Athleisure

It’s not a big surprise that your girl loves athleisure. I have been known around town to go a full month without putting jeans on. I think my longest running time is five weeks. If you just heard a hint of pride in my tone, you are correct. I consider this record to be one of my greatest feats. 

 
 Just me in my  Tech Sweat.

Just me in my Tech Sweat.

 

Some may say it is because I work from home- or maybe that wearing cute athletic gear actually makes a person want to workout- but I’ll be honest, and I think I speak for many here, I love to rock a yoga pant even when I have absolutely zero plans of actually doing anything even close to resembling a downward dog. 

Whether I’m lounging around my apartment on a Sunday morning, cooking for a friend, or going on a “hike” to my local Whole Foods for some sauerkraut- the following brands are my favorite for feeling sporty, looking cute, and actually getting some exercise in. 

In this list, you’ll find brands with neutral coloring, flattering cuts, functional fits, and minimal styles that can go from your CrossFit class to your hip hop dance class to your hike on the PCT. Some are even eco-friendly, too. Athleisure on! And don’t forget, watering plants totally counts as movement here folks. 

Live the Process

Legging price: $138

 
 In my knit crop bralette + boy short. No, I don't work out in these clothes. I  lounge  in them.

In my knit crop bralette + boy short. No, I don't work out in these clothes. I lounge in them.

 100% Made in LA.

100% Made in LA.

 

Designed in LA and ethically made in the US (from design to manufacture), this sort of brand is a rarity these days. As I become more conscious of my carbon footprint, I know it can’t just be about banning plastic straws and recycling our bottles anymore (though these things are great). Other areas of our lives, such as the clothes we wear and how we consume and cycle through them, need to be looked at for their environmental impacts. Fast fashion brands like Zara release up to 50 cycles of fashion per year, unlike the traditional model of fashion of two a Spring/Summer line and Fall/Winter one. Zara, though adorable, accessible, and affordable, negatively affects our planet by use of cheap fabrics, toxic chemicals for coloring fabric, water pollution, and textile waste that ends up in landfills. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, after agriculture.

Fast fashion focuses on speed and low costs in order to bring the trendiest styles to stores the minute they become “hot”. And a week later, the style is gone and the next one is in place. If you’ve ever been to Zara twice in the same week, you’ll know what I mean. What was there on Monday is gone by Friday. Some clothing is purchased, but some styles they actually remove from the store and slash with knives so they become unwearable. It’s a tragedy. 

So what can consumers do? We have all the power, folks. Choosing to purchase products that are made in the US is one of the best ways to ensure a smaller carbon footprint- as well as choosing brands that use recycled fabric, eco-friendly fabrics, or organic cotton, or have high ethics, such as Live the Process.

Enter Live the Process. All of their clothes are made here in the US. They also use recycled materials, recycled packaging (yas!), have a carbon neutral shipping program. Plus, their styles are just adorable. Retro, sweet, girly without too many frills, and very minimal with basic colors. It’s like your ballet leotard from the 90’s got a sexy, classic makeover. I’m in.

Favorite styles:

  • Knit crop bralette - Pair with jeans, a denim skirt, or wear to a barre class. Light support.

  • Knit boy short - So cute for cozy Sunday summer mornings. I wouldn’t necessarily workout in these babies though. They sexy AF.

  • Corset bra, black - Great for yoga, walks, hikes, barre, ballet, pilates, or light cardio.

  • Tuxedo legging- Form fitting, comfortable, not too compression-y.

Girlfriend Collective

Legging price: $68

 Made from recycled plastic bottles, but feeling like a diamond.

Made from recycled plastic bottles, but feeling like a diamond.

 High rise compressive leggings - soooo comfortable.

High rise compressive leggings - soooo comfortable.

 A view from the back!

A view from the back!

Girlfriend Collective is another eco-friendly brand that is killing the game. They use post-consumer water bottles from Taiwan to make the softest leggings you’ll ever try on. Literally, when I tried these on, I just thought of the word “butter”.

They call themselves a “slow fashion” brand because of how their product is made- from water bottles to yoga pants. But it doesn’t stop there- their dying process is also eco-friendly. They go very in-depth on their site about their ethical labor practices, how they do not engage in child labor or forced labor, and how they prioritize the health and safety of their factory workers. They even talk about the working hours of their factory workers. Now that’s what I call transparency. 

Favorite styles:

Outdoor Voices

Leggings price: $85

 Tech sweat from the back

Tech sweat from the back

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 Tech Sweat is better for high intensity sweaty workouts like spin class, or working out in humid climates.

Tech Sweat is better for high intensity sweaty workouts like spin class, or working out in humid climates.

I’m a huge fan of their pieces. Outdoor Voices and their infamous color-blocking legging style took the athleisure trend by storm, and for a good reason. It all started with a young female lady named Ty Haney dreaming up an athletic brand that was geared towards regular people, not athletes, and that shows in their campaigns. I love how Outdoor Voices uses models of all shapes and sizes in their campaigns. They even use models with disabilities, to portray how their gear is for all bodies. It’s really nice to see girls who look like me and others. It feels more normal and accessible.

 
 I prefer the Textured Compression for matcha dates, errands, hikes, light yoga, barre, and light jogs.

I prefer the Textured Compression for matcha dates, errands, hikes, light yoga, barre, and light jogs.

 
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Personally, I love the fit, feel, and look of their leggings. Not every single one of their styles feels good for my body, but I do love the Springs legging style and find it very flattering and comfortable.

Keep in mind that their different leggings styles all fit and feel very different. (i.e. the Dipped, the Tri-Tone, the Springs), so try out a few different styles until you find one that suits you. Fair warning, Outdoor Voices releases new colors quite often, which is great for your wardrobe but not-so-good for your wardrobe. They only release a limited number of their color styles, so you kind of have to act fast.

Favorite styles:

  • Tech Sweat 7/8 Legging & Tech Sweat Crop- Best for sweaty workouts like spin, long runs, hot yoga. I love the Tech Sweat, and I have them in nearly every color.

  • Textured Compression- best for HIIT, weight lifting, vinyasa yoga, grabbing coffee, chill days at home, walking the dog, and hikes.

  • Athena crop- medium to light support. I wear this top to yoga, barre, and HIIT classes.


What are some of your favorite athleisure brands?