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Page 2 in the conversation "Share your fitness capsule tips!" by Helena
No particular Canadian brand recommendations but my capsule consists of
I wear this gear to cafes or on errands at times after a walk but not after the gym (just because of timing). There are options I prefer to wear to the cafe but at times I just wear whatever. I make sure the leggings are not indecent but choose not to worry too much about it.
I guess I have six main options for tops and six for bottoms and I find this is a good number to give me some variety (I don't wear the full length leggings in the middle of summer and I don't wear the running shorts in winter). This way I always have something to wear but there are days it is not my favourite choice. It all works together although some combinations are better than others.
I have a range of colours but black, coral, pink, purple, white and monochrome are the main ones.
Ok, I've been eyeing some leggings from alo and now I'm definitely going to have to try them out since I'm seeing them recommended by a few of you. Thanks for the tip!
TG, I do Yoga almost daily if it is available. I use to do Hot Yoga but I started to find it didn't work for me. I practice all kinds of Yoga but I prefer Ashtanga and Vinyasa. I have been wearing Lululemon since 2003 and I still have some of my original pieces. Those were made in Vancouver. I did try other brands after the CEO incident but nothing held up or fit me the way Lulu did.I wear the high rise leggings, tanks without a built-in bra, define jacket, forme jacket and other pieces. My sports bra is from Lole.I also wear Lole. I have a tunic that I through over leggings that I love. It is fleece and super warm. Lole has some great pieces that work with leggings.
Thanks everyone for all the tips! I am almost convinced to forgive Lululemon and give them a chance and just invest in one or two pairs that will last. I will try sportchek too, didn't even think of that! Always shopping there for my son and forgot about myself
Lisa, that is SO annoying ... I have done the same with Old Navy. I find there and the Gap stores usually look a complete mess, at least at our local mall, and generally only shop online.
I have always assumed in the past, that the reason ON is so unhelpful was as an effort to keep costs down. When I worked briefly in retail, I was expected to be attentive to customers, and the department store meant this seriously. If I worked the book store area, I wasn't to browse through the books. If I was in a fashion area, I wasn't to get into a long discussion with other salespeople.
But "my" ON store is a big box with an assortment of poorly-organized items of clothing. The staff are usually overworked to check customers out, there's rarely help around the changing room area. And, lately anyway, it doesn't even seem as if the prices are all that great (maybe I'm growing more discerning about quality though). This isn't an outlet mall ON store -- there, I sort of know to approach it as a help-myself deal.
OTOH, when DH and I visited Joseph A Bank for something for him, the sales staff were numerous, one was with us through our entire visit. Prices at this store are not low, and there are never a lot of people shopping.
Somewhere there should be a happy medium, but as we've discussed lately on a number of threads, it seems as though the TJ Maxx and Marshalls gang are taking over.
Thanks Toronto Girl for starting this thread. My exercise gear is something I need to address as I need to explore some new options in exercise.
My primary exercise prior to 2 years ago was a dance form called NIA which I did 3-5 times a week at a intense level. However since injuring both knees (not in NIA but in yoga) I am unable to dance at the level I used to. I hope to still dance at low intensity a couple times a week for the sheer joy of movement. My dance gear is mostly harem type pants or palazzo pants (love the swish with movement) with a tank top. If not I will try Tai Chi or Qi Qong.
For aerobic exercise I think it will have to be brisk walking, water aerobics or biking for me. So I will need the appropriate gear for this.
Like La Ped I have lots of outdoor gear for hiking, snowshoeing, and biking. hiking pants (7-8 in different weights), and short and long sleeve wicking tops (3-4 of each) + long underwear in different weights. Shoes are Merrill Sirens for light hiking and Lowa hikers for more challenging terrain, both great for my narrow feet.
I love having various gym clothes, from tops, tights, hoodies... everything. I work out quite often, but I also like how comfy they are for everyday activities as well. Also, I often wear quality compression clothing - definitely best when hitting the gym!
Haven’t read other comments.
Completely agree with you on Lululemon, can’t understand wh people continue to shop there when so many other options are available, like Prana or Patagonia, where I find things on sale.
Mix & match doesn’t matter here. For most of my wardrobe, i try to avoid set outfits where pieces are always and xclusively worn together, because I wash tops more frequently than bottoms, so the pieces wear unevenly. Workout gear is likely to be washed, top & bottom, every time I work out. Mixing it up just bring aggregation & laundry bottlenecks.
In some places, wearing your lovely Lycra on errands and at school drop off is a way to signal status & virtue. You’ll eventually feel fine in the leggings in public; until then, get a jacket that coordinates with your gear.
It’s been half a year since this thread started—hope the working out is going well!
Anyone loving the joggers trend like I am?!?
Echoing Zibbets, I'm a huge fan of the C9 Champion line at Target. I run daily and wash my workout clothes all the time. The C9 pieces have proved incredibly durable. Whenever I need anything new, I always check there first.
