The Little Things: Everything’s Easier When You Look Cute Doing It

It’s a simple principle, really.

When it comes to workout gear, people will seize on all kinds of details to compare things: size, weight, price, breathability, nighttime light reflection, anti-chafe properties, and on and on an on. In my mind, though, it can truly all be distilled down to one key factor – matchability.

After all, is there anything more empowering than a MATCHING SET? Why do you think they call it a “power suit?”

Well, perhaps there is one other relevant factor, and you can feel free to swell in a resounding chorus here all of you loan-paying, office-dwelling, bottom-rung-clinging post-grads: Affordability. If, in all of my life’s great seeking, there is one factor that empowers me even more than the kryptonic effect on my wallet felt by Things That Match, it is the all-powerful persuasive effect of a Great Deal.


Now, if you’re at all like me, I’m not telling you anything new about Target by singing its praises as the bastion of bargains and the cache of saved cash. But perhaps I can fill you in on an aspect of Target you may as yet not have experienced — Their workout line.

DALY CITY, CA - MAY 20:  A row of Target shopp...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I have been a devotee of Target’s workout line since I first started running two years ago. Fairly certain I’d never stick with it, and in no position to be making any sort of investment whatsoever, Target seemed an obvious option. At the time I was utterly unconcerned with the longevity of my workout wear since I’d never even considered “longevity” and “working out” as remotely related with respect to my life.

The Target line is infinitely matchable – which I love. And being characteristically affordable, the only real barrier to total Target-line domination is the size of my dresser drawer. And also, two years into my running career, I think I’m qualified to tell you I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the staying power. Some of my pieces have been in heavy rotation (at least once, sometimes twice a week depending on when the laundress does her thing) and they are holding up quite well retaining both color and shape.

Target: Running Skort
C9 by champion Running Skort at Target


Next up for consideration: the relatively new workout line from the folks over at Gap, Inc. (of Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and now New Logo fame) called Athleta. I own a few of their pieces and can say without hesitation that their quality is quite high. I love their running skort because it has a slightly longer inseam on the shorts — a feature of special interest if, as I do, you hear “Thunder Rolls” and instinctively look down at your thighs. I also love their UPF-laced long-sleeved sunshirts which are way better than slathering up with greasy comodogenic SPF, and also double nicely as an insulating layer in the winter.

The downside to these pieces is affordability since, though not outright hair-raising, their prices can’t hold a candle to Target. (I know, I know! Not everyone can offer Target’s prices, and if everyone could the world we be a cold, barren, post-apocalyptic place run by tiny children workers fighting to the death for nickel-a-day raises. I get it. But “in times like these . . . ” hey, cheap is cheap!)

Right now I’ve got my sights set on Altheta’s Triathlete (MATCHING) set which includes a one-piece swimsuit (That’s right. I wrote one piece. I’m almost thirty. It’s TIME.); a bike jersey (It’ll be my first one!); and a run skort (of afore-mentioned brilliant design). I know you are probably scoffing since I have fully disclosed repeatedly that I’m nowhere near ready for a triathlon. Well, maybe you’ve heard that you’ve gotta get in the boat and start paddling before you get anywhere? I happen to be of the school that says to gotta get cute boat shoes before you get in the boat!

Athleta Triumph One Piece
Athleta Triumph One-Piece Swimsuit
Athleta: Jersey in Gem Blue Maori
Athleta: Jersey in Gem Blue Maori
Athleta Printed Chase Skort
Athleta: Printed Chase Skort


It is no secret on this blog that I am a big fan of Lululemon. At first blush you may think we’ve officially abandoned any consideration of affordability here, but that’s not necessarily true. I don’t own many Lululemon pieces, but of the ones I do own, I will say that in fit, functionality, and fashion they are absolutely, unequivocally tops.

But because I’m not a personal trainer, fitness instructor, or independently wealthy, I don’t feel justified buying this stuff for myself too often. This is actually a good motivator, though, because I love to keep a carrot dangling from the stick. Lululemon is especially fun for reward purposes when goals are attained. Maybe I’ll outfit myself with some running gear if I reach my goal of a half-marathon by the end of February . . . .

Lululemon: Run Personal Best Skirt
Lululemon: Run Personal Best Skirt ( RunPersonal_Best_Skirt/ pd/np/500/p/2700.html)

It’s always good to have a goal!

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