Workout Gear + a Cute Ponytail TutorialJanuary 18, 2017 |*The post was written in collaboration with GapFactory. All opinions, images and commentary are my own. Thanks for supporting brands who support Style Your Senses*Goodmorning friends! I have some hump day motivation for you today on this Wednesday! I’m talking cute workout gear that’s chic and affordable, PLUS and a fun new way to switch up your basic ponytail with an easy tutorial! I also wanted to say that I was blown away by your response yesterday on Instastories. I shared that I signed up for a program we have here in Charlotte called Class Pass, where you pay a monthly fee and are allowed 10 classes of your choice at tons of different studios around your area. It seemed like a great way to mix up my pregnancy workouts that had gotten really stale and also a good way to try out new things in the spirit of a new year. What I didn’t expect was having so much anxiety when it comes to walking into a new gym or class. So much so that I’ve nearly talked myself out of every one of them (if it weren’t for the $15 cancellation fee I would have been #ByeFelicia each time)! I literally start dreading the whole experience the night before…praying I’m not late, that I do the right things, etc. With these fancy-schmancy studios these days there are so many things to remember…logins, passwords, shoe sizes, locker numbers, locker codes, bike number, seat height…I mean I barely remembered to brush my teeth, friends, how does one keep all of this together??? On top of that, you walk in and everyone seems to know each other…and there you are…the dreaded “new girl.” Overall, just not the easiest thing for us to do, right? I really appreciate you sharing your own #workoutanxiety experiences with me and making me feel just a wee bit less crazy for over analyzing the whole thing so much. I think that it’s natural to be nervous and I totally applaud those of you who push yourselves to try new things. Fear of your own self is an amazing thing to over come one day at a time! So, if you’ve been dying to try a new workout…I say DO it!! But let’s talk about how to look real cute doing it first….Today I’ve partnered with GapFactory to share some super cute workout clothes that are versatile, inexpensive and still really high quality! I’m a firm believer in that looking in the mirror and feeling confident in your own skin is the first step towards hitting your goals for that day. A jolt of confidence does wonders for your mentality, even if you don’t realize it right away. I will not apologize for caring for myself, spending some extra time fluffing my ponytail or shopping for workout gear that I look my best in. Just because you’re going to the gym does not mean you have to look like a mess, right? Especially you mamas, because we all know you never just go to the gym…there’s always a school pickup, Starbucks run or quick grocery store trip that follows! Here are some things that I look for when buying new workout clothes…Active Tops: I like to keep my graphics up top, meaning that I rarely ever wear printed leggings and almost always opt for a more fun top. I also like to make sure that my tops don’t fit like sausage casing. I look for great chest support (usually going for tops with a built in shelf bra), but other than that, don’t be afraid to leave some room in the mid section. I find this works better to flatter mid sections and also to not collect sweat as you’re working out.Also, I like my tops business in the front and party in the back. I ALWAYS look for a cute back detail to have fun with. This one has a built in shelf bra and this cute strappy back…win win!Obviously not a maternity top, but I sized up to a large and am totally able to wear it for at least a few more weeks to come!I know that I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m a firm believer in smart watches! I love that they keep me aware of how much (or not so much) activity I’ve logged for the day. If I know that I’m missing steps for that day, I’m much more likely to suck it up and take a walk or plan a late workout class, which is quite motivating. Which smart watch is your favorite? I’m wearing this one.Next up on my workout must have list is a functional top layer. I need my workout jackets to not only be cute, but to actually function should I be working out outdoors. This one has a breathable neckline, thumbholes, and two pockets for keys or my phone. It’s fitted but not overly tight, which makes it versatile enough to layer or to get sweaty in.Best for last…tights. This is definitely where I am most inclined to spend the most money and most time hunting for a good fit! Here are some things to look for:High Quality! This is not a place to skimp. You want to look for well done seams, nice fabrics and a heavier weight.Compression! If I’m shopping for tights that I plan to do a real workout in I make sure that there’s at least some compression value to the pants, meaning that they nip, tuck and keep everything in place while I complete my workout.Length! I always opt for a full length or mid calf legging, otherwise they cut your leg off instead of elongating them.Style! Even though I usually skip the printed leggings, I do still like some style details. I loved the reflective stripes on the bottom of these…they are functional and chic.p.s. – This is such a quick exercise to knock out while at the park with your littles…bye bye chicken wings!And finally, a cute way to spice up your basic ponytail for a workout! This style takes about one minute of extra effort and is so cute! It also actually keeps my long hair all in one place when I’m running, so I like the way that it feels.Here’s how: tease crown slightly and put into a regular ponytail, making sure that it’s snug and going to stay put. About 1/3 of the way down secure the hair with a small elastic that matches your hair color. Repeat this at 2/3 of the way down as well, putting a total of two smaller elastics along your ponytail. Once you have it secure (starting with the top section) begin to gently pull the hair apart or “fluff” it as I like to say. This adds some volume to the ponytail and makes it look more styled. The photos probably do a better job of explaining it…Shop the Post:GapFactory Active Tops (mines on sale for under $20!) | GapFactory Active Bottoms (the ones that I’m wearing are $26.99!) | Sunglasses | Smart Watch | Sneakers | Water Canteen | Teasing Brush | Hair ElasticsI hope that you guys have a wonderful back half of your week! Cheers to keeping your fitness New Year’s Resolutions and looking cute while doing it! -xoOther Athleisure posts that you might like:Two Sweaters That Every Busy Mom NeedsAthleisure Capsule WardrobeYOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...Pilates 2 Month Update + Fall Workout GearIM=X Pilates | Getting Back Into Shape After BabyThe Best Denim Shorts UNDER $100!