Monday, October 14, 2013

The fall fashion trends for fitness

About a month ago, I caught an article on Skinny Mom entitled "8 Fall Fitness Fashion Must-haves" written by Holly McConnell. It was interesting to read, her work is well researched and comprehensive. But after reading it, I mostly forgot about it. Here's why (and no insult to the author is intended here...): Of the eight outfits pictured, only one had a color other than some shade of black or grey. Wow. Reminds me of me eight months ago, "going crazy" with that one blue top... So like I said, I more or less read it and forgot it, until Zumba came along and released some new merchandise for their fall collection. As I was browsing the new items, I suppose my memory must have been jogged or something and I went searching to find the article once again because I wanted to compare the trends the author wrote about, with newest Zumba clothes. Lo and behold! Consistencies! So I decided to post about these and show the comparisons. Zumba fashion is somewhat unique as far as active-wear goes and if you aren't in to Zumba, or not into it enough yet to justify owning clothes, you might not realize just how unique it is. So, I'm going to show you a piece from the article (always on the far left) next to a piece from Zumba's fall releases (always to the right of that) and quote the appropriate sections of the article in the captions of the pictures. Two things before I get into all that... First, please know that I am in no way affiliated with, or compensated by, any of the clothing manufacturers mentioned in this post. My opinions and thoughts are my own and I am just commenting on clothing and trends that I find interesting. Second, if you happen to be a guy and are reading this, sorry but it's all ladies' fashions. And with that out of the way, let's look at some clothes...

"1. Stand Out In Prints: Be bold and stand out in printed pants. Be careful of the size of the print and the business of the pattern. Keep it simple with a plain top. There have also been a few yoga pants that have printed seems and waist bands rather than full out patterns. Personally, I am loving the ones pictured [above] from Old Navy! Check them out here. (photo credit)"
This is an example of trend number one: A printed pant. I love the author's advice about being bold using a print. I also really love Old Navy, which is where the black pants come from. In my comparison picture, you can really see the difference. Zumba's definition of a bold, stand out printed pant is just a little bolder and that pretty much sets the tone for the rest of this post. Would I wear those particular black pants to Zumba? No. Yoga? Yeah, probably. Although, as I mentioned in my previous post, I wouldn't buy this pink pair of pants for Zumba either, because even though Zumba calls them a cargo capri, they don't have any ribbons. Grr. I -would- have bought these except for that... Grr.

"2. Slim fitting tanks are a must! You may think loose clothing will give you more ability to move, but baggy T-shirts and sweats can actually hinder your range of motion.  Plus with the chillier weather, slim fitting tanks are great for layering. I love the Power Y Tank from Lululemon. You can find them here."

This next one is trend number two: A slim fit tank top. The author of the article is correct with regards to baggy t-shirts. Just say no to the saggy baggy t-shirt. The first time I ever took a Zumba class, I made that exact mistake. Classic rookie blunder. I about fainted from overheating in it for one thing, but it kept twisting around and bunching up, making it hard to do arm movements. The comparison here is once again in the color. I don't know about you dear readers, but when I look at these two images side by side, my eye keeps sliding over to the right, to where the color is. This pink tank has orange trim and shares the same print as the bright pink pants in the previous photo. Zumba also released this top in a dark slate color that has lime trim.

"3. Layers and Layers: When the weather starts to change, this light weight shirt is a must-have. Plus it’s great for layering over your tank because it is lightweight. Armholes are an added plus! Shop the look here."

On to number three: Layers. Not a bad idea when you live in a part of the world where the seasons change very noticeably. The author has a point with that. I've said it before, but I'll mention it again, when you go out to Zumba, dress for the activity. That's more important than being comfortable for the two minute walk from your car to the building. Layers are a good way to adjust for this. The lady on the far left has on a grey long-sleeved pullover over a black tank top. Zumba, as you can see, takes a slightly different standpoint on layering. The lady in the middle is wearing a shrug over her sports bra, and the lady on the right has on a hoodie over hers. Yeah...I said hoodie. If you follow the hoodie link, you'll be able to see a back view. In this comparison, we're dealing with both color and style. Zumba's style is a lot less covered up, but there's a good reason for that beyond simply being a fashion statement. The high calorie burn that Zumba is famous for generates a lot of heat and sweat. Cooler is always better when it comes to your Zumba gear. You don't want to almost faint, like I did, wearing a big cotton t-shirt (...that belongs to your husband...). Something like the look on the left would be great for a yoga class where things aren't as likely to get as hot and sweaty (excepting of course hot yoga), or perhaps an outdoor run where the coolness of the environment requires some warmer clothing.

"4. Wrap it Up: Head Wraps are the perfect answer to bad gym hair! Plus they keep your ears warm during a brisk run. Shop Coolie has a great selection and they are fabulous! Check them out here."

Heading to number four...heh, see what I did there? A head wrap. In this case, Zumba's version is more of a head band than a wrap and you get all three colors for $15. It does almost the same job as the wrap on the left, it just won't keep your ears warm. Then again, that's not exactly necessary unless your Zumba class is November...

