What I’m Wearing To Work Out In This Winter
I’m not as deeply into eco fashion as I am sustainable, healthy food and products. But, although it is a bit of a departure, it seems like a logical topic to explore on this blog. I need to wear something while I live an active, healthy life, and I need those clothes to be functional and well made. I’m more likely to buy from a company if they also have core values around sustainability and ethical operations. I have become enamored with some companies that have everything I’m looking for. Over several years, I’ve developed a lovely little collection from a few in particular, and I’ll review some seasonal items. They are expensive, but they last, and the companies stand by their products if something goes awry. I give the full prices below, but I’ve rarely paid that. I’m always on the lookout for deals (which should be coming up this time of year) and often get last year’s colors for a song.
I will admit that, just as much as the health factor, being able to put on a cute outfit motivates me to exercise. New wind-proof vest? I have to ride my bike! Adorable, breathable top? See you when I’m back from my run. Go ahead and call me vain. Whatever it takes to get me moving!
Patagonia Nano Puff series: This super light, water and wind resistant, stay-warm-when-wet line is incredibly versatile, functioning as mid-layer or outerwear depending on conditions. I have the jacket ($199) and the vest ($149), and wear them for all my cold weather, outdoor activities – even high output stuff like running. I am the layer queen, and these are very easy to work with. For example, the vest goes under a coat while I’m watching my son’s hockey games, or over a running/biking top in cool weather, or just around the house instead of turning up the heat. The jacket goes over a long sleeve top for cross-country skiing, or over a short-sleeve top for below 40 degree running. I wear them casually, too. They look great and give plenty of room while still flattering curves. I size down one size with Nanos, compared to other Patagonia items. Nanos, like most Patagonia items, are machine wash and dry.
Icebreaker: I love absolutely everything Icebreaker I have, from a hat to long underwear to the tops I’m about to review. Icebreaker makes everything out of merino wool, in a variety of weights for every season. Wool to work out in? The hell you say! But I assure you, this is the most awesome idea ever. The fiber is naturally breathable, very comfortable on the skin, and nearly impossible to stink up. The stink factor is a big thing for me. Maybe I’m “special,” but I seem to be able to stink up all the technical, supposedly non-stink fabrics out there. Even though my body doesn’t smell bad (due to my awesome DIY deodorant), a synthetic top will stink like crazy. Whazzup with that?? Anyway, Icebreaker to the rescue. I can wear the merino multiple times before washing, so they are perfect for travel. The Tech Short Sleeve ($65) is a favorite year-round, and the Everyday Long Sleeve Half Zip (lightweight, $70) and Tech Long Sleeve Half Zip (midweight, $100) are my go-to cross-country ski and cold weather run tops. Most Icebreaker items are machine wash, hang or lay flat to dry.
Smartwool: They make a lot of different things, including my ultimate favorite socks. The PhD micro socks (about $15), which come in lighter and heavier versions, are my favorite year round for hiking, running, and biking. Smartwool also makes super cute every day socks. All the socks hug your feet and fit perfectly (they come in different sizes). My feet are never too hot or too cold – wool does it just right. And again, wool doesn’t stink and I can wear more than once before a machine wash and dry.
If you buy these brands at full price, they do hit the budget pretty hard. But go to a local store that carries the brand, or visit their websites to see what you want. Then let your browser find your fave items on sale. Patagonia has web specials all the time, usually for last year’s or last season’s stuff. Icebreaker has their own sales, plus I’ve found them much cheaper at various online retailers. REI carries both brands, and I recently bought some things on sale there. So, go be gorgeous and warm!
Are you wearing any eco brands to work out? Tell, please!