Why I Love my Leggings

So in the last few days I’ve been seeing a lot of chat around an article from the NY Times written by the “does-she-or-doesn’t-she exist” Honor Jones. The title of this piece (of garbage) is “Why Yoga Pants are Bad for Women“.

Are we getting paper cuts from the price tags?

Are they releasing chemicals that we’re absorbing into our skin?

HAVE THEY BECOME SENTIENT?!

No – they’re bad for us, because we’re all wearing them to look sexy, and this is NOT OK AT THE GYM.

First of, what a load of utter, utter bobbins. While I can’t speak for everyone, I have never once put on leggings (I can’t quite get on board with calling them “yoga pants”) with the purpose being that I want to look alluring at the gym. Anyone who has seen me with sweat dripping from my face knows that really isn’t a primary concern of mine when I work out. I put them on because – for me – they are the most practical item for an exercise session. If I’m sweating on a spin bike or trying to do eagle pose or a standing split in yoga, of course sweat-wicking, flexible clothing is the way to go. If I wore sweatpants (which often seem to come in a shade of marl grey that show off sweat patches to their absolute best) I would be a sweaty mess within minutes, and I guarantee they would snag on the first bit of machinery I tried to clamber on to.

And as for her statement that she got funny looks when she got on the elliptical, if it even happened maybe it’s because she came in looking like a sour-faced harpy giving the stink eye to every woman wearing lycra. Oh and FYI – sweatpants fit OVER leggings. That’s why I wear mine on the bike ride to the gym to protect my ankles from the cold and remove them once I enter the sweatbox.

Most women at the gym are there to get fit. They’re not there to compete with other women, or to make them feel bad, or to treat it like a fashion show. I love wearing brightly patterned (and sometimes obnoxious) lycra because a splash of colour can make a tough workout just a little bit more fun. But I’m sure as HELL not going to judge other women on their sartorial choices at the gym. Unlike this blithering idiot who says “It’s not good manners for women to tell other women how to dress” and then goes on to do just that. Every woman is capable of deciding which items of clothing she’s comfortable in when she’s working out, whether that’s sweat pants, tiny shorts, crop tops or anything else in between.

Activewear Sale Bargains – Start off your 2018 Fitness Regime in Style

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me whinging about what a pants Christmas I’ve been having. My other half has been ill for the whole holiday period, and whilst this resulted in no Christmas dinner and a general despondent air (and threats to take down the Christmas Tree on Boxing Day) one good thing has come out of this – in housebound boredom I have been scouring the sales to find fitness bargains, and thought I would share my finds with you! Where possible, I have only chosen items that had all (or at least a large range) of sizes in stock, accurate at the time of writing of course!

SWEATY BETTY

Of course I’m going to start this off with my fitness mother ship. I know some people find SB on the expensive side, and whilst I’m not going to dispute that, they do put on a cracking sale with some serious bargains to be had.

For all the yogis out there, I can thoroughly recommend Sweaty Betty’s Namaska padded yoga vest. I already own it in 2 colours, and I’ve ordered the fluorescent coral colour to add to my collection. I’ve also found that it’s a pretty good top for bouldering. All 3 colours on the site are currently half price (£25 down from £50). Their Dharana Yoga Tee in powder blue is also a steal – £18 down from £60. I’ve resisted the urge to buy this so far but don’t see that lasting…

If you’re looking for some new bottoms, I’ve found bargains in all lengths! For shorts, their bum sculpting power shorts in this geometric print are now £15 down from £50. And yep, I’ve also ordered these as I love the super wide waistband. If showing that much leg isn’t your style, their origami crane print contour crop workout leggings are the same price. And if you’re looking for a full length option for winter, the textile print version of their famous zero gravity run leggings are now just £27 down from £90. It’s a loud print, but you can’t argue with that price!

You can view the rest of the SB sale here.

