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Activewear for Fall and Winter – Part 2

active wear
November 13, 2019

Hi there! Have you been waiting anxiously for part two of my fall and winter activewear try-on post? Hahaha! Well, you won’t hurt my feelings if you answer, “no,” but I do suspect that many of you are looking for more economical pieces than I shared in yesterday’s post. While I’m thoroughly enjoying the few pieces I purchased at Athleta (in fact I’m wearing them right now!), the bulk of my workout gear will continue to be from more economical stores. So let’s look at what I found at Kohl’s and Target today. I’m also sharing a few finds at Talbots and a few recommendations for Amazon.

Activewear for Fall & Winter Part 2


I asked viewers of my recent Instagram story what you’re looking for in activewear for fall and winter. The answers varied widely. So, while I did try on a variety of pieces, the items I chose may not fit your criteria. After all, we all look for different things and exercise in various ways. Some require reflective clothing so they can run at dusk. Others want lots of layers for extreme cold. And still others, like me, still want lighter pieces for indoor workouts.

So today and yesterday I’m showing a variety of pieces from various stores and brands. But the main thing I’m offering you here is my assessment of different brands. I’m going to give you the 4-1-1 on how they fit, move, go on and off, etc. While I’m providing shopping links to everything, I’ll also give you an honest assessment. Let’s get started!

Yesterday we looked at the higher end selections and today I’ll provide more economical choices. But first, I need to backtrack into a little pricier pieces to show you a few things I found in the T by Talbots collection.

Talbots Activewear

Talbots has made huge strides in their activewear since first introducing it several years ago. No longer are most of the pieces frumpy and thick. But they’re streamlined, stylish and constructed from state of the art fabrics that are moisture-wicking and easy to move in. I own several pieces of the T by Talbots collection and wear them often, mostly for brisk walks with the dog or what I call “active days,” not so much for hardcore workouts.

Talbots Fall and Winter Activewear
Tech Stretch Leggings // Space Dyed Half Zip Pullover

Tech Stretch Leggings // I own these tech stretch leggings in the textured weave, but these plain black ones (also in indigo blue) are marked down right now. These are great feeling leggings and a nice density. I wear them frequently for long power walks or just working at home. And I love that they’re long enough for my 5’8″ frame. Wearing size medium.

Space Dyed Half Zip Pullover // This half zip pullover is made from a spandex/polyester blend and just skims the body. It’s comfy and perfect for long walks or maybe even runs. It features two front pockets, too. Wearing size medium.

Chevron Quilted Vest
Tech Stretch Leggings // Space Dyed Half Zip Pullover // Chevron Quilted Vest

Chevron Quilted Vest // Also available in grey and navy, this quilted vest features side seam zip pockets and is a nice weight for layering over multiple pieces. It also has ribbed side panels for ease of movement and comfort. I wear a similar vest for my outdoor workouts.

The next pieces are more suitable for skiing, snow-shoeing, or walking in the snow. But, hey! That may be your form of exercise for all I know!

Activewear - Talbots 03
Stretch Twill Straight Leg Pants // ThermaWarmth Turtleneck – Buffalo Plaid

Stretch Twill Straight Leg Pants // I love these pants and wish I had a need for them. I think they’re perfect for outdoor activities like golf during the winter. They’re constructed from a thick and warm twill, but they have plenty of stretch and feel so cozy on. Wearing a size 8.

ThermaWarmth Turtleneck – Buffalo Plaid // Crafted from an innovative fabric to ensure warmth, this sporty turtleneck is perfect for skiing or other winter sports.

Activewear - Talbots 04
Talbots Fleece Lined Pants // Geometric Fair Isle Fleece

Geometric Fair Isle Fleece // This 100% polyester fleece can be washed and dried in the machine, so it’s perfect for cold weather activities where there’s the potential for getting wet. Wearing size small.

Talbots Fleece Lined Pants // These pants warm and cozy pants are lined from knee to cuff with soft fleece. Great for walking in the snow. Wearing size 8.

Overall, I think Talbots has improved their activewear line, T by Talbots, tremendously. Many of the pieces are more athleisurewear than activewear, but most of it is made from appropriate fabrics and streamlined. And I do love their leggings for walking outside. Pricewise, they’re not cheap. But they do include these pieces in sales, whereas they used to exclude them.

Let’s move on to Kohl’s!

