PHOTO: Maggie Kaiserman
I got on board the Lululemon bandwagon when my training partner gifted me a tank top after our first (and only!) marathon. That was almost four years ago and I've worn and washed that top at least once a week since. The fact that it still looks and feels like new convinced me that Lululemon products are worth the investment for being three things: durable, functional, and comfortable.
Because I'm on the road chasing snow a lot in the winter, I also love gear that's multipurpose--like leggings I can wear traveling to the mountains, for a quick hotel room workout, and to the bar for après.
These Lululemon pieces also have decent odor control, so they don't need to be washed after every use. (If I’m wrong about that and don’t know it, please tell me!) Above all, these three essentials are as functional as they are feminine--and that's a combination the ski industry could use more of.
Align Pant, $98
These leggings fit like my snuggest pair of compression tights, only they don't give me that claustrophobic feeling because they are so incredibly butter soft and the stretchiest pair I own. Made with Lululemon's super lightweight Nulu fabric with Lycra, the Align pant is very thin--they don't hide anything, but aren't see-through either--and still durable.
The high waistband (with a stash pocket for my phone, credit card, or keys) keeps them up and prevents any of that dreaded crotch-sag. While designed for yoga, I've also worn my Align pant for running and on early morning flights. They're also ideal for a long road trip to the mountains. The tag on these supple beauties describes the fit as having a "naked sensation," which is both accurate and appreciated and why I'll be wearing them anytime I'm not in my ski boots this winter. The only qualm with these pants is they pilled. I never had this problem with another pair of Lulu’s leggings, except the Align Pants. So be extra gentle with them around velcro on your ski jackets and wash alone, or only with other Lulu products.
Extra Mile Vest, $148 (available 9/11)
I love wearing a vest as my midlayer while skiing because it offers the right amount of warmth for my vital organs without the added bulk of an extra set of sleeves. The Extra Mile vest is the ticket. The long and tailored fit leans more toward the cosmopolitan than the granola and it's functional: Lululemon strategically placed warm fleece fabric in areas that need to retain heat (like around the heart and kidneys) and stretchy fabric where movement is needed along the ribs.
Their Hi Impact Swift fabric is water repellent, so when I’m scraping my windshield while those big, fat, The Storm is Coming flakes are falling, I’ll stay dry. The soft fleece doesn't turn into a static-electric nightmare like down vests I've worn. I like it for the cold drive to the mountain in the morning, or winter runs when it's ice cold out but I'm still sweating. The hood zips off, but I’ll never remove it. It's one of the features that make the Extra Mile vest so cozy.
Adore Your Core Bra, $68
During ski season, I'm resigned to wearing a sports bra about 80 percent of the time. This is practical, easy, and comfortable, but not always the most, well, flattering. The Adore Your Core bra, however, looks more like a crop top you'd wear backstage at a rap concert than a functional piece of sportswear, even though that's exactly what it is.
It's designed with a high neckline so you don't have to worry about anything falling out of place, though this bra is intended for medium support for an A-B cup. (If you require more support, go with the Invigorate bra for a more traditional fit.) The spaghetti straps and mesh upper of the Adore Your Core bra give it a fabulously feminine look and feel that's supportive but not constricting, while the Luxtreme fabric is smooth against skin, doesn't chafe, and will wick away dreaded boob sweat on the skin track.
Should you happen upon a backcountry hot spring--or the chance to poach the hot tub at the St. Regis--this sports bra could pass for a bikini top too.