Monday, November 28, 2016

Black Pants Review

As of the winter session, my company is requiring solid black bottoms for all coaches. In an effort to scope out the best, I have reviewed my favorites, and have the ones worth mentioning here.

My criteria include:

Price. I will rate with $ for 20 or less, $$ for  $21-$50 and $$$ for $51 plus. This will reflect full retail price, and not any sales, discounts or deals you might find, but these will be noted.

Fit. For reference, I am just a hair under 5'6" and a size 0-4 depending on my mood and the clothes, and wear a waist size 25 in pants that use this highly superior sizing system (cough, gap, cough).  The rating will include what size I have and how it works.

Feel. Over all comfort.

Foam pit. I work with kids. I spend time around foam almost every day, and I don't need to take it home with me.

Sweat. How do they do in hot yoga? I often go from studio to gym to studio to gym and I want pants that can make a quick transition.

I've also divided things into categories:

High Waist (which I think are pretty much superior to just about anything else)
Regular Legging
Sweat Pants

(I have a couple pairs of shorts, but 1. it's not a priority right now and 2. I'm not super particular about them, so I'm not going to be reviewing them right now)

I will * my top pick in each category

High Waist

*Girlfriend Collective
  • Price: $$$, however, they are currently running a deal where you are only paying for shipping from their factory, and it's $20. I highly recommend this before the opportunity runs out! 
  • Fit: I ordered an XS and they fit perfectly. 
  • Feel: These are so soft! Definitely high quality feel. 
  • Foam Pit: No foam pit at home for me! 
  • Sweat: They stay nice and dry, no matter how hot or humid the room. I can run to the store or whatever right after and not feel gross 
Overall: It's no secret, I love this legging. They're a local (to me) company using recycled water bottles to make excellent leggings. For $20, they are so worth it! I also intend to make another purchase when the company officially launches next year.

90 Degrees by Reflex
  • Price: $, and prime shipping from amazon
  • Fit: XS, fits great, nice and long to tuck under my heel
  • Feel: Nothing special 
  • Foam Pit: No pit here! 
  • Sweat: They rate surprisingly well here. I didn't expect much, but they hold up quite well in that hot room. 
Overall: These aren't anything special, but they are pretty cheap, so if you're not picky, they could be a solid bet for you.

Old Navy Active Go Dry 
  • Price: $ 
  • Fit: XS, great, extra long 
  • Feel: nothing special, like the 90 Degrees 
  • Foam Pit: plays nice 
  • Sweat: Again, better than expected
Overall: You'll be hearing more later, but I was disappointed in these. They are solid, and I wear them enough, but they are not a favorite.

Alo High Waisted Airbrush
Note: I technically only have these in navy, but you'll here why I wouldn't order the black 
  • Price: $$$
  • Fit: XS, a little gapey in the back sometimes 
  • Feel: A little thicker than other leggings 
  • Foam Pit: Attack of the pit pieces! It is my biggest problem with Alo. 
  • Sweat: Good but not great 
Overall: I love these leggings. I do. I think they look great and I especially love them when I'm going to non heated classes, or for contortion or other things, but they are not the ideal hot yoga or preschool gymnastics coach pants

Regular Legging 

*Old Navy Active
  • Price: $
  • Fit: XS, great 
  • Feel: So freaking soft 
  • Foam pit: No issues 
  • Sweat: Awesome
Overall: Once upon a time, a coworker was selling some clothes she didn't want anymore. I bought these leggings from her for $7 and they have remained a favorite to this day. I have scoured Old Navy looking for this legging to come back, or for something similar and have been unsuccessful. It is very annoying. 

Fabletics Salar Capri 
  • Price: $$ 
  • Fit: XXS, good. In general I don't like capris, but these came free with something else so why not. 
  • Feel: Pretty average 
  • Foam Pit: Nothing 
  • Sweat: Good. They can feel a little thick or heavy, but they do stay dry. 
 Overall:  These are ok, but they mostly sit near the bottom of the drawer unless my shorts are dirty and pants seem too hot. They get more action during the summer than other times of year. 

Alo Coast Legging 
  • Price: $$$
  • Fit: S. I got them from a coworker who couldn't return them. They fit fine, but an XS would probably be better 
  • Feel: These have mesh detail and stirrups and are pretty soft to boot! 
  • Foam Pit: the pit hates these pants 
  • Sweat: Pretty good. This is one of the lighter feeling alo leggings to me and a favorite of mine in the hot room 
Overall: These are super cute. I get a lot of compliments on them, and the stirrups are so fun! I wish they did better with that foam pit though. 

