I want from Evolve Fitwear. Can we all agree that we can do better than this now? K. Thanks.

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I HATE TECH TEEEEEEEEES.                          Boooo. Sad pants. 😦