Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Excercise Pretty: Can It Be Done?

The weekend of two dresses was a success! I need to finish the hems on both, then I'll be posting reviews of the patterns and pictures. For today, my mind is on less adorable outfits - namely, gym clothes.

So, I recently joined a studio here in Austin that specializes in dancey fitness classes - zumba, belly-dancing, hip-hop, street jazz, burlesque, and the like. It's like Heaven on Earth for me, a girl who spent her formative years bouncing around on stage in spandex and toe shoes. The only problem: eight years of higher education plus two dress sizes later and I now wouldn't be caught dead donning some of those former dance outfits.

That reticence would be fine, if what I now own was working out alright. It's not. Going to a traditional gym is one thing - t-shirts and shorts work fine - but there are mirrors in this place, lovelies. Everywhere! How can I concentrate on my toe point, when I'm thinking that I look frumpy? This is not a problem I remember having in high school, when at least two of my eight classes were spent in a dance studio. Aging has made exercising in front of mirrors a harrowing experience.

As much as I hate to be one of those vain women who primps before a workout, something must be done. I need pretty workout gear. Stat.

Right now, I'm leaning toward investing in some leotards - this adorable one on Amazon even has a sweetheart neckline - and looser fitting yoga capris. However, I need input! What do you wear when working out, oh fashion-minded friends? Are you a purist in sweatpants and old t-shirts, or do you have a secret source for cute and functional threads?


  1. Good luck with your new classes! I happen to love all the fun styles offered by Athleta, http://athleta.gap.com/
    I also can't live without my Moving Comfort sports bras http://www.movingcomfort.com/

  2. I'm so glad you found that studio! It sounds so fun.

    Mia - I've received the Athleta catalog and always wondered. The one blogger I know of that has Athleta clothing loves them.

    My go-to fitness clothing brand is Lululemon. They are ridiculously expensive ($90 for a pair of capris?!) but then when I wear them I see why. Obsession with their running pants doesn't even begin to explain it. Shirt-wise, I stick to a regular old cotton t-shirt or anything I can find for cheap at Ross, TJMAxx, or the local running store. The same goes for sports bras. And in terms of looking good, I really don't primp for the gym. I realize I'm one of the worst looking people because of it, but I just can't stand to get gussied up only to sweat it all off.

  3. I really like Gap Body's pants. They fit nicely and are high quality, in my opinion. :)

  4. Mia, I have heard such great things about Athleta, but hadn't actually browsed over there yet. They have SUCH cute styles! It's hard to even choose just one thing to order. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. Steph, as soon as I wrote this post, I knew you would mention Lululemon! You and your love for their capris are infamous! They really do have great stuff, though. I can see why people love them - crazy prices and all. I hate that they only go up to a size 12, however. I normally like to buy exercise pants a bit bigger, but I have no room to go up! I'll just have to wash them very carefully, if I ever make the splurge, I suppose.

  6. Alaine, thanks for the GapBody suggestion! You know, that's actually one place I hadn't thought to look, yet I've had great luck there in the past. Their pants are very comfy, that's for sure. Even better, I can try them on in person first! A trek to the mall may be in my future...

  7. I can vouch for Gap's yoga style pants.

    On a more local note, do you mind sharing what studio you go to? I usually go to zumba class at the Y where my friend has a membership but my free guest pass is just about spent.

  8. Hey Dixie! Nope, I don't mind at all. I've been going to Inner Diva Studios, it's in NW Austin on Anderson Mill. Initially, I was just excited because it's so close to my house (mere blocks), but it's a fantastic studio. Not only do they have an amazing Zumba instructor (it's more like going to a Salsa class w/Isha teaching), but also kick-boxing, other dance classes, pole classes, hula-hooping, and so much more. I can't recommend them enough!