Teeki clouds hot pant | $72 at Evolve Fit Wear (79% recycled plastic bottles)
Beyond Yoga Crystal Mesh long legging | $99 at Beyond Yoga
Live the Process floral print cami | $130 at Barney’s
SoLow Diamond Mesh leggings | $93 at Shopbop
This year, I’m trying not to add any clothing to my wardrobe that’s not made in the US, including activewear. You may think that sounds tough, and it sort of is, but not if you know where to look. Which, thankfully, I do (wink wink)!
I’ve been a fan of SoLow for years for both their fashion-forward styles and that they manufacture in the US. I have more than a handful of pants/leggings by SoLow and a cami that are on heavy rotation to Pure Barre. Right now, Beyond Yoga makes my favorite camis though; I have two, this one (in black) and this one, that are the most flattering and comfortable tops I own. And my James Perse Yosemite yoga pants are my favorite leggings at the moment.
I do also have a pair of Lululemon high times pants with mesh cutouts (no longer available) that I really do love because of their higher rise and cropped length (full-length on me!). And I have two pairs of Old Navy compression leggings that I wear as well; I’ve been really pleased with them in the more than a year that I’ve had them.
I’ve always been one to pay very close attention to the fit and feel of my workout clothes. Now, I spend 5 or 6 hours a week at Pure Barre, and more walking outside with the dog, so I’m in “exercise” clothes a lot. I hate to see sweat stains, or feel wet, and I prefer my performance gear to hold me in, so I have always purchased technical gear for working out. And I need to look good too!!
You can find good technical gear at all price points now, and whatever you buy should last many, many wears and several years. My oldest SoLow pieces are more than 3 years old and still in nice shape after wearing a few times a week. Of course, I always recommend washing workout clothes in cold water and hanging to dry – the lycra/spandex lasts a LOT longer that way. And I always wash them separately from the rest of my clothes so they don’t get all lint-y.
Besides the fact that they produce in the US, I appreciate many of the activewear companies I’ve mentioned here because they tend to be smaller, women-owned, and started out of a passion for exercise style/fashion – I can always get behind that! Also, I don’t like to look like everyone else, no matter where I am, so I love to find interesting pieces like those Teeki leggings that are now on my shopping list…
Lululemon is good – I’ve been mostly impressed with the pieces I’ve had, but they’re not the only game in town. And I find their cult-status a little off-putting, frankly. Thank goodness there are LOTS Of other options out there for excellent workout gear that are also made in the US!
More yoga/barre/activewear brands & resources made in the US:
Beyond Yoga (also available at Nordstrom)
Teeki (made from recycled plastic bottles)
Evolve fit wear
Live the Process
Prana (not made in the US, but the company is very environmentally conscious)
James Perse Yosemite (not all pieces are made in the US)
Outdoor Voices — NO LONGER MADE IN THE US, although they use some recycled polyester in their some mens’ shorts
My previous post on What I Wear for Pure Barre
More of my favorites online:
What is your favorite activewear brand? Do you have any more recommendations for yoga/barre clothing that’s made in the US?
Emily V says
Hi, I found your blog a couple of weeks ago and I love it! I love your style.
An active brand that seems to get overlooked is prAna–25% of their products are made in the US, including some of their yoga pants. They also strive to use sustainable materials in their products. check ’em out!
Grechen Reiter says
Hi emily!! i did mention prana, in the list towards the end. i definitely admire their eco-and-sustainable practices, and love some of their items…
I really like Athleta and even champion at Target. But I save my splurgey purchases for shoes.
I think buying made in the USA is great.
I never look at Lululemon for many reasons.
I love the Beyond Yoga styles but have mostly Champion at Target clothes, spending on running shoes instead. A Pure Barre studio opened within walking distance so I’ve started an intro unlimited package to try and fix up my postpartum body and it is KILLING me…so part of me feels like I’ve earned a nicer workout outfit. I am going to read your Pure Barre archives now – thanks, Grechen!
Grechen Reiter says
oh!! so exciting 🙂 do you love it??
yes, you’ve definitely earned a new outfit –
i love the c9 stuff at target too, particularly their 9.99 sports bras –
Emily V says
Yeah, I noticed that after posting my comment 🙂
They do a lot more US made than people think!
