Three reasons you should invest in athletic attire

Athletic attire for barre

Today I’m taking my post over to the style side of things. More specifically, the type of style I’ve been sporting pretty much 24/7 lately: athletic attire. Since I spend most of my day in clothing designed for you to sweat in, I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain why you should invest in athletic attire for your workouts.

It might sound silly at first: you are going to wear these pieces to sweat in – why would you want to spend good money on them? Well, I’ll give you three good reasons!

1. First thing’s first: it is MADE for the activity you’re performing. I’m talking about material that has moisture wicking ability, which is your best friend when it comes to working out. Trust me: your old baggy tee shirt is only going to HOLD IN the moisture and make you feel even hotter and more uncomfortable when you’re at the barre, in the gym, etc. Moisture wicking material will do just that: wick the moisture off of your body and away. Much cooler. It will make all the difference between having an awesome hour workout versus an hour of overheated agony. And don’t get me started on stretch. You want your clothing to move with you as you work out, and you don’t want to be messing with it throughout your sweat sesh. A better quality piece of athletic clothing is going to stay in place on your body and make your experience much more enjoyable.

2. It lasts longer. I don’t mind investing in more expensive pieces of clothing if they are going to be items I can wear long term. “But…my old cotton tee shirt is cheaper! It’s free – just sitting at home in my drawer!” True…but when you’re putting it under the stress of a workout, it isn’t going to last as long as a performance top in moisture wicking fabric. I know a lot of people cringe at first when they see a $90 price tag on a pair of athletic leggings, but if I’m going to go through 4 or more pairs of cheaper, $20-$30 options in comparison to the one better quality one, then I completely see the value. I’m not saying you have to buy $90 leggings (you certainly don’t)…but be on the lookout for quality material that has good stretch and thickness, stitching, compression, etc. For instance, I always make sure I do the “bend over” test if I’m buying a pair of leggings. If they are too thin and you can see through them when in certain positions…that’s just not fun for anyone. I do tend to have a few go-to brands for my barre attire that I trust for quality (see below).

3. It makes you look and feel awesome. We are really all about the “barre to bar” concept at our Pure Barre Clearwater studio: so many athletic pieces nowadays are completely appropriate to wear out in public for events other than working out. You know it’s true: when you have an outfit on that makes you feel good, you hold yourself more confidently. It puts you in a good mood and makes you feel like a million bucks. Trust me: you will feel so much better about yourself if you don a good looking pair of leggings and top as opposed to an old baggy tee shirt and loose gym shorts. You won’t find yourself immediately running to your car so no one sees you, or feeling reluctant to run errands after a barre class or gym session. Wearing the right athletic attire can actually motivate you to get in to the gym or to the barre to work out in general! And let’s talk about shaping. Most of my leggings feature figure flattering shapes with compression – they keep your tummy in nice and tight, they tighten up your seat, and make your legs look slim. Compression, my friends: you know you love it!

As for some of my favorite athletic attire pieces, you know I’ll share them with you! I do want to mention that you can always keep an eye on the awesome retail your barre studio or gym has available. Our studio is stocked with great items, and those of us who work there can speak to how certain items fit, how they perform, and the like. But, if you don’t happen to have something like that near to you, you can always shop online.

When it comes to leggings, there are a few brands that stand out for me: Alo, Kira Grace, Splits 59, Karma, and Zella. These are some of my absolute favorites (I have worn them all!!!):

Barre leggings and tights

Left to right –

Kira Grace Warrior Tights // Karma ‘Yama’ Tights // Alo Airbrushed Leggings // Splits 59 Raquel Flared Tights // Alo Goddess Ribbed Leggings

For tops, my personal favorites are ones that feature a built in bra – I love the all in one aspect. In addition, open sides and fun, strappy backs on tanks are also fantastic options (and keep you cool too!). Layering is also something I take into consideration – picking up a loose, draped top or cardigan to throw on over the top of my tank before and after class is something I love to do.

