I am very very picky about my CrossFit gear. I actually own a TON of fitness clothing and shoes at this point, but I recycle the same dozen outfits over and over and over again. Let me save you some time and money by telling you my favorites that I’m seeing on sale this Black Friday.

(Note: some of these are affiliate links, meaning I will make a % of purchases if you click through. Not comfortable with that? It’s cool. Just open a new window to shop.)




40% off site-wide at Reebok.com with code HOLIDAY


40% off the online Reebok Outlet with code HOLIDAY


Free shipping and returns for risk-free shopping.


Reebok makes up more than half of my CrossFit wardrobe; it’s also my clothing of choice for most obstacle races. It’s comfortable, super sweat wicking and the board shorts are the best for repelling mud/water (I’ve also worn them canoeing and in a pinch, as a bathing suit bottom).


I love my Nano 4.0s with a white hot passion. They’re specially made for CrossFit and I swear they make burpees easier. They have a nice wide toebox and work great for running shorter distances; I wore them for my Spartan Sprint with no problems.

Before I had the 4s I had the Nano Speed, which I loved for its dual WOD/running ability too. They don’t make the Speeds anymore but you can get the Reebok CrossFit Sprint TR for $49.99 with code BLACKFRIDAY. It looks to be very similar.

If you’re more into the idea of lifting shoes for lifting, running shoes for running, you’ll want to investigate the Reebok CrossFit Lifter and Lifter 2.0 for $89.99 with code BLACKFRIDAY. (FWIW, my preferred dedicated running shoes are Mizuno.)


Other special deals you can pick up with the BLACKFRIDAY code:


Reebok Skyscape for $29.99: these shoes use the same tech as the soft padding on bras. They are soooooo comfy and are very low-profile, I replaced my Converse with black Syscapes for wearing as everyday kicks. Seriously, at this price you won’t regret getting a pair in black and another in a fun color or print.


Reebok Women’s Electrify for $39.99: running shoes inspired by Z tire technology; they’re like sports cars for your feet. Again, comfy; more geared toward running, although I wouldn’t go with them for putting in serious mileage.


The kids wear tons of Reebok too


Deals with code SAVEBIG:

And if you’ve got a hard-to-shop-for person on your list… I always suggest custom shoes.




Hylete (hybrid athlete) is the 1st runner up for my fave CrossFit gear. It’s comfortable, it’s flattering, it breathes well. The items I have (V neck tees, capris, shorts and sweatshirt, all in grey or black) aren’t flashy, but I keep them in very heavy rotation. Which means that they’re washed and worn constantly, and after a year are still in great shape.

At this point, I’m excited about clearing my phone of pics, so you get all the Hylete photos whether they’re flattering or not.


Left: Hylete tee & socks; middle are tees; right is capris

Hylete is doing all sorts of deals in its gift guide and UPS ground shipping is free until December 1st.


Lorna Jane

Lorna Jane is for when I need to be out & about before or after the gym and want to look nice. Or, when I am really racing the clock and reach for an all-in-one tank + bra.

I also love their standalone sports bras. They are pretty much my go-to when I’m not at the box. I talk more about my love of LJ in this post.

LJCollage Lorna Jane blue top and compression tights; hooded black tank on right.

Lorna Jane is doing 30% off when you buy 3 or more items with code BLACKFRIDAY30 or 20% off when you buy 2 items with code BLACKFRIDAY20. It looks like you also get free shipping when you spend over $80.

Have fun shopping 🙂

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Fashion Friday: Ready for Spring

This post contains some links to affiliated companies. I point them out as I go.

I’m going nuts impatiently waiting for the weather to warm. I own exactly two pairs of jeans that fit, and only one is skinny enough to be worn with boots (an unfortunate necessity with the constant snow and ice). I’ve made up for fashion boredom with unicorn hair, but in the next month or so I’ll go back to boring (easy maintenance) hair and ramp up the clothing.


pretty pony hair


Life’s too short to not have fun with what you’re wearing.

Fashion should be a form of escapism,
and not a form of imprisonment.

-Alexander McQueen

Two things keep me going these last weeks of winter: seed catalogs and fashion magazines. Hope strings eternal.

These are just a few of the things that have caught my eye this week and are making me crazy excited for springtime to come:


These Kate Spade Izzie heels in Tiffany blue.

