The Athleisure Trend: Don’t Buy Anything Until You Read This!

Read on to learn how to navigate shopping for “Athleisure.”

Athleisure…

What is it?  Well, according to Wikipedia, “Athleisure is a trend in fashion in which clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities is worn in other settings, such as during work, casual or social occasions.”  There are different theories as to how this became such a popular trend, but I think in our society, the style trend has become increasingly relaxed and casual overall.

There is no denying that this trend has been growing in popularity – Khloe Kardashian, Gigi Hadid and countless other celebrities are photographed with this look all the time.  Recently, Beyonce launched her Blue Ivy line at Nordstrom.  This past summer, Miss Teen USA eliminated the swimsuit competition and has replaced it with Athleisure.

Functionally, I think it is great to hit the gym and then be dressed to go out and run errands or appointments without having to change or vice versa.  But Athleisure is a lot more than just throwing on a pair of sweatpants.  In fact, I’ve spent more money on some Athleisure pieces than I have on office attire!  The look strikes a delicate balance between “casual” and “put together.”

In my quest to stay motivated to hit the gym, I’ve shopped around at a few of the various popular Athleisure brands and can share with you some of my thoughts on quality and price so that you can be armed with this information before you go shopping!

The Align Pant II by Lululemon. The promise of full freedom to move, sweat wicking fabric and “Naked Sensation” were all on point!

Lululemon – this brand definitely has a cult following, but I was hard pressed to find one pair of leggings that was under $100 – I mean, they are LEGGINGS.  I’ve spent less on dress pants for work.  But I have heard so much about it I figured I’d take the plunge and see what all the hype was about.  I settled on the Align Pant II, which totaled $98.  They claim to have a lightweight feel like you are naked (they call it, “Naked Sensation”).  They felt comfortable when I tried them on in the store and the waist band stays in place and does not require adjustment while working out.  I have to say, these were pretty life changing for me!

Athleta – this sport line of GAP is also pricey. I have a couple of pull overs from them and the quality is solid.  However, if I’m going to splurge I probably would go with a different brand first.

Old Navy Sweatshirt – Super Comfy and Great Price!

Old Navy – this is my favorite and most impressive brand.  For the price you are still getting quality and can stay right on trend with the latest cuts, patterns, and styles.  I have leggings, t-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts (link above)  and sports bras from Old Navy and I really love them all!

Kate Hudson has created an affordable line of Athleisure fashion.

Fabletics – This is the brand by Kate Hudson.  Who wouldn’t want to look like Kate Hudson when working out?  Or just look like her, period!? The plus is that this is a very affordable brand.  However, to get the discount prices you need to become a VIP.  So, if you aren’t careful about logging in every month to “opt out” if you don’t want to make a purchase, you will have $50 put on your card.  Again you can spend it in a different month but you do need to be diligent about keeping track of what you are buying and when.  I have enjoyed some pieces from this line, but have found the sizing to be a bit inconsistent for me on a few different styles.

Check out my cute (but pricey) Lorna Jane sweatshirt!

Lorna Jane – This is another higher end line of Athleisure, comparable to Lululemon.  I have not tried their leggings but did recently fork over $129 for a sweatshirt, yes a SWEATSHIRT, but it is really cute.  Would I spend that much on a sweatshirt again?  Probably not, as I don’t think it is a phenomenal shirt or anything – it was more of an impulse purchase for me.  However, I haven’t tried their leggings, sport bras or other shirts so the other pieces may be worth the price.  For what it’s worth, I think the styles are cuter than Lululemon’s.

Calia by Carrie Underwood – cute styles sold at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Calia (Carrie Underwood’s designs) – I bought some pieces from Calia, which are Athleisure pieces designed by Carrie Underwood.  They can be found at Dick’s Sporting Goods.  Prices vary depending on what you are looking for but it is more affordable compared to Lululemon or Lorna Jane.  And if you catch some items on sale, even better!  Overall, I think they styles are cute and the quality is nice for what you pay for.

