Sweat in Style : Spring Trends I’m Loving!

Bold Patterns

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Capris: Walmart (similar style), Tights: Onzie

For my 9-5 job, I wear a LOT of black and white. It’s simple, it’s professional, it’s…sigh…kind of boring (or so my younger sister tells me). However, I put the more stark looks to the side when I get dressed to work out, often option for a pair of boldly patterned pants or capris. Pattern pants have been en vogue for a while now, and there is no shortage of styles to choose from! I own everything from floral motifs to cosmic explosions. They’re my favorite to pull out when getting dressed for an early morning workout. Nothing like says “6 AM” like sparkly stretchies!

Colorful Crops

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Clockwise from top L: black – lululemon, lime & navy – Aritizia, red – Lorna Jane,lime – Lorna Jane, black & white – Lorna Jane, turquoise – Alo Yoga

I literally went from the girl who owned two simple sports bras (black and white, the same style from American Eagle) to the girl who has a full drawer of crops exploding with color! Lately, I’ve been loving longer, crop-top style sports bras because I can wear them to spin class without a shirt on top. I also love to pick sports bras with bold patterns that peek through slouchy tanks.

Barre Humor

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Tee by Emi Jay, barresocks (similar styles)

I can’t resist a good barre joke. Let’s face it, you need something to make you laugh as you stare into the mirror, teeth gritted, fighting for those final ten counts in thigh work! Plain tops?! Come on now, don’t tuck with me like that 🙂

Fitspirational Tanks

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Lorna Jane: Teal, Navy, Coral

I love Lorna Jane and her collection of ultra-feminine workout wear. Taking the top spot in her shop for me are her inspirational tanks. In line with her Move Nourish Believe motto, they remind me to never, never, never give up while giving my workout all that I’ve got!

Splits 59 by Pure Barre

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Erid Tight, Lynx Tank

As a Pure Barre instructor, I am always excited to see new clothing pop up in my studio’s store. Since the fall, I’ve been obsessed with the Splits 59 by Pure Barre collection. It’s a special collaboration that can only be found at Pure Barre studios or on PureBarre.com. My favorite piece of the collection, hands down, is the Erid tight. I own them in black, grey, and this season’s new navy.

Matchy Matchy

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Nike Pants, Nike Free Sneakers (similar style)

 Some people would disagree, but the Type-A in me just loves a well-coordinated look. I like to find ways to match my sneakers to my pants, my Lily and Laura bracelets to my tanks, even my socks to my headband! Feeling put together from head to toe makes me feel like I am on top of the world!

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Upgrade Your Workout for Under $20

It’s amazing how making a few small changes to your workout routine can make such a big difference. For me, wireless headphones were a game changer–no longer do I get tangled up in the cords! That was a pricier change, but there are plenty of products I’ve found costing under $20 that have forever changed my workouts for good. Here are 5 of my favorites.

photo 1-2lululemon Light As Air Thong, $16

I know, spending $16 for a pair of underoos sounds crazy. But these thongs are ridiculously comfortable, leave no visible panty lines, and come in simple solid colors and fun prints, like this camouflage pair.

photo 1Sweaty Betty Hair Toggles, 5 for $8

I have extremely thick, hard to manage hair. In the past when working out, I’d use 2 thick hair ties to keep my hair in place, and it still ended up falling out–usually just a few minutes into my workout. These hair toggles really grip your hair and keep it firmly in place. I can now make it through an hour-long power yoga sequence without worrying about my hair flopping into my face during downward dog.

photo 2-2Master Lock Speed Dial Combination Lock, $7

This easy to use lock makes it simpler than ever to keep your belongings safe at the gym. It unlocks using a series of movements (up, down, left, right) rather than numbers or a key.

photo 2Sparkly Soul Headbands, $15 (thin band)/ $17 (thick band)

In addition to being untamable by hair tie, my hair (or maybe my head) tends to repel headbands. I’ve purchased countless bands to try, but only Sparkly Soul has stood up to the task of staying put. They come in tons of colors, and add a fun touch to any workout outfit. I’m in love.

photo 4Lorna Jane Secret Sock, $10

I hate when my socks fall down during a workout, but I also hate socks that stick out ridiculously far from my shoes and rub me the wrong way. These socks strike the perfect balance–they are comfortable and remain perfectly hidden. I have them in black and white, and they also come in a nude shade.

What are some of your favorite bargain fitness finds?

Guess who’s back?!

Hello, Sweathearts!

