Amazon In Training

Only Superman owns more spandex.

My Favorite Things: Xersion Semi Fit Tanks

Had Rogers and Hammerstein a penchant for stretchy pants, they might have extolled the praises of JCPenny’s in house brand, Xersion. I know, I talk about this line a lot, mostly because the quality is good, they do their basics well, come in lots of great colors, they do prints well, and they are savvy enough to “be inspired” by good design on the market. They are also really inexpensive, which is right in my price range, but the quality is well beyond stores like Old Navy even though the price is comparable.

Consider the Xersion Semi Fit Tank. The fit is almost dead on to Lululemon’s CRB, and the fabric feels very, very similar (I think I may prefer it- it doesn’t have the ‘sticky’ quality that supplex has). It also comes in great colors and prints. Now, some of the prints feel matronly (or Jazzercisey- there, I said it) but some really nail it.

This tank is tagged at 20$, but I’ve never seen it sold for more that 11.99$. And for a woman whose go to gym outfit is leggings and a racer back tank they are everything I could ask for and the first thing I grab for.

(Did I mention their website is lousy? They may have the same style tank in three different spots, and the one in the small thumbnail isn’t even one they have available when you click through to the product description.)

Here’s a selection…

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Cute Tank Alert…

I picked up one of these tanks last week at JCPenny for 12 bucks. The fabric is nice, the print is so summery, my only complaint is that no attempt is made to line the print up, front to back. Oh, well. Still, very cute.

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Under Armour Sale on Zulily

Zulily has great deals on activewear almost daily, but this is the first time I’ve seen Under Armour on sale there. Check it out!

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How To Spot Quality Activewear: Flatlocked Seams

As a public service, I’m going to offer my expertise in identifying quality activewear in a series. Behold! Part 1: flat locked seams!

What are flat locked Seams? Flat lock is an interlocking stitch that reduces bulk and 3 dimensional edges to cut down on chafing and seams rubbing against the body. Most activewear manufacturers recognize it as important use it to some extent; Lululemon and Lucy use it extensively, but it even has become more incorporated into designs at Target and Walmart.

The seams also, well, lay flat so the garment has a more polished, pressed appearance. Where there is detail work or body mapping flat locked seams are a must to cut down on puckering where the two fabrics meet. Sometimes the flat locked stitch is used to add detail or interest even though there is no actual seam.

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In the above picture,the blue color blocked top shows the flat locked stitch. The orange top, from JCPenny’s Xersion line, has a regular interlock stitch which is commonly used on stretch fabrics. Frequently, in lower priced activewear you will find regular interlock stitches used for the side seams even if other parts of the garment are flat locked. Now sure why. It must save money, somehow.

Regular interlock seams aren’t necessarily a deal breaker, depending on where they are. If you are buying the clothing for a specific activity and are anticipating lots of friction when the regular seams are that item of clothing is probably not the best.

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I Need To Stop Opening Zulily Emails…

I love Rykas, for reasons I’ve explained elsewhere on this blog. Recently, SW-Fit had a sale on these downbeats in the other color I had my eye on so I had to get them.

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Last week, Zulily had Rykas on sale, super cheap. So I picked up some casual athletic shoes for 14.99$.

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Today, Zulily has Athleta up to 50% off, which is excellent for the quality. I’d be more tempted, but I’ve spent a lot of money lately. Check it out!

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Alo Sport

I just placed an order from Alo. I’ve been on their mailing list for awhile- they have high-end, fashion forward activewear. These close outs we’re just too good to pass up. I’ll post a review when they arrive.

Here is their regular website. cute stuff!

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This is one of the shirts I ordered. I got 4 shirts, a quarter-zip hoodie and a pair of lounge pants for 23$. Shipping was 10$, but at these prices I cannot complain.

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Need some cute workout wear on the cheap?

Cute tanks on the cheap! Wal-Mart has these in two different styles (a stripe and a heather) and four different colors. They are 100% polyester but for under 6 bucks each that isn’t bad. They are also moisture wicking. I saw one in an XS in my store on a clearance rack and was rather distraught that I had missed them! But, lo and behold, they were available online in 2 packs.click here to see other available colors and styles.

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These are also available as tees, in slightly different color combos: Click here.

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My Christmas

I think this is the prettiest Define Jacket Lululemon has made. My DH bought it for me for Christmas. The color is Bordeaux Drama. Sigh.

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And look at the back…

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I know, I’ve talked about this jacket before, but after hearing that Lululemon was discontinuing this style I had to move it to the top of the Christmas List.

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The Shoese! (V.2)

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Behold! The Ryka XT 2! I purchased these when my knees began to bother me and I figured my Ryka Affirms had given out (it is so hard to tell when you only wear them indoors and they show zero wear!). They no longer made the Affirms (because I bought them WAY back in 2005), so I scoured the reviews on Zappos as far as fitness trainers went and for Turbo Fire the reviewers were pretty much split between this shoe and an Asics model. So I went with the one that looked the best. (I’m hoping these will match the forthcoming Turbo Fire apparel, if Beachbody ever releases it!)

I am really happy with this shoe. (I’d be happier if I wasn’t working out on carpet, but that is another post) They have great lateral support, and nice cushioning. I am a big fan of Rykas, in case you haven’t guessed, and I love how well the shoes cater to the activity you are doing. They have “studio” shoes for people who take a lot of fitness classes (and even subcategories there: some are more geared to dance-based classes, aqua classes, others are more for athletic-style classes), shoes for cross training, shoes for walking and shoes for running. I get beyond irritated when I go into athletic shoe stores and they only stock running shoes and one or two pairs of cross trainers, and usually fugly ones at that.

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The Shose!

I am a huge believer in having the right equipment for whatever you are doing. It just makes the task more enjoyable? And we are much more likely to do something we enjoy, right? Right?! And THAT is how you justify 80$ shoes for your once-a-week Zumba fix.

I was using some Capezio dance sneakers (because my cross-trainers stuck to the floor too much and it was putting too much torque on my knees). The dance sneakers, however, would have been great for carpet but were much too slippery for a gym floor; I really had to cut back on my range of motion. And their shock absorption wasn’t the best, but I’d be surprised to find a pair of dance shoes that was.

So behold! The Ryka Downbeat! Technically, it is a studio shoe, so it is made to support lateral motion and stuff like twisting and turning. The reviewers on Zappos.com talk a lot about Zumba in their reviews. Ryka is one of the few companies that make ‘studio’ shoes. I’m a big fan of ‘studio’ shoes, but I wish Ryka made them cuter. There is no reason they can’t! Their running shoes are plenty cute! But if you are in the market for Zumba shoes, I totally recommend Rykas.

Back to my Downbeats, they are just this garish in real life. Most of the time the bottom of my pants cover them up, but with summer coming people just might find out I own me some loud shoes. They have the perfect (PERFECT I say!) mix of stick and spin and enough cushion and heel on them that I can execute some of the more technical steps easily. They are also surprisingly light- the last pair of mid-tops I owned were hiking boots that weighed a lot more.

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Ryka shoes at Zappos

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