High Fashion Workout?


It’s Spring Fashion Week here at DMMB! Today, Jennifer highlights workout clothing!

I am not one to be too concerned with what I wear when I am working out. Usually, I wear an old 5K T-shirt and some ill-fitting shorts. In fact, my favorite shirt to work out in is my maroon Barnett Bash 2000 T-shirt from a family reunion WAY back in the year 2000. Anyone remember that year? Yep, that’s right, folks… a 14-year-old shirt. Hmmmm. It may be time for a workout fashion intervention.

Since I think I need a fair amount of assistance, I decided to try to enlist some help.

I went to Active Endeavors, located in West Des Moines on University by the Barnes and Noble. They are locally owned, so I thought I would pay them a visit.

I talked to a man named Adam, who worked there, and told him my dilemma. I run, but I never really invest any money in workout apparel. I pleaded for his help. He was very gracious to assist.

Here’s what I learned that day.

There are three main fabric choices these days.

Cotton: It’s a natural choice, but when you sweat in it, it gets cold and clings to your body (doesn’t “wick”).

Synthetic: This fabric is great for keeping you dry when you run, but apparently it has a high “stink factor” and you want to get those clothes in the wash ASAP after you run in them.

Wool: Who knew? Wool for running. Huh. Adam, my assistant for the day, told me that bacteria actually does not cling to this fabric, making it okay (even recommended) to wear these clothes for more than one workout. I told him that I didn’t believe him and actually found that a bit, ahem, nasty. Especially the way that this girl right here sweats. But it did pique my interest.

I asked him to pick out some choices for me, since I am just beginning to run outdoors again. (Yay spring!)

Here’s what he came up with.

Icebraker Merino (wool) tank, The North Face synthetic capris


I have to admit, I really loved how the wool tank felt. It really was thin, light, and surprisingly soft.

The capris… eh. I am pretty picky about where waste bands sit on my momma pouch, and this one didn’t quite hit high enough. I could have probably gone up a size, but then you get the falling down action and the baggy butt. No one wants that.


Lucy synthetic jacket, Icebreaker Merino longsleeved shirt, Perfect Booty pants.
Lucy synthetic jacket, Icebreaker Merino long-sleeved shirt, Perfect Booty pants



I liked this outfit. However, when I looked at the name of the pant it gave my photographer friend and me a good laugh. These pants were called: Perfect Booty. Not too sure I agree, but I did feel them trying to squeeze certain areas into shape, I guess. In my opinion, these pants would be better suited for ladies who are not serious runners but would just prefer to look good while mildly working out, with their makeup on, of course. No judging here, though. Confession: I run in makeup from the day before. Also, I didn’t understand the “yoga pant” flare at the bottom. I think that would be annoying on a run.

Again, I liked the wool top. Yeah. Wool.

The jacket was just okay fitting – not terribly flattering, but not hideously unflattering either.


Lucy synthetic jacket, Icebreaker Merino T-shirt, Ibex wool capris

I am a sucker for a white zip-up hoodie. It has been a staple in my wardrobe for far more years than I care to admit. This one was cool and comfortable and had a great fit. Also, it had little thumb holes, a trend that I am digging. Loved this.

The wool T-shirt? Good again. Yep, I am becoming Alice in Wonderland: curiouser and curiouser.

And these capris? I was a bit hesitant at first. Adam brought them to me and I thought, “Hmm, short little Hammer pants….” But, once I had them on, wow! I liked them. They kind of made me think about crawling into bed because of how pajama-y they felt, and I wonder how I’d like running in them since they are a bit loose, but I was impressed with them. They were cool. And they were wool.


Prana Jacket, tank and capris (organic, fair-trade cotton)


Lastly, I asked Adam for something funky… and he delivered. This set by Prana really took me out of my comfort zone of simple, black bottoms. I have to say, I am probably going to stay in the comfort zone; I am not loving the pattern drawing attention to my legs. I did like the jacket somewhat, but it had an interesting collar that I am pretty sure I wouldn’t like. Oh, well. At least I tried to be funky.



So, what did I come away with?

A bit more knowledge about the different fabric choices out there, a sense that I still have a long way to go until I can consider myself “fashionable” when working out (I’m okay with that), a white jacket, and a wool tank. (Let’s see what this wool thing is all about!) I have to admit that this single momma had a hard time with the price tags on these items of clothing, so I don’t see my wardrobe getting much better anytime soon.

Am I the only one who has a hard time spending money on clothes that I am just going to sweat in? I’ll keep you posted about how the wool tank stacks up against my Barnett Bash tee. It’s on.



  1. This post totally spoke to me. ***When*** I work out it has always been in free t-shirts from an event and one of the same three pair of shorts/pants I’ve had for years. Sigh. Oh well…like you said, it’s just hard to spend $$ on workout clothes…especially when my real wardrobe is in such bad shape (no pun intended)!!

  2. You definitely have me intrigued by this wool thing. What does it feel like? I’ve heard that wool socks help with with “foot stink,” but I had no idea there is such a thing as wool workout clothes. We like our dri-fit stuff, but I have noticed that it’s harder to get the smell out of it.

    I just bought a pair of polyester NIKE Legend 2.0 Slim Fit pants in black, and I love them! I’ve never ever worked out in pants before, but now I’m not sure I can ever go back! They hit my “momma pouch” just perfectly, and I feel like they make my booty (and tummy and legs…) look a little closer to “perfect.” 🙂 Plus, I don’t have to worry about what’s showing when I’m doing lifts or floor exercises.

    I’m in the market for a new white zip-up for spring, and this one looks pretty great. I wonder how it will hold up to stains…. You’ll have to keep me posted!

    • Angela, I will keep you posted on the white jacket! Also, I am really digging the wool. I have worn it twice so far, on a windy, uphill bike ride and on a morning run and I HAVEN’T washed it! Gross, huh? Not smelly at all! Seriously. It’s an experiment…how long can I go without washing it. (?) The material is really light-weight and a bit see through, that’s why I bought the dark grey color. I do have to say I love it so far. I will let you know how it washes. (eventually)

      And I know what you mean about pants vs. shorts. I love the fact that no one can “look up” them! 🙂


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here