Athleta Athletic Apparel

The Valentine's Day Gift to Give Yourself

Thursday, February 13, 2014 Samantha Kirkpatrick

It's been a month since you made that New Year's resolution to get fit and now Valentine's Day sweets are lurking at every corner.  Like so many of us, it’s easy to loose sight of our goals.  Maybe you’ve plateaued, maybe your inspiration has dwindled, or maybe you just consumed five boxes of Sweethearts. Regardless of when you made the commitment, now is the time to rekindle your motivation and get in shape. 

It’s frustrating enough to not feel and look like our ideal self. Wearing an old baggy T-shirt and frumpy sweatpants to the gym isn’t likely to help matters.  And with mirrors on every wall, there’s not much encouragement to return.

Someone once told me, "When you feel good, you look good." I’ve adapted an alternative theory; when you look good, you feel great (and may your motivation runneth over!) Not only will a flattering and modern outfit inspire you to get active, but also boost your confidence.  

Listed here are six Chicago shops to get you started on your new gym wardrobe pursuit. 

Lululemon offers a variety of pant styles to accommodates all shapes and sizes. Their luon fabric creates a four-way stretch element which allows comfortable flexibility while maintaining a snug fit for years of wear. Complimentary hemming ensures that you leave with the perfect fit. The designers at Lululemon pride themselves on using breathable materials that wick sweat away from your body, which keeps your clothes smelling fresh.  So, the number of times you wash your gym garb between workouts is your little secret.  Plus, Chicago has six locations for your shopping convenience, that’s the most stores in one city next to New York.  Can you tell that I love them?

Lululemon Speed Short
Lets be honest, that super cute neon-yellow tank looks remarkable on your sun kissed skin mid August, but that eye-catching top will be just that if you're wearing it throughout the entire year. To keep your closet full and costs down, keep your basics neutral. This might sound somewhat obvious but it’s a helpful reminder. Black pants match anything. Keeping the majority of your workout gear within the color scheme of black, grey and white will allow you to mix and match your wardrobe easily.  As the seasons change, pick out a pop of color to add to your collection. 

If you’re more of an outdoor athlete, Moosejaw is your essential department-style store. They carry brands like Northface, Patagonia, and Marmot for your bulkier items like down jackets and snow pants. Workout accessories- anything from yoga mats to snowboards- are also available at Moosejaw.

Running Away Multisport
Just steps away (literally) from Moosejaw is the laid back and educated staff at Running Away Multisport – ready to fit you with the perfect running, walking or cycling shoe.  Spanning from wall-to-wall are dozens of athletic shoe brands to fit your particular stride.

Hard Tail Scoop Back Tank

On the corner of North Dearborn lies trendy boutique, Londo Mondo.  Here you can find an array of yoga and swimwear brands.  Indulge in one of their ultra cozy tanks by Hard Tail.  Each top includes a built-in shelf bra, eliminating the need for a separate sports bra.  Subsequently their Roll Down Pant, which is softer than my Egyptian cotton sheets, have become my pajamas.

Lucy Activewear

“Why, we wondered, would a fashionable and put-together woman dress for the gym like she’s going to a ninth grade PE class—for boys?” - Lucy

The Oregon-based designers of Lucy sought to develop a flattering and stylish athletic brand due to the obvious demand.  They want you to perform your best and with their innovative material you can do just that, fashionably.

Athleta Hope Jacket
Though I’m not one to discriminate against workout apparel– you can find me wearing yoga pants to nearly any event– Athleta (friends of Gap and Banana Republic) makes choosing your sportswear simple.  Their sweat-proof garments are organized by sport type. Whether you’re a yogi, runner, or lifter they have all your necessities.  

Valentines Day is fast approaching and while this is certainly the time of year to express your appreciation towards loved ones, don't forget to treat yourself this season to a new outfit and some self-empowerment at the gym. After all, a little self-love only makes you a better valentine, right?

P.S. Ladies, if you’re feeling especially festive, visit Look Human and surprise your man by wearing this tank to your next gym date.

- Samantha Kirkpatrick 
Lifestyle Blogger

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