Barre tops

Left to right –

Onzie Crisscross back tank // Splits 59 Devon Strappy Back Tank // Zella Athena Open Back Cardigan // Zella Spa Open Back Slub Neck Tee

Do you have any favorites when it comes to athletic attire?

Tribal Tunic

Do you ever get slightly tired with your appearance? I know it happens with me, and I had definitely been feeling that way for the past few weeks. A lot of it had to do with my hair. I know that sounds slightly strange, but it’s true. It’s not that I felt dislike towards my hair. I have hit that point currently where I’m quite happy with my cut and style. It works for me. That being said…getting the same hair cut over and over again when I visit the stylist can get a little bit redundant. When I sat down in the chair at my latest appointment, I decided to just throw caution to the wind. After telling her of my desire for change in some way, we began to discuss color. Now, I used to dye my hair back in my college days and it was fun. However, around 2007 or so I decided I was done with the maintenance. For seven years now my hair has not been touched by any color treatment. Until now.

tribal tunic outfit

As a fun way to switch up my look without going crazy with the scissors, we decided to lighten things up a bit. The end result we were going for is a slightly sunkissed color, as if my hair was lightened by the sun when I was outside. I really love how it turned out and the fact that there are no roots to grow out (there are some highlights woven in, but a lot of the color is more focused on the bottom of my hair), so the maintenance should be minimal. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

tribal tunic outfit

And of course, let’s talk about my slightly altered hairstyle while we’re on the subject of hair. I was recently invited to visit the newest location of Blo blow dry bar that just opened up in Tampa. What a fun experience! To be honest, other than having my hair styled after getting it cut, I’ve never been in to a salon to have my hair simply blown out. Blo has a menu of signature hair styles you can choose from, depending on the look you’re going for. You can also get up dos for those fancier occasions. Tampa’s location of Blo also includes a Body by Blo in half of the store, where you can prettify yourself further with nail services and waxing. The Blo Tampa location was absolutely clean and beautiful on the inside, and the staff was so friendly. The products they use in your hair smell incredibly amazing, and if you fall in love with them like I did, they are available for purchase. Trouble trouble. For my style, we decided to try out the “pillow talk,” which features messy beachy waves. As a girl who always has her hair straight (because that’s the way I was created), it was really fun to try a different look. Thanks again to Blo Tampa for inviting me in…it was definitely a fun and relaxing experience!

tribal tunic outfit

After treating my hair to a new look, it would have been a shame to not leave the house for the evening! Even though it was a rainy day and evening, we headed out to a casual dinner at one of our favorite local pizza places. It was the perfect occasion to pull out my tribal tunic tank along with some leggings and a statement necklace. And wedges….because it is summer and in summer you wear wedges! Even though we weren’t being fancy, I had a fun time putting together this look, which I thought complemented my hair for the occasion! Score!

Have you been to a blow dry bar before? What did you think?

tribal tunic outfit

Tribal tunic: purchased at T.J. Maxx // Leggings: 90 Degrees by Reflex, purchased at Marshalls // Statement necklace: Lydell NYC, purchased at T.J. Maxx // Wedges: Antonio Melani, purchased at Marshalls

My daily style: Pure Barre outfit

It’s official – now that I am working from home again, my outfit budget has gone straight to two things: comfy clothes for around the house, and clothes to work out in. It’s true. I admit to it. My daily style now consists of an outfit to wear to Pure Barre class, and then a “lounge” type outfit for the rest of the day.

Pure Barre outfit

I don’t want it to sound like I’m lazing around, because I’m not. I just don’t need to be sitting in my home office wearing a button down and a pencil skirt like I work in an office. I’ve decided to start purging my wardrobe of the older, ratty tee shirts and Soffe shorts I used to wear in college and replace them with more “grown up” comfortable style. I am keeping around some of those old sorority tee shirts for occasions when they’re warranted: DIY projects, painting, etc. But for everyday wear, I’m implementing comfortable pants and tights paired with tunics, some flowy maxi dresses, and the like.

