This Activewear Outfit Wears Like Real Clothes

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If there’s one month that always surpasses my expectations living here on the coast, it’s January. Even before moving here, we spent many a New Year’s Day soaking in the sunshine — sometimes in a puffy parka, sometimes in shorts and a tee, but always just in awe of the glittering sun and the crashing waves, an almost physical ushering in of restored hope and renewed intentions.

These Joggers & This Puffer: The Activewear Outfit With Street Style Vibes

Happily (or, following the events of last year, perhaps shockingly is the better word), this year delivered on the tradition in a big way. Aside from the rain that’s rapping on the window as I write (go figure), we’ve had some of the most gorgeous, bluebird skies — to the point where I’ve made it my personal mission to get my body moving in the sunshine as often as possible. Of late, that has meant trading a few of my early morning Pilates sessions for a quick walk on the trails around our house, and this street style- inspired outfit (that still stays true to Zella’s comfort and performance-driven hallmarks) has been in heavy rotation for such an occasion.

This street style-inspired outfit (that stays true to Zella's comfort & performance-driven hallmarks) is in heavy rotation w/ chelsea boots now...& maybe heels later?

hat | tank (worn under; TTS) | sweater (I sized up) | pants (TTS) | bag | mask (homemade)

Zella Pocket Joggers + Chunky Chelsea Boots (Or One Day…Heels?)

Once again (I can feel S shaking her head), at the core of this outfit is one really excellent pair of…black pants. But wait! There’s something especially delightful about pants that are both incredibly flattering on the bum and not at all constricting anywhere else, and these are most definitely that. Something of a hybrid between a legging and a jogger, they’re slim enough to pull on for a run or a mat workout, but they’re styled enough like pants (hello, slim zippered pockets) that they can easily pass as streetwear. The ribbed cuff at the hem is most definitely in the spirit of a jogger, but it’s tailored enough that it can be seamlessly tucked into boots, as seen here. I’m even imagining how chic and edgy they’d be paired with *whisper voice* heels down the line. Shhh shhhhhhh, don’t get too excited, but just picture it: fluffy black sweater, center part, playful earrings — and of course this rad bag would still apply. There’s a future in which that could and should fully happen, friends. I can feel it.

This street style-inspired outfit (that stays true to Zella's comfort & performance-driven hallmarks) is in heavy rotation w/ chelsea boots now...& maybe heels later?

hat | jacket (size up) | tank (worn under; TTS) | sweater (I sized up) | pants (TTS) | bag | boots (TTS)

In sum? It’s a pretttty darn appropriate pair of pants for this season of life, where I’m equally torn between all things cozy and comfy aaaand (the gradual progression into) clothes suitable for the outside world. (Need more of a testament? I’ve been far more motivated to wash the laundry in a timely manner lately if it means getting to slip these on for yet another consecutive day.) They’re a good buy, friends. And the fit is easy: true to size (wearing an XS here).

This street style-inspired outfit (that stays true to Zella's comfort & performance-driven hallmarks) is in heavy rotation w/ chelsea boots now...& maybe heels later?

hat | jacket (size up) | tank (worn under; TTS) | sweater (I sized up)

This Ultralight Puffer Jacket Is Everything

Also worth our time to discuss: this jacket. First off, it’s a great price point — under $100 — and you get a lot of bang for your buck because it’s freaking reversible! And and and! The two sides actually look different enough that I feel like it solidly functions, style-wise, as two coats in one: 1) a classic black puffer with baffle stitching, warm enough to wear as a cozy topper, but chic enough to wear “out” without looking overly athletic; and 2) a utility-inspired insulated coat — the kind of thing that would be casually cool over a turtleneck sweater with 501s and vans. (I’ll do my best to get some of these ideas styled up for Stories soon so you can see what I mean — there’s seriously some good potential here.) The snap front makes it feel a bit more modern, less ski bunny (even if it does means it’s not quite as insulative). And you know how much I love the versatility of a removable hood. It just…makes sense. Sizing on this one runs on the small side. This is my usual XS, and while it fits fine with tees and thin sweaters, I think it’d be a more versatile piece (and perhaps with even better proportions) in a size up. Sleeves are on the slim side, too, so if that’s a concern, I’d err on the larger side. Oooh, it’s also available in a slick, spacey silver that reverses to cool blue.

This street style-inspired outfit (that stays true to Zella's comfort & performance-driven hallmarks) is in heavy rotation w/ chelsea boots now...& maybe heels later?

hat | jacket (size up) | tank (worn under; TTS) | sweater (I sized up) | pants (TTS) | bag | boots (TTS)

This street style-inspired outfit (that stays true to Zella's comfort & performance-driven hallmarks) is in heavy rotation w/ chelsea boots now...& maybe heels later?

hat | jacket (size up)

This street style-inspired outfit (that stays true to Zella's comfort & performance-driven hallmarks) is in heavy rotation w/ chelsea boots now...& maybe heels later?

jacket (size up) | tank (worn under; TTS) | sweater (I sized up)

Full Outfit Details

Pants: Zella Taryn Luxe Pocket Joggers // I can’t stop wearing these. The perfect hybrid between a legging and a jogger — slim and super flattering on the bum, with just enough room through the legs. And the features! They’re comfortable, form fitting and stretchy enough for activewear, but zip pockets (that can easily fit a phone, by the way) lend some serious streetwear vibes. The cool, banded jogger-like hem makes them easy to wear with boots, athletic sneaks (my faves, size down half) or — I am confident — even heels…one day. They would make for amazing traveling pants (again…one day). True to size.