Hey Grechen, I keep coming back to your old post – first, I really want to buy these by Teeki because I’ve seen them in person and they are so cool and sexy, but I am worried about the see-through factor that some people have complained about:
The Pure Barre by me also has clothes by Beyond Yoga, so I could just treat myself there…
I’ve taken 6 classes so far and still feel extremely incompetent. I want to try and hit 25 classes in 6 weeks if possible (it may be impossible) to see if it changes me. This is a big challenge because I still feel like I am ‘faking’ the moves, especially everything with the planks when I spend most of the time collapsed entirely, not even on my knees. I can’t do a single pushup for real. I am 4 months postpartum and I don’t know if it’s that or just a lack of will? Plus, I am seeing my belly in profile doing the abs and it’s not pretty! But I want to commit fully and not use being tired as an excuse.
Grechen Reiter says
first, DO NOT GIVE UP. you are doing great!!! i remember starting out, and thinking i would NEVER be able to stay in a plank for even 30 seconds, or do a push up, or get up on my tip toes. it took me a long time before i did any of those, but i did…you will too.
i hear you about looking in the mirror – i have to avoid it during abs on the mat because i have that second boob thing going on for some reason, and it KILLS me. but everything we do in there can only make it better, right??
how many days a week are you going? i would just recommend that you go as often as possible, 4-5 days a week at least (if you can), and you’ll start noticing a difference in NO time. you’ll start feeling stronger, and much less incompetent. once you get used to the movements and the routine, that’ll go away too. but stick with it, you’ll be so glad you did!!
even after almost three years, it’s STILL hard. but life-changing. i promise 🙂
and back to fashion – one of my instructors in another studio had that exact pair of leggings and they might have been sort of sheer, but i’m not sure i noticed. they were just so cool you didn’t think about the see-through factor i guess. i honestly have never concerned myself with that too much – i figure if anyone’s spending that much time looking at my ass, i better give them something interesting to look at 😉
Okay I wanted to nerdily report back – I have now been 11 times in 2.5 weeks, I have another 3.5 weeks left on the package. Today, I got through more of the class than I ever have before but it was absolute torture! I do feel proud, but am still figuring it out — the standing seat work ALWAYS burns my standing leg and never the ‘target’ leg. So I’m still trying to make that connection. I am trying to go each day that I am not doing cardio for the next few days and then transitioning to going 4 times a week for the last 3 weeks.
It is just so hard but I have to admit that at the same time, even when I put my leg down again and again and again and do zero pushups, afterwards I feel like the 55 minutes have flown – it’s like a surprise, which is weird because the class truly could nto be more difficult for me.
I think you’d be an amazing Pure Barre blogger – you already are but you make a very compelling case for the exercise. I don’t know what I”ll do because of the cost, but I doubt I would ever have gone if it weren’t for my reading you for years!
Grechen Reiter says
thank you for reporting back, i was waiting for it 🙂
that’s so great that you’re trying to go more often, i think that’s really the key to “getting” it – and before you know it, you will.
the cost is hard to swallow, i know. i do a 12-month contract to get it as low as i can, and always take advantage of specials. if the studio is older, they seem to offer much better “deals” though, so you might be able to shop around if you have a few nearby. otherwise, i just suck it up and figure out a way to afford it. i literally cannot do without it anymore.
with regard to your standing leg issues, i still have that problem! i don’t drop my leg anymore, because that just makes it worse. there are a couple things you can do that might help:
1. instead of leaving your forehead on your hands if you’re in foldover on the barre, box out your left arm if you’re working your left leg, or right arm if you’re working right leg, just to give your standing leg a little more support. if you’re pulling off the barre completely, push into the barre with the opposite hand of the leg you’re working, and pull off with the other one. your teachers have probably mentioned this…
2. twist your body into your mid line a little bit more, and put as much of the weight you can into the toes and instep of your standing foot. sometimes popping up to my tiptoes helps me for a bit also. i do everything i can not to drop my leg!!
3. tuck your abs under as hard as you can – tuck so hard that your back is slightly rounded and lower your leg a little. it’s much more important to have your abs tucked in than to have a high leg anyway. and bend your standing leg more.
maybe those things will help a little – as i said, i still feel it in my standing leg, sometimes more than the leg i’m working, depending on how i’m feeling that day. and especially in parallel – if we’re turned out, i have no problem. my hips are so strong LOL – you’re doing it…just keep pushing through, and try not to drop: lower your leg, stretch out your top leg, pull off the barre harder, whatever you can, just don’t drop your leg; it’s always so much harder when you do!!
i might try and do one pure barre post a week – i really love talking about it!! But i don’t want to bore readers who aren’t into it…
Hi Grechen! Check out Goldsheep leggings. i’m pretty sure they are made in southern california.
They are for the bold who want to be different from the usual black 🙂