Pure Barre outfit alo goddess leggings

Another area of my wardrobe that has been increasing in size lately are my workout clothes. I’ve been going to Pure Barre classes for a few months now, and I’ve started accumulating a few new clothing items for my weekday workouts. Personally, I prefer to wear long pants to class, along with drapey tank tops. I really like wearing long pants for barre classes instead of the capri length pants I would wear to the gym. I have a few pairs of Plie tights from Athleta and I love them – they easily scrunch up around the ankles and can also be pulled down over the heels/socks. But the pants I am seriously obsessed with as of late are my new Alo ‘Goddess’ leggings. I love the two tone legwarmer style. They are so comfortable, the rise is great (right under the belly button), and the material is wonderful quality. I seriously want to wear these leggings around all day with a cute tunic top. You just might see it happening when the weather cools down here and pants become bearable to wear outdoors.

And do you know where I’ve been stocking up on some awesome tank tops for Pure Barre class? You guessed it – T.J. Maxx and Marshalls. I have now become not only a huge fan of shopping in the stores, but T.J. Maxx now has an online store as well. Their athletic clothing section is pretty extensive, and I’ve managed to score quite a few adorable work out tank tops on there. This style in particular is one of my all time favorites – it has a built in bra, adjustable straps, and has such pretty detail in the back. And for $16, I ended up purchasing this tank top in three different colors. Yep. No shame.

So – where do you shop for your workout attire?

Pure Barre outfit strappy tank

Draped strappy tank: MPG, purchased at T.J. Maxx // Tights: Alo ‘Goddess’ leggings, purchased at Nordstrom

Katie and Lucia

Soooooo – it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about my outfits. Heck, it’s really been quite a while since I posted any photo of myself. Honestly: I am blaming the summer. This is the time of the year that I take the opportunity to hibernate in my house as much as possible. The thought of standing outside for more than 30 seconds is just…torture. Hence: outfit posts have halted for a while. I am SO looking forward to having a bit of a cool down (crossing my fingers for that to happen in September). Today, I did think I was overdue for some Katie and Lucia time. Oh, how I love my little Australian Shepherd.

Katie and Lucia Australian Shepherd

Have you ever heard or experienced the idea that people look like their dogs? I absolutely love people watching, so it always makes me smile when I see a dog and his owner resembling one another. Or maybe not even so much resembling each other, but having characteristics that seem to click together.

Katie and Lucia Australian Shepherd

That does make me wonder though – what does that mean for us? I’d like to think that Lucia matches me and Justin…but how about Sherman? Since he’s my little furbaby, does that mean he goes with me and Lucia is more Justin? I have to crack up thinking about that little monster of a pup and how he compares to his big sister.

On one hand you have Lucia: good looking, calm, patient, and loyal. I’d say those attributes do match up well with Justin. Then…you have Sherman. He’s got his quirks when it comes to looks, and he does have quite the spunky and playful attitude. However, you can’t help but love him despite his…imperfections. Perhaps that goes along with my personality. Who knows.

Katie and Lucia Australian Shepherd

But I digress. Since it is summer and since it is HOT and humid outside, I have been living in my maxi dresses. They are definitely my go-to grab from my closet when I need to head out for anything and everything. I have casual ones for errands, fancier ones for going out to dinner, and ones that are somewhere in-between, like this one! I was definitely drawn to the colors at first – the turquoise and blue throughout the pattern was right up my alley. The draped neckline and capped sleeves were also a plus. And I was fortunate enough to find a dress that was the perfect length for flip flops…without having to hem it! Another T.J. Maxx win – clearly.

So – what are you wearing this summer?

Katie and Lucia Australian Shepherd

Maxi dress: purchased at T.J. Maxx // Studded handbag: MMS, purchased at T.J. Maxx (similar at DSW) // Rose gold capri sansals: Old Navy