Jacket: Zella Ultralight Reversible Puffer // Reversible from channel-stitched black to an olive green — and with a removable hood. (Seriously, why aren’t they all removable?) Genuinely easy to style up in a variety of ways, and under $100. Snap closure feels a bit more fashion forward — dare we say shackety? — than a conventional zip closure. Sleeves are slim; I’d size up one for a little more versatility in wear and the ability to layer it over thicker sweaters. Available in silver that reverses to blue, too.

Sweater: Topshop Rib Crop Turtleneck Sweater // Exceptionally cozy and suuuper soft (think stretchy cashmere vibes) with an easy, swingy style that could totally make this work as a three, maybe even four-season sweater, especially here in California. Even in the light color, it’s pretty opaque. I’m wearing it over an emerald tank in these pictures, and I wore it over a boldly striped dress the other day without any show-through. Great price point, too. I sized up one (from an XS to a S) to ensure it’d be properly boxy without being too cropped.

Hat: Zella Chunky Rib Pom Beanie // The red colorway keeps coming in and out of stock on this one, so if you don’t happen to see it, check back later. I like my beanies to be super low-maintenance (total pet peeve when they only look good if they sit just so), and this one is really easy to wear — just pop it on and go, no worrying if it’s too squatty and dorky or too floppy or if the pom sits askew. The proportions are just right. Cozy too, and not even a little bit itchy on the forehead.

Boots: Cosmo 2.0 Chelsea Boot // It only took me seeing S wear these five or six times to finally pull the trigger, and I’m so glad I did. They’re very comfortable, decently cushiony (enough so that I pull them on even for long coast walks that range from paved walkways to muddy trails) — and they’re exactly as easy to style as she promised. I’ve worn them with skinnies, crops, dresses, leggings, and, yep, joggers. True to size.

Tank (worn under sweater): Zella Restore Twist Tank // I am so pleasantly surprised by this tank. I was expecting a lightweight jersey tank with a cute little twist feature, but it’s a thicker, stretchier performance fabric with excellent construction. Even though it’s cropped, the thick banded hem prevents it from riding up, and the heathered color is beautiful. One of my favorite workout tops at the moment. Would be easy to make into a date night top, too. True to size (wearing an XS).

Bag: Topshop Double Pocket Mini Leather Crossbody // THIS BAG. I’m obsessed, and I don’t use that word lightly. The silver is at once playful, cool and such a welcomed, unexpected change from the rest of my (admittedly pretty tame) handbag palette. It’s almost…celebratory, you know? (At the same time, I’d have worn this 5, 10 or even 20 years ago, so it doesn’t seem overly trendy.) Decently roomy in light of being pretty petite, with enough room for a wallet, phone, keys, mask, lip balm, sunglasses, energy bar. The leather is so soft and supple (not my fave word, but it’s the right one for the job). And an excellent price considering the quality at $75.

This street style-inspired outfit (that stays true to Zella's comfort & performance-driven hallmarks) is in heavy rotation w/ chelsea boots now...& maybe heels later?

pants (TTS) | bag | boots (TTS)

This street style-inspired outfit (that stays true to Zella's comfort & performance-driven hallmarks) is in heavy rotation w/ chelsea boots now...& maybe heels later?

hat | jacket (size up) | tank (worn under; TTS) | sweater (I sized up) | pants (TTS) | bag | mask (homemade)

Shop More Activewear From Zella

Everything featured in this post, plus a few more Zella pieces that I have and love — including some of my favorites from this post, still in stock!.

Feeling especially grateful (this past year, in particular!) to have quick access to wide open, active spaces around here — and, of course, for the prospect of getting to wear all of these pieces off the trail (and maybe even in the city!) sooner rather than later.

cheers,
Em

p.s. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t still do a fair amount of winter workouts indoors. Check out my previous post for more classic workout faves from Zella — and if you’re in the market for an ultra-cozy (we’re talking really really reallllllly soft), fashion-forward topper for your loungewear? This.

Big thanks to Nordstrom and Shopstyle for sponsoring this post. Zella activewear has always been a part of my daily uniform, but I appreciate the construction, consistent fit and price point even more now than ever. When I fall for a Zella piece, I usually fall hard, wearing it repeatedly for weeks (or months, ha) at a time, and the quality always impresses me. And thank you, friends, for reading along and supporting the brands that allow us to keep on doing our thing. We so appreciate you being here. 🙂

Guys! Follow me on Instagram for more peeks into our life on the Northern California coast. And if you feel so inclined, pop over to my personal food + lifestyle blog, The Pig & Quill, where I share salty scribblings from my kitchen and home life. Byeeeeee!

Photos by Carolyn Stockman.

1 COMMENT

  1. The silver is at once playful, cool and such a welcomed, unexpected change from the rest of my admittedly pretty tame handbag palette. I appreciate the construction, consistent fit and price point even more now than ever. When I fall for a Zella piece, I usually fall hard, wearing it repeatedly for weeks at a time, and the quality always impresses me.

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