I’ve never owned Kate Spade anything— she’s not quite my bag— but I would wear these until they fell off. Pure confection.

I hope every bride in the world goes down the aisle in these things as their something blue.

Kate Spade Tiffany blue Izzie heels


These Lorna Jane Charlotte tights.

The site refers to “wet look” panels; I think we all know we’re talking pleather. But that bit of detail makes  these tights polished and totally elevated  to street-worthy.

They could be worn with sneakers, heels or boots, and I know from experience that Lorna Jane tights are awesomely comfortable and flattering.


Lorna Jane Charlotte


Tutus for days.

My friend MizFitOnline reminded me that I am in need of tutus. There is no resisting a swishy skirt.

I love about 90% of what is offered at Pettiskirt Style but right now I’m really feeling the black-on-ivory. Some girls might want to dress like Swan Lake… me, I want to capture the dancing ostriches in Fantasia.


black tutu


I need all the TOMs.

Zulily (that’s an affiliate link, I make a bit of moneys if you sign up) is running a deal on TOMs and I can’t decide which ones I need most. Halp me. Seriously, tell me in the comments which one you like best. Within the next 24 hours.

TOMs deal


Zulily is a fashion deal site that I actually unsubscribed from because I couldn’t take the constant temptation; I only know about this one because so many people posted about it on Facebook. They have WONDERFUL deals on kids’ apparel.

I’m not even going to show you the kid TOMs, they’re too cute to handle.

Oh, OK, you twisted my arm.


TOMS kids deal



We’re All Mad Here

I’m a sucker for Wonderland inspired clothing and photography. I love everything about this Shabby Apple outfit: the Victorian lace, the insane skirt that somehow evokes Caterpillar, OMG THAT TEA SET. TAKE ALL MY MONEY AND GIVE ME THAT TEA SET.


alice inspired


Can this be the season we bring hats back? Please?

I see about five I would happily rock over at Anthropologie, but this one especially has a hold on my heart.




And this beanie feels like a must-have seasonal transition piece.


Anthropologie beanie



Train Like a Freak: bringing sexy back

I am hooked on sports bras with complicated backs, but not quite brave enough to be going around in just my bra. This sweatshirt from TLF Apparel (Train Like a Freak) is all gym business in the front, and a complicated-strap-revealing party in the back.


open back sweatshirt


TLF is a client of FitFluential, and they sent me this top to try out. (I’m wearing it tonight and will let you know what I think.) Their line has tanks with complicated backs that I covet and is just generally pretty badass— reasonably priced, too.


Rock the Shamrock

I (clearly) already own these, but St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching! Time to rock the shamrock and get ready for my first 5K of the season. These are from Pro Compression (another FitFluential client, I bought these with my own hardearned cash money and sadly earn nothing for referrals) and are the Sock of the Month, meaning they are 40% off (use code CLOVER).

Get you some, but be quick about it, they sell out of the SOM quickly.


That’s not it, not even close, but I need to stop sometime.


What’s catching your eye fashion-wise right now?


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Fashion Friday: Hatch for Kids

I’m officially obsessed with this kids’ clothing store. Seriously badass designs and I want them all: clever without being overly cute.

They’re Hatch for Kids— pics below are from their Instagram feed. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that their logo is an homage to the Dead Kennedys ( and you can get it as a temporary tattoo).

They have onesies too. And they’re running a 15% off sale until July 7th.

Awesome, amIright? Do you love?


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Not that you’ve asked, but I’m a sweaty beast. I don’t know when it happened. When I was younger, I never sweated. Like never, no matter how hot it was or what I was doing.

Then when I started exercising in earnest about 18 months ago I learned things have changed. Maybe it’s a slower metabolism or differing hormones or advanced age or a combination of factors, but now I sweat like it’s going out of style. At my RivFit class this week I apologized to the girl doing box jumps next to me because I was pretty sure droplets of sweat were flinging off the ends of my pigtails. I could actually feel sweat pooling on my eyelids.

My children recoil and run away when I come home after a run or workout. I am slick with sweat. I am disgusting. I find it strangely fascinating and hugely satisfying.

Anyway, with the new sweatiness I’ve developed a definite preference for tech fabrics and for certain cuts of bottoms (I’ll cover that another time; for now suffice it to say I really hate the feel of sweat rolling down my legs under pants). There is nothing worse than walking around in a shirt soppy in cold sweat.

