By Debi Darnell
All Photos by: Brittany Graham Photography
As a yoga teacher who loves fashion, I am always on the lookout for new yoga wear pieces that help me express my personal style. Not only do I want them to be stylish, I also need them to function well. The ideal being outfits that help me transition from working from home, to running errands, to popping into a hot yoga class without a need to change. Recently, I was lucky enough to test out pieces from new-to-me designers in the yoga world. I put them all together and put them through the yoga and errands test and here are the results:
I paired an Iron Lily “Alin” top in black with Karen Kane Karma leggings in Navy. Underneath it all, I wore Athleta’s “Power of She” Bra. For running errands, I added my favorite denim blue button up and tossed on the Karen Kane Quilted Vest in Sage.
The leggings are a beautiful blue that doesn’t scream too loud for running errands and they complimented the sage green vest well. I was a bit hesitant at first to pair them together, but they have a similar rich tone that helps them complement each other. The vest features a knit lining that kept me nice and warm on a chilly day. I like that the vest is thin, yet packed full of warmth.
I appreciate the fit and feel of the Karma leggings. At first, I wasn’t sure if they might be too big because they didn’t have a tight fit. But after spending the day in them, I realized I’m used to a compression tight or similar and these do not have a compression fit. I grew to love the less compressed feel, especially for all day wear. In my hot yoga class, the leggings were easy to ignore, no waist band rolling down, no sagging. They were extremely comfortable leggings that stayed in place as I moved through warrior poses. An all around a win-win for the Karma leggings.
Under the vest, I wore the Iron Lily Alin top. This top wins for best first impression. I was obsessed with the feel of this fabric as soon as I unwrapped it from the mailer. I even let out an audible “Oooohh!”. The fabric has a dense feel so it feels luxe but not heavy. The fit is incredibly flattering, which doesn’t surprise me after reading about the founder of Iron Lily. From their site: “Iron Lily was founded by Izzy Seely in Los Angeles (and remains 100% made in the USA), who wanted to create a performance athletic line of clothing that celebrates women’s strength and those bodies that don’t conform to the “traditional” standards. As a former gymnast, Izzy couldn’t find women’s athletic clothing that fit and flattered her developed shoulders, wider back and strong quads – so she created Iron Lily.” I also live in a body that doesn’t conform to traditional standards, and after experiencing the perfect fit with the Alin top, I’m excited to try more styles from this brand. The top performed well in my hot yoga class, although I did have to tuck the shirt in for down dogs. To be fair, any top that isn’t form fitting will need to be tucked in for down dogs, unless you don’t mind it riding up a bit. I prefer to set it and forget it so I can focus on my practice. The trade off is, the top looks amazing because of the loose fit at the hips. This top may have received the best first impression, but it also gets the best lasting impression as I have put this into heavy rotation in my wardrobe.
At the base of it all, I wore the Athleta “Power of She” bra. This bra is a dream. It features a wide band and thick straps with a cross strap on the back. The website says that this offers medium support for cup sizes B-D. I am a D cup and I found this to be more than a medium support. I wore this bra to both boxing and yoga classes and I felt comfortable and supported in each class. The neckline is also nice, not too high so it layers well under most tops, but not too low either where you might get nervous about a wardrobe malfunction in your upward facing dog pose. It’s basically the goldilocks of bras…just right! And the final win for this bra, is that is says Power of She in big lettering across the band. Talk about a mantra to live by!
The last item I tried was the Coresport cooling tee. I will say, this shirt is one that I will wear to workouts when I don’t need to run errands after. It is a very sports-specific style with the mesh back and logo on the chest, and I can’t see myself trying to blend this into an athleisure outfit. With that said, this top promises to cool you down and the more you sweat, the more it should help cool you. According to the company, “The moisture-activated cooling material uses Specific Heat Capacity yarn and special fiber to absorb perspiration and moisture, which then evaporates quickly, resulting in clothes that are at least eight degrees Fahrenheit cooler than conventional clothes, and which stay dryer as well. In addition, the fabrics are infused with minerals that make the clothes odor-resistant and antibacterial.” I decided to test this shirt out specifically in a boxing class because this t-shirt was form fitting on me and when I raised my arms up over my head, the shirt bottom would also rise up. For me, this would become a distraction in yoga. However in boxing, with the exception of a few jumping jacks, I keep my arms at chest height and the shirt stays in place. Interestingly, I was able to feel the cool down effects of the shirt. It was minimal but when you’re in round six out of eight, any cooling is welcomed. I like this shirt and I can see myself wearing it in the summer for outdoor runs for the cooling benefits as well as the promise of “significant UV protection”. Although I would never replace sunscreen with a shirt, an extra layer of protection is nice.
Let’s hear from you, have you tried any of these brands? What are some of your favorite brands for yoga and athleisure?