Winter Activewear Refresh

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.

Updating my winter running gear with @nordstrom! #sponsored #nordstrom

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?

Updating my winter running gear with @nordstrom! #sponsored #nordstrom

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.

Updating my winter running gear with @nordstrom! Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Zella Moto Seamless Leggings and Taryn Ultrasoft Recycled Pullover Hoodie. #sponsored #nordstrom #fitlife

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.

Updating my winter running gear with @nordstrom! Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Zella Moto Seamless Leggings and Taryn Ultrasoft Recycled Pullover Hoodie. #sponsored #nordstrom #fitlife

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.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Zella Moto Seamless Leggings, Taryn Ultrasoft Recycled Pullover Hoodie, and Tech Running Gloves.

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.

Zella Tech Running Gloves

wearing: hoodie // leggings // gloves

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.

Updating my winter running gear with Nordstrom! Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Zella Favorite Hoodie, Taryn Ultrasoft Recycled Jogger Pants, and Reflective Nylon Tote Bag. #fitlife #sponsored #nordstrom

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.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Zella Favorite Hoodie.

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.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Zella Favorite Hoodie, Taryn Ultrasoft Recycled Jogger Pants, and Reflective Nylon Tote Bag.

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.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Zella Taryn Ultrasoft Recycled Jogger Pants.

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.

Jo-Lynne Shane wearing Zella Favorite Hoodie, Taryn Ultrasoft Recycled Jogger Pants, and Reflective Nylon Tote Bag.

wearing: sweatshirt // joggers // similar sneakers // tote

Shop this post and more active gift ideas from Zella:

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24 Responses

  1. Really enjoyed this post. I’m not a runner but I do walk in all kinds of weather and I live in West Chester area also. I’m getting some ideas of things to add to my Christmas wish list!  

  2. Thank you for these great ideas! My daughter at the gym now…
    I thought is this really my daughter it’s eight in morning,
    Bag is the perfect Christmas gift for after work.

  3. I’m a walker not a runner but I agree, getting dressed is half the battle. Cute plus functional gear sure helps to motivate especially on those perilous cold winter days. Thanks for this post. It was timely in the midst of this busy season when it’s easy to put off taking care of our bodies and our health.

  4. Hi Jo Lynne.
    Thanks for this post. I am fairly new to running. I too was not athletic and made many attempts to run. I ended up joining a 5K training class at a local running store. I couldn’t get out of the park the first class and have worked myself up to an 8K. I still don’t love it but keep going back for all the reasons you mentioned in your post. I am curious to know if you listen to music and if so, what type of device you use. I have been thinking of an apple watch to replace my cumbersome phone and wrist band. Thanks so much, I am going to check out the Zella apparel.


    1. I cannot run without music. Like, I just won’t do it. If my battery runs out when I’m running, it’s all I can do not to stop and walk. I use my iPhone — that’s why I carry it when I run. I didn’t think about an apple watch replacing the need for my phone. Now I want one for Christmas!

  5. Same sizing issue as you:  I bought the joggers in Small at the Anniversary sale and just love them!  Thinking that Zelle sizing was consistent, I recently ordered two pairs of work-out capris only to find that the Smalls were far too small, so had to return for Mediums.  The trials of on-line shopping!!  Thanks for the GREAT post 🙂

  6. Could really relate to your post today. I too was NOT a runner, but my daughter inspired me when she ran a 10 miler then a half marathon when she was in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She suggested the couch to 5K app and I signed us up for a local 4 mile Bridge run. The whole time training I was like I hate this, I’m never running again after this but then I completed my goal and ran the whole 4 miles and it felt GREAT! I’m hooked! I’m thinking about doing a 10 miler race in June. My son got me great wireless headphones, Anker SoundBuds Slim+ . I highly recommend them, I noticed you don’t use wireless. I also got myself the SPIbelt Running Belt. It holds any size phone and I wear it under my shirt so I dont look like I have a fanny pack on 🙂 Anyways love your blog, keep up the great work!

    1. I’ve been thinking of switching too wireless. I just don’t mind these, and they came with the phone, lol. #lazy

      Also, I should try that running belt. I tried an armband, and the phone is so heavy, it bugged me. Thanks for the tips!

  7. I love Zella leggings, but haven’t branched out to the rest of the line yet…you’re really tempting me though. I wish I was a runner. I’ve tried a couple of times (real overachiever here. HA!), but I have some back issues and it makes them rear their ugly head. I’m a big walker though. I always wear Saucony shoes too.

  8. Power walking to me is like running is to you. Do you not find it difficult to run in the winters? I still walk but wear a good tread hiking boot and a scarf that I sometimes pull over my nose. As a runner, you can’t adjust your footwear and breathing would be difficult. Do you run inside instead? 

  9. I was reading you post (as well as Cyndi’s) and my 4 year old godson walked in and when he saw your picture in your activewear he said “I like that fancy girl”…. ha!

  10. I have been waking up at 4:15 for a 5:00 OrangeTheory class 5 days a week since Labor Day. I find that setting all of my workout clothes out the night before – including sports bra, underwear, socks and my running shoes and even my hairtie – really helps. I have it down to a science where I get up at 4:15 and out the door by 4:32 so that I can get there by 4:50. I also set out my water and even my travel mug with the tea bag on top the night before! I don’t want any excuses not to get myself there!

  11. Thanks for the encouraging post and fun fitness clothes. I’m a power walker and sometimes a jogger.  With busy schedules and often very cold winters the treadmill has become a great back up. Although I really enjoy the fresh air( except for the -15 degrees Celsius temps in the winter).. I’ll brave up to -10😉But you’re right you feel so much better after some workout time.. it’s just getting the get up and go lol

    1. Yeah, it doesn’t usually stay real cold here, but the wind can be biting. Like this week is nuts and I haven’t been out. I really would like to get a treadmill so I can stay consistent, but I’ve never wanted to invest. I’d love to find a used one someone doesn’t want anymore.

      1. Yeah we picked ours up years ago its nothing fancy by any means but it does the job. It kind of nice to just put on the work out clothes and sneakers and just walk to the end of the hall…. It used to be in the basement and never got used. Once we moved it upstairs its right there… so no excuse lol

  12. Hmmm, Hubby was asking what I would like for Christmas, and I do go to yoga! I think that bag just made my wish list. and the sweats, and the hoodie! LOL! 🙂

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