Comfortable, aesthetically pleasing workout clothes
*Heads up! This post contains an affiliate link which will allow me to take a small commission from anything you buy through it! I would never share a link like this for a company or items I didn’t believe in, so you can rest assured that what follows is a completely honest review! The Feminist Gadabout is not currently monetised in any way (for instance it doesn’t include ads), so things like affiliate links can be a helpful way of contributing, in a very small way, to the cost of running the website. I hope you’ll enjoy the review, and if you do want to make a purchase from Just Strong I’d be very grateful if you could make it through the link! Thank you so much for your understanding.*
This year has been one in which fitness has very much taken centre stage for me. We’re about halfway through the year now, and I have spent the last three or four months trying to overcome the boredom of lockdown by working towards my fitness goals. I’m living in a new country I’ve never even visited before, and really want to get out and explore as soon as it is safe to do so. For me, getting to know a place will always involve a lot of hiking. I can’t wait to see mountains again, and this time I want to get to the top of them without feeling exhausted and puny the whole way! So I’ve been trying to build my routine around lots of different activities, from running training and high intensity interval training to simple arm workouts. One of the results of this, aside from a sense of achievement, is that a lot of my workout gear has become stretched or too big for me. So I’ve been on the lookout for some new items to restock my wardrobe a bit.
Just Strong is a brand I first came across, as is so often the case these days, on Instagram. They are a company who pride themselves on empowering women to achieve their fitness goals, and to feel entitled to take up space, and weights, in the gym. Their name comes from a rebuttal of that old misogynistic, back-handed compliment: ‘you’re strong, for a girl’. As in, ‘no, I’m just strong’. I love the way this counters the assumption that working out and strength training is an inherently masculine field, that women are kindly allowed to enter. It emphatically asserts our right to these places and spaces. Just Strong pairs this with a healthy, realistic and positive attitude to working out. The phrase ‘progress, not perfection’, found on the card that accompanied my order, is one that really struck a chord with me. I’ve struggled with a moralising and overly competitive attitude to my fitness and body in general, so this mantra is one that really speaks to me. Every time I go out on a run I have to say to myself ‘it doesn’t matter whether you get a personal best, it’s going out at all that counts’. The supportive, non-toxic attitude of Just Strong really appeals to me.
On to the clothes themselves! Regular readers will know that I am a sucker for anything green. I actually find it strangely hard to find green workout clothes – even in this day and age pinks and purples seem to dominate, with a few blacks and bright blues thrown in for variety. So I was delighted to find this olive green colourway on Just Strong. I went for leggings and a sports bra in the Seamless Sculpt option. I’m a fan of anything and everything seamless; I just find them so much more comfortable. I’m not one of those people who will happily go for a run with only a sports bra on top, but I’ve got to admit that in the Australian spring and summer this might be necessary to keep me cool. So they may as well be matching!
To my slight surprise these were delivered to me all the way from the UK, so I had to wait a while to receive them. But since arrival they have become my firm favourites. The sculpt element is fairly minimal, it’s just a nice close fit. It works, but doesn’t make you feel like you’re being sucked in or constricted. The material, a mixture of nylon, polyester and elastane, is soft and stretchy, and super comfortable. The leggings are perhaps a little thick for a summer run, but in the cooler months and indoors they’re just right. The waistband is a thick green elastic, but it is woven into the rest of the leggings, so it does really feel seamless. The same goes for the chest band on the bra, which sits really comfortably.
The colour is mostly a sort of olive green marl, with some patches of a kind of waffle print. I like that this breaks them up a bit, and has a slightly camouflaging effect (not just because of the colour!). The bra has removable padding, which is actually shaped to fit. Some sports bras I own just have sharp triangles of padding, which look a bit obvious, but this one has rounded ones, so they’re more natural. Honestly I would prefer if these pads were just sewn in. I always find them a bit awkward to replace after washing (when they always go a bit wonky), and this bra only has one hole for adjusting them. But I understand that a lot of people prefer to remove them altogether, so I guess it’s good to have that option. Pads aside I love the shape of the bra, which has a racer back and somehow manages to be close fitting without being impossible to get in and out of. I’m a size 10 or 12 UK, or M, so went for M in both pieces, and they fit perfectly. Having that bit of stretch probably helps a lot.
Overall these Just Strong pieces were well worth the wait. They’re comfortable, look great, and work well. They’re my new favourites, and I hope they’ll carry me through the second half of the year, and towards my fitness goals! I’m determined for the second half of the year to be as productive, satisfying, and full of exercise as the first.
If you like the look of these Just Strong clothes you can shop through my affiliate link below and you’ll get a 10% discount.
Alternatively you can simply pop in the discount code HELMCC10 at checkout!
What are your favourite workout wear brands? Has lockdown impacted your exercise routine or have you been able to retain a degree of normality? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below. Thanks for reading!