I just made my first fitness capsule some months ago, so I'm pretty new at this too! What worked for me was high-waisted leggings from Zella and ON (I was very pleasantly surprised at how nice the ON ones were). I'm very small on top, with narrow shoulders, so for tops I stuck with Zella, who makes XXS. I bought a sports bra top and three cami-style tops with built-in bras.
I liked that the Zella tops that I tried weren't full of padding. I tried an Under Armour sports bra that looked great but was full of so much padding that it was incredibly uncomfortable.
I think that if you want to run to the grocery store, etc., a nice jacket would be great. I didn't find one that fit (I'm very short waisted), but I've got my eyes out! It would be a very useful item.
Thanks everyone!! Since this is an old thread, I thought an update was in order. I did end up cracking and buying a few pieces (tops) from Lululemon ... I chose things that work as regular clothes as well as for exercise like outdoor walking and yoga ... So I can flip back and forth between more active and everyday mode while feeling reasonably smart as well as comfy. I have to admit the shirt are cut really nicely and look neat and polished. I will probably add a few more pieces in the fall! Thanks everyone; this thread is full of great recos for anyone looking to up their activewear game!
Toronto girl: I do pretty much the exact same thing, as my only forms of excercise are walking and yoga. So I haven’t got any running tights/singlets etc. I just stick to semi-fitted track pants, reasnoble neat, plain tees, and jumpers/jackets that are able to work as casual wear aswell so I can use the whole capsule as loungewear as well as exercise wear. Seems to work ok. I have all the colours harmonizing so it doesn’t matter if pieces are in the wash.
Sometimes I wear these clothes to school pick up.
I am a year round fitness person hence my screen name of Staysfit, which has a fashion meaning as well, which is why I chose it. In any case, I participate in multiple activities, weight lifting, Pilates, running, rowing, hiking, swimming, snowshoe, skiing, paddle board, yoga, etc. I do most everything at home but do travel to the gym for weights and to use their Concept II rowing machine since we sold ours. The most flexible way to dress is in layers. I have three lengths of bottoms. Long, thigh length and 7/8. All are compression style. They work for every activity except for winter outdoor, and for that I have a second layer to wear over the long, either water resistant ski pants, or one pair of thick fleece lined long compression for outdoor hiking and running which either goes over a thin pair of silk long johns or stands alone. I exercise 6 days a week, so the number of bottoms I have of each length goes according to the frequency I can do laundry. I personally have 5 pairs of each length. It’s more than most would need, but I only have time for laundry twice a week. It allows for me to wash some and wear the remaining while the others are hanging dry. For tops, I have two types, tanks and long sleeve with Henley style zippers. Most often if I am going to be inside working out, I wear the tank tops. The Henley zips are nice in cool weather because I am often cold when I start a workout, and then I undo the zipper once I get warmed up. I also have 4 of each type of top. I have two wind jackets to wear over the top of everything. One is for to and fro, has a hood, and is long enough to cover my bottom, maybe 30”. The other is to keep me warm when I am working out, so it’s a workhorse item. I wear it if it’s raining out when I run, so it is also water resistant. I have polar fleece vests, and two neon reflective vests. The polar fleece may be hard to find, I don’t see many people with them, but I love them. They are by far my most used item, and most durable as well. Mine are 12 years old! They are perfect transitional weather gear. They always add warmth without too much bulk and without obstructing movement. They are the perfect item worn over a long sleeve Henley top. For outdoor snowshoe, or hiking I have two down vests and I pair them with one of two long sleeve polar fleece jackets. For very cold days I do have merino wool long johns. I have rarely used them. I like long my long lightweight NF jacket for walking, and hiking. It’s not as good for skiing because it doesn’t have elastic gussets at the arms. I worry it will rip even though it is loose. I have some well fitting exercise bras. I like heavy support even though my chest is small. As a runner I worried about all the bouncing, and so far I think it was a wise decision. I have an ample supply of my favorite sneakers and socks. I have two pairs of bike shorts. I am not a big fan of riding my bicycle here because it’s too hilly, but I do have my bike on a trainer in the basement. I have two one piece swim suits mostly because I was able to find some long torso suits on Amazon that fit for a good price. I have reflective hats and gloves for early morning walks and also a flashlight. I look for reflectivity on my sports gear because I do go out on local roads. Finally, I have two longish casual sporty cardigans that I can throw on over any of my exercise gear and they look good. I can go out shopping to the local grocery store, or to a diner after a workout, and feel okay wearing them.
