The blood rushes to my head as I dangle upside down from the ceiling, my legs wrapped around a silk cloth. And no, I'm not an acrobat in training for Cirque du Soleil auditions.
I'm in the middle of my first AntiGravity® yoga class at ANYA in New York’s Flatiron district with my co-worker Kristen. Our mission is to put Kate Hudson’s athleisure gear, Fabletics, to the test by wearing an outfit to two drastically different workouts: restorative yoga and high-energy boxing.
It's always been a challenge to find workout attire that meets my needs, as there are many factors that weigh my decisions, such as:
Will the bottoms be see-through?
Will they make me look like a natural athlete or the actual imposter that I am?
Will they cost me an arm and a leg and an elbow and a toe?
Will they make me feel confident or will they accentuate my wobbly bits?
Will I meet my soulmate in them????
The ultimate question being: Will this gear make an actual difference or are we all just #LivingForLabels?
Tara: When you first log into the Fabletics site, you take a quiz that generates outfits based on your favorite activities, body type, and style preferences. I have a tough time deciding because I'm an Indecisive Sally over here and I want it all. But for now, I choose the Loreli outfit (all outfits have names attached to them), which I'm wearing in the photos throughout this post. Also, when you check out, you get the chance to join their flexible VIP program, which gives you discounts on literally everything in stock and, on top of that, each month gives you the opportunity to order more gear at a fraction of the cost. So...maybe I can have it all.
Kristen: Their selection is huge, and they're constantly adding to it. After about three hours and one large pro and con list later, I finally buy myself the Jolie outfit.
Tara: When I work out, I find myself constantly fidgeting with my shirt, pulling my pants up, and mindlessly making all sorts of adjustments. I have found myself in far too many yoga classes half naked in downward dog because my clothes simply don't stay in place. I’ve never felt complete confidence in my bod, as a day hasn't gone by where I haven't felt insecure about my stomach region. I'll never be that hot girl who rips her top off to flash her hot abs in hot yoga. (No offense, hot girl; take it off!) The first thing I notice when I pull on my leggings (other than the awesome design) is the compression in my thighs and waist. I’m not talking can’t-breathe-shapewear compression; these are actually comfortable. They're stretchy, and it kinda feels like a nice hug over my sensitive areas. I can totally get down with this.
Kristen: I refused to go to a gym for years because I was afraid of putting on all that spandex. I’ve got rolls I like to keep hidden, and every workout outfit I own seems to accentuate that. I want to be the confident girl at the gym, strutting from machine to machine. Instead, I’m more like a mouse, keeping my head down so I don’t make eye contact with anyone. When I put my Fabletics leggings on, the first thing I notice is the high-quality fabric and how they're more comfortable than anything I own. They’re smooth over my midsection rather than creating a muffin top. I also love the pattern; it’s subtle but unique. The top is my style as well. I wear a lot of racer-back tanks that end up riding up. The tunic style feels like it elongates my midsection and stays low.
First Stop: Aerial Yoga
Kristen: I’ll be honest — I’m generally not into yoga. I’m very intense, and I have a hard time relaxing and just breathing. However, ANYA evokes tranquility, and I feel instantly at peace here. With all the positive vibes in the class, I’m finally able to get out of my head and decompress. Not having to worry about my clothing sliding down or riding up is the biggest bonus of all. I can focus on my breathing and stay in the moment.
Tara: Our instructor, Nicole, walks us through some delicate poses with equally delicate names like "dandelion," "swan," and "tulip." As we flip upside down like bats, my shirt isn't falling over my head and my pants aren't going anywhere either. This is so nice, seriously. I can for once focus on doing the moves correctly and not making adjustments. 10/10 will wear this gear to all future yoga classes.
Second Stop: Boxing
Tara: If you want to feel like a complete badass, take a boxing class at Overthrow in the Lower East Side immediately. This place is cool as hell, as is our instructor, Mike, who wraps my wrists nice and tight. We take a 45-minute class in their dimly lit underground space, and I cannot stop sweating. However, my body is...confused? The top and bottoms both have a mesh strip of fabric (TBH I only chose it 'cause I thought it looked cute), but um, DUH, TARA, it's there to help air me out! Genius. The super-breathable fabric keeps me cool and not drenched. This is a first!
Kristen: I was really intimidated walking in, but everyone is super welcoming; they just want to bring boxing into your life no matter if you’re a beginner or a champion fighter. Did I mention the workout is intense? INTENSE! Finishing this workout I realized two things: (1) I’m really out of shape, and (2) I’m really sweaty, but I’m still dry? I bought my outfit because I thought it was cute; I had no idea it had magical moisture-wicking-away properties!
After boxing, we lounge.
Tara: I hate to admit this, but it usually takes me three to four hours to change out of my clothes post-workout. Whoops. I'm lazy; sue me. So for two days, I literally kept my outfit on at work because it was so damn comfortable. Kate Hudson's clothing line truly is a gift for anyone who loves working out, no matter if you thrive on the couch or on a bike. The added perk is that everything is so insanely stylish. I'm not kidding — I contemplated wearing my top to my holiday party. Due to the fact that it needed to be washed, I opted against it.
Kristen: If I’m not working, I’m in my loungewear. I don’t own pajamas — I just live in my workout gear. Unlike Tara, I cleaned my gear before lounging in it because I’m not a monster. I thought I’d feel silly hanging around the office so casually, and honestly, some co-workers did raise some eyebrows, but ultimately I felt luxurious and confident. Seriously, bury me in this outfit when I die.
I don't know what else to say other than holy sh*t. This gear is next level and by far the best-quality athleisure clothing I own. I honestly never realized what a tremendous difference your clothes could make while working out. I'm sure that sounds naive, but perhaps I've just been a hater for brand-name clothing because I could never afford it. In this gear, I felt secure, I felt confident, I was able to focus on the moves at hand, and I even got compliments from strangers.
It would be worth it no matter the price, but I think the ultimate icing on top of the Fabletics cake is how affordable everything is with their flexible VIP membership discount. Additionally, they passed my test with flying colors:
Will the bottoms be see-through? Not even a little bit.
Will they make me look like a natural athlete or the actual imposter that I am? I look like I just flew in from Rio.
Will they cost me an arm and a leg and an elbow and a toe? Only a toe.
Will they make me feel confident or will they accentuate my wobbly bits? I felt like Serena, and alllll my wobbles were happily tucked away.
Will I meet my soulmate in them???? Does Kate count? I didn't get a chance to meet her, but I honestly think she might be. ;)