I generally like to wear cute clothing. I feel like thinking that I look cute makes me a little more upbeat and energetic, so even if I'm dead set on wearing a pair of sweatpants to Starbucks, I make sure that they're a cute pair of sweatpants. All this planning usually works out, except for at one place: the gym. I'm really reluctant to wear clothes I like to the gym, because I just end up sweating all over them and completely trashing them. But at the same time, it sucks not to feel cute when you work it, especially when certain Bravo tv male models frequent your gym (no, not kidding). I've done the whole basketball shorts and oversized tee thing for years, and now I feel like it's time to step things up. I rounded up a bunch of high and low priced gymwear that's going to make you want to hit the treadmill/yoga mat and that you could actually work into your day to day wardrobe.
Let's start with the sports bras! I don't care if you like them or not, they're essential. Trust me, I avoided them for years, but they are MANDATORY if you like your boobs and don't want to stretch out all their ligaments (look who paid attention in biology). Sports bras don't have to be ugly. In fact, there are some pretty darn cute ones. Lululemon Action Reaction Bra, $46 at lululemon.com, Lululemon Flow Y Bra, $42 at lululemon.com, Adidas Women's Power Bra, $35 at adidas.com: Lululemon is kind of the mecca for cute, women's workout wear. They definitely aren't cheap, but their cute designs, friendly store and staff, free weekend yoga classes (no joke!), and technology are worth the cash. Actually, $40ish isn't bad at all for a sports bra, and how cute are those two? The blue one is for more high-impact stuff, like running/elliptical, and the pink one is for more low-impact stuff like yoga/weight training. They're both made out of Luon, which is this super-intense workout fabric that's supposed to withstand 5 years of intense abuse, so you know these people are serious. Adidas is always reliable, and I love the raspberry hue of this sports bra. It's feminine, but not too girly. Plus, since these come in neon hues and have slimmer, girlier shapes, you could totally layer them under sheer tees to play off Fall's sporty, '80s trends. I just bough the pink Lululemon bra, and it's officially the comfiest sports bra ever, by the way.
Nike Dri-Fit Tiki Women's Soccer Tank Top, $35 at nike.com, Nike Seamless Skinny Women's Training Tank, originally $40 down to $27.99 at nike.com, Adidas by Stella McCartney Cover Up Run Track Top, $140 at adidas.com: I'm a big fan of just wearing whatever random, presentable t-shirt I can find to the gym, but I'm thinking about investing in a workout appropriate tank like one of these. They're fitted enough to show off what you're working out for, but no too revealing, the racerbacks work nicely for sports bras, and I think the whole sweat-wicking fabric thing would come in very handy. And I know that black tank is technically for soccer, but it's cute and I want it, so I'm ignoring that. Of course I have to feature the Adidas by Stella McCartney collab. I think it's really cool that she's doing so much affordable sportswear, and how cute is this jacket? It's Adidas, so you know it's sweat/rain/dirt proof, but the ruched sleeves and pale pinky-grey hue are so chic. $140 isn't bad for Stella McCartney either. You could totally wear all three of these outside the gym, too. The tanks double as layering racerbacks, and the jacket is a totally chic sweatshirt. Yay for multitasking!
Victoria's Secret Crop Yoga Pants, $18.95 at ebay.com, Lululemon Groove Crop II, $86 at lululemon.com, Lululemon Groovy Run Short, $52 at lululemon.com: I'm kind of on a yoga kick (I'm going to yoga today!), and I feel like regular old gym shorts probably don't cut it for yoga pants, with the whole risk of flashing people thing. Cropped, spandex pants like these, however, are perfect because they're comfy, stretchy, and not too revealing. The foldover waistbands are awesome because they add a dash of color and sit comfortably on the hip (aka there's no elastic band cutting across what may or may not be lovehandles). Lululemon makes adorable, totally workout proof versions like the crops in the middle. They're on the more expensive side because they're made out of that Luon fabric, and engineered to last forever. Victoria's Secret Pink makes a cheaper, spandex version (left, for some reason their site doesn't have them but they're instore, I promise) for about $60 less. I just bought a pair and can vouch for their comfiness. This sort of cropped pant is great for yoga and the gym, but they're also chic enough to wear around town, running errands, etc, and not be embarrased by. If you're into running or more active sports, Lululemon makes adorable running shorts too. They don't come with built-in underwear (hallelujah!), and have a super-handy zipper pocket on the back of the waist band, which is probably the comfiest waistband I've ever seen. Again, no gross elastic, just a nice, stretchy waistband that doesn't cut, but skims over your hips. And how great is the pink/grey color combo?
Nike Nylon Women's Shorts, $25 at nike.com, Nike Free 5.0 V4 Women's Running Shoe, $85 at nike.com, Gaiam Prosperity Yoga Mat in Gray w/ Peony, $21.98 at gaiam.com: For an equally awesome, but cheaper pair of shorts, I like these Nikes. I just bought two! They also don't have built-in underwear (seriously, worst idea ever), come in a wide range of colorful hues, and are just the right length. Nike also makes festive sneakers. I have the ugliest, white leather tennis shoes because Sport Chalet hates my size 10 feet and never has cute running shoes for me, and I'm lusting over these Nikes. They also come in a ton of colors, are really lightweight and supportive (and perfect for running), and $85 is pretty good for a pair of running shoes that are cute enough to wear outside the gym. I love yoga mats. They're the one place where you can really get crazy. Gaiam makes good, affordable mats in a ton of prints and colors. I love, love, love this one. It's in my favorite color (yes, grey is my favorite color, no, I'm not emo) and printed with my favorite flower, peonies! I die.
Lululemon bras in order: lululemon.com, lululemon.com, Adidas bra: adidas.com, Nike tops in order: nike.com, nike.com, Adidas jacket: adidas.com, Victoria's Secret pants: ebay.com, Lululemon crops: lululemon.com, Lululemon shorts: lululemon.com, Nike shorts: nike.com, Nike shoes: nike.com, Gaiam mat: gaiam.com