If you follow me on Instagram or FB you’ve seen this shirt YMX by Yellowman sent me. A lot. I’ve worn it to kickboxing, RivFit, yoga, the gym and running. And to dinner. And the beach.


YMX tank


It’s the Black Living Peony Tank. It’s in my top 5 most worn tops right now for a lot of reasons, but first I want to give you a bit of background about the design.

YMX apparel is collectible, wearable tattoo art. The company founder traveled the globe tracking down and building up a library of tattoo art spanning Japanese Irezumi, Maori Tribal, American Traditional, New School, Biomechanical, even rare work from a remote Buddhist monk in Thailand. Why? Tattoos are universal yet culturally symbolic. They cross cultural borders and attitudes. If you’re inked, you get it. Tattoos have meaning and they bring people together.


ymx black peony


YellowMan founder, Peter Mui, started the concept of YellowMan under that premise that skin color should never be a barrier against social status. He should know. Chinese blood, and Oklahoma native, his identity breaks all the usual cultural stereotypes. He’s true to all dimensions of his identity, proudly exuding his Chinese heritage on one side and down-home country singer on the other. Tall, broad-shouldered, and overflowing with confidence, Peter Mui can not be packaged into any preconceived category.

And so it is that he thumbs his nose on the derogatory label “Yellow,” and instead declares it a badge of integrity and pride for those who dare to be different.

Speaking as someone who has similarly reclaimed “derogatory” ethnic labels (I like to answer the inevitable “what are you?” with “Oriental- like the rug”) I can’t even tell you how much I love this, and it’s pretty much enough to make me a brand loyalist all on its own.


YMX by yellowman


But BONUS! DOUBLE PRIZES! this gear is high quality stuff, folks.

  • Most notably, it is light and sweat wicking like nobody’s business. The design also helps mask all that sweat so people passing by on the street aren’t horrified by what a slimy mess you are.
  • The sweat evaporates quickly. It also dries quickly out of the wash.
  • It’s got SPF 30+ UV protection built in.
  • It’s soft and comfortable.
  • The fabric has a slight sheen that makes it look dressy, as does the detailing around the neck.
  • It’s hard wearing, having gone through the wash umpteen times it still looks like new.
  • Available for men and in plus sizes, unlike a lot of fitness apparel companies.
  • It doesn’t wrinkle. At all. This makes it particularly nice for traveling, as it doesn’t make you look like a slob (some people would say “doesn’t require ironing” but let’s be real folks, I haven’t ironed since I stopped working at Small’s Formal Wear in 1996), takes up like NO suitcase space and does double duty as workout or everyday wear.


ymx at the beach


YMX also sent me a long sleeve top, the Elemental Earth in pink. I don’t have many pics of this one as a) I generally prefer tank tops even in cold weather and b) when I did wear it to run, I wore it as a base layer which isn’t very interesting to photograph. As a base layer it’s ideal, both for the sweat wicking and because it’s so light you don’t even notice it’s there.

The tech fabric is temperature regulating, which means that it’ll stay cool if I wear it over a sports bra for early morning beach runs (which I intend to, so as to avoid tan lines), but also that it kept me warm and toasty when I wore it under a hoodie for winter runs.

This outfit is a good example of one you can get away with all day and then wear for a run. Just change your shoes. Or rock your sneaks all day if you’re so inclined. (Running skirt is Palm Beach Athletic Wear.)


YXM long sleeve


It’s worth noting that both the sleeveless and long sleeve styles are cut close with a ton of stretch. What that means is that there’s no peekaboo cleavage issues, and my biceps look kind of awesome in the clingy long sleeve. While I usually freak about “grabby” clothes, I don’t mind these at all because they’re so soft & stretchy and there’s no issues with seams (I just checked to see if they had seams. They do, but I honestly didn’t know, so there you go). You CAN see bra lines and pant waist lines, I’m used to that but if you have issues size up.

Are they big box cheap? Nope, and they’re not disposable big box quality either. These are built to last through all seasons and are appropriate for a variety of sports. (The sun protection is a valuable added value.) You can also wear them as badass casual wear.

As I say, quality is the new sustainable, and I think these are excellent investment pieces. The trick is just to find the design that speaks to you and you’ll get the most wear out of.

