Greetings, and happy hump day! I cannot get over how fast this week is going. Today 20 Days of Winter Fashion is all about activewear, and I’m partnering with Nordstrom to share some of my favorite finds from Zella.
I was not athletic as a child. I didn’t play any sports, and I hated running. Go figure, right??? I tried it a few times in high school and college, but I couldn’t get it to stick.
Then one day I found myself at home with three kids, and I needed a physical outlet. Getting to the gym was tricky, and I got bored of workout videos, so I started walking. Walking somehow turned into running, and eventually I signed up for a 5K. That was back in 2011, and I’ve had the running bug ever since.
There are no words to adequately describe the exhilaration I feel when my feet first hit the pavement and I start trotting down the street. If too many days go by without at least a quick run, I start to feel antsy. Running is my thinking time, my stress outlet, my hormone regulator, and a source of community that I didn’t know I was missing until I found it.
It’s been a rocky road at times — pun intended! But somehow I’ve managed to keep going through injuries and ailments, all kinds of weather, and the various curveballs life tends to throw at us. Running the one thing I do that I’m truly proud of — it makes me feel strong and healthy and confident. You can’t bottle and sell that, you know?
That doesn’t mean I’m always super motivated to get myself out there. Nobody is, I’m sure, but I never regret it once I’m out the door. In fact, I think getting dressed for running is half the battle.
Here in Pennsylvania, the temperatures range from the 20s to the 90s, so having proper running gear is essential to staying consistent — especially since I prefer to run outside. I like to have a good variety of activewear pieces so I can mix and match and layer appropriately for the weather conditions.
Zella is one of my favorite brands for activewear because it’s excellent quality, stylish, moderately priced, and it’s a Nordstrom-Exclusive brand so it comes with all of the benefits of shopping at Nordstrom.
Good running tights are essential, and these seamless moto running leggings are my new favorites. They’re made of a moisture-wicking performance stretch knit that is textured with subtle moto-inspired patterning. It’s really hard to see the design in these pictures, but trust me, they’re really cute. In fact, so cute that I would even wear these out and about to run errands with a longer sweatshirt.
These leggings also have smooth flatlock seams that don’t irritate the skin, and a nice, high waistband that doesn’t bind. Best of all, they don’t slide down when I run. That’s always the true test. All in all, I’m seriously impressed with these leggings.
I also recently added this pullover hoodie to my activewear wardrobe. This top is great for running in milder winter weather, and it’s also a great piece to wear over your tank top to the gym or yoga classes. The material is incredibly soft, and the fitted silhouette is flattering. The hood is a nice touch, and sometimes I actually wear it up when it’s really windy outside.
This top also has thumbholes, and the sleeves are plenty long, plus the material is very stretchy, so it doesn’t pull on your hands at all. I have long arms, and that’s a major pet peeve of mine — when shirts with thumbholes don’t have long enough sleeves. The ones on this top are perfect. For size reference, I have a medium in both the leggings and the hoodie.
Running gloves are another must-have if you run outdoors in cold weather — bonus if you can find tech friendly ones.
I have a couple of pairs, but I just ordered these tech running gloves, and they’re my favorite ones yet. They’re nice and soft and comfortable, and they allow me to navigate my phone without having to take them off. Plus they have grippers on the palms, so I’m not as likely to drop my phone. (Yes, I actually carry it when I run. I was never able to find an armband I like for this huge phone.)
These gloves also have reflective details that enhance visibility at night and a pocket on the back where you can stash cash or a key. So smart! I also really like the light grey heather, as both of my other pairs are black. If you have a runner in your life, these gloves would make a great gift.
For those who prefer to go to the gym for their exercise, Zella has some great pieces for wearing to and from. Their favorite hoodie has a ton of 5 star reviews, and it’s easy to see why. It’s cut generously but still manages to be relatively flattering, and it’s really soft and cozy.
It has a split hem, and it’s slightly longer in the back than in the front. Both back and front cover the essentials, so it’s fine for wearing with leggings.
I’m also wearing the medium in this sweatshirt. I ordered small and medium of all of these pieces, but the mediums fit better for the most part.
This nylon tote is also by Zella, and it makes a great gift for your girlfriend who likes to stop by the gym on her way home from work. This bag seriously has so much room, you easily can carry all your workout gear, and it has several interior mesh pockets and a neoprene back pocket to help keep you organized.
And this bag actually has a yoga mat holder. I didn’t even know such a thing existed! In addition to all that, it has a removable crossbody strap as well as shorter double straps.
Finally, these joggers are made of the same supersoft recycled stretchy fabric of the blue hoodie above. They have some nice details, like the zipper pockets and the flat seams, and they fit really well.
In fact, I was wearing these around the house on Sunday afternoon, and my husband (who detests leggings and sweatpants in general) commented about how nice they looked. For reference, I’m wearing a small in these. They’re the only Zella piece I ordered that I preferred the small to the medium.
I added slip-on sneakers to keep this look a little more chic for wearing out and about, and also because they’re easier than lacing up my running shoes, but you could definitely wear an athletic shoe and still look put together.
This is very quickly becoming my favorite outfit for wearing around the house; I really like the combination of these pants with the black sweatshirt, and this bag is so good, I’m thinking of taking up yoga so I can justify keeping it. Ha!
Seriously, though, if you have anyone on your holiday gift list who loves to work out, there are so many great gift ideas in this post. Of course, when you shop at Nordstrom, you get free shipping and free returns, and you can always opt for store pickup if you don’t want to wait for your order to come in the mail.
Also be sure to check out their gifting options — you’ll see gift-wrap options in your shopping cart.
Shop this post and more active gift ideas from Zella:
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