I know, you’re probably all sick and tired of hearing about activewear. After all, it’s proven to be a fairly trendy—and thus lucrative—business, so it seems there are new companies popping up every day trying to cash in on the trend. However, H&M isn’t quite new to activewear. I bought some of theirs way back in 2006 once on a trip to London, when I realized that yes, I still had the urge to go on jogs even though I was on sort of a vacation…so I went shopping for the cheapest workout clothes I could find. I still wear those items today, and am surprised how long they’ve held up. Over the years I’ve moved to purchasing from tried and true active brands like Puma, Lolé, and Under Armor, but I’m still always curious what brands that don’t cater primarily to the activewear market come up with in that department. H&M isn’t completely new to sustainability, so it’s no surprise that on December 28th of last year, they released a collection of eco-friendly activewear!
Here we go again…more dark fashion awesomeness…totally my kind of thing. As a fitness fanatic, I definitely love that side of the activewear/athleisure industry, as fitness kind of gives an extra bit of badassery to edgier apparel, if you ask me. It also makes this kind of style a lot easier to wear around on a regular basis, since activewear is meant to move with you and stay comfortable, and even wick moisture if you’re wearing it on a hot day. This also makes them prime items to wear out when I’m DJing or attending a late night party! I’m not really into wearing gym clothing on a regular basis, but sometimes, I can make an exception—if it doesn’t exactly look like it’s meant to be in a gym.
I’ve started to see activewear a little like I see jeans…I just can’t have enough! The explosion of the “athleisure” trend a few years back brought us so many beautiful designs that crossed between gym and street life, and I just love shopping and collecting unique pieces! It probably helps that I’m very active myself, but that’s only part of the appeal to me. Zobha is one of the activewear brands that I follow, and I already own four items from them. It all started when I found an army green jacket on RueLaLa which really looks more like something to wear everyday than on an active endeavor, as well as a super comfortable black and white tunic (also from RueLaLa). Since then I acquired their Dakota Sleeveless Hoodie and Jett Wide Sleeveless Hoodie, both of which I used at the gym when it got a little chilly this past winter. Everything is of such amazing quality, and so well made and beautiful that it’s hard to want to sweat in it all! I wrote about Zobha a little over a year ago, and it’s definitely one of those brands that deserves a revisit here.
I think I’ve finally, officially, fallen for the athleisure trend. I’m a very active person as it is, so I have my decent little collection of gym clothing, but I really wasn’t ever into activewear as every day wear, per se. Over the years, as “athleisure” has taken a front seat in the style world, I’ve discovered several brands (like Zobha), that have made me drool. I like darker, edgier, more creative street-style elements, and there has been plenty of that on the market sold as activewear lately. I prefer outerwear rather than leggings and tops when it comes to everyday wear (as I still prefer saving those for the gym) but there have been a lot of awesome pieces out that are starting to pull me in that direction. Now, I just found the popular and trend-breaking denim brand Diesel has solidified their stake in the athleisure industry with Diesel X, and these pieces are hitting all of my tastes.
As obsessed as I am with denim, I’ve grown a huge soft spot for leggings. Just like jeans, they come in so many different fabrics, fits and designs, so it’s easy to want to start a huge collection! I usually wear leggings to the gym rather than all over the place, but once I find a pair with insane eye popping graphics, I am always, for some reason, too afraid to sweat in them! Typically those are reserved for music festivals, DJ gigs or other fun musical events for me. However, considering the quality and attention to detail that goes into these higher end leggings, they really are great for whatever you want to use them for. The battle between jeans or leggings seems to be ongoing, and I’ve never seen so many gorgeous, eye popping designs on performance leggings before! Just like most premium jeans, you pretty much have to expect to pay a little more for quality, 360 degree movement, comfort, fit and longevity, as long as you don’t mind taking a little extra care (avoid tumble drying)!
Even though denim and activewear have been butting heads lately, I can’t help but love both sides and some of the sustainable initiatives that brands from both ends are putting their efforts towards. I normally saw leggings (and most activewear) as something just for the gym or maybe a festival or two, but they are slowly starting to infiltrate my everyday life. Well, maybe more of the stuff you’d wear up top…but I’ve got a decent little legging collection going too! There are so many activewear lines out there now that cater to the exploding yoga movement or music festal goers, so now I am a little more picky when I choose which ones I care to support. What catches me the most though is some of these activewear brands do work hard to give back or at least to clean up their manufacturing processes, and the two that pop in my mind first when it comes to earth-friendly missions are Threads 4 Thought and Teeki. Both of these companies have one rad thing in common: all of the pieces they offer are constructed with recycled plastic bottles!
