I finally own a washer and dryer. I bought them used off craigslist when we found out our new place had hookups. Let me preface this by saying that I love living in the Upper Peninsula. Among other things, housing is cheap and used stuff is practically given away. So I now am able to wash (and dry! although I hang dry all my running gear) my clothes more frequently, no longer have a clothes pile of stench brewing in my bedroom, and can run more regularly in my favorite clothes.
Luckily for my wardrobe I had stocked up on running clothes prior to owning a washer and dryer. In the days when I had trek it to the laundromat with five hundred pounds of denim, lycra, and wool, I managed to buy enough running clothes to run in something clean for approximately two weeks. Yes, I have at least ten pairs of shorts, four pairs of capris, and too many running tops to count. My rate-limiting-factor, at least during the pre-washambrian era, was underwear. My stints between laundroramas were about five weeks, though. Do the math… I definitely re-wore my favorite items (particularly my Saucony Run Lux shorts and Empress top that take refuge in my locker at the gym) more than I would like to mention. But, all is fair in love and war (and that statement has nothing to do with anything I am talking about)- and with the arrival of Dame Washer and Sir Dryer, I could breathe a sigh of relief (and send the shorts I still have from high school off to Goodwill).
A few weeks ago, I received an email from lucy activewear asking if I’d like to review some of their new products for the spring. New running clothes? For free? That are stylish? What girl could say no (even this girl that has so many running clothes they are pouring out of their cubby)? The bag of goods arrived promptly after I agreed to “give ’em a shot”- and off we went for a jog or two. Or maybe ten… since it’s been over a month since I got the package! I have definitely had a chance to run, wash, repeat with all the items that came in the minimal-packaging from the west coast.
Note for my dude readers: Not all is lost by reading this review. If you’re shopping for your mom for Mother’s Day or your girlfriend because you did something wrong, you might want to read ahead.
High Hurdle Capri Skirt– These are actually somewhat hidden on lucy’s website. My first impression of a capri-with-a-skirt-over-it was: “Oy”. I (no offense intended) first associated this item with ‘something a running mom might wear’- not that such a thing is bad for me to wear, but I definitely am one to prefer sports-bra-and-low-rise-shorts running. I have gotten into wearing running skirts as of late, though, and I do like a select few pairs of capris, so I thought- what the heck. I’d at least give them a try.
The fit was quite welcoming, and I was warming up to the capri quickly. I found myself wearing the “skirpris” to work on the weekends. I felt confident wearing them, too- I felt like I was showing off my legs without actually showing too much of my legs. And the skirt was key- no way in heck I’d be wearing capri tights to work and having everyone stare at my seriously-tight-pants (wondering why I didn’t have undie-lines… or whatever they may be wondering). A sweetly located (and seriously huge) pocket on the left leg makes this a great bottom to wear in a race too (stash the gels, yo!):
I definitely pull these skirpris out on cooler mornings and evenings. Having a bit more coverage helps me get through my workouts a bit easier. Plus, I feel alright about running through town, not worrying about whether my old capris wore a hole right through the butt seam (um… don’t ask). Kudos for lucy for having a very well ventilated skirpri, that didn’t give me any weird rubbing or hot spots. The pocket is big enough to fit my digital camera (Lumix DMC-TS1). The material is lucy truetek, which is an extra durable, moisture-wicking micro-fiber jersey with high compression.
My only issue with the skirt-capri is that it rides down. I know this is probably an atypical problem- most people have issues with stuff riding up. But since I like to run commando in my running duds, I like my duds to be, well, snug. These weren’t so much. The longer I ran, the more the movement of my knees pulled the capri-part-of-the-ensemble down, and away from being snug. I never felt like the waistband was going to drop below any region that I didn’t want exposed, but I got a little annoyed by having to tug on the waistband to get them more-snuggable. Perhaps lucy knows about this issue, and that’s why the skirpris are hidden on the website?
Propel Jacket – This jacket is the cat’s meow. I wear this jacket all the time (not just when I am walk/running like the website says its ‘intended for’). It fits absolutely perfect for me, which isn’t always easy because I’m not the most femininely shaped gal out there. My shoulders are broad, my rib cage is big, but my chest is small, and my waist is lacking any shape besides flat (which I don’t consider a bad thing). I got the jacket in Grass, size small, and it looks goooood. What is my obsession with green?! 🙂
The full-length zipper on this jacket is lined with reflective fabric, which makes me a smidge safer when running at dawn and dusk. The material used for the jacket is lucy tech, which is a “heavier” (and I use that term loosely) fabric that seems to be able to withstand just about anything. The jacket really is lightweight, even though the feel of the material would make you think it should weigh a lot. Does that make any sense?
The pockets are streamlined to be hidden, but I can run with my keys in my pocket without them bouncing around a whole lot. The arm length (and this is where a lot of people are really picky about their running jackets)- are PERFECT. They are long enough to cover my hand, if I so choose, and they have a “thumb loop” which is actually a thumb-less mitten. The end of the sleeve covers my entire hand minus my thumb. Amazing. And again, the length is perfect, it doesn’t make me feel like I am stretching the jacket at all to put the mitten on, and putting my thumb through the loop is natural. If I don’t want to wear it with my thumb through the loop, the length of the sleeves are just long enough that they don’t annoy me to push them up a bit.
