New fitness fashion brand: JoyLab by Target review

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…

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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.

JOYLAB REVIEW

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.)

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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.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT JOYLAB BY TARGET

  • Affordable. Pants $35. Bras $20.
  • You get more than what you pay for in the style dept.
  • You get about what you pay for in the quality department.
  • 900 times better than C9.
  • Check out their jackets.

Here are some JoyLab things I bought:

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Here are some other JoyLab things I tried on:

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Here are some other cute JoyLab things:

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And Imma just put this here…

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Workout pants: Will they stay up????

Pear-shaped problem:

Any pants that fit your ass are usually too big in the waist, and slide down as you work out.

OR, if you buy pants that are stretchy enough to fit your ass and not be baggy on your waist, that material is too stretchy to stay put during any kind of real workout, and they slide down. (Athleta Chaturanga and LuluLemon Wonder Unders are two examples of such pants.)

I recently convinced myself it was OK to get a few fresh pairs of workout capris and was picky about the stay-up factor. I bought three pairs from Athleta (currently not feeling LuluLemon at all) and get this: I KEPT ALL THREE. Whattttt?

Here are the three winners of WILL THEY STAY UP?

Athleta Shine Stripe Sonar Tight:

WILL THEY STAY UP? YES!

Higher waist. They have that double decker waist band thing that Athleta does on their training pants which does add a little bulk to the midsection but not THAT MUCH and if that’s what it takes to have pants that stay up, that’s fine. It’s not like I’m wearing crop tops for fuck’s sake AMIRIGHT? haha. Crop tops. BWAHAHAHAHHAHA. Those are for young people. Stupid stupid young people. Anyway, I ran in them. Outside. And YES! THEY WILL STAY UP! They will also look stupid with any shoe that’s not plain grey or black, but oh well. THEY WILL STAY UP.

Next up…

Athleta Laser Mesh Sonar Capri

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WILL THEY STAY UP??? YES! THEY WILL STAY UP!

The seams near the hips are a little weird, and I almost took them back because I thought they look a little bit like someone drawing circles around and pointing to my saddle bags, (Notice how the model has her hand in front of hers? Not an accident.) but…meh! Nobody in boot camp is looking at my shit, so fuck it. I like the polka dot cut-outs and I’m too lazy to find another type of pant that won’t fall down but has a modern detail on it so IMMA KEEP EM.

AND YES THEY WILL STAY UP!

last but not least:

Athleta Circuit Capri

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OK. These are the weird one-offs I was curious about a while back. (See post here.) They are less expensive than any other pant from Athleta, and aren’t a line like the Sonar or Chaturanga, but they’re high-waisted and their description said they were for high intensity training, so…I had to check them out.

What’s different about them is the fabric: it’s a little thicker than the normal Athleta fabric (which is good, because Athleta’s fabric is a little on the thin side) but it’s really slippery. Like, slipperier than a bathing suit-slippery. Slipperier than 80’s shiny purple spandex-slippery. I don’t know why. And I thought that would make them fall down, but…they didn’t, so I’m keeping these guys too. Who knew?

The only bad news is they only have them in pink, and in XS or XL now…so I’m sorry that I brought you late news on that. Maybe they’ll bring them back for the spring catalog.

But what have we learned? If you’re a pear and/or have trouble finding workout or running pants that stay up, try the Athleta Sonar line. And no, they’re not paying me. But seriously, they should probably start, right? AHEM.

Good luck getting your workouts in over the holidays! I’ll be using Aaptiv / The App Formerly Known as Skyfit. I’ll let you know how it goes. MERRY ALMOST CHRISTMAS!

 

 

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.

 

August WorkOutFits

Confession: Yeah. So I’ve had a major energy problem this past month or so and haven’t been working out a ton. 😦 I’ve been a lazy, carb-eating piece of shit. But like Fun says, “Carry oh-oh-oh-oh-onnn!” So I shall. I switched back to paleo and am feeling a bit more vital this past week, so…hopefully more of my workout pants will fit again soon. That’s why A. all tunics all the time and B. not many WorkOutFits to share. No work out = no WorkOutFit. I don’t take a picture every time I work out. But I promise, if I DO take a picture, that outfit got worked out in. So there’s that. I post WorkOutFits on instagram @iamaimeeschewe

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Athleta Breathe Tank top and Zella leggings.

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Old Navy Active top, LuluLemon leggings.

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Champion top, Lulu tank, Lulu leggings. Up24 fitness band.

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Champion top, Old Navy yoga pants. Borderline basic bitch gym outfit, I know. Like I said, I haven’t been feeling so hot.

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Lulu Lemon top, Nike leggings.

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Old Navy Active top, Zaggora hot pants. (they’re sauna pants. like in the 80s. Because i’m puffy, yo.)

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This was an Old Navy T-shirt that I cut and shredded.

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even MORE Old Navy. (top) Zella leggings. Shameful because I didn’t run that day. Or month.

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This was a Gap shirt to benefit Japan after the disaster. I bought it on principle. Then cut it, because it needed it.

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LuluLemon top, Old Navy capris.

 

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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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.

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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!