I focused my silhouettes around 2 major areas of influence in my life and wardrobe:
- Outdoor activities wear by Season
- Work2Play wear by Season
- What do I prefer to wear when active?
- How can I take pieces from Work to an Active Outdoor Playtime?
- What would I wear during Summer? Fall? Winter? Spring?
Today I'll talk about the silhouettes and types of garments I typically wear or would like to wear while doing all my favorite activities... hiking, walking, skating, kayaking, SUP, swimming... and include pieces I want to wear for activities I dream of doing like ... surfing.
Tomorrow I'll write about how I choose my clothing to take me from Work to Play - on the job to on a walk.
I used Polyvore to create all of my sets/collections you see below. This is a really fun site to use when dreaming up clothing, wardrobes, planning for travel, or looking at how color schemes can play well together.
You also know now that I love to include a few choice high quality pieces of gear or ready-to-wear among my #memade items. A fantastic feature of Polyvore is that every item is something you can click on and purchase. It's real stuff, ready to buy.
I sought out companies that create clothing and gear in my colors, ease, and styles. In many cases, like the shoes, I'm including the exact brand and possibly style that I own and wear and love. Some items are inspiring, but I'm still considering whether they will flatter me or not, but I love them and the look they offer.
I had so much fun making these. I hope you enjoy them too. PS - I am not an affiliate, nor do I make any money by showing these off. Just stuff I love.
Outdoor Activities Wear: Spring/Winter/Fall
When I know I want to push myself and sweat, I will usually put on clothing that allows me to be the most comfortable. Sometimes, putting on/removing garments with negative ease can be a pain because you have to peal them off. Especially after a good, hard workout. But, it's totally worth it. It's worth being very comfortable in stretchy or compression style clothes while being able to skate along in half moon pose or to be able to reach behind me and hold my skate. Or, better yet, it's worth being able to fully stretch my muscles as my body demands.
LAYERS & CARRYING STUFF
Being comfortable, especially in the humid, cold, mild northwest weather means layers. I'll usually start fully layered with all my accessories (hat, cowl, gortex gloves, fingerless gloves, gortex jacket, fleece, base layer, etc.) and peal them off as I workout. That means my jacket must have enough room in the pockets to allow me to shove shit in it. Not just my hat/gloves/cowl, but also my phone, keys, wallet, etc. I'm working on some design ideas for better portability and carrying of my things while active in both summer and winter. When I'm taking these things off, I'm also not stopping. Keep moving.
Stay tuned for more in the arena of how to layer and carry stuff. I'm really fascinated by hi-tech fabrics, incorporating electronics, organizing, and staying warm. I'll definitely be working with fabrics like wicking fleeces and powerstretch.
Outdoor Activities Wear: Summer
My summer active wardrobe is pretty darn basic. A sports bra, T-shirts or Tanks and capri leggings cover 99% of my needs. Occasionally we need a hoodie to stay warm on cool summer days in the PNW. Even with a gentle breeze, I'm usually moving so much that I build a sweat and don't need anything beyond tank and capris.
A couple activities that got me thinking about how to build and make my wardrobe differently were hiking, skating and SUP. How could I have a piece that would work for 2 if not all 3 activities. Print leggings, quick dry Under Armor T-shirts and quick dry underwear and bra. Nice part about working toward quick dry? It will also apply to travel.
PLUS SIZED ACTIVE WEAR + BLACK vs. COLORFUL GARMENTS
Let's be candid. If you're lucky enough to find an athletic piece in plus-size, it's usually only available in black or only left in black because everything sold out before you got there. But, only black?! Seriously? That's just as bad as going into a store and seeing a plus-sized section full of "Omar the Tent Maker is my Tailor" Tent dresses. UGH. Just cause I'm a big, curvy girl doesn't mean I want to be a wallflower and hide my body from the world.
It hasn't been until last year that I've actually seen any plus-sized active wear stock in-stores, not just online, that is beyond basic black. Thank you to the very select stores who actually carry high-end brands with plus sizes and thank you to brands for making the same colors and styles as misses in plus-sizes. Props to Nike & REI for introducing plus-sizes - they ROCK. I love you. We curvy girls love you. And we have money to spend and we want to be athletic too. Remember that.
SPECIALIZED or FUN PIECES
I would like to have the following
- board shorts
- a cute swimsuit (not just functional)
- and some yoga bras or tops that have fun straps or other cool designs
However, not one of those items in ready-to-wear is available in a plus-size, curvy shape or beyond a D cup.
Board Shorts and Surf Leggings
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I have included surf leggings. That is a great alternative to board shorts and there are lots of neat designs in misses sizes available (XS - L). While I've not found any cute ones in plus sizes, a legging will allow full range of motion at the waist, hip joint and knee. Critical when surfing, SUPing, or swimming. Surf leggings would also work perfectly for the pool or a swim anywhere that the water isn't too cold for your preference.
Why board shorts and surf leggings? I wanna learn to surf, but always felt that I couldn't because I was too big and that was only confirmed by all the "too small for me" surfer girl clothing. Silly isn't it. Silly that I let the fashion and athetic worlds dictate what activities I could or could not love. Instead of believing that any longer, I now embark on my own journey to make Gwen-style surfer girl chic pieces. I will learn to surf and wear comfortable and super fun clothing.
Beyond the Basic Swim Suit
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Typically for a swim suit, I choose a basic TYR or Speedo with a full leg/bum coverage and a racer back. As a former water polo player and swimmer, I don't mess around with cutesy swim suits. First, we always wore 2 racing suits for protection from flashing the world should some chick get pissed at you and rip your suit while swimming alongside or when trying to take the ball from you. Second, I don't want to spend any of the time I'm paying to be in a swimming pool fussing with my damn swimsuit. Third, when I've worn cute suits that are strapless or looser or even a fun bikini I end up flashing someone. String bikini, you are not for me. Seriously embarrassing. Not a thrill I like.
Yet, I still want a cute suit that also is fully supportive and meets all the demands of racing or playing water polo or surfing or SUPing. This is a challenge I will take on in my future sewing. I'm really excited about learning to sew, fit, and design a swimsuit.
Stylish Sports Bras
Come back tomorrow to learn more about casual office wear that can also be worn for playtime and being active. While playtime means sports and being outside to me, I bet my silhouettes would also work for moms, dads and anyone chasing after toddlers or with any need to be active before, during or after work.