You guys. Nike made Kyries inspired by sugar cereals and they are the SHIIITTTTTTT.
Too bad they’re in kid sizes. 😦
I thought number three here was Cap’n Crunch, because duh, but it’s Kix. Gross.
WHERE MY CRUNCHBERRIES AT?
Lululemon has a new (to me) pair of all-purpose/ yoga leggings. And they are uh-maze-balls.
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*
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.
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.
+super soft-feeling Nulu fabric
+mega stretchy, not compressive at all
+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
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.
I’m a freelance writer. Which means sometimes I’m commuting to the city and sometimes I’m working at home. When I commute to the city, I spend 3.5 hours a day commuting. And when I work from home, I basically wake up, maybe walk the dog, and start working right away because I can. I never know what type of work situation I’ll be in, so a gym membership is dumb and so is committing to any kind of studio unless I only want to go on Saturdays. Also, my super-affordable, on-the-way-to-daycare bootcamp has moved and become a less-affordable F45 on the other side of town, so… I’ve been classless for a bit.
I needed a new home workout. Yes, I still like the Aaptive training app and my treadmill. But I was hungry for something new, and something that didn’t make me feel like a prisoner sweating alone in my basement. And I need to build strength and get results fast, so I researched on-demand barre classes.
Now, a good little blogger would re-do the research for you and post the costs of different on-demand barre classes here, but I threw away my notes over a month ago and I don’t feel like looking all that shit up again.
And the classes are taught by a mix of instructors, so if you think one is annoying, you can avoid her. What you can’t avoid is stupid pretzel position, which is incredibly awkward and I really, really, really hate it. But they’re videos, so if you’re a lazy piece of shit like me, you can just say “nope” and skip to a less ridiculous part of the workout.
A lot of the classes are “live” which means recorded live in one of the Pure Barre studios. They look like they’re shot with a nest security cam, which is totally fine by me. I like how it feels like I’m in a real class. There are also more “workout video”-type professionally staged and shot workouts. There’s really a lot of content. It’s pretty great.
Here’s what the two kinds of classes look like:
Not gonna lie. Barre sucks. It’s painful, awkward, and uncomfortable. And super hard. BUT, I’ve found that it is a really fast way to change your shape and get strong. And that’s what I need right now. I think of it more as physical therapy than a fun workout. Wow, that’s depressing, isn’t it? OK. It’s not that bad. It’s a CHALLENGE. Is that more positive? And I get to do different video every time (so far) so that makes it feel a little more special.
All barre workouts are based on the same principles from The Lotte Burke Method: proper alignment, a large number of small movements done to failure, then you stretch that muscle group. “Failure” means your legs will not only burn, but they will literally quiver and shake, and that’s the goal. Yup. (“Shake to change” is the mantra in Barre Amped.) And all barre workouts use similar exercises and follow the same patterns (core, arms, legs, butt, abs).
The vibe is a little different from brand to brand, and Pure Barre has the vibe that I like the best, but it’s up to you to see what you like. Pure Barre, for example is a little more casual/city and they work out to a beat. Dailey Method feels slightly more formal, closer to a ballet or yoga studio vibe.
They all have a little bit of equipment involved: light weights, a small inflatable ball, something to use as a “support” (barre substitute), sometimes tubing. Overall, I like doing barre at home better than in the studio because I don’t feel looked at, and most importantly, I don’t have to wear those stupid barre socks that lose their grip and become useless the first time you wash them. I hate working out in socks.
For home workouts you really only need the light weights. A ball is a bonus. I have a barre, which I ordered from Amazon, and it’s fine. But there are some moves where they hold on to the barre and lean back, and for that type of stuff you actually need a counter, so don’t feel like you have to buy a barre. But if you want one, this one’s the one I have. It’s pretty cool except you get a big box on your doorstep that says VITA VIBE. Oh hey neighbors! I promise it’s not a four-foot dildo! Link here, too: https://amzn.to/2qazoQ7
Oh, and Pure Barre sells apparel with a lot of good cuts (meaning: long, not skin-tight tanks). I would totally order some if they didn’t have Pure Barre logos on them.
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…
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.
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.)
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.
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.)
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An ode to Sole.
(Specifically the Sole F80 Treadmill.)
In 2011 I broke up with the 24-7 full-time advertising life in San Francisco and moved back to the Midbest to live the dream. What is the dream? The dream keeps changing, but at the time of departure, the dream meant parking in a garage with a garage door opener (!) somewhere that didn’t involve getting out of my car to unlock a gate or run away from violent homeless guys and hurriedly, horror movie-style, try to unlock another gate without dropping my keys. (Only happened once, but it happened.) The dream meant not working every night and weekend. The dream meant buying a house. And having a yard. And some private outdoor space. And a dog. And not having to get on a freeway to go to Target. And most importantly, the dream included having a treadmill.
When we bought a house, I bought a treadmill. I did my research and ordered a Sole F80. (Free shipping. No tax. 10 year warranty on motor.) They delivered and assembled it and I could run or walk inside, anytime I wanted to like friggin’ lottery millionaire. BAM, LIVING THE DREAM.
Then, there was a huge storm and our stupid house got two feet of stupid water in the stupid lower level where my brand new dream machine treadmill lived. Pro tips: don’t shop for homes in the winter, don’t buy a house at the bottom of a hill, and when the mailman says the property you just bought “gets water” he doesn’t mean the backyard gets puddle-y, he means it capital F floods in your house. Often.
We trashed mostly everything in the basement, but crossed our fingers and let the treadmill dry out. And get this: it worked! I can’t remember if it worked and then something went wonky, or if it was wonky from the get-go after the flood and we had a repair person out, but whatever the order of events was, the treadmill was under warranty, a repair was made, and it worked.
AND IT HAS worked, since then. I do a little maintenance. And aside from being slow to get up to speed, it’s been kickin’.
Well, until last week. It stopped starting. No power. I checked all the things, and opened it up and checked all the things. Nothing. “Uh oh,” I thought “Is this the big one? Is it over now?”
Well, I just had a technician out, and guess what. He didn’t replace the circuit board ($250 part). All he had to replace was a $15 on/off switch. HALLELUJAH!!!!
Granted, the tread is wearing out ($175). And the deck will wear out ($250). And the hesitancy getting up to speed is probably the $250 circuit board. BUT.
As far as I’m concerned I’m running on a WALKING DEAD TREADMILL. A free treadmill. A magical ghost treadmill. Because we lost 1/3 of our HOUSE in the flood. And this thing SURVIVED. (OK, not 100%, but still.)
I could pay for the new parts. But it doesn’t make sense to invest in something that went through a flood. And I’ll have to buy a new one or give up that dream and run outside eventually. BUT FOR NOW, fuck yes.
And if you are shopping for treadmills, the Sole F80 is a survivor.
At least mine is.
For a little while longer…
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:
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…
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.)
I know. Burnout fabric is years old. Ombre is years old. But put them together and it feels a little new. And super cozy.
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!
Now I’m not saying this will work, but mega points for trying.
How cute is this? Is it rubber???!!!?? No. It’s neoprene. So great.
And for Halloween extra credit: Unicorn Pants!!!
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.