When you look for exercise clothes, the most important thing is going to be whether something fits you well. It doesn’t matter what brand. I look for whatever has the least number of seams possible. Seams are always a problem because they can rub and chafe with repetitive motion. Working out and most exercise involves repetitive motion. The other fit issue I have had is when tops creep up when I’m doing things like downward dog, or when I am running. I don’t like to tug my tops down. I like a long top that stays down. I like items that are clingy, stretchy and form fitting. I also make sure existing seams are not going to be in places that cause problems for me, and that they are smoothe, covered, etc. That’s my personal preference. I prefer compression style bottoms because anything loose or baggy can get caught in Equipment and also rides up when I run or else it does that when I turn upside down in Yoga or Pilates. I tend to purchase whatever color top is brightest because I run and want to be very visible when I am on the road. I wear the bright colored tops to the gym, and ignore anyone who glances my way. I am there for the Equipment not my color choices. My gear choices are very practical and functional. I do not pick pretty prints, or patterns. I pick solids. My bottoms are typically black or grey. The cardigans are the only stylish items and they do cover the bright tops and look nice. That is where my biggest investment of style thought was spent, the rest was really about how well the items work in practice. You may have different needs. For example, for a long time I ran in skirtsport skirts and skirtedleggings. They were very comfortable and met my needs better than regular shorts or compression shorts and leggings. If I were still running long distances, I would use them, but for the shorter distances I run now, the shorts are fine.
It takes time to figure out if something is going to work, so I wouldn’t purchase more than one of anything until you have had a chance to test it out. Fortunately the styles of active wear do not change much, so if something works the chances are good you will be able to find it again.
The other thing is that it’s expensive. I wash mine in cold water, add vinegar to help eliminate odors, and hang everything to dry. It lasts a long time that way. For sneakers, if they get wet, stuff them with newspaper, and leave them to dry overnight. It works for me. They are always dry and ready to use again. If I forget to stuff them, they will be soggy.
Staysfit, thanks for all the info! I'll invest my fall budget in a few sporty-polished toppers to finish off my capsule - thanks! And your post really inspired me to get my butt moving!!
Sounds like everyone has good recs for you! Heres mine:
Gym stuff (includes yoga, zumba, kickboxing, pilates, weights-basically whatever is going on that day):
1 trainers in hot pink- i based the rest of mix and match capsule around them (also black, neon yellow, neon orange, purple, turquoise)
9 sleeveless tops (sounds excessive but worn all year 4 days a week)
3-4 each shorts, crops, and full length leggings
6 sports bras
4 post gym tops-long sleeve moisture wicking for colder weather
Walking sandals live in my gym bag too, to change into as soon as workout is done and for walking at lunch
The gym stuff is mostly Nike, Under Armour, and ON.
2 one piece swimsuits for lap swim.
1 swim skirt for putting over when im too lazy to change and its hot.
*need to come up with comfy cozy post swim option *
2 bikinis, skort, life vest (purple and aqua!) , cushy flip flops for SUP
Tall flat boots, jeans, tank tops for horseback riding
Walking sandals (only hike in warm weather), whatever casual outfit for hiking *need to come up with good hands free option*
2 coin belts, 2 maxi skirts, 2 short tops for bellydance (capsule works for Renfaire too)
Batik skirt, linen/cotton tank for fire spinning (must be all natural fibers)
No winter outdoors gear, as i dont go out in cold weather by choice!
Suntiger raised a good point! I forgot to mention earlier that I have a beach capsule for when I visit my mother in Florida every winter. I also head across the street to my neighbor who has a swimming pool. I swim outdoors there, and sometimes participate in outdoor water sport in local lakes like paddle board yoga, kayak, etc. so in addition to my one piece suits, I have bikinis, and several types of cover ups. I have UPF tops that can go into the water and fit over my swimsuits. I have one UPF cover up dress from Athleta that’s old and it has a very wide and deep V Neck opening which spoils its usefulness. I plan to replace it next year, but I mention this because it was a feature that I didn’t think carefully enough about before I bought it, and when I was walking around in Florida, I wished it had more coverage. I have a short, casual, crochet dress that is fun and I sometimes wear it too and from the beach, which is walking distance from my moms place. It offers zero sun protection, so I only wear it when I know I will be at the beach for a short time and my sunscreen and wide brim hat will last long enough to provide decent protection. I also have a couple nice casual, light weight dresses to throw on over my swimsuits so I can head out for lunch or dinner or to shop and look presentable enough without changing right from the beach. I like to take advantage of every beach minute I can get! Sunrise to sunset!
One of the most important fitness activities for me on the beach is walking and running. The beach we go to has been clean, and without any broken shards of glass. I have never seen anyone get cut by anything, so I sometimes am brave and go barefoot, but only after I have gone several days adjusting with shoes. I wear my Keens, or some aertrix after run shoes. Sand collects in the Keens and I find myself stopping my activity to rinse them out until it recollects.
Yes Staysfit! Ive been thinking that post swim/watersport needs to have 3 categories:
Throw on and go- when you dont want to bother to change but dont want obvious wet bum...
Beachy glam-sarongs or such when you are laying out long enough to dry off, presentable for an on the boardwalk shop, drink, meal
Comfy cozy-when you take the time to change fully but your body is still not 100% dry so you want kinda loose things that are easy to put on
My favorite post-swim look is the kids at the Y who shower completely, then put on soft, comfy jammies for the night. I’ve never been brave enough to try that look for myself.
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