Not Quite Outdoorsy

Our holiday parties may be canceled this year, schools may be virtual, and work may be from home, but at least we can still get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

If I hadn’t been able to stay active over the past nine months, I shudder to think what my mental state would be right now. I may not be what one considers “outdoorsy,” but I’ve been trying to go outside and get some fresh air every day because it keeps me sane.

I usually run three or four times a week, and I occasionally walk the dog around our neighborhood or take advantage of one of the many trails we have in our area.

But when the winter temps started to set in, I realized I don’t have nearly enough cold weather workout gear, and most of what I do have is many years old. It’s definitely time for a refresh, and I found exactly what I was looking for at Nordstrom.

The two items I needed the most were a pair of thicker leggings and a heavy base layer for under jackets and vests, so I went right to one of my tried and true Nordstrom brands, Zella.

This cozy space dye tech turtleneck training top is exactly what I was looking for. It has a fleecy interior that is sooo soft against the skin, and the turtleneck is high enough to keep my neck warm, but it’s soft and not constricting.

And I don’t know what kind of magic material it’s made of, but this top keeps me so warm that I often end up taking off my jacket after running the first mile.

It’s also the only base layer I own that doesn’t ride up while I run. I usually end up tucking them into my pants, but this one I don’t have to. Plus, it has really flattering seaming (they’re smooth flatlock seams so they don’t irritate the skin) and nice, long sleeves with thumbholes.

I’ve already washed it a few times (I hang to dry) and it washes up great and doesn’t shrink. It fits very snug, but I consider it true to size and have my usual small.

And these cozy tech leggings are made of the same thick material with the brushed interior and a nice matte finish on the outside. (I don’t like for my solid black leggings to be too shiny.)

They also have a super high rise, which I love because it holds all the jiggly parts in check. Best of all, they do not slide down when I run, and there are very few leggings I can say that about!

They have deep side pockets that will stash your phone, and they’re moisture-wicking so they dry fast after your workout is done.

The inseam is 26 1/2″ so I wear crew socks that come up underneath them when running in cold weather so my ankles don’t freeze. Or, in this case, I wore boots that come up over top.

These are the Sorel Explorer Joan waterproof boots, so I guess you can see which ones I kept from my Winter Boot Review!

I decided on these because they are so lightweight and also super warm and so soft inside. Unfortunately they are selling out really fast, but Nordstrom has lots of other great options if you’re in need of a winter hiking boot.

For a walk in the neighborhood (or Valley Forge National Historical Park, where we took these pictures) a puffer vest makes a great layering piece.

This one is from The North Face, and it’s lined with 550-fill-power goose down, plus the exterior has a water-repellent finish.

I have my usual size small, and it does zip, but it’s snug. If you wanted to wear it over a thicker sweater or jacket, you may want to size up.

I also treated myself to a new hat! I think Zella’s chunky rib pom beanie is super cute, and it’s also comfortable and very warm.

The burgundy color is pretty too; I decided to keep this look monochromatic, but I really love that burgundy.

And if you need a small pack to carry a few basic essentials, this Patagonia sling backpack is perfect.

It has a small pocket that’s easy to access, perfect for stowing your smartphone; and the main compartment can hold a first aid kit, some snacks, and a small water bottle. Then there’s an inner compartment for extra organization, and a tiny zip pocket on the shoulder to protect your valuables.

I’m also wearing my old faithful Maui Jim Mele sunnies. Maui Jim’s super thin, polarized lenses offer 100% UV protection, making them ideal for outdoor activities in the bright winter sunshine.

Plus, the lightweight plastic frames have nonslip silicone nose pads so they stay in place and don’t slide down, even when I sweat.

If you’re in need of an activewear refresh for winter, you should be able to find everything you need at Nordstrom, and Zella has stylish essentials for just about every activity.

Also, right now Nordstrom is running a Spend & Save Sale, where you can save up to $300 on qualifying orders. Eligible items are marked with “Save up to $300” on the product page. This sale ends December 11, 2020, at 11:59pm PT.

Shop the Post:

Zella cozy tech space dye turtleneck (solid black option) // Zella cozy tech leggings (similar option) // Zella beanie // The North Face down vest // Sorel boots // Patagonia sling pack // Maui Jim sunnies 

As always, when you shop at Nordstrom, you get their free shipping and free returns. And don’t forget about their BOPUS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store) and contactless curbside pickup options.

If you aren’t already a Nordy Club member, be sure to sign up so you can start earning points toward Nordstrom Notes when you shop, and enjoy exclusive perks like members-only access to sales, offers, and events.

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photos: Alison Cornell

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19 Responses

  1. I am going to try this turtleneck — to get the warmth I need for winter workouts I find myself adding an extra-extra layer which gets bulky and irritating. Back to yesterday’s post: the Liverpool jeans are fantastic! I got my first pair — Ankle Skinny — in September, and I love them. They do not stretch out and are holding up amazingly well. None of that weird bagging in the seat. I have large calves, and sometimes a skinny leg is too binding but these don’t bother me at all. Definitely try this brand!

  2. Timely post. I love the hat, Jo-Lynne! I was just thinking that I needed some warmer clothes for walks and playing outside with my grandchildren. I’m going to try the Zella top. I wanted the leggings, too, but they’re sold out. I’ll poke around and see what heavier leggings Nordstrom has available.

  3. Yes, even a little walk or run outside each day is good for the soul (and our sanity!) Can you recommend a good running jacket? A vest really won’t be enough in January and February. I love these new products from Zella though. Great post!

  4. Well, I bet Ms. Savannah enjoyed her outing and photo session with you.  She looks so adorable with the bright pink harness against her snow white hair.  I have been on the search for a pair of decent warm leggings that won’t break the bank.   I will be heading to Nordstrom via your link to look at the Zella leggings.  I can keep my upper body warm at the bonfires and in the deer stands, but have not been able to keep my lower half warm enough.  So, thank you!  Don’t you have another appointment with the chiropractor today?

  5. Hi Jo-Lynne, When you run what kind of a hat do you wear? I live in Vermont and exercise early in the morning, temps are cold, 24 degrees, but I work up a sweat and need a hat that is moisture wicking but also have the ability to keep me warm and block the wind? Any suggestions?

    1. Can you tell me which ads you mean? There shouldn’t be any pop-up ads. Are they covering my content? Also, if you tell me what you are reading on – phone, tablet, PC… that helps too.

  6. Thank you for these recommendations. I definitely will keep my eyes out for cool weather athletic clothes. It helps with the motivation so much! 
    I have a question about your Caslon leather jacket with the hood. What size did you go with? I just bought 2 sizes to try…both “work” but now I need to figure out the “look” I like better. Thank you for your help!

  7. Such Beautiful pictures!! You are so photogenic! Do you have any other warm gear brands that you could recommend that are more budget friendly? Thank you 🙂

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