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Buy Spy: On The Hunt For "Alt" Active Wear

Give your workout wardrobe a flourish of individuality

More than a handful of people have heard me utter the words, “You won’t find me in a gym.”

It’s not because I don’t value a healthy lifestyle; I admire the runners, the yogis, the pilatinis. Silly as it may be, I’ve always found myself feeling out of place in active wear. Granted, I’ve never set foot in Lululemon, despite understanding its appeal to many women—but how can we showcase our own personal styles if we all have on matching performance gear? One might argue that sartorial expression isn’t the point, but this has been my inner narrative, my excuse to justify the lack of participation in L.A.’s culture of healthy living.

But all of that has slowly started to change: as I grow older and continue to acclimate myself with California, I am easing away from the inborn anti-exercise sentiment more and more. The SoCal lifestyle promotes a culture of health and wellness, something that is new to me—being from the South, we tend to encourage a culture of butter and an extra helping of bacon, with a biscuit after dessert (for good measure). But Angelenos on the whole swear by the benefits of avocados and juice cleanses, and they just look so happy in their colorful Ellie attire. I have to say, the whole aesthetic is making me re-evaluate my indignation.

So, here we are. After a crazy-hot walk in Solstice Canyon and several evening hikes up and down the Santa Monica Stairs, I’ve decided to beef up my workout wardrobe while striving to abide by my alt roots. Here are a few ways you can look the part of full-on exercise buff while maintaining a flourish of individuality!