Kohl’s Activewear

Honestly, I was a little surprised how expensive the activewear was at Kohl’s. Granted, they often mark it down. However, I also didn’t really just love anything I tried on there. Maybe I had been spoiled by the higher quality pieces I’d tried by this point. But I’m not really an activewear snob, so I don’t think that is true. I just want clothes that fit well for my workouts. And nothing I tried at Kohl’s made me feel extremely comfortable.

I often have a problem with exercise leggings riding low in the crotch. I hope that’s not TMI! But I figure that’s what this post is all about. I’m trying to help you find clothing that is comfortable and easy to wear so it doesn’t get in the way of an effective workout. But most of the leggings I tried at Kohl’s, if not all of them, felt awkward and uncomfortable. That said, let’s take a look.

Activewear Kohls
Nike Power Tights // Similar NIke Tights at Kohl’s // can’t find shirt online

Nike Power Tights // Well right out of the gate, I ran into trouble when I began trying to link the items I found at Kohl’s. I can’t find the shirt at all. Perhaps it’s left over from the summer and no longer available online. But I had to shop through Zappos to find the leggings or tights. These full length leggings have a tight compression so they’re good for long runs, but I can’t find them at Kohl’s now. They’re hard to get on and off, but feel just okay while you’re wearing them. Wearing size medium.

zip up hoodie
Nike Power Tights // Similar NIke Tights at Kohl’s // can’t find shirt online // Nike Gym Vintage Hoodie

Nike Gym Vintage Hoodie // There’s nothing special about this hoodie jacket but I thought it would make a nice option for wearing to and from workouts. You could certainly also wear it for long walks or other activities. It fits true to size. Wearing size medium.

Overall, I found Nike didn’t work great for me. The tights felt okay, but a little binding. The shirt was fine, but I can’t find it online. I do have Nike shirts like this one in my workout arsenal and they definitely serve their purpose.

Fila Activewear
FILA SPORT Signature Fleece Mid-Rise Leggings // FILA SPORT Tru-Warm Signature Fleece Hoodie

FILA SPORT Signature Fleece Mid-Rise Leggings // These mid-rise leggings just wouldn’t work for me. They look okay and I appreciate that they hide bulges and panty lines, etc. But the mid-rise left me feeling like I’d be pulling them up constantly. Wearing size medium.

FILA SPORT Tru-Warm Signature Fleece Hoodie // I think of everything I tried at Kohl’s, this shirt was my favorite. I like the lime green for outside workouts in dusk or dawn. And it would make a great layering piece under a vest or jacket. Wearing size medium.

I really wanted to like FILA workout clothes. But I didn’t find anything in this brand that fit me well. Look, this may be purely personal fit issues. So if you wear FILA and love it, please let me and the rest of my readers know in the comment section.

I did like what I tried from Under Armour better.

Under Armour
Under Armour HeatGear Midrise Ankle Leggings // Under Armour TechTM Twist V-Neck Tee

Under Armour TechTM Twist V-Neck Tee // I liked this short sleeve Under Amrour TechTM tee for weight training workouts. This is great moisture-wicking fabric, cool and an easy fit. The shirt comes in plenty of other colors, too. Wearing size medium.

Under Armour HeatGear Midrise Ankle Leggings // These leggings have a lot going for them. They have anti-stink guard, they’re created to be warm in cool weather, they’re moisture-wicking and they move well. They’re also available in a full length legging. They only thing that kept me from buying them was the mid-rise. I think I just have to have a high-rise legging at this point. Wearing size medium.

Under Armour
Under Armour HeatGear Midrise Ankle Leggings // Under Armour TechTM Twist V-Neck Tee // Under Armour Tech Half-Zip Top

Under Armour Tech Half-Zip Top // This half-zip top would definitely get the job done for outdoor workouts. It’s a nice second layer. My only beef with it is that it doesn’t feature a thumb hole for a longer fit. Wearing size medium.

Under Armour HeatGear Midrise Ankle Leggings // Under Armour TechTM Twist V-Neck Tee // Under Armour Tech Half-Zip Top // Columbia Benton Springs Fleece Hooded Jacket

Columbia Benton Springs Fleece Hooded Jacket // This Columbia Fleece jacket would be a great outer layer as long as the weather is dry. Fleece is so warm and cozy, and I love Columbia brand products. This one fits true to size, even with two layers on underneath. Wearing size medium.

