EXP Core Review (Fitness fashion from Express)

Hey, guess who else has a new fitness wear line.  Express. Yep, that Express. It’s called EXP Core Performance, and they sent me an outfit to review, so I happily shall. Someone wants to send me clothes? YAASSS!

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Hello, EXP Core Performance.

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What they have: Workout Clothes for Women. A whole line of workout leggings,  workout tops, sports bras, and jackets.They say they’re “sexy, stylish, and built for maximum performance.” Oh. You wanna go after VSX Victoria’s Secret Sport? Ok. I hear you. Go for it.

They let me pick out from a selection of a few different pants and tops, and I chose these leggings because 1. I have too many crops right now and 2. HOLY SHIT CRAZY BUTTERFLY PATTERN I LOVE IT. And I chose the black top, obviously, because that’s what I wear. Black tops. And the lovely folks at EXP Core Performance sent me a sports bra to wear under it, too. Sweet!Outfit math expFullSizeRender

The workout leggings kind of rule. Ombre Animal Print EXP Core Compression Legging $69.90. And I’m not just saying that because I didn’t have to pay for them. The pattern is really fun, and it’s the first big, all-over pattern like this that has been flattering on my shape. ( Pear / T-Rex / Thunder-thighs.) The white at the bottom definitely helps because white looks bigger, so the effect is almost the same as if I were wearing bootcut/flared yoga pants. They balance out the thunder thighs. And the pattern at the top (read: the pattern across my ass) is dark and keeps the eye moving, so we’re good there, too. The only drawback is that this fabric is white with a print on it, so the inside of the pants are white, which means when the fabric stretches, it gets lighter because you’re seeing a little bit of that white come through. The black becomes dark grey when it is stretched across my thighs. So. Shopping tip: pay attention to the color of the inside of your workout pants. It’s not a deal breaker in this case, though. I think they still look good.FullSizeRender_2

But more importantly, they make me feel good. I feel like an olympic skier in them. They are edgy and obnoxious and you can’t really wear them and sit on the couch, because look at them! They are ACTION PANTS MADE FOR ACTION! Right?

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The tech and specs:

Fabric: They’re a slippery, almost bathing suit-type material, like Onzie leggings. Which means they wick well, and you could probably use them for bikram yoga or even swimming if you wanted to. Surfing? Maybe. But only if you get them really tight. There’s no drawstring. The fabric is not thick, and  that’s usually a deal breaker for me,  because: cellulite. But the pattern does the camouflaging that I usually count on a thicker fabric to do, so NBD.

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Fit: They have a high rise with a wide waistband, so that’s perfect. Everybody seems to be catching on to that now. As they should be. There’s no reason for anybody to have to have a muffin top. Hooray progress! Also, there’s a waistband key pocket, which is mandatory. I’m between sizes right now, so I ordered the higher size. So they’re not “performance” tight on me. (Except for on the thighs because everything is.)  But despite that, they didn’t slide down during a long walk, and they stayed in place pretty well during burpees and bouncing in a HIIT workout.

I’m impressed, Express. These are thoughtfully designed. Respect.

The workout top is a soft, drapey cotton.  Black EXP Core Strappy Tank $34.90. It’s loose enough and long enough, with some showy interest in the back. What more could you want? You might think “eh, it’s fine” when you look at it online, but it’s the kind of easy-to-wear piece you (I) will probably reach for first again and again. No brainer.

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The sports bra looks basic at first sight, too. (Mesh Back EXP Core Sports Bra $49) But the material actually has an almost shiny, leather-look, so it’s different and edgy, without being slutty.  The scoop of the neck and the width of the straps are flattering. It’s not too low cut,  and it covers the upper boob/ armpit fat. They know what they’re doing over there. And you know I don’t say that shit lightly. Of course, this is a “for looks” bra, not a “for running” bra. There’s no padding, and no special support structure. But it’s pretty slick looking. Oh yeah, and the back has mesh panels, too.FullSizeRender_3

EVERYTHING I got was thoughtfully designed. I’m pleasantly surprised, and actually pretty stoked. This EXP stuff is really flattering. For real.

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Seriously, you guys. When I saw Express in my email, I thought “I have not even looked in the window of that store since college.” And I’m 38. I shouldn’t be in there. But workout wear is for everybody, and EXP Core is a nice find. And you can order online so you don’t have to go in there and stand next to a size 00 seventeen year-old who hasn’t even put on her beer weight yet.

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Thumbs up for EXP Core.

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Free People Fit. It’s a thing.

Hey.

So. Free People. They’re part of the Urban Outfitters / Anthropologie / BHLDN world. I used to think it was “overpriced boho festival wear that only looks good on skeletons.” Then when I was pregnant, I found their trapeze tops and duster-length cardigans to be quite useful. I pretty much only wore three things, and all three things were from Free People. So I’m no longer a hater. Of course, I only pay attention to like 5% of what they make. But still. If you’ve got something for me, I’m “for” you.

And now they have a fitness fashion line, so obviously, we’re checking that out immediately:

FP Fit = Free People’s fitness line

First thing I notice is this. The Shredded Tee. 1. Because it’s the big trapeze shape I know them for, and 2. Because I can shred my own damn tee shirt. And have. Also, a shirt that shredded is immediately going to get caught in your cardio machine, but whatever. Style points.

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These Turnout Leggings seem to be their iconic item. Pretty in the ballet-type colors. How those laces stay in place when you move…? I dunno.20150917105017

BTW, I love the New Balances in this shot. They have some great new colorways this season. So, props to Free People’s buyer for snapping up some good ones. More on those later.

Now: haterade.

36957264_001_aIf you can workout in this, you can also kiss my ass.

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And this? The “Be More” Knotted Tee? Tee hee. All I see is “Be more…skinny! Be more! But take up less space.” Shut up, $48 tee shirt that can’t be worn without baring abs. Go away now. Buh Bye.

$28 tiny fanny pack. Hilarious.

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And this is the best.

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I shit you not, they’re selling this as a $16 HAIR TIE HOLDER. Sorry, Hair Tie Travel Pod. Yes. When wrists, pockets, and pretty much anything that holds anything doesn’t work anymore, HAIR TIE TRAVEL POD to the rescue. You know what the problem with hair ties is? They take up no space and you can carry them everywhere without carrying anything. Terrible!  Finally. Free People brings you a way to make something that is so small, light, and wearable that it’s practically not an actual physical thing, take up space and have to be placed IN a THING that you have to place in another thing. I fucking love those ballsy assholes over there. Hoo! Always good for a laugh. They make my day.