It has been a very long time since my last post. Too long, really! I am so excited to relaunch Sweatsational and provide you with a premier health, fitness, and wellness blog. Here are some of the things you can look forward to in the weeks ahead…

MOTIVATION – Need an extra boost to make it through the week? I’ll kick off each Monday with an inspiring message.

BEST OF SWEATCHESTER – Interested in trying out a new fitness studio in Westchester? I’ll give them a test run and review a class for you here some Wednesdays.

CLEAN PLATE CLUB – Trying to adjust to clean eating? I’ll share fun recipe ideas on alternating Wednesdays.

LINK LOVE – Keep an eye out for links to blogs, videos, or websites that I find especially interesting every other Friday.

FASHION – Workout clothing should always feel good, but it can also look good! I’ll put together some fun looks every other Friday.

HEALTHY SELFIES – Let’s connect! Share your healthy photos during the week on Instagram, using the hashtag #sweatsational. I’ll share my favorites here on alternating Saturdays.

SPECIAL FEATURES – Every other Saturday, I’ll surprise you with special features, including interviews, playlists, and more!

I am so excited to be blogging again, and hope that you are excited about becoming a part of the new and improved Sweatsational! Are there any other features you’d like to see here on Sweatsational? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Sweat in Style…For Less!

Hello Sweathearts,

I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for cute workout gear. Lululemon, Nike, Under Armour, you name it! I’m pretty laid back when it comes to the rest of my workout look–hair in a messy ponytail, and no makeup allowed–but I love picking out workout gear that is cute and functional. By functional, I mean that I don’t have to worry about anything hanging out or showing through. Being able to deflect sweat well is an added bonus–I don’t like to half-ass my workouts, so I’m always drenched by the time I’m through.

The problem with some of my favorite brands? They’re expensive. SUPER expensive. Not-realistic-for-a-college-student-who-works-as-a-babysitter-expensive. But I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that have helped me add Lulu, Nike, and UA to my wardrobe without breaking the bank.

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I didn’t pay full price for ANY of these items!

  • Sporting goods stores aren’t your only source of workout gear! I’ve picked up some great Nike pieces from Kohl’s and Nordstrom. Neither store offers a full range of product, but their small selection is often eligible for markdown and couponing (Kohl’s) or hits the clearance racks at a great price (Nordstrom).
  • But sporting goods stores DO offer great rewards programs and deals. Dick’s Sporting Goods is my go-to store based on their reward program. I get coupons regularly from them that range from $10 off a purchase to 25% off of an item. My local Dick’s also offers GREAT clearance racks at the end of each season that feature already marked-down items at an additional 50% off. I’ve gotten Nike shorts for under $10, and a Hard Tail Tank for under $20.
  • Outlets are the real deal (pun intended). I live about 40 minutes away from Woodbury Commons, a popular outlet center for locals and tourists alike. While I generally don’t find deals on everyday clothing there, the deals at the Nike, Under Armour, and Lululemon outlets can be incredible! Because it’s a long drive, I try to hit the outlets only once per season. I scored a Lululemon Vinyasa scarf for $29 in outlet that I had seen listed on eBay for close $80!
  • Give flash sales a chance. The Zumba capris pictured above? I found them listed on Zulily, a flash sale website geared more towards moms & children. My mother, a teacher, spotted the sale and alerted me to the deal. Since then, they’ve featured other fitness brands, such as Lucy. ACTIVE GearUp is a flash sale website that exclusively features fitness gear, but even the traditional websites such as HauteLook occasionally upload workout brands.
  • Patience isn’t just a virtue, it’s a bargain hunter’s way of life. If I fall in love with a newly released item from any store, I try to wait it out. It’s really tough for me–my instinct is to buy right away so that I can make it my own. But I’ve found that being patient often results in markdowns and worthwhile extra savings. I wouldn’t recommend doing this for something you absolutely can’t live without, but if you see something, bookmark it and check in every few days. Chances are, you’ll be able to score a deal.

What are some of your favorite ways to workout in style without paying a high price? I’m always looking for more ways to save money while leading an active and fashionable life!

 

Fit & Fashionable – Ellie Review

Lately, one fitness brand has been making quite the splash via social media among ladies looking for a good deal on cute workout clothing. You know who I’m talking about…Ellie! Originally launched as PVBody, Ellie follows the model of beauty subscription boxes. For $50 per month, you are able to choose two pieces from a monthly collection to be sent your way.

