Zella Activewear: High Performing and Chic (Wear It All. Day. Long.)



I had first discovered Zella a few years ago during once of my mad midnight searches on Nordstrom.com.  I had come across a seriously chic workout jacket that had both thumbholes (my weakness) and asymmetric zippers.  Whoa.  Hello.

So when Nordstrom reached out asking if I’d like to cover the launch of Zone Zella (a pop-up shop in-store featuring all the latest and the greatest from the new Zella collection) I didn’t have to think twice.  I was beyond curious to see what Nordies was up to.


Welcome to Zone Zella





I was terribly excited.  The fabrics are soft (which is non-negotiable for workout gear, in my opinion), the prices affordable, and the designs are seriously chic. (BONUS:  Almost everything they make is also available in plus sizes.  Soooo…there’s that.)




Where I Put Zella To The Test

Have you ever tried Barre3?  It’s an intense workout class geared to strengthening your core (and bum – they turn your bum into a work of art).  But we’re not talking sit-ups.  At Barre3, they work the really deep core stuff:  transverse abdominus and pelvic floor muscles – the exact same muscles that are often weakened in pregnancy.  It’s my fav, and a nice-n-sweaty way to put Zella to the test.

(A HUGE thank-you to Barre3 Rosemont for letting me shoot at the studio.  You guys rock.)










tank: Zella Double Scoop Tank (crazy soft, and is my new fav tank top for everything, not just working out – would be PERFECT for nursing)

bra: Zella Move Sports Bra for a pop of color

workout leggings: the softest-ever Zella Live-In Space Dye Leggings (“live-in” is right.  Seriously.)  Also, these leggings (like all Zella leggings) are nice and thick with a high enough rise to prevent any sort of muffin-top problem.

socks:  Zella Legwarmers



Zella All Day Long

So here’s the thing:  my workout gear has to be cute enough to be worn all day.  The three (three!!) precious days a week I carve out for my workouts are usually filled with errands, shopping/research (same difference, right?), meetings, and writing time (usually in a coffee shop).  Not on my list?  Time to go home and shower/change.  It simply doesn’t happen.

And here’s my big disclaimer:  I am able to carve out those three beautiful days because my youngest – my baby!! – is FOUR.  Since the birth of my oldest in 2008, not only was I totally unable to work out (time/sleep depravation/etc), but I just….didn’t want to.  So please, new mamas, be gentle with yourself.  Whatever you decide, know that you aren’t alone.






jacket: Zella Personal Best Reflective Jacket (with thumbholes)

leggingsZella Live-In Space Dye Leggings

hat: old, but here’s a similar wool cap (minus the pom)

boots: old, but these Eden Over-The-Knee boots are almost identical and WATERPROOF

bag:  (free with purchase of Zella products…as long as supplies last, anyway.  Was actually going to recycle it, then…liked it. Hunh.)


More Zella Favorites

I had a marathon try-on session in the dressing room, two, actually, trying to decide which pieces to bring home.  It was a tough decision, and one that was ultimately based on comfort and thumbholes.  But there is lots to love from the new Zella line.  And what kind of a blogger would I be if I didn’t take a few #dressingroomselfies?  And #hashtag ’em because it’s #howwedo.  (I apologize in advance for all the duckface.  I’m still not quite sure how it happens.)



Above I’m wearing Zella’s Serenity Sweatshirt (yup thumbholes), Zella Optic Mesh Leggings (so sexy, right?) and Zella Dash Running shoes.  I love how these shoes look, but they’re not as comfortable without socks as my Nike Frees.  For reference, I’m wearing an XS in the sweatshirt and a S in the leggings (XS was out of stock in-store.  I ordered the XS and they look MUCH better.)




Underneath the sweatshirt I have on Zella’s More Mesh tee in white, and Zella’s Body Flow sports bra in black/white, both size S (but I would order an XS shirt).  Both of these pieces are very, very soft.



This is the kind of thing I used to dance in.  Love the cropped sweats (Zella Same Team Capris), and Zella’s dolman tee is cute in it’s own right, workout or no.  I’m wearing size XS in both pieces.  Also wearing Zella’s Body Flow sports bra in black/white and Zella’s awesome legwarmers.


Also?  The Studio Draped Wrap Top is everything (of course it has thumbholes).



Running Mamas!!  Here’s one for you….


I present the softest-ever running top – with thumbholes – and running tights that are MUCH cooler in person.  Pics don’t do these justice.  The strip of detail almost looks like…patent leather?  But in a good way?






This might be the coolest workout top I’ve worn in a long time.  As long as it wasn’t too tight (I went up a size), the cutaway chest area is really flattering.  This is the Zella Pulse tank (wearing a size S for reference).


Shop It All

To make shopping easier (shopping enabler and all that)….here’s a boutique with all of the pieces I mentioned above, along with a few others that I don’t have pics of.




A huge thank-you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.  As always, all product choices, thoughts, and opinions are my own.  (Or as Pax would say, “MINE OWN”.)  Thank you for supporting the reatailers who help support The Mom Edit.  

A special thank-you to Kenneth at King of Prussia Nordstrom – your team is so amazingly helpful and fun!!  And to Karyn at Barre3 Rosemont for so graciously letting me shoot in the studio.

photography credits: Mike Draugelis


  1. The Zella leggings are my favorite leggings, so much that I have two of the same black ones. I wear them with dresses, tunics and then straight to working out. They are such good quality and keep your legs warm enough.

  2. The more I read, the more I love. I have such a Mom crush on you. I haven’t had Stateside envy/longing/missing in…um, wow! Going on 18 years, but you make me miss home a ton! (Well, I’ve missed it, but you’re making me miss it big time these days!) Know someone’s checking in daily over here in Hong Kong!

    Much love,

    Ann of Kremb de la Kremb

  3. Oh oh oh! I work from home and need stylish clothes that are also comfy AND that I can wear when I (finally) get my ass to the gym (I am counting the days until I can be done pumping and leave the house for more than a couple hours at a time). So basically this whole post SPEAKS TO ME. Dammit.

  4. I adore all things Zella and am now drooling over every piece you tried on! Question – would you consider the orange bra (the Move Sports Bra at the top of the post) to be comfortable enough to keep on all day? I work from home and am always looking for pieces that let me throw them on in the morning, catch a quick lunchtime workout, and then get back at it, often without time to change. I have a bunch of sports bras that are great for a workout, but afterward, I have to GET. IT. OFF. NOW. And that’s when I end up sitting in front of my computer topless, hoping and praying the NSA isn’t spying through the iSight on my computer…

    Would love to find a bra that alleviates that particular worry. 🙂

  5. Dear Shana,
    Thank you so much for inspiring me every day – as a mother, as a woman, as a wife and as myself. Thank you for your encouragement to other mamas and your wonderful candor. Thanks for rocking it and making me feel like I can too. You’re great! Lots of love to you.

  6. Been considering the Alo Goddess legging. Anyone here have a comparison? I’m tall so I’m wondering if it would be better to go with Zella leggings & legwarmers (how I wish they were suuuppppper long).

  7. Ok. I have the live in leggings. Love them. Can we please talk about what to wear under them? Mostly for working out? Commando? Over priced fitness undies? Help! 🙂

  8. Hey Shana,
    I just love reading your blog, the cloths are always great, and you seem like such a wonderful person. However lately I have a teeny tiny problem. I was wondering if you guys changed something with your website? I love your blog and have been reading it since the mom jean days and suddenly this was the last post I got and haven’t been able to see any since this Jan. 21 post. I really would like to be able to see more posts and all the wonderful things you all share. 🙂

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