My pet peeve has always been when moms (or anyone, really) walk around in workout gear all day long. Bugs me. It's not like our daily activities are so strenuous that we need the superior wicking of climalite 24 hours a day. Put some real pants on. And a bra that doesn't give you uni-boob. This was a style pitfall to which I was SURE I would never succumb. Until….4 weeks after the little man was born, I found myself despairing because I had copious amounts of spit-up on my only good pair of sweat pants. The old me would have objected at the clear oxymoron: "good pair of sweatpants." But screw old me. I was sleep deprived, all other clothing rubbed painfully against my c-section scar, and at this point, walking outside was a lofty goal, with a daily shower a pipe dream. So I decided to embrace the workout-gear-as-outfit philosophy. It's comfortable, it's practical (getting out of the house is cause for celebration so one might as well go somewhere, even if it's Target), and with the vast array of cute workout clothes on the market, why not? Over a year later, I still find myself in workout gear well into the afternoon hours. I hope my husband finds uni-boobs somewhat sexy. Here are my current picks for cute workout gear:
Since we're heading into Spring and Summer, I'm focusing on warmer weather looks. The running look is the hardest one to find cute gear, simply because the gear needs to be so functional, and runners are not necessarily known for style (unlike,say, Yoga chicks).
The outfit above left is the Adidas Run Performance Tee in Calvi, $85 from adidas.com. I've paired it with the Hana Run Short, $38, a short that altheta.com describes as "nearly weightless" and it's internal brief means that you don't have to bother with an "additional layer". Sweet. Why we would all want to run around commando is beyond me, but panties or not, I love these shorts.
The next running outfit starts with Adidas' Run Performance Image Tank, $75, paired with Lululemon's Run Speed Short in black, $52. You can actually pair any old spandex running short with a top that is a little drapy, a little more stylish and you'll look (and feel!) much better strolling around post-run.
The first outfit is for those who want some environmental bonus points – it's organic! The tank is the Stella McCartney for Adidas Cover Up Organic Summer Tank, $70, and the capris are the Organic Cobra Capri, $59 at athleta.com. The empire waist tank will cover up a less-than perfect stomach, and the racer back and cut-away arm holes will not cut into arm/chest flab. I love the ruched detailing on the capri pants. This outfit would be super cute with flip flops and a light cardi for walking around after class.
The second outfit is Adidas' Adilibria Cap Sleeve top, $50. The Adilibria line has a similar feel to the higher end Stella McCartney for Adidas line, but a lower price point. I've paired it with Lucy's Ideal Summer Knee Pant, $58. I love the cropped sweatpant look – it's sportier than the other yoga look, and therefore would look cute with some little sneaks (but flip flops will work also). The Adilibria top has slight shirring over the belly, which, for moms, is always a good thing, but if you are sensitive about your upper arms, this top might be problematic.
For the Rest of Us…
Whether you are walking in the park, going to the gym or just wanting a comfy outfit to replace your old sweatpants, the following outfits will work for a wide range of activities.
I love Adidas Track Pants. I consider them a classic, and for $32, they are affordable as well. Pair your favorite track pants with a top that has some interesting details, add…you guessed it, flip-flops and you are all set! A few interesting tops are (in order as shown above), Athleta's Cross Over Top in grenadine (I love the belt at the waist), $64, Lucy's Divine Cami in spicy orange print (the halter really shows off your shoulders), $54, and Adidas' Adilibria Yoga Vest (ooooh, drapey!), $50.
We all have a pair of spandex capris left over from when it was cool to wear just these and a sports bra (scary!!) but they can still work, with a small update: wear a shirt. Actually, you'll probably be more comfortable if you wear a long shirt (and everyone around will be more comfortable not seeing a saggy mom butt), but PLEASE. Something more feminine than your hubby's XL t-shirt. My favorite spandex capris are the Wonder Under Tights in black manifesto by Lululemon, and retail for $58. If you look closely, they say things like, "Sweat daily", "Love" or "Floss". But from a distance they look bad-ass. I would probably like them better if they said things like "rock" or "tough" or "kiss this". Anyway. My favorite picks for long tops (in order) are the Studio Graphic Tee, $90 and the Yoga Performance Tank, $75, both Stella McCartney for Adidas. Another great option is the Adjustable Tunic Cami from Athleta, $59.
I once had too much to drink and made fun of my buddy for dating a girl who always wore a sports skort. I hope he never reads this post because I will never hear the end of it. Above, I have pictured a sports skort by Athleta called the Groove Skort, $54. So help me GOD, I like it. Unlike most sport skorts (UGH – I even hate the phrase)…this one at least has the decency to try and look like a skirt. Meaning – the skirt part goes all the way around. I REALLY hate when the skirt part only covers the front and you turn around….surprise!! Shorts! Men hate those too, but I think it has more to do with easy access vs. no access. I'd pair the skort with a simple white t-shirt and be done with it (the one pictured is from the Gap, $15)….but if you want something sportier, I also like Puma's TP Top, $45.
Best All Around, Do Anything Outfit
Kudos to the folks at Lululemon. I love this outfit. The plain black workout pants have an easy fit, the top is super flattering for almost all body types and the bomber jacket is worthy of lust. The white will hide spit-up, and the waistband on the pants will go easy on a post-baby belly. This is the outfit I wish I had been wearing instead of my "good sweatpants". Be Still Pant, $98, Deep V Tank, $54, and Da Bomber Jacket, $108 (no, I did not make up that name).
A quick note on shoes – wear whatever shoes you need to during your
workout. However, to solve the big ugly running shoe problem, I
usually throw a pair of flip flops into the
bottom of the stroller (or car). That way,
once I'm finished working out, I can get rid of the big ugly running
and look a little more presentable in my flip flops (this obviously
works best in the warmer months). Now if there was just something I
could do with my blotchy, beet-red post-workout face and tangled hair…