April 15, 2013 by kholzhauer
Yes, this is a post about workout ware. Specifically pole ware and really basic gym clothes since that’s all I worry about. Specifically, it’s a post about what to blow your budgetary wad on and what to leave it alone. Because contrary to what all the Lululemmings out there tell you, Lululemon is NOT the only brand out there that makes workout gear and yoga pants that is 1) functional and 2) makes your ass look crazy. Good.
Now, before I get accused of OMG hating Lululemon, let me say, I love their swimsuit tops, especially for triathlon and swimming. They dry quickly and seriously support. And my swimsuit tops double as pole tops. Even when I’m spinning upside down, my nips don’t generally slip out of Lululemon tops. I particularly like this one. Kinda sexy, solid enough that nothing pops out, and leaves enough skin bare for the dreaded shoulder mount. Expensive, but I end up wearing it 3 or 4 days a week, between pool and pole, and it holds up. But beyond this swim top, I generally find products at Lululemon overpriced and not that much better than cheaper workout gear. Sure, their shirts are cute, but I don’t really focus on looking cute at the gym. Buying cute workout clothes would probably make me wear workout gear out way more than appropriate. And I already live in yoga pants on the weekend. But other than one pair (more on that later) they’re not lululemon.
For general sports bra awesomeness, I’ve found that this New Balance bra is reasonably priced, fits me really well, and provides killer support. Really, that’s all I need. Sports Authority sells it for under 20 bucks, and it’s gonna be covered in boob sweat. It doesn’t need to be more expensive than that. Plus, It doesn’t need to be super cute. It comes in a bunch of colors, but I’m not worried about a cute cut or pattern since (shocker!) I wear my sports bra under my shirt 80 percent of the time. Pole class is the exception, but even then, unless I need bare skin for a grip, I leave my shirt on.
For bottoms, most of the time I wear capri type pants. The tight, leggings style ones. They’re good for yoga, they’re good for running most of the year, they cover enough that I don’t get chafey, they make my butt look good, and I’m comfortable in there. I like this pair from Target a lot. They’re made of pretty much the same stuff as the lululemon leggings, but they’re way cheaper, which is nice. They hold up well, and are reversible if you want a straight grey pair instead of a pair with a colored waistband.
Now, I will admit to owning a pair of the lululemon crops as well. They cost more than I care to spend on clothes that I’m wearing for the sole purpose of sweating, but the neon green is reflective, which is great if I’m running outdoors at night. I don’t want to be hit by a car, and I live in LA. I run by a lot of cars. But here’s where the lululemmings are wrong: My ass looks just as good in the target leggings as it does in the lululemon leggings. I run just as far in the target ones. My skin feels the same after each. They’re good leggings (and they serve a valuable purpose, safety-wise) but they’re really not all that. And when it comes to yoga pants, just don’t. No body needs 100 buck sweat pants. I promise. They’re not going to make you look 70 bucks more awesome than a target pair. I get my yoga pants at Target. They may not be quite as cute as the Lululemon pairs, but ugly yoga pants encourage me to NOT wear my workout gear outside the gym or house.
As for shirts, I wear cheap long ribbed cotton tank tops. To the gym, to pole, sometimes to work under a button down. These come from forever 21 and they almost always seem to be 2 for $8. They come in a ton of colors, they’re cheap, and I don’t feel bad about wearing them out. I generally like F21 about as much as I like Lululemon, but these tanks make braving the 12 year old girls, cluttered racks, and “Call me Maybe” all worth it. As long as I don’t have to go too much.
Now, along with swim tops (the bottoms don’t matter to me as much, they often come from target) the other thing I splurge on is my shoes. I’ll run just as far in cheap pants as expensive, but if my feet are uncomfortable, I’ll stop. So I spend some money on my shoes. For the gym. For pole I sometimes wear heels, but mostly I go barefoot. My current favorites are these ASICS Gel-Blur 33’s. I’ve got really long toes, high arches, and generally big feet and they’re comfortable for me. Of course, shoes are different for everyone, but these work for me, and they’lre loud and obnoxiously colored, which makes them easy to find in a crowd.
So that’s pretty much my workout basics. For pole bottoms, I wear a combination of really short workout shorts, swimsuit bottoms, or booty short style panties.
What do you work out in? What brand do you think is overrated?