ASOS

Delving into the ASOS January sale is a sure-fire way to lose hours of your life. Trust me. My “save for later” list is currently sitting at 95 items. Oops. I didn’t find a huge numberof items that were both a steal AND available in all sizes, but I did stumble across these ombre Onzie leggings (£22 down from £55) and this Kisaiya yoga drape side vest top (£12 down from £35). I think they’d make a pretty nice outfit together!

You can view the rest of the ASOS Activewear sale here.

WIGGLE

Ahh Wiggle. How I love you. And not just for the bag of mini Haribo that you chuck in with every order. Although that helps a lot. Every year I manage to pick up a Shock Absorber Run Bra from them (the only sports bra I ever use for running) and this year you can get the red lime version for £14.70 down from £42. I also have a huge problem with cycling gear (in that I personally find that most of it is hideous to look at), but this Primal Athene 2nd Layer Jacket is really good looking and only £36 down from £90.

You can view the rest of the Wiggle Activewear sale here.

DANSEZ

Dansez are a fairly local company to me with a base in Bury St Edmunds , and until the 7th January they’re offering 40% off across the site using the code CHRISTMASSALE. They have a background in dancewear and launched their activewear range a couple of years ago. Even better, they make their products in the UK from their factory in Kent. I’m a fan of their fun prints and use of mesh panelling, and three of my favourite items are the dance fitness bra in Rio (£15 with the discount), the mesh boatneck vest in black (£15 with the discount) and the mesh leggings in Rio (£22.80 with the discount). The individual product images I found weren’t great quality but this lookbook image will give you a good idea of the style.

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You can view the rest of the Dansez Activewear range here.

THE OUTNET

Lastly, I had to share these utter beauts from Purity Active. You just can’t go wrong with a pair of star print leggings (£44 down from £92) and the matching top (£28 down from £58), even if they are a little pricey to begin with!

You can view the rest of the Outnet Activewear sale here.

I hope you found this guide useful – let me know if you buy anything!, and happy new year!

 

Sports Gear Sale Bargains

sports-gear-collage

Ok you lovely lot. I’ve spent about three hours trawling the web for a ton of sportswear bargains so that you don’t have to. You can thank me later. All of the items I’ve picked had multiple sizes available at time of writing, so fingers crossed this is still the case!

First up is my old reliable favourite, Sweaty Betty. You usually have to be pretty quick off the mark for their sale (I really wasn’t, much to the relief of my other half) but there are a couple of gems still tucked away on the site. I’m recommending their Triple Jump shorts because I swear by SB shorts for running. I just adore them. They have inner shorts which I always like and zips for your keys etc. and these are now £24 down from £60. I’m also recommending their Anna headband, which is now a steal. Great for keeping your hair off your face and your ears warm, this colourway is now just £3 (down from £10). Plus you can order items for delivery to the store for free.

Next up is ASOS which is actually teeming with sports gear so long as you’re happy to spend a bit of time browsing. A couple of standouts for me are the Nike Leg a See leggings in a bright punchy coral, down from £25 to £15, and a Reebok Metallic Print vest which would be ideal for chucking on for Yoga and Pilates, down from £23 to £13.50.

 

Another place that’s worth spending some time trawling is Wiggle. They’ve got a Shock Absorber run bra in a gorgeous bright pink for a steal down from £42  to £16.60 (I bought this one myself) and they’ve got a lovely Adidas Purple Tank down from £37 to £16.65. Plus they do free delivery and you get Haribo with every order. Their sale is always good and pretty huge, so it’s worth searching on your size.

 

Lastly, I found a couple of random gems. Active in Style‘s sale can be a bit hit and miss, and often they only offer 20% off. But I did stumble across these gorgeous Under Armour leggings which are £70 down to £30. John Lewis also has a good number of sportswear items, and I’d recommend popping into the store if you can. Otherwise, this nice bright pink Puma T-shirt, down from £28 to £16.50, is available on their website.