I think they did a good job picking out prints for me but it was still easy to find more faves:


YMX by Yellowman


Join us on Twitter tonight for a chat with YMX by Yellowman and you’ll have a chance to win your own top! Hashtag is #lifeartsport, chat takes place at 9EST, and I’ll be tweeting from the @FitFluential account.

Tell me if you see a design you like.

Tell me if you have a tattoo. Or are planning on one.

Tell me if you find strange satisfaction in rivers of sweat.

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This month in non-news:

Apparently H & M used some shots of a “plus-size” model (who really does not look plus sized to me) in their summer swim spread— something that H & M didn’t feel was a big enough deal to mention or publicize. Someone at Business Insider was savvy enough to note that Abercrombie & Fitch, by contrast, only carries women’s sizes up to a size 10, not even offering XL options or larger. To create controversy where there was none, the article resurfaced some comments Abercrombie CEO Mike Jeffries made in 2006, and the internet obligingly took up its pitchforks.

Look, A&F is not new to fashion what-the-fuckery. If you actually take the time to go back and read the 2006 Salon article, it details how A&F was criticized in 2002 for hawking thongs which read Eye Candy and Wink Wink on the front to middle-school girls (remember that?). Their ads and bags have always been borderline child pornography. Eyeroll-worthy tshirts sparking protest include It’s All Relative in West Virginia, Wong Brothers Laundry Service— Two Wongs Can Make It White, Who Needs a Brain When You Have These?,  Do I Make You Look Fat? and Gentlemen Prefer Tig Ol’ Bitties.


abercrombie & fitch bag


A&F has been doing everything in their power to alienate the general population, anyway, with their overpriced clothes that you can purchase at a state of “worn in” that translates to “pretty much falling apart.” They were pretty much responsible for making it acceptable for men to wear dressier foot thongs outside pool and locker room setting. I personally can barely make it through the door of their stores, as the music and overpowering reek of what Carrie Underwood so aptly dubbed “bathroom Polo” gives me a raging headache within seconds.

That’s intentional. Abercrombie doesn’t want my middle-aged, snarky money:

“Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong.”

Ah yes, the cool kids. The ones who are dressing sexy before their time, who graduate to defining themselves by how sexy they appear to be, who are totally behind advertising their racism, sexism, ignorance and bigotry on their chests.

“Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”

I actually don’t disagree with him. It’s important to recognize your target audience, your niche, your brand.

As a brand, Abercrombie is, in essence, the equivalent of that hot guy at a frat party who you were super excited to find coming on to you. Until you realize he’s dumb as rocks, all hands, and is only talking to you because he realizes how awesome you think he is.

They don’t care about you, they care about how much you love them and how much they can get out of you before you’ve sobered up enough to know any better.

“It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”

Their target audience? Shallow status-seekers who have more money than sense. Who find entitlement, self-confidence and belonging through herd mentality and exclusionist behavior.

In short, Jeffries is a douchbag, and a 69-year-old douchebag at that.

He caters to the cult of sexy. He perpetuates the cult of sexy.

Every year I grow older, I understand more that sexy is not something a person is, it is how they appear to be; a byproduct and not an end; and frankly, what other people think of me is none of my business.

The idea that I would care what a 69-year-old douchebag thinks of me is laughable. I don’t care how he defines “cool kid” or “sexy” or at what size pants he thinks popular ends. I do think he should be allowed to brand his clothing any way he wants, and his being so vocal about it helps all of us.

Should you boycott Abercrombie & Fitch? My guess is if you care about any of this, you weren’t buying any of his overpriced junk anyway.

Should you donate your A&F to the homeless? Kristen at Rage Against the Minivan has 6 very good reasons not to #FitchTheHomeless, but my gut thought is that the homeless deserves better than to wear that badge of shame.

Because ultimately, Jeffries has done us a solid here. He’s straight up told us non-cool kids to save our money. His company has clearly positioned itself as a brand that provides uniforms for douchebags, by douchebags, conveniently slapping a label on people not worth your time.

That’s useful branding, yo. Every company should wear their ethics (or lack therof) so entirely on their sleeve.

I’m totally cool with that.


*Bag pictured is from a purchase years ago; we find it so ridiculous that we reuse it at Christmas every year, passing it back and forth. Manly “embellishment” was not my handiwork.*


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Jeans for the Boyish Figure

In which Lee Jeans gives me a pair of jeans and makes me feel like less of a man.