"5. Form Fitting and Figure Flattering: Under Armor, famous for fabrics that wick away moisture and provide great support, makes the “Shatter” Capri of light and breathable fabric. They have a bonus super-flattering ruched waistband to hide any potential muffin top exposure and are said to make the posterior region look fantastic. Every fitness fashion diva should have pants that make the most of the figure and the workout at the same time!  Find these here via Foot Locker."

Form fitting five: Tights. I think Under Armor is great, I really do. I own a few things by them, but I know which pair of tights I'd rather wear...if I was going to forgo my cargoes at any rate... Which pair do you think screams "fun" and which pair calmly says "practical"? These Zumba tights are the heather grey but they also come in slate.

"6. Racerbacks: Lucy’s Yoga In The City Racerback is a must-have style this fall season. It is fashion-forward, yet highly functional. The racerback design lets you move with ease while the straps stay in place. Plus, its universally flattering fit and sleek design is perfect for yogi’s of all shapes and sizes, proving that you can reach a zen like state while looking chic. The Yoga In The City Racerback retails for $49 and is available in Lucy Black/Asphalt and a beautifully bold Potent Purple/Beauty Berry color. Buy it here."

The best style of exercise top ever is number six: Racerback tanks. Even though the article specifically says it's a perfect top for yoga, this style of top is my absolute favorite for Zumba!; and I admit that I also wear them to yoga... Everything the author has to say about racerback tops is true, and I agree 100%. This black top does have some visual interest with the color-blocking. Apparently, it's also available in a really pretty wine color which you can see if you follow the link provided by the article to the online shop where it's sold. This purple Zumba top is obviously designed to match the pink pants from the first photo, or the grey tights from the previous photo. Zumba tends to do that, sell the same thing in three or four different colors with coordinating separates. This particular top is also available in black and in lime. I'm probably going to buy the lime in the near future.

"7. Urban chic: All the groovy chicks, such as Mary Kate Olsen are wearing harem pants— even if some think they look frumpy and shouldn’t have lasted this long. Get used to them because you will be seeing them everywhere! I think they are so comfy and great for Barre and yoga. Check out this Nike pair available at Nordstrom here."

Number seven, the bright diversion from the festival of black and grey...even if it's not really about the top... Urban chic. Zumba just calls these pants capris. Actually, more specifically, Zumba calls these "Do It For The Fame Capris". The names they come up with for styles and colors always make me smile. I guess flashy clothes deserve flashy names. In any event, these are a looser fitting capri pant than the pink cargoes in the first picture. These are the purple and black versions, but there is a third color called "Go For Green". See what I mean about the names? I don't know about the idea of a harem pant though. It's definitely not for me personally, but then again, there really aren't many bottoms that can pull my attention away from the cargoes. Cargoes belong in a Zumba class the way apples belong in a pie. For real.

"8. Transitional Tops: Go from gym to out to lunch with the girls in this awesome sweater. This sweater works well with tights as the length provides great bum coverage. The long, draping front allows for multiple styles and also looks great belted! Check out this drape cardigan from Zappos here."

Finally, number eight: The transitional top. This is where Zumba maybe looses its edge a little bit... Although perhaps that's a matter of perspective and depends more on your style preferences. The sweater can be worn as part of a gym outfit, or as part of an every-day outfit. The same might not be true of these t-shirts from Zumba. Not everyone would want to wear a shirt with the word "Zumba" splashed across the front outside of a class. Then again, people are perfectly willing to wear shirts with the word "Gap", the word "Aeropostale", or the word "Pink" (Victoria's Secret) on them...hrmm. Personally, I wouldn't wear the sweater as a part of a gym outfit. As an every-day outfit, maybe, but not for exercise. It's too long and drapey in my opinion, even for yoga. Now, I would wear a Zumba t-shirt like these as every-day wear, and as a matter of fact, I've been debating with purchasing the white/black football shirt for some time. Actually, that shirt comes in orange/grey and I really like that one too... I think you can see where this is going...I've just been waiting for a sale... So while I would wear these as every-day wear, I'm a Zumba freak so that makes a certain amount of sense, doesn't it? I know not everyone is like me and in that case, the sweater and its ilk would be more appealing.

That's it, I hope you enjoyed the fall fitness fashion trend round-up -- Zumba-style! My thanks to Holly McConnell and the blog Skinny Mom for the original article that I based my own post on. If you haven't taken the time to check out that blog, maybe give it a look-see when you have a moment, it has a lot to offer.

Best advice: Everything is better when it's Zumba-style, or at least I think so... My friend Tay, the one I bought the Zumba class for as a birthday present, and I had a conversation about Zumba recently:

Her: So far, I don't LOVE it but I love how I feel after. I'm not a dance person but that hour really flies by! I think I really like it!
Me: Just remember... I wasn't a "dance person" when I started either. 
Her: Lol! I'm so crappy at the moves... But at this point in life I am no longer shy and self-conscious. And damn, I feel pretty great!
Me: I started out crappy too. It's invigorating and empowering. It's like magic.

And here's what the point of my sharing this with all of you is...

Her: Yes, I didn't know exercise could do all that!

There, that line right there -- I didn't know that either once upon a time! Everything is better when it's Zumba-style, even athletic wear.

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