As the duo behind Tone It Up, the social media-driven training and nutrition program, Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn know their spandex. “Workout clothes are our work clothes so… we have a few,” jokes Scott when asked to put a number to just how many pairs of leggings she owns.
But all kidding aside, there’s no one I’d trust more for smart activewear insights than a woman who wears a sports bra 9-to-5. Which might explain why, with their second capsule collection—a collaboration with the printed legging gurus at Wear It To Heart (launched exclusively with Bandier)—team Tone It Up has put together a tightly edited, highly covetable line that goes beyond essentials without feeling too of-the-moment. (Pieces range from $48 for a mesh-backed crop top to $198 for a satin-accented hoodie.)
Take their High Tide cropped tights: The almost-abstract ocean print—which Scott and Dawn say is a nod to their SoCal home base–is reversible, so you can get double duty out of your pair depending on your mood (or your laundry situation).
Needless to say, they’ve learned a thing or two about finding activewear that will work as hard as you (not to mention staying healthy no matter how busy life gets)—and they’re not keeping their advice to themselves.
Here, the Tone It Up duo tells us what to look for when shopping for workout clothes, how to style the hardest-to-pull-off pieces, and why you can definitely fit in a workout in five minutes or less.
1. Yes, material matters.
“Amazing, soft fabric” is what Scott describes as the number one thing she looks for when shopping for a new pair of run tights. Think: material that feels sturdy and stretchy enough to handle 10 minutes of squats (and the sweat that will likely accompany it). But there’s also a mental component to it; as she explains, “I like to feel comfortable in my workout leggings because when you’re comfortable, you’re more confident!”
2. Pulling off a cropped top is as simple as finding the right piece to pair it with.
One of the centerpieces in their new capsule collection is a chic, cropped black top. And yes, you can definitely pull it off (no frantic pre-wear planking required). The secret? It’s all in the styling. “High-waisted yoga pants are the way to go,” insists Dawn. “You still get to show a bit of your abs, but it’s not too revealing… and still so sexy!” (She recommends their sweat-wicking High Tide Legging.) Scott, meanwhile, is convinced that the best way to pull it off is with layering. “It works really well to pair a shorter, tighter top with a more casual, but trendy, throw-over.” Think elevated hoodie or moto-inspired zip-up.
3. All you need is five minutes to get in a workout. (Seriously.)
You’re having an insane, no-time-for-the-gym week—and then your big conference call gets pushed back 10 minutes. According to the Tone It Up team, that’s more than enough time to squeeze in a few moves. “At our HQ we stand up for 5 to 10 minutes and all squat while chatting about our day,” notes Scott. “You get to socialize while still stretching your legs and getting that heart rate up.” If your office is on the casual side—or you want to get your blood pumping before a big date—Dawn recommends you try a handstand. “[They’re] amazing. You can work the core, arms, and shoulders while also getting some blood up to your brain! It’s great for those mid-day slumps.”
4. Make planning a priority.
With all of their traveling, Scott and Dawn have learned the challenges of staying healthy on the road. Their advice? It’s all about the prep work. “Planning ahead is a lifesaver,” says Dawn. “Bringing some resistance bands to fit in hotel workouts or packing pre-bagged snacks of something like healthy trail mix goes a long way.” Plus, you’ll then have a (friendly) reminder to stick to your home habits. “If you’re prepared, then it’s a lot easier to stay on track,” she adds.