Columbia Powder Lite Omni-Heat Hooded Jacket
Under Armour HeatGear Midrise Ankle Leggings // Under Armour TechTM Twist V-Neck Tee // Under Armour Tech Half-Zip Top // Columbia Powder Lite Omni-Heat Hooded Jacket

Columbia Powder Lite Omni-Heat Hooded Jacket // My daughter has this jacket and swears by it. She walked all over New York City in it during the cold days of February and stayed toasty warm. It’s so easy to move in and very lightweight, but it features an Omni-Heat insulation that works like magic. Great for layering over other lightweight pieces for a cold day run. Wearing size medium.

Overall I found it hard to find things at Kohl’s. The activewear portion of the store was mayhem. And then I had a difficult time finding high-rise leggings. They probably had them, but I couldn’t locate them. So that may be a good reason to shop online for activewear at Kohl’s rather than in the store. You can put what you want into the search engine and find it!

Activewear at Target

The last try-on session I did was Target. Y’all! By this point I was so exhausted from pulling on and off sports bras. And I realize I haven’t even mentioned sports bras in this post! But in the end I decided that sports bras just aren’t my thing. I don’t need a lot of support and I’m just not well versed on what makes a good sport bra. So I didn’t even try!

Let’s see what Target had to offer.

Champion Women’s Training Long Sleeve Mesh Open Back T-Shirt // C9 Champion Women’s Studio Animal Print High-Waisted 7/8 Leggings 25″

C9 Champion Women’s Studio Animal Print High-Waisted 7/8 Leggings 25″ // These leggings have firm compression and fit nicely, thanks to the high waist. They run true to size and are easy to move in. Wearing size medium.

Champion Women’s Training Long Sleeve Mesh Open Back T-Shirt // Champion Women’s Training Plaid High-Waisted 7/8 Leggings 25″

Champion Women’s Training Long Sleeve Mesh Open Back T-Shirt // This shirt has an open back at the top for circulation. It feature the thumb hole I like. But I’m not sure I like the combination. Is it a running shirt? Or is it a workout shirt for the gym? I’m not sure. But it’s comfortable and lightweight. Wearing size medium.

Champion Women’s Training Plaid High-Waisted 7/8 Leggings 25″ // I’ve owned several Champion pieces before and had pretty good results with them. These have a pretty firm compression, which I think is nice. But they’re still fairly comfortable. And, as far as prints go, this one is fairly neutral and not quite as wild as some. Wearing size medium.

Champion Women’s Urban High-Waisted Leggings 28.5″ // Soft Tech T-Shirt – C9 Champion

Champion Women’s Urban High-Waisted Leggings 28.5″ // All of the Champion leggings work well for me. I like the price and the fit. Wearing size medium.

Soft Tech T-Shirt – C9 Champion // This short sleeve tee could be a year round part of your workout gear. This is the kind of top I like to do my weight training in. Wearing size medium.

Activewear Target 04
C9 Champion Women’s Hybrid Quilted Jacket // C9 Champion Women’s Training High-Waisted Capri Leggings 20″

C9 Champion Women’s Hybrid Quilted Jacket // This jacket would be a great outer layer for the outdoor workout. I like that it has a thumb hole and features quilted fabric. It’s available in dark gray, too. Wearing size medium.

C9 Champion Women’s Training High-Waisted Capri Leggings 20″ // These capri leggings are shorter, but still feature a high waist. I really liked all the Champion leggings. Wearing size medium.

I like Champion brand workout gear. I think it’s a good price for what you get. And Target often reduces the prices even further. I had wanted to try on the Joy Lab activewear, too, but couldn’t seem to put together a full look with it. Maybe another day. When shopping in the store, I enjoyed shopping for activewear at Target much more than I did at Kohl’s. But the online experience is even better since you can use the filters to find just want you want.

Final Amazon Recommendations

I haven’t tried on any activewear from Amazon. However, I’ve heard really good reviews on a few pieces. So I’m including them in a shopping widget here. Just keep in mind that I’m not offering personal recommendations. Mainly I hear crazy good recommendations for these leggings. I’ve heard other bloggers and Instagrammers claim they are even better than anything from Lululemon or Zella. I’m ordering a pair (or two) myself.

The End

Well that’s that! I can tell you I won’t be doing an activewear try-on session again for quite a while. They were exhausting! And somehow typing up this particular post or series of posts has been exhausting, too. Ha!

Honestly, that’s kinda how I feel about buying activewear in general. I like to buy it and forget about it. I want it to do its job so I don’t have to think about it or buy anymore any time soon.

Let me know if you have any questions. I’d be glad to answer them. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to moving on to other things tomorrow. Yay! I’ll be sharing how to style a sweater as opposed to just wearing a sweater. I hope you’ll stop back by!