Lululemon Reversible Wunder Under
  • Price: $$$
  • Fit: A 4 works great here 
  • Feel: Soft, but nothing special  
  • Foam Pit: nothing too crazy, a mild attraction 
  • Sweat: they can feel a little warm, but mostly keep it dry 
Overall:  What's great about these in my situation in particular is that I can have a solid black legging on one side and a solid magenta one on the other. But beyond that, they're nothing extraordinary. 

*Onzie Women's Long Legging
  • Price: $$ 
  • Fit: XS. It says long, but I think they're pretty normal. 
  • Feel: My favorite part - they're so light they feel like you're not wearing pants! 
  • Foam Pit: no attraction 
  • Sweat: Super quick drying 
Overall: These are a great legging. They look nice, feel good, and will take you anywhere. 

Gap Active Mesh Detail 
note: totally not what they are called, but I don't know so I'm just being descriptive
  • Price: $$$
  • Fit: S, a little weird around the ankles 
  • Feel: So soft. The mesh is so minimal that it's not weird or scratchy or anything
  • Foam pit: pretty good 
  • Sweat: A little thick, pretty dry 
Overall: These leggings are another really cute looking pair, and they're functional enough. Good luck finding them again. Gap's active wear is so hit or miss for me and I haven't found any more of their pants to be worth trying in a long time. 

Sweat Pants
Note: in general, I dislike sweatpants. However, there are times when it comes in handy to have a pair you like. I tried two pairs. 

Alo Revive Pant 
  • Price: $$$
  • Fit: S, roomy and comfy 
  • Feel: crazy soft 
  • Foam pit: much better than expected 
  • Sweat: n/a  
Overall: These are so cozy and great for lounging around the house or sleeping in. However, they don't look super professional and aren't my favorite for at work. I still do it though, especially if I'm coming right from a shower at a studio.

*Champion Jogger
  • Price: $$
  • Fit: S, Elizabeth told me they were too big 
  • Feel: Not crazy soft, but cozy enough 
  • Foam pit: no issues 
  • Sweat: n/a 
 Overall: I like these, and they've become my go to when I'm wearing shorts underneath anyway. Maybe an XS would have been better. I also love the pockets. 

To recap: If you're still reading this, get your butt over to Girlfriend Collective and order yourself the best $20 leggings you'll find. Beyond that, may the odds be ever in your favor.



Sunday, November 13, 2016

Why I'm Not At Your Church

My church recently closed, and although I wasn't looking forward to finding a new home, I didn't think it would be too difficult.

I have been on 4 first dates with churches in the city, and let me tell you, it is hard (to be fair, I didn't hate one of them but it only meets at night and that's harder for me).  I fell in love with Jesus and His Word first, the local church some time later, and the city I call home some years after that. Finding their intersection has proven to be quite the task.

Although I try to be open minded everywhere I go, I had to walk out of a service today. I walked in and wanted to leave. It was loud, and felt like every Christian millennial stereotype had come to life. The music was unfamiliar and not only bad art, it was about people and our feelings. I was there for 40 minutes and never heard the name of Jesus, never any iteration of his gospel. I had never felt so alone in a room full of people. I was growing more and more uncomfortable every minute I was there, and when there was a message without a single word of Scripture, I had to leave.

While I was still there, I took a moment to reflect on the church cultures and communities I've engaged in lately and wrote this list of why I'm not at your church

You preach based on emotion and feelings and never open a Bible. 

You will quote a sociology book before the Word of God. 

You will preach a biblical topic but use only maybe one verse or two stripped from its context to support your point. 

You sing lame "worship"  music about people and our feelings instead of Jesus. 

You go through half the service (or more) before saying the name of Jesus or reading His Word. 

You elevate marriage to the end all be all and leave no place for the content single. 

Your idea of community is confined to once a week dinners and don't know what to do with those who work evenings. 

I love my Jesus and the church He died to save. I love my city and the people who are desperate for light and hope and abundant life. I am a 25 year old happily single Bible nerd, lover of church history and cherisher of old hymns. I value belonging to and serving a local church. I'm not giving up on my search for a Bible-loving, preaching, believing and living church in this city, but it's Sunday afternoon. I'm a little worn, a little sad, and just in case you are too, I wanted you to know I'm here.