As a longtime Pilates teacher who was an early adopter and user of social media, I managed to create quite a large global network of fellow Pilates teachers, personal trainers, Reiki healers, writers, and clothing companies. Living in the Caribbean didn't give me many options in terms of trying products and such for review, but now that I am back in NYC I am searching out the best options for my readers who need great workout wear, workout gear, trainers, and everything in between.
When I first saw ads for Lovestretch popping up around the web, I didn't pay it too much attention as the company is UK-based, which makes shipping and returns a bit tricky. Their clothing always looked lovely, and I was intrigued by the fact that most of the clothing lines were new to me as an American. Lovestretch was started by businesswoman, mom, and Pilates teacher Gill Owen with her friend the SEO and marketing queen Alis Rowe (yes, you can find @lovestretch on Twitter, their Lovestretch Page on Facebook, and the requisite Lovestretch YouTube channel).
Owen's purpose in starting Lovestretch was "to give women the clothes they need to lead their lives 'full on' without being trapped into what the high street tells them they should wear and how they should lead their lives." She searched for lines of clothing that could go right from the Pilates or yoga studio into the office or out to dinner without being uncomfortable or too sporty.
According to Owen, "Lovestretch aims to give women carefully chosen combinations of clothes that are easy to buy and wear, mixing and matching and layering them as their mood and ambitions dictate; a wardrobe that flexes to meet the many demands of a woman's busy and varied day, without all that tiresome business of having to change outfits regularly or waste time on finding what goes with what in the wardrobe or rushing out to the shops in the middle of a hectic day to buy something new for that important date at the weekend."
I tried a few Lovestretch items from London-based companies, Wellicious gathered leggings and a couple of Asquith bamboo shirts. The bamboo shirts are interesting in that the fabric is very soft, thin, breathable and light but strong. Now, I tend not to wear many layers in general, and I did find the shirts to be a bit translucent in a way that made me feel self-conscious, although it probably wouldn't bother most people. For me the Asquith bamboo shirts work best as a layer, but for most folks I would highly recommend them as a basic top.
The Wellicious leggings are also very soft, thin, and flowing. I know, you wonder how a legging can manage to be flowing, but this one manages. The fold-down waist, which I often find annoying, is so soft and light in these pants that you barely notice the extra layer. Again, there is a bit of sheerness to the fabric (not see through, but not full on thick cover such as Lululemon's luon fabric), so you may want to layer them.
Basically, everything for sale on the Lovestretch site is comfortable. Even the boots are cushy EMU & Love From Australia. I encourage you to check out the goods and see what our fitness cohorts in London are wearing. You'll be glad you did.