Lululemon Align Pants Review

Dude.

Lululemon has a new (to me) pair of all-purpose/ yoga leggings. And they are uh-maze-balls.

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Don’t ask me why they styled them with these hideous slides. There are many mysteries in this life.

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*

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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.

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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.

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Lululemon Align Pants

+super soft-feeling Nulu fabric

+mega stretchy, not compressive at all

+high waist

+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

+f yeah

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.

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Bandier is giving Carbon 38 a run…

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:

Terez Performance Leggings $78

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…

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Kule X Bandier The Jordyn $125

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.)

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Beyond Yoga Ombre High Waisted Long Legging $115

I know. Burnout fabric is years old. Ombre is years old. But put them together and it feels a little new. And super cozy. Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 11.24.18 AM.png

Laain Sheila Diamond Legging $215

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! Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 11.31.18 AM.png

The Upside Tails Bomber $305

Now I’m not saying this will work, but mega points for trying.

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Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack $175

How cute is this? Is it rubber???!!!?? No. It’s neoprene. So great.

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Terez Tall band Capri Iridescent Oil Spill $59

And for Halloween extra credit: Unicorn Pants!!!

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What I like about Bandier:

  • The site isn’t overwhelming.
  • They don’t show pictures of things that are sold out (Why, Carbon 38? Why?).
  • It’s a little more funky than “sexy rich lady.” (Still, lots of expensive things, but the vibe is different.)
  • Check ’em out.

Athleta Pretend Shopping Spree

Hey there.  Sorry I’ve been MIA. It’s because:

1. I haven’t been shopping much because day care is really fucking expensive. Like, more than my post-grad education-expensive. Not kidding. #americawehaveaproblem

2. I’ve been busy working because, see 1.

3. I haven’t been working out because I HAVE HAD A STUPID SINUS INFECTION FOR OVER HALF THE YEAR. No joke. You know how you feel when you have half a cold, and aren’t really snotting all over anymore, but your head is full of pudding and you can’t think straight and you also feel like someone is sucking 70% of your life force out of you at all times? That’s me. Most of this year. It’s not cool.

I have, however, become a Ketonian, which I’d love to tell you about, and will, soon, but not now. More important? Fall fitness fashion.

Pretend shopping spree at Athleta:

You KNOW I love me some Athleta. I’m wearing Chaturanga Capris and the Daily Tank right now, with my murdered-out Nike Frees.

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So for this fall, Athleta is introducing some Shapey/Supporty stuff called Sculptek. But I don’t care. At least not right now.

What I do care about is:

The HIGH NECK STRIPE CHI TANK because it’s basically what I’m already wearing, but in a cute stripe. If I had to uniform it for the rest of my life, I would have to just admit that it’s tunics and leggings for me. Has been since I was 13.

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The SCOUT SLIP ON BY DR. SCHOLLSNEW WAVE BY OBTB, and SODA JOGGER BY ASH because when I commute to the city for an on-site gig, I have to walk a mile from the train station to the office, hauling a computer. And that’s when shit gets real. Gotta have #cuteworkshoes

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THE ANYTIME BRA because when I’m not working on-site, I’m usually athelisure-style because it’s still sweltering here and even walking the dog equals sweating. And sweating in a real bra is GROSS.

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THE LASER MESH SONAR CAPRI because I’m kind of low on pants that really stay up, and I’m trying to start running again. And they’re fucking cool. screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-9-00-30-am

THE CIRCUIT CAPRI because they seem even more serious about their “not fall down” nature with their elastic topped high-rise waistband.screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-9-01-52-am

 

THE LEA WEDGE BY SOREL because they were my clients, and I love them, and that boot is awesomely rugged/ rustic/ and futuristic at the same time. Oh, and waterproof. (See city walking needs above.)

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And of course, the GLEAM TIGHT 2.0 and SUEDE  because let’s be honest, unless I’m going to the city I’m probably not wearing pants. Half the time. At least. screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-9-08-27-am

HAPPY FALL FASHION SEASON!

Oh, and I went to Luluelmon yesterday and peeked around. They have what look like could be some powerful running tights, but they’ve jacked up their prices again, so I just said WELL FUCK YOOOOOU, THEN and walked out. $150 for running tights, guys. That’s like, five minutes of day care. Too expensive.

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.

End of year top ten 2015.

