Fit and Fashionable....for the Rest of Us

You might be a size 4 and look amazing in pretty much any spandex or workout gear you pick off the shelf. Maybe you are a gym rat with muscles rippling and can wear whatever you want to the gym, feeling good. Or....maybe you are like me - not the traditional gym rat and spandex usually just shows all your ripples and dimples. That being said, I love going hiking or walking, sometimes even jogging. I love being outside - riding bikes, walking the dogs, etc. I enjoy going to the gym sometimes, although I find that what I am wearing can affect my confidence, mood, and even my energy level at the gym. If I feel comfortable and confident in what I am wearing, I am more likely to stick with it, push myself, and get the most out of my workout. I want clothes that will flatter and make me feel strong and capable instead of frumpy and hiding.

 Sound a little crazy? Maybe...but I know I am not alone. It used to be a baggy t-shirt and baggy pants were your only options outside of skinny girl spandex but thankfully, many retailers are catching on that fit doesn't always mean skinny. And fitness doesn't always mean unflattering spandex! Over the past few years, I have learned what some of my favorites are - and conversely, what brands and styles just don't work for curvier gals. I've put together a list of my favorite brands and some examples of my favorite styles and pieces. I hope you give them a shot and enjoy them as much as I do!

Athleta - Athleta is my absolute favorite for quality and style. Everything I've purchased from them has held up amazingly well, fits like they know my body, and is so comfortable that I immediately want to purchase 5 of everything so I never run out! The downside is that they can be fairly pricey - so I watch for sales and sometimes purchase full price just because I know it will fit and I know it will last me a long time. Paying a little more for a quality piece is so worth it, over buying a bargain item that will shrink or fade or pill within the first month or two.

Old Navy - The quality and fit of Old Navy's active wear seems to have greatly improved, even in just the past year or two. I think they've always had some cute styles but unfortunately, they often didn't translate well once you got to size L or XL and definitely not to plus sizes. This is no longer the case! In fact, some of my favorite workout capris are from Old Navy. Fabrics are breathable, but strong enough to hold everything where it needs to be. The other awesome thing about Old Navy is that they offer Tall Sizes in a lot of their clothes!

Under Armour - While Under Armour does not specifically have a plus size line, they do offer XL and XXL in many styles, which in most cases will fit up to an 18/20. I like the brand because it is quality and will last a long time. They also offer great color combinations.

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