Kate Spade is one of those brands that I’ve had my eyes on for a long time now. I never owned anything from them until just recently, when I grabbed one of their Charlotte Street Alek crossbody bags at a special online secret sale! Although I’m not partial to girly items or a lot of pink, the brand has kept my attention with their sleek, clean and classy handbags. I’ve only glanced at Kate Spade apparel here and there, but this new collaboration with Beyond Yoga caught my eye. Beyond Yoga is a luxury athleisure brand designed to take wearers of all body types and sizes from studio to street. They also don’t photoshop their models to ensure you will find your new favorite, best-fitting piece. Another thing I like about the brand is that they take classic silhouettes and enhance them with their own unique details! I always have a fondness for taking items people normally see as simple (like jeans, for example), and making them extraordinary. Beyond Yoga’s philosophy of clean but bold makes them a perfect pair with Kate Spade to create a one of a kind athleisure collection!
Even though I’m a denim-head, I didn’t much mind the so-called “threat” that the athleisure boom imparted onto the denim industry. On one hand, innovations come when challenges arise, and jeans as we now know them are nothing like they were just a few years ago! On the other hand, there just have been some seriously cool activewear brands out there—I’ll admit I’ve ended up really digging my growing little legging collection and even now wear some active outerwear on a daily basis too. The comfort is one thing, but so many of the newest brands and styles are just so much more unique than regular apparel!
One other thing I love about a lot of activewear brands is their realization that the textile and apparel industries are some of the dirtiest out there in terms of pollution, and have made strides to adopt more eco-friendly practices. I guess it comes along with the concept of fitness, well-being and always striving to improve oneself…the environment definitely plays a part! ALO Yoga is a premium activewear brand found at large retailers such as Revolve, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Carbon38 and more, but they stand out in such a great way. “ALO” stands for “Air,” “Land” and “Ocean,” to begin with. They also use eco-friendly fabrics and solar panels adorn their Los Angeles headquarters, which is also paper-free. Employees are encouraged to drive eco-friendly vehicles as well, with electric car chargers offered in the parking lot. Their clothing itself is high quality and offers a modern, clean but fun touch! Here are some awesome pieces from Revolve, below.
Transitional Activewear by Crane & Lion
First off, I apologize for the missed post on Monday. I was taking a much-needed break and decided to not fret about missing one day as I enjoyed my Sunday relaxation day! I’m actually mulling over the idea of posting whenever I see interesting things, instead of aiming for Monday, Wednesday and Friday (although it’s not always that difficult to stick to that). Maybe Tuesday and Thursday? Or no schedule at all? What are your thoughts?
Anyway, on to our current regular scheduled posting…
You’ve probably been seeing me posting more and more about activewear, despite my initial hatorade as it slowly replaced jeans as go-to bottoms last year (although I still would rather throw on my favorite pair of skinnies and save leggings for the gym or at home). I was never a big Lululemon fan, but now there are SO MANY new ones popping up that I’m kind of falling for (thank you Facebook ads! You’re not all that bad). The latest to catch my attention is Crate & Lion, with the Long Sleeve Tee in Zinfandel topping my favorites list when I first checked out their line. This brand blends the line between fitness and fashion, moving activewear to the “front of our closets” with hand-picked fabrics for optimal support, movement, comfort, versatility, quality and style. The brand name comes from two poses in Yoga: the Crane being one that requires a lot of stamina and strength, which “inspires us to take risks and find our edge.” The Lion pose helps relieve tension through breathing. Crane and Lion combined together “reflects how we live our lives: some days want to push the limit and other days, we need to recover.”
Get Moving with Zobha
Being the fitness buff that I am, I enjoy the athleisure side of the industry, even if it does often knock heads in competition with my beloved denim industry. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there are some seriously awesome designs out there…more so than ever, or so it seems. When I shop for pieces to sweat in, I’m not looking for anything special, just items that will stand the test of time and have a least a little bit of a stylistic appeal. But I don’t go designer, I go for the well known fitness brands like Asics, Fila, New Balance, and Puma. Designer pieces like these, by Zobha, to me are too pretty to be getting down and dirty in! I discovered Zobha on event-based sale site RueLaLa, where I scored a sweet jacket last week, and I’m in love. It has the perfect quality to wear every day and I can’t imagine wearing it to the gym or even on a hike, at all. This is the interesting part of the premium activewear industry…it really is bridging the gap between fitness and lifestyle. Everything here at Zobha I would wear everywhere other than the gym, except for the obvious pieces like bras, leggings, and some of the tops with built in bras (and even some of those I’d wear normally, as I wear shelf bra tops on weekends). I guess you could say I understand at least part of the competition now, even though I still don’t quite get the idea of wearing leggings everywhere. At least here with Zobha, I understand the everyday appeal of just about everything up top. How cool are these? They are so uniquely creative! Here are my favorites!
“Zobha’s new look pays tribute to a diverse array of women. Whether edgy, modern or urban, our contemporary pieces effortlessly infuse fitness and fashion into every lifestyle.”
“Offering a hybrid of high-tech performance and runway-inspired fashion, Zobha is poised to become a cross-over contemporary brand for the modern woman. Taking her straight from the gym to the runway in casual chic style.”
“As the first and only brand combining patented shape-optimizing technology with edgy, couture-inspired design, Zobha paves the way for fashion-forward fitness.”
“Our innovative style and attention to on-trend detail meets the needs of today’s modern woman who active in the worlds of both fitness and fashion.”
Shop Zobha here!