 

So that’s it for my sale round up. It’s also worth mentioning that Sportshoes have an epic sale on but there are usually only 1 or 2 sizes left in each item. In particular you can get some bargain trainers but you need to get a bit lucky. Also, the Outnet have a nice activewear section with some unique brands, such as these Lucas Hugh capris, but they are obviously on the pricier side. The last one deserving of a mention is the Ivy Park range on the Topshop site, but the selection of sizes on the real bargains is seriously diminished now.

Did you get any sportswear bargains in the sales? Let me know in the comments below! Disclaimer – as well as the Shock Absorber bra I did manage to get my mitts on this top from SB which had been on my wishlist since August…!

Flow and Glow at Sweaty Betty Cambridge

“All that really matters is the moment you’re in right now.”

When I heard yoga instructor Rachael Moore say that at the start of the Flow and Glow class I attended at the Cambridge Sweaty Betty store on Trinity Street this morning, I knew I was going to like her style of teaching.

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I didn’t quite look like this

For those of you who don’t know about the mighty Sweaty Betty, it’s a women’s activewear brand that was founded in 1998 by Tamara and Simon Hill-Norton, with the aim to “inspire women to find empowerment through fitness”. Now that’s a brand message that I can get on board with – take note Protein World. I’m a workout clothes junkie, but I go back to Sweaty Betty time and time again, stocking up on their longline athlete vests and swooning over their fabulous fabrics and flattering cuts. I would hazard a guess that 50% of my workout wardrobe carries the distinctive SB logo.

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Such a lovely location for a class

Now I know that SB is a higher-end activewear brand and that not everyone can afford to spend what I can on fitness gear (although their sales are always excellent), but the thing I love about Sweaty Betty more than anything else is the community they’ve created. They have developed a legion of dedicated followers not only because they sell lovely, fashionable fitness gear (something that was a rarity back in 1998) but also because they understand their customers and provide them with so much more than slightly pricier-than-average leggings. One brilliant example of this is their “Get Fit 4 Free” campaign.

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Those butterfly leggings. Those.

Every week SB holds over 70 classes in their boutiques around the world. In Cambridge alone they have weekly yoga and Pilates classes and a running club. In addition to this they have special events with guest instructors or their Sweaty Betty ambassadors, such as this morning’s Flow Glow yoga class. Earlier this year they launched Fly, Flex, Flow, an hour long class with their ambassador Jo Hopkins, an insane mix of 20 minutes of intense cardio (sprints, star jumps and skipping – fly) on the market square, 20 minutes of weights work back in the store (flex) followed by 20 minutes of yoga (flow). I thought it was complete and utter crazy genius and I loved it. And the best thing of all? These classes are all completely free. Did you get that? FREE. To me, any company that does that is pure awesomeness bottled.

So when I heard that they were doing a Bank Holiday Monday one-off Flow and Glow yoga class I signed up immediately (this can be done on their website if you have a SB account). The promise of a free raspberry, orange, purple kale and vanilla smoothie from the newly established Espresso Library also helped! As soon as Rachael started the “twisting-based” class I knew I would be challenged to push myself, and this was proven by a selection of chest-opening twists and one-legged balances. The good thing is, Rachael took the time to give helpful adjustments and also to give a range of options to suit different flexibility levels. As for one of the last poses where she somehow managed to make us untwist our legs and twist them the other way round in one quick turn – that was pure sorcery! It was a fantastic class, and I wish I could start every Monday like that.

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So flipping tasty.

So if you fancy trying one of SB’s classes, take a look at the availability here. In my experience the women who attend these classes are always so vibrant and friendly, and I have nothing but good things to say about the staff at SB – they always take their time to ask me how my running is going and to just chat about fitness and fashion in general. Plus if you’ve run a marathon this year, turn up with your medal and you’ll get an extra 20% off!

The only bad thing about all of this as far as my endlessly patient other half is concerned? My SB wishlist is now off the scale.

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The fabulous Rachael.