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Blessed for My Day

For some reason I’ve developed quite a skiddish feeling about riding in the car with another driver. It doesn’t matter who’s driving…other than me…but I feel nervous the entire ride. I grab the handrail, “apply the air brakes,” and even occasionally gasp. I know it is unnerving and exasperating to the driver.

But I’ve decided this is really a trust issue. And it’s not a trust issue between me and the driver. It’s a trust issue with God. If I truly trust that He’s in control, that He’s good and that He sees and loves me, then I should be able to ride in peace. So He and I are working on this. Do you have an area in your life where you lack peace and live on edge instead? I suggest you take it up with Him today.

You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you. ~ Isaiah 26:3

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xoxo, Kay
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18 thoughts on “Activewear for Fall and Winter – Part 2

  1. Kay, thank you for doing the work for us! I do have one question. I am 70 years old and do not feel as comfortable in leggings for working out. Do you have any suggestions? Any of the tops would work for me, but I am too self conscious to wear leggings to work out.

  2. Kay,
    I personally find Zella leggings to be the best I’ve ever tried. I go to Cross Fit and they have held up for years!
    Thanks for all your hard work, those sports bras are a lot of work!

  3. I am looking for warmer leggings for walking exercise outside.. I need the high waisted so I don’t feel like pulling them up all the time. I wonder if any of the lower end (price wise) leggings you mention would keep me warm. (I live in New Hampshire so it can be very cold walking in the winter.) Thank you, and thank you for including lower priced items. I just don’t want to spend a lot on work out clothes.

    1. I totally get wanting to spend less on clothes you’re just going to sweat in. Ha! You might try the Champion brand at your nearest Target. Some of them we’re supposed to be warm.

    2. I was in our local Steinmart yesterday and found fleece lined leggings for $12.99! They are sized S/M and L/XL, are very stretchy and comfortable, and come in a variety of solids and subtle patterns. Search Fleece Lined Leggings…I got the Zac and Rachel brand.

  4. Thanks Kay! Like you, I prefer the higher waistband so I don’t feel the need to keep pulling my pants up. I hope that James arrived safely yesterday. Have a blessed day.

  5. Thanks for taking one for the team. lol I have found some nice active wear at Old Navy and TJMaxx also that doesn’t break the bank. Your readers may want to give those two places a try for lower price options.

  6. Thanks for this session. I really don’t spend alot of time and money on work out clothes. In the summer, shorts and t shirt and winter sweat shirt and leggings. I jog daily and that is my time to care for myself. Thank you for the message on trust. I frequently react in similar ways when someone is driving. I think for me it is not only trust but trying to control.But, I am bringing it to prayer and it is helping.

  7. I thought they all looked good on you. I have a question on the Under Armour HeatGear Leggings from Kohls…what is “stink guard”? I have never heard of that.

    1. Thanks for reading, Mary Jo. Hahaha! I’m assuming it’s something built into the fabric that is supposed to keep it from absorbing odor. Obviously it won’t keep US from stinking. LOL! But it is supposed to not absorb the odor. You know how athletic wear can just start smelling after a while, even with regular washings? Supposedly, these pieces won’t do that. Good question!

  8. I couldn’t help smiling, as I read this post. I don’t know how you fashion bloggers try on all those clothes, especially active wear. Bless your heart from one GA girl to another ?

  9. I totally understand your uncomfortable driving issues. My 16 year old daughter is learning to drive and it scares me. I know I’m a control freak and really have to give it to God!

  10. Thanks for doing all the work! I would hate trying on all those clothes! Two questions, do you have a reasonable priced sports bra you like? Also, I do yoga in a cold room so I am looking for a long sleeve shirt I can move in but it has to be longer in length too. Thanks!

    1. I was late reading emails so I actually read this email before your other Activewear email where you showed sports bras and long sleeve shirts. I guess I should try to keep up on emails!! ?

  11. I am right with you on the driving thoughts?
    Thanks again for your try on sessions!! What a trooper. I agree that trying on workout wear is just as finicky and personal as swimsuits. Just my extra two cents… I own and love that soft inside Fila hoodie for running outdoors in the 50F ish temps, or as a base layer for colder runs. I also have an older Columbia Omni heat vest and love it for those colder runs. For high waisted leggings at Kohl’s, the Gaiam brand offers a great selection that fit well; as does the Tekgear Shapewear. Have you tried Talbots polar fleece leggings this season?