Hey Aimee, you got an end of year top ten list for us? It’s the end of the year. It’s list time. It’s what people do…

Sure, pretend person who asks me questions to prompt blog posts. Of course I can do that for you. Here you go…

PRETTY-SWEATY’S TOP TEN FAVORITE FITNESS THINGS 2015

10. FAVORITE WORKOUT PANTS: Athleta Chaturanga. Yes still. They’ll probably be knocked down a peg when I start really running again in 2016, because I doubt they’d stay up. But until then, the stretchy, never too tight, available in infinite lengths and colors and patterns, INCLUDING a new high waist version, are still my go-to. Because pants that never make me feel fat will never not be my favorites.

9. FAVORITE FITNESS TRACKER: UP2 by Jawbone. Best looking. User-friendly and nicely designed app.

8. FAVORITE PROTEIN BAR: Quest Bars, mother fucker! They taste like magic and are made of sparkles! Plus: fiber.

7. FAVORITE PROTEIN SHAKE: Sun Warrior. Chocolate flavor. It’s vegan, so it’s like you’re drinking a salad. (I tell myself.) Add spinach, psyllium husks, cocoa, a pinch of salt, and a little bit of stevia, and you’re good. It looks green, but it tastes like a Wendy’s frosty. Chocolate + Spinach works.

6. FAVORITE JOG BRA: Under Armour Armour Bra. I have faith that eventually I’ll find the Moving Comfort (honorable mention) bra for me, but it only took one trip to Sports Authority dressing room to find an Under Armor one. They’re color-coded for cup size, and they don’t have too many options, which is makes finding the right one for you quick and easy… If you know what size you are… Which I don’t because it changes every month. (Pregnancy should be considered a 2-3 year process for your body.) They have different impact ratings, but I don’t understand the point of anything that’s not rated for “Hi-Impact” (or why they don’t spell out “high”). Their H-I-G-H impact sports bra is called the Armour Bra. It’s well-engineered. Easy to get on and off (back clasps). And doesn’t cut into your armpit fat. In fact, it has special soft and stretchy bits around the armpits specifically so it doesn’t do that. VERY WELL DONE, UNDER ARMOUR! VERY WELL DONE.

5. FAVORITE WORKOUT: I still stand by a combo of boot camp and barre. Boot camp is basically the OG of HIIT. And any barre program will do. But I really like Suzanne Bowen’s Barre Amped series of DVDs as a lighter alternative to The Dailey Method. #yesiamstilloutofshape

4. FAVORITE FITNESS MAGAZINE: Experience Life. It’s put out by Lifetime Fitness, and it’s a healthy lifestyle magazine. A lot about nutrition, wellness, life balance, etc. It’s a good for when you get burnt out on Shape, Self, Womens’ Fitness, Oxygen, etc. It’s also great if you feel like you’re always swimming upstream while trying to live a healthy lifestyle. This magazine will make you feel like you’re not crazy, and not alone. (This is me: “Wait. People still eat pizza? Who? Who still eats pizza? …Wait. They still sell fat-free shit? People still buy fat-free shit? Where the fuck am I? Has nobody read anything in the last ten years? What is going on in the world???”) Also: you won’t be bombarded with fitness models and celebrities. It’s a safe space.

3. FAVORITE NEW(ISH) FITNESS LABEL: Olympia Sport. Strong, yet beautiful stuff. Goddess wear.

2. PRETTIEST WORKOUT PIECE: ALO Goddess Leggings. Who doesn’t want to look like an off-duty ballerina? Nobody. That’s who. And that’s why these leggings are just so…I don’t know…lovely.

1. FAVORITE GYM: The shittiest gym in town, whatever town I’m in. I like the cheapest, most down and dirty, simplest, nothing but machines, little shit hole of a gym available. I don’t like big gyms. I don’t like “fitness centers.” The bigger it is, the more of “a thing” it is to go there. If the gym has STAIRS and multiple FLOORS? I’m out. I don’t even like studios that offer more than one kind of class. And if people can watch your class while they’re working out? Forget it. I’m not paying to be someone else’s entertainment. I like to stay anonymous. I don’t want everybody all up in my shit. I just want to get in, do my thing, not talk to a single person, not feel intimidated, and get the fuck out. If the walls need painting, and the ceiling is leaking somewhere, that’s a good sign. That means there aren’t too many people paying too much money for too much stuff. I LOVE a shitty little gym.

 

P.S. Sorry/ Not Sorry for no links or pics in this post. I’m tired, I don’t feel like it, and I’ve got other shit to do. You understand, I’m sure. The beginning of the year kind of blows for everybody, right? Right. TTYL. Love, Aimee.

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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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