The advent of pumpkin spice lattes may only a few weeks away, but it still feels like summer here in Colorado. To beat the heat and still get my steps in, I’ve been hitting up my local trails outfitted with a few key pieces of athletic wear that keep me cool and make me feel reasonably cute even when I’m “glowing” with effort.
It Starts With The Best Hiking Leggings
My workout wear has have been tested through many hikes — I recently trained for & conquered my first 14er! — as well as gym workouts, yoga classes, and precisely one Zumba class (hey, I tried). The fave outfits that have emerged rely on leggings from sizing inclusive brands Girlfriend Collective & Athleta. Since hiking puts a lot of wear on clothing (and I’m not made of money) I buy smaller budget-friendly items in multiples to balance out my investment in the long-lasting and delicious-to-touch basics (e.g. a Vuori hoodie that is bunny-soft!)
Outfit 1: Athleta Faves & Sun Safety
Workout Leggings For A Curvy Figure
I have been absolutely addicted to Athleta recently. It is entirely because Kat told me to check out their leggings when I complained to her that I couldn’t find the right fit for my pear shape in a high-quality, lasting fabric. I still find a lot of good leggings at Target and TJ Maxx, but Athleta is now my go-to brand for athleisure wear. I love the weight of the fabric.
I feel like Athleta’s styles are smoothing, flattering and fit curves exceptionally well, like the Athleta Elation Ultra High-Rise Capri below (size L). I find that I can wash Athleta leggings repeatedly without causing pilling. I don’t see wear-and-tear on the inner thigh as I do with other leggings. The only tricky thing with Athleta is that I end up needing to shop in-store because I wear everything from a M to XL depending on the style.
I also recently picked up several bras and tops for hiking. I love the Athleta Aurora Seamless Crop Rib Tank (size M), which for me works as a medium-support sports bra. (I find low-support a little…precarious…and high-support unnecessarily constrictive.) This style is also has a long enough torso that it counts as a tank top on a hot day. Plus, the ribbed fabric makes me feel cute.
Better Than Sunscreen (Still Wear Sunscreen Tho)
The Backcountry Tahoe Sun Crew in (size M) has been the key to avoiding sunburn this summer (my skin tone runs from “Vitamin D Deficient Vampire” in the winter to “2% Milk” in the summer). I tried on both the M and L in this shirt and decided to size down for a more fitted style. Backcountry also offers a similar sun protection shirt with a hood. Both options are available in a handful of cute colors — I’m wearing “Mosstone”– to coordinate with your favorite leggings.
Outfit 2: Girlfriend Collective & Vuori
For this outfit, I’ve layered my budget-friendly Icyzone workout tank (which comes in a 3-pack on Amazon) over this Athleta Aurora Bra in Eucalyptus Olive with the High-Rise Leggings from Girlfriend Collective.
Girlfriend Collective’s Eco-Friendly Compression Leggings
I love how these compressive leggings (size XL) are surprisingly durable. Girlfriend Collective creates this soft, well-weighted fabrics from recycled materials — plastic water bottles, used fishing nets, fabric scraps, etc. These leggings are built to last. But if you do wear them out, or your style or size changes, just ship them back to the company and they will be up-cycled into new leggings — and you get store credit! The company also adheres to ethical labor standards and offers inclusive sizing; most of their clothes, including these leggings, are available up to a size 6XL. Crucially, their designs are so cute! They have fun seasonal colors and tons of style options for everybody. Word to the wise: Girlfriend Collective is not messing around when it comes to styles labeled as “compressive.” They will compress you. Size up!
Now, on to my favorite topic: hoodies…
Vuori Halo Hoodie: Love At First Touch
I discovered Vuori one day when I went into REI to do something extremely practical like replace a broken headlamp or get a spork. For better or worse, I walked by the women’s clothing section and brushed my hand over a sweatshirt made by a brand I had never heard of. It was the Vuori Halo Performance Hoodie.
Once I touched the fabric, I had to own it. It was just so unbelievably soft. I felt a little guilty about spending so much cash on a sweatshirt until I got to the register and the lovely person checking me out told me that these sweatshirts lasted incredibly well through washes and didn’t pill. They were right, and I’ve never looked back. Vuori is hands down my #1 loungewear brand. I also love this hoodie because of its weight. If I need a truly winter-warm layer, I pull out my Nike sweatshirt. This Vuori hoodie is great for cool mornings and evenings three out of four seasons a year.
Merrell. All Day.
Relevant to both outfits are my Merrell hiking boots. For summer hikes, I wear the Merrell Moab Speed hiking shoes. These shoes are really trail running shoes, meaning they are light enough to run in but have a strong grip, so you don’t slide over rock and dirt. I’m wearing them in Outfit 1. In Outfit 2 (photos don’t quite show) I’m wearing my Merrill Moab Speed Thermo Mid Waterproof boots — which I also love. These boots have taken me many miles through all seasons at a budget price. Keep an eye out for sales on Merrell, particularly over Labor Day.
In both outfits below I’m wearing my go-to hiking socks from Carhartt which I buy off of Amazon in a 3-pack ’cause they see a lot of miles!
Whether you’re heading outside to spend some time recharging by yourself or getting the whole family into nature together to let off some steam and delight in the green glory of late summer, I hope you enjoy yourself. What’s your Labor Day weekend plan? Will you be getting outside?