As I mentioned earlier, I won a runner-up prize from the 60 Day Challenge with Barrecode earlier in the year, and last week I finally got to spend my voucher! And a bit extra. A bit more than a bit extra, if I’m being honest, but it was good fun, and I’m excited I got to reward myself for the hard work I put in during the challenge, and the medically crap last six months.
I got a few items from US brand Splits59. I already had a Vail Cut Out sweater, but I hadn’t had a chance to try on the full range. Holey moley, what beautiful clothes you folks make! While I had to restrict myself from buying everything because it was all so beautiful, well cut and felt so good on, this is what I ended up with –
This just fits beautifully! I’ve never had anything this fitted in a top that also fits so well. I’m cursed by disproportionly large… ahem… assets, so I often find it difficult to find tops that fit correctly. But this just conforms to my shape perfectly. I like it so much I’ve been wearing it over pjs around the house at night. There’s also some lovely detailing – the lamé strips across the arms and on the chest, the invisible pockets on the waist, and the perfectly length on the sleeves with thumb loops. To die for. So glad I didn’t leave that behind in Barrecode’s mini-store!
The Olivia LS Tee
I have this in Barberry, the red colour. Another beauty. The fabric this is made out of is so soft and smooth against my skin, its like silk. But also clearly a synthetic as it performs so well. I’ve worn this in class twice now and it wicks wonderfully. There’s some beautiful detailing on the top on the arms and shoulders, a mesh section with some embroidery. And can I just take a moment to congratulate Splits59 on their sleeve length? So many other activewear brands include thumb loops but have normal sleeve length. The sleeves on this and the jacket I got are both long enough that you don’t have to pull and stretch the fabric to get them over your hands, but allow for smooshing or folding up your arm if you don’t want your hands covered. Ah, bliss!
As you can see in my photos, I got these in grey. The fit is really comfy, but hugs in all the right places. There’s a waistband pocket, and unlike the redesign in their competitor Lululemon’s famous Wunder Unders (which I also love!), they use a diamond gusset which sits in the right spot for minimal CT issues. And again, such beautiful detailing with the bright reflective strip down the back on the tights, and the silver lamé across the front of the leg. I used these for the first time today in barre and the perform so well! Great amount of stretch in lunges and pliés, they just moved with me. The waistband also sits really well, no pinching or muffin-top creating. No fuss, no complaints, just a well-designed, great performing tight. These are meant to be 7/8th in length, but because I’m mostly legs they sit at more of a 3/4 on me, which is fine!
I’d definitely recommend Splits59 as an active wear brand. While their gear is a little on the expensive side, it compares in price to other major active and yogawear brands. For me, the real test is a practical one – does it perform? And I even though I’ve only had a few tests of these pieces, I feel like they’re going to continue to perform well for years to come. It also doesn’t hurt that they’re all beautiful to look at either!
The last item I picked up on my mini-splurge was from Canadian company Tonic. I got one of their Orb Open Back Pullovers (coverpage of their lookbook) in Coast, which is a deep sea green colour. Its gorgeous for casual wear ( I wore it yesterday to the market under my down jacket and was warm and comfy), but I also reckon it would do well in a slower style yoga class. There is extra space under the arms which allows for ample range of movement, and the open back would allow for rapid cooling. The top is also made from a mix of organic cotton and bamboo, which is quite breathable and is used as an active fibre. I personally wouldn’t use it for something like hatha yoga, only because I’d overheat to quickly, but I’ll definitely use it as a warm up/cool down layer in barre/fusion in the future.
So that’s my haul! It was also quite exciting to get a feel for the physical pay-off of my work during the challenge – I’d gone down a size in most things. And I can definitely see my muscles too, so it was good, healthy weightloss. There’s some nice definition in my legs and arms! Its a positive side of why I do barre, compared to the absence of bruising and bleeds which is my other main motivator.
I’d love to hear about everyone else favourite active wear brands (or new favourites)! What exciting things have your got recently to motivate your fitness regime?