Putting Texas tech into athletic wear.

By Hannah Hayes
August 04, 2017
Credit: @outdoorvoices

Dragging yourself out of bed before work for a run or pulling into the gym parking lot for a spin class takes enough self-discipline, but what you're wearing might be adding one more obstacle. Are your leggings squeezing you in all the wrong places? Do your tops consist of free, boxy crew-neck t-shirts gathered from volunteer events or shapeless, baggy tank tops? Does putting on your sports bra take American Ninja Warrior-like contortions?

We've all been that person in front of the mirror in Group Exercise Room 2 feeling frumpy, and simultaneously, the person who buys the cute, compression-paneled workout pants that bring only regret and a rash on your waistline.

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That's why I have become a super fan of Austin, Texas-based athletic wear start-up Outdoor Voices. One Zumba class while wearing their Tech Sweat leggings and tank was all I needed to see the light. Although they're made with a seriously flattering, four-way stretch, sweat-wicking material with a bonus waistband pocket for my phone, I almost can't feel them whether I'm walking around Birmingham's Railroad Park or moving and grooving during Body Jam at the YMCA.

Plus, purchasing them is the absolute opposite sensation of how you feel wandering from rack to rack in Target trying to piece together an outfit from hangers and stacks of nothing in your size. Instead, you simply put together a kit from a few basic pieces based on activity level with a slider tool on their website. There's a Studio Kit for the yogis, a Rec Kit for dog walks, and the Tech Kit for more intense workouts. These aren't flashy, overly-patterned pieces made for one certain body type or age group either, hence my mom was even interested where I bought my leggings.

The aforementioned leggings have indeed been game-changers, but their Featherweight Hurdle Thank and Athena Crop Top have been life-savers for outdoor workouts during this steamy summer. Sure, the price tag might be a bit on the steeper side, but well worth it if you actually look forward to putting on your gym clothes, and those clothes make working out feel less uncomfortable.

But what might be the most enjoyable about Outdoor Voices is their approachable outlook toward working out: doing things is better than not doing things--a pretty simple and refreshing message in a world filled with Crossfit culture, pea protein shakes, and running shoes made with NASA technology.