Thanks to a random comment left on a post by a reader, I discovered Pure Barre last year (I’ve been doing it almost a year), and have been hooked ever since. It has CHANGED MY BODY like nothing else EVER has. It is sheer torture during class, but I can’t go very long without doing it. In fact, I’m four days into my 40 classes in 45 days challenge, and while I’m thinking to myself WTF? in class, I feel SOOOO GOOD afterwards and all day that it’s worth it.
I’ve always been a big believer in buying good, technical exercise gear. Cute, too, because it motivates me to get up and go. I also appreciate the moisture-wicking properties of good exercise clothing, especially during classes like Bikram and Pure Barre. And I’ve found that the pieces I have spent $$ on in years past (Lucy pants) have held up rather well, so it’s not wasted money. I do, now, hang dry ALL of my exercise clothes, and I wash them separately from everything else, because the fabric tends to lose it’s softness over time if you don’t. I want this stuff to LAST!
So, based on my own trials, here are my Yoga/Pure Barre essentials – please let me know in the comments what YOUR yoga essentials are!
1. So Low sport cropped leggings | $57 at Shopbop (I like these a lot, but they’re higher waisted, which is not my favorite. The stitching in the hem on the left leg is also coming out. And they’re shinier than I like, but they are the most compressive of all the pants I have, which I appreciate)
2. Lululemon Wonder Under crop | $72 at Lululemon (I’ve tried and tried to find a cheaper pair of crops that are as good as these, but I can’t. They’re really good. Not compressive, but they do smooth me out and hold me in just enough. They are THE MOST COMFORTABLE.)
3. Beyond Yoga gathered legging | $69 at Beyond Yoga (these are my newest pair of pants; I’ve only worn them once, but I loved them. They feel very similar to my wonder unders, but maybe a little thicker. They are a pretty low rise, so I have to make sure to wear one of my longer tanks with them. I got them on Gilt for half the price, but they may end up being worth full price.)
4. So Low workout tank | $48 at Shopbop (So Low tends to run a little small, their larges are tight on me, and the straps in this tank cut into my shoulder a little at times, but it STAYS put on my hips, I never have to pull it down)
6. Beyond Yoga long double strap cami | $70 at Beyond Yoga (I got this via Gilt as well, for 50% off, and it’s fabulous. Maybe a bit too long for me, and a bit big, but not enough to matter. It feels good and stays put.)
I also have:
**new 5/2013** Sweaty Betty Carya printed harem pant – I waited a long time for these to arrive, but they’re totally worth it! After wearing them once to class, one of the instructors ordered a pair also They’re that good. They’re a bit thicker than “normal” workout pants, but I’ve worn them several times to pure barre and didn’t get too hot. They seemed to wick away any sweat very well, although the lose fit kind of keeps that to a minimum. I absolutely LOVE THEM and wish I could wear them to class every time, but alas, they’re quite memorable…Totally worth the wait and the price. I guarantee no one else will have a pair. Unless you get them and they copy you
**Blake Brody ballet flat – new early 2013. I got a pair of these in black via My Habit for $50 and they have been totally worth it. I never liked the thick pure barre socks and they lost their sticky pretty quickly. I also had a pair of lululemon socks that I liked because they were thinner, but they also lost their sticky very fast. So I’d already spent around $30 on socks, I figured if I could get these shoes for $50 and never buy socks again, they’d be worth it. And they have been. They’re snug and take some getting used to, but once you do, they’re perfect for pure barre. I’m a heavy user – in the beginning of the year I went every day for 40 days, now I go 4-5 days a week. The sticky on the bottom is beginning to wear down a bit, but overall, I still like them better than the socks.
Old Navy active compression leggings | $22 at Old Navy (I really wanted these to work, because they’re CHEAP, but they were not compressive on me at all – the size large is probably too big for me, but they didn’t have a medium – and it was the first time in class I felt REALLY hot. Like the leggings didn’t breathe at all. But I’ll give them another chance and see if I feel as hot the next time. Who knows, it could just be menopause ) ***As I used these more, I really started to like them more. I went back and got a medium, which was more compressive, and felt better generally. They’re too long for me, but I just scrunch them up at the bottom and they’re okay – although I wish they made a petite long version. I highly recommend these leggings, especially for the price)
Old Navy active bubble tank | $10 at Old Navy (I like the way this looks, but it doesn’t stay put and I don’t like how it bubbles out in plank. And I really prefer tops with built-in bras)
So Low foxy flare pants | $60 at Shopbop (I wear these sometimes, but I think I like a cropped pant better, especially for ab work under the barre. They’re low-rise, but really comfortable, and I never have to mess with them)
So Low foldover pants | $64 at Shopbop (I like these more for lounging than exercise, the foldover waist band NEVER stays put for me. It’s not a bad thing necessarily, but again, I don’t like high-rise on me)
I’ve tried on Zella leggings at Nordstrom and they were horrible on me. I’m a big fan of Lucy (I have lots of their shorts/pants from many, many years ago), but I haven’t tried any of their leggings. I do have a Lucy cami, but I don’t like it that much, it’s too big and sticky. I’d love to try Athleta, and Gap Fit also, do you guys have any experience with either of those brands?
Oh, for underwear, I swear by my C9 by Champion for Target bikinis I’ve had for years, but they don’t sell those anymore, so I ordered the regular Champion version lately from Bare Necessities. I don’t have them yet, but I do know that the Lululemon techniki is NOT WORTH a penny; it moves and I’m constantly fidgeting with it during class. Not cool. **actually this only happened because I was wearing them under a “lose” pair of pants. When I wear these under tight leggings, they are perfect – no panty line and they DO NOT MOVE. They’re very good.
So…what are your favorite exercise tanks/leggings/pants??