I signed up for PVBody late in 2012. I was getting into a fitness groove, and needed to stock up on a few gym essentials. When I signed up, you filled out a ‘Style Profile’ and based on your answers, PVBody selected an outfit (top & bottom) for you. Receiving my package was a pleasant surprise. Though it took almost two weeks to arrive, I was happy with the pieces selected for me: a tank top (that has been spotted on Alessandra Ambrosio!) & pair of cropped compression leggings from Electric Yoga.

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Receiving high-quality, well-fitting pieces made the fact that I had to wait so long for my order and place a subsequent call to customer service to request a missing free tank top easy to brush over. Still, I was a bit wary of PVBody at this point. Their facebook page was beginning to fill up with comments from other customers who had been repeatedly charged for orders that were never filled. I’m on a pretty tight college budget, so as a precaution, I cancelled my account. I didn’t want to experience multiple charges that would take time to dispute.

When 2013 arrived, PVBody again made waves by announcing that they were launching their own fitness brand: Ellie. Instead of receiving pieces from established fitness brands each month, customers would receive new Ellie pieces instead. Ellie claimed that due to such high demand for PVBody membership, it was impossible to gather enough clothing from the brands they were working with. To keep up with customer need, they said they had made the decision to launch their own brand in a matter of weeks. Sounds fine, right? Well…from articles I’ve read, this isn’t the truth. According to pandodaily, launching Ellie was always part of PVBody’s plan. To start Ellie, PVBody did “everything from testing the cost of acquiring customers, to actually launching a disposable, experimental brand called PVBody to gather real world feedback on the product and business model, while ironing out its operating processes.” You can read the rest of the article HERE.

Despite all of this information, when Ellie officially launched in February, I decided to take a chance and place an order. It took a few days to do, as Ellie’s servers crashed upon their launch and no one was able to access the site. When my finally got my order placed, I sat back and waited for my new work out clothing to arrive.

And waited. And waited. Because even though a FedEx tracking number was created for my order a day after my order was placed, it took Ellie over a week to actually SHIP my package. As they use FedEx Smartpost, it took even longer for my order to arrive. In the end, it took OVER two weeks for my purchase to arrive. I was not happy about this at all. However, it would have been at least a little easier to deal with if I had loved the items I received. Sadly, it was a bit hit and miss for me.

The first item I ordered was the Vixen tank:

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The material on this shirt is really nice. It is a light, mesh-type fabric, perfect for keeping you cool during an intense workout. My tank appears to be well made, and an XS fit well (I am typically an XS top in brands such as Nike and Under Armour, size 2 or 4 at lululemon) My only complaint about this tank is that the built-in bra does not feature padding or lining of any kind (or a place to insert padding). Basically, if it’s a cold gym…you’re in trouble. I ended up removing some lining from a swimsuit, popped them into the bra, and prayed that they wouldn’t fall out during Zumba class. It worked! I did keep this top, because I like the style and since I have a smaller chest, the lack of support wasn’t a total deal breaker for me.

My second piece from the collection was the My New Obsession Leggings:

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I really wanted to love these. The pattern on them is so original! I love being able to wear fun pieces the gym that are still functional, and these seemed to fit the bill. Sadly, they were not usable for me at all. The material was a fabric that I’ve only really seen used in yoga tank tops in the past…that fabric that shows EVERYTHING. Simply put,they gave me the most obvious camel toe that I have ever seen in workout pants. Generally, that only happens to me when I buy pants that are too small. However, Ellie marketed these as an XS/S combination size. I generally am a size XS, so they should have worked for me.

I decided to return the leggings, and am currently in the return process with Ellie. By the time I receive my replacement item, it will most likely be April. My leggings took about a week to ship back to California, and though Ellie has had them for a few days already,I haven’t received a status update. I also learned via facebook that Ellie’s March collection shipments are delayed because they don’t actually have their stock yet.

Based on my experiences, I will not be purchasing from Ellie until I see more efficient shipping and return practices put into place. I am sorry that I can’t recommend Ellie, because I think that their concept is excellent and when I have spoken to customer service representatives, they have been friendly. Sadly, friendliness and a good idea don’t add up to a well-run business. I personally don’t think that Ellie should have items for sale on March 1 that won’t be arriving to their warehouse until March 21 without at least letting customers know at time of purchase that there will be a delay. They also need to work on follow-through. I know that it is tough to keep up with customer inquiries, but if you promise a phone call, you need to call back to maintain your credibility.

I really do hope that Ellie is able to eventually work out all of the issues they have been facing! If they are able to be more transparent with their customers, provide their product in a timely manner, and keep up with their launches of innovative new fitness wear designs, I know they have the potential to be a game changer in the world of fitness fashion.