Ever since I was, I don’t know, 15 maybe, I’ve said that I have the figure of a 14 year old boy.

Which is to say, I have that awkward bearing a boy possesses when he suddenly finds himself going through puberty, growing rapidly seemingly overnight like Alice after eating from the side of the mushroom that makes you taller. Trapped in a body that he doesn’t quite know the dimensions of yet, hunching over as if he could fold back into his younger shape.

I also have no curves— at least, not the good kind.

All this was confirmed when my own son was 14 and wore the exact same size and shoes that I did, tipping the scale at around the same weight (at 15, we stand at almost exactly the same height; he prefers his shoes a half size larger). From the back you could barely tell us apart. (The hair helps.)

Anyway, it’s always been hella hard to find clothes that hang right on me. They tend to accomodate things I don’t have (boobage, backside) while not giving enough in the areas I need them to (man shoulders, thighs). Jeans are a particular pain because I have big hips and “athletic” thighs and calves relative to my waist, so I need to size up. The end result is jeans that gap in the waist and fall down all. day. long.

In the last year or so I’ve embraced the trouser jean and yoga pant just to avoid having to go jean shopping: my last two decent pairs have developed holes in the knees. (They’d done their time, though. They were at least a decade old.)

Earlier this month I put on my big girl panties and braved driving into Philly by myself (I suck at city driving) to check out the Mom Mixer hosted by Colleen of Classy Mommy and Whitney at Mommies With Style. I missed the hotel and wound up circling with an ever-growing panic, but I eventually figured it out and arrived, albeit 20 minutes late.

I was so glad I did! The lateness of the hour meant I missed out on some things, but I did get to chat with a Lee Jeans stylist who quickly sized me up and sent me to try on some jeans that were not in my comfort zone— meaning, not something I’d ever glance at on a shelf and think, dang that would look good on me.


lee gold label


And this is what I came home with.

Good, yeah? Ignoring the cheesy smile. They’re skinny jeans, but with a TON of stretch. That means that they’re comfy, but also that I was able to go with a smaller waist size and still fit my kickboxing thighs in there.

(It bears noting— I first tried on a pair in the size I wear at Anthropologie and J. Crew and I felt like I was going to bust out of them at the thighs and calves, Incredible Hulk style. Maybe they would have been OK after wearing for a few minutes and letting the stretch do its thing, but it wasn’t a risk I was willing to take in a room full of people.)

They also zip at the ankle and have zippers along the pockets for a bit of edgy detail, like my favorite pair of jeans did when I was, I don’t know. 16? It’s true what they say about trends returning after 20 years. I believe they are the Nirvana and dude, they are on sale.

According to the cheat sheet the Lee Jeans folks gave me, the boyish figure should look for jeans with a low to mid-rise in a bootcut or skinny style, with handsanding or whiskering at the thighs and decorated or flap back pockets to accentuate curves (or in my case, give the illusion of curves in the right places).

I didn’t ask my 12 year old to take any photos of my backside, but IMHO these are very flattering to one’s… ahem… assets.

I wore ’em to another event this past weekend, the Type-A Advanced conference in Philly. My carpool buddy Kelly of The Turnip Farmer commented on how I was dressed in comfy clothes on the drive up.

I looked like this.


lee jeans


Once we got there I switched out my Chinese shoes (2 for $20 at Urban Outfitters, I buy 2 pair every year) for a pair of heels. LOVE that these jeans go from laidback to luxe by just unrolling the cuff and changing your shoes. Also, the way stilettos totally change the way you hold yourself.

Making me a bit less of a man. More of a lady.


lee jeans boyish figure


I’m thinking some colored denim may be in my future, after seeing them at the Lee display. The next step out of my style comfort zone.

After all, I’m LEAPing this year in all possible ways! Looking forward to having some fun with my wardrobe.


What’s your major wardrobe trial?

Thinking of making any stylin’ leaps this year?


*My teenage son did not think I would wear this t-shirt in public. He was mistaken. If you, too, would like to embarrass your teenaged son by flaunting the swag he claims you do not have, the shirt is on sale at AĂ©ropostale for 8 bucks right now. TOTALLY WORTH IT.*


**Lee Jeans gifted me with a pair of jeans. My opinions are my own. I believe the photos speak for themselves.**

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