SUMMING IT ALL UP

Bottom line, what you spend and where you spend it really depends on what you are looking to achieve.  If you are an athlete and/or spend a lot of time at the gym, I think you may want to spend a little more on some of the pieces for their materials which allow breathability and flexibility.  If you are really just wanting to look on point with the trend, then Old Navy would definitely be a solid way to go on a budget.  Note that here I’ve only scraped the surface of the many brands of Athleisure but hope that my mini reviews are helpful.  Let me know what your experience has been with Athleisure and where you buy your clothes!

7 Must-Have Products to Survive Dry Winter Skin

It seemed like winter was going to be not so bad this year, but then the groundhog predicted  6 more weeks of winter and we just got hit with some significant snow – what is a girl’s skin to do?  If you are like me, it is a battle to keep my face from looking flaky and my cuticles from being a peeling mess!  Lucky for you, I’ve done a lot of product testing to see what works for me and I have some great products that have really helped keep my skin hydrated.  I list them below, broken down by specific problem areas that I experience every winter.

LIPS – with some of the windy days of winter it’s hard just to go outside to get the mail without feeling like all the moisture is being knocked out of our skin, especially the delicate lip area.  My can’t live without lip balm is by BITE beauty.  They are a natural cosmetic company known for their lip products that are all made from edible products!  Their Agave Lip Masks  are awesome!  They keep my lips nourished and come in some light tints if you want to add just a hint of natural color to your lips.  I wear these to the gym all the time.

Another lip product I can’t live without is  Tarte’s Lip Facial.  This will exfoliate those lips to make the lip mask product more effective.  What’s great about this product is that it comes in a pencil, so you just swipe it on your lips like a lipstick and rinse off.  It’s also great to travel with

FEET – I am one of those people that is very diligent about getting pedicures in the summer when I’m wearing sandals all the time, but the second my feet are under wraps in boots for the winter, I skip the nail salon.  The result is really rough heels.  That was until I started using Gold Bond Ultimate healing Foot CreamThis stuff is amazing and won’t break the bank!  I slather this on my feet every morning before I put my socks on and my feet have never felt better.

FACE – I’ve found that success in keeping my face hydrated is a combination of a few key products and a good skincare routine.  I use Retin-A for anti-aging, and this can make my skin even more prone to that flaky, dry look (I know, very attractive!)  One product I’ve invested in is a cleansing milk as my facial cleanser.  I have combination skin, so in the summer I use a different cleanser, but the thicker creamy consistency of the Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk feels great going on and leaves my skin feeling clean and moisturized each day!

No matter what cleanser or moisturizers are in your skincare routine, one key product you should make sure you are using is hyaluronic acid.  Hyaluronic Acid  is naturally found in our bodies and helps to moisturize and create fullness or plumpness in our skin.  It attracts 1000 times its molecular weight in water, binding skin cells to water.  It also attracts water in the environment to our skin.   However, as we age, the amount of hyaluronic acid in our bodies decreases, which can make our skin less plump and give it that crepey texture.  Whether it’s an ingredient in your moisturizer or on its own in a serum, it’s a key ingredient to have in your skincare routine.  I use mine in a serum and apply right before my moisturizer, morning and night.  There are a lot of serums out there in a broad range of products, but I’ve found a brand called OZ Naturals that works great and is very reasonably priced.

One last face product that adds even MORE moisture to my skin each day is the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer.  Applied right after your moisturizer, this primer allows for makeup to blend on top beautifully but keeps my skin from flaking.  Coconut water is a main ingredient and it smells great too.

NAILS/CUTICLES – Nothing drives me crazier than looking at my hands and seeing dry, peeling cuticles.  Whenever I can, I swipe on the L’Occitane Nail and Cuticle Nourishing Oil and rub it in and instantly my nails are transformed and look human again.  The tube is just the perfect size to keep in your purse or in your desk and the brush at the end makes it a snap to apply.

PLEASE SHARE – Have you tried any of these products?  Tell me!  I’d love to hear about your experience, good or not.  Also, leave a comment and let me know what your winter “holy grail” beauty products are!  Let’s help each other stay hydrated this season.

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!