I wear this jacket practically everywhere. To work, to run, on the plane, at a friend’s, everywhere. And I sometimes don’t notice when I had worn it the day before and spat on myself and then wear it to a friend’s for dinner. Or maybe I do, and just don’t care enough to be separated from it long enough for it to get washed. Ok, maybe that’s a little too over the top.
Qualms with this jacket? Nada. There are no tags to bother me, the zipper doesn’t rub my chin, and the fabric is stretchy and smooth (and a great color). Love it.
Quick-Zip Tank– My first thought when pulling the QuickZip out of the bag was: “Padding? Really?” I took the bra-lining-padding out (very easily, I might add), and tried the top on. It fit – as did the other things – perfectly. I liked the “sneaky cleavage” that the top offered. It looks like there are two different pieces, and the bottom layer is peakin’ through the top, but its really all one piece. The mesh bra is smooth and not abrasive, and wicks moisture really well. The material is mostly moisture-wicking lucy tech- with a coolmax and mesh lined shelf bra.The print is cool, too- digitized print- from a distance, it looks like a pattern (maybe islander? maybe artsy?) but up close its just a bunch of squares. The length and the fit are very flattering. I like that the top comes below my hips, and it compliments the skirpris well. It isn’t super-tight below the ribs, which is also nice when I am feeling like I ate too much pizza the night before. And the support-area isn’t so tight that it makes me feel like I am getting the air squeezed out of me, but its tight enough to keep me from being uncomfortable. I like to call that “Just-tight-enough.” I definitely don’t need to wear another bra under it, the shelf bra is plenty for this 34A gal.
I think this will be a great training top for riding my bike this summer. If I didn’t already have an amazingly flashy-and-fast race top, and it had a pocket in the back- I’d consider it. I’ve worn this top on several rides under my jersey, and I haven’t noticed any issues with under-arm rubbing. I haven’t taken it out on any long runs yet, though… Maybe this weekend!
Propel Run Skort– This might very well be one of the best running skirt I’ve found. It fits so snug, doesn’t move around at all, and the liner shorts are like spandex race bottoms that are a bit longer to prevent my thighs from starting a fire by friction (13.5inch inseam!). There are pockets on both the right and left sides of the shorts under the skirt, and the right one is inverted (which is perfect for carrying gel wrappers or – in my case – an inhaler). The inverted one is actually to make this skirt usable for tennis too, but since I don’t play tennis… I will just use it for my inhaler. The left one is big enough to fit an entire EFS Liquid Shot bottle in it, which I found amazing.
The first time I tried out the skirt was the day it arrived- and it just so happened to be hill-repeat-day on Ingot Street. I trolley-la’d over to the Fairgrounds feeling pretty prim and proper. I mean, the skirt has ruffles for cripes sake! I had no idea. But, the snug fit and lightweight material made me forget quickly that I was wearing a skirt. The skirt material never hindered my stride, and I was able to rock some pretty serious sprints with it. It’s made out of something called lucy truetek™, which wicks moisture and has UPF 50. Can you tell? My skin is still see-through.
I like this skirt so much, that I ran the Salt Lake City Marathon in it. True, I didn’t have my Saucony race kit yet, but the skort was pretty flashy. I am proud to say that my inner thighs came out totally unscathed. Sweet! So light, so fast.
I didn’t even need to use them, but the Propel skirt comes with drawstrings in case the waistband needs to be tightened. Like I said, I didn’t have the skirt move on me whatsoever, so I just tuck the drawstrings inside the skirt. The material for all the lucy items that I received is smooth, wicking, and incredibly comfortable. I was hesitant to dive into their products, so I am incredibly grateful that they were willing to send me some of their new products to try out. To my relief, the stuff has held up thus far well in the washer. I even had to wash the jacket twice before wearing it, because the not-so-new washing machine didn’t quite get all the detergent off (and speckles of detergent made it look like I spat all over myself about six times. Maybe I did?). I even throw the stuff in the dryer too, set to low heat, and nothing seems to be affected. Elasticity is maintained in the skirt, the jacket still fits perfect, and the seams are all still tightly sewn up.
Their line is definitely driven with the female athlete in mind, and their product spans all levels, from entry-level jogger to yoga instructor. Although most of their items are affordable, I’m not too geeked about paying nearly $40 for a seamless racerback bra. But! I can vouch that $44 spent on the Propel Skirt is totally worth it! And 88 bucks isn’t too bad for a jacket like the Propel Jacket, considering that last year I bought a Sugoi Helium jacket (retails at $100) that is like wearing a garbage bag.
For the cost-conscious gal, lucy.com has a lot of items that are on clearance, including casual wear! They stock tunics! And the tunics are cute! Who’da thought.
AND! Get this: lucy activewear sells other stuff, not just clothes, including hydration belts! You can get the Nathan Quick Draw in the same shipment as your next bra. That’s pretty cool.
All in all, I think lucy makes a great product that can actually withstand the rough lifestyle of a competitive athlete (and still look cute). The flat-seams that all the items I received have keep the pieces fitted, but also help it have a longer life.
Disclaimer: lucy activewear sent me these items free of charge to review on my blog. I did not receive any money for this review, and I am reviewing their products honestly.