Tag Archives: sports bra

Work less, run more

12 Feb

… that’s one of the slogans of a new brand on the fitness scene: Season’s Trail. It’s an online running brand that allows you to purchase complete coordinated running outfits (and we all know that I love to wear matching outfits!)

It’s a similar model to Fabletics, but has a couple of advantages:

  • for men and women are available
  • you do not have to sign up for a costly monthly subscription (this isn’t made clear in most adverts for Fabletics adverts… buying one cheap outfit signs you up to a monthly subscription that it’s hard to get out of. I love having new clothes, but there’s no way that I can justify buying a new running outfit each month).

Placing a complete order with Season’s Trail buys you four items of clothing:

  • tights
  • base layer (long or short-sleeved)
  • outer layer (jacket/zip top/hoodie)
  • sports bra (women) OR shorts (men)

The cost of this set is £100, which seems like good value for money, especially as there’s free next day delivery. I think this would particularly appeal to new runners, and anyone who’s time pressed or wants to treat themselves. It’s also possible to buy individual items of clothing and accessories.

At the moment, the items are available in a range of plain colours and a choice of styles, but some people may prefer more colourful/patterned items of clothing. However, the items are well-designed and are suitable for outdoor running, including trail running. It’s not a brand that’s focussed on gym-goers or yogis.

A really neat feature of the website is the outfit builder. You choose which version of each of the four items you want and can then view it on an online model. This allows you to decide which items coordinate best with each other.

The items that I chose were:

  • High support sports bra.
  • Ladies dark grey tights
  • Ladies grey long sleeve base layer
  • Ladies grey running hoodie

I was so excited when my kit arrived in a lovely branded box:

Seasons Trail box

It arrived not long before I was due to go out, so I immediately went and changed.


My first trial of the clothing was a 5k buggy run followed by a buggy fit class and then a run home. It was a good test as I think I experienced all 4 seasons in that 2 hour slot. Although I got rained on a lot, I felt warm and comfortable and did not experience any chafing. The only problem that I had was that the sports bra was not supportive enough for me.

I then tried the outfit again (minus the sports bra) for a parkrun and a long run (17 miles). One problem that I often have with running tights is that they fall down – that did not happen with these tights, even on the long run. I didn’t wear the hoodie for the long run as the weather was too warm, but it was comfortable to put on when I had finished.

I thought I’d sum up my thoughts on each piece of clothing…

Season's Trail sports bra

Seasons Trail sports bra


  • Attractive design
  • Option of padding or not
  • Coordinates well with other pieces
  • Mesh for ventilation/style


  • Just not supportive enough for me to run in

I really wanted to like this crop top and think that I would probably have been able to run in it before having a baby, so it would probably work for flatter-chested ladies than me (or for people who are happy to wear it as a crop top over a bra). I think this is one of the biggest challenges that the company will need to tackle as getting the right sports bra is a very individual thing. I think I’d prefer shorts to a sports bra as I’m very choosy about what works for me.

Season's Trail dark grey tights


  • Nice thick fabric, so they were supportive and not see through
  • Very comfortable waistband
  • Quite high rise (some might see this as a disadvantage, but it made them comfortable for long-distance running)


  • A little long for me. (This wasn’t a real disadvantage – I’m short and so full-length tights are usually too long)
  • Would be better with some reflective bits for night-time running
  • There is a pocket, but it is open at the top, so I would be too nervous to put a key or £5 note in it, but it’s fine for an inhaler

Season's trail long sleeve grey base layer


  • Lovely design – the stripes don’t really show in the images
  • The contrasting pink bits make it coordinate well with other pieces
  • Smooth flat seams make it comfortable to wear
  • Thumb holes make it suitable for winter wear


  • No laundry instructions in English (I chucked it in on a 30 degree wash with other sports kit and it survived!)
  • There was a hole on thumb seam. This was a shame as the kit felt like it was good quality and well-made.

This was my favourite piece out of the four because it is really flattering on and very comfortable to wear. If it were available in other colours, I would definitely buy it again. (Jade green would appeal to me!)

Season's Trail grey running hoodie


  • Lightweight but cosy
  • Thumb holes to keep hands warm
  • Two zip pockets each with a secure inner pocket for iPod, keys or money
  • Adjustable hood
  • Nice length
  • Coordinates well with other pieces
  • Reflective strips on the arms

I genuinely couldn’t find any disadvantages of this item of clothing.

Future plans for Season’s Trail include branching into clothing for hiking and cycling, which would be good.

If you like the sound of Season’s Trail, why not treat yourself. A 20% discount code is currently available: TRAILRUN




Like a second skin…

5 Jun

I was so excited when I was asked if I would like to try some of the latest SKINS products. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may remember that I used to do every run in SKINS tights. When I was fatter, I was very self-conscious about my legs and so I always wore full-length tights. The huge advantage of SKINS tights over my other traditional running tights was the fact that they are compression wear – my legs didn’t wobble as much when I wore them and I felt less fatigued afterwards. So why did I stop wearing them? It wasn’t because I loved the product less, but as I grew more confident I started wearing shorts. I often overheat when I run, so wearing shorts helps to keep me cool.

Anyway, when I first bought SKINS, there were various full length compression tights available, a few tops and some knee-length compression shorts, but that was about it. As a chubby lady, I had no intention of wearing head-to-toe lycra – people would have run away screaming – so I confined myself to the tights.

This time around, I decided to try the DNAMIC superpose shorts.

skins dnamic shorts

They may look like traditional running shorts, but look again. They have a compression layer underneath, which provides all of the benefits of compression, with the additional benefit of helping those of us who will never have a thigh gap to avoid chafing!

I also decided to try the DNAmic women’s speed crop… but I went a bit wild and chose the ‘living lines’ design. For years, there wasn’t a lot of choice for sports bras/crop tops – black or white. Then companies started to add some slight trims in colour before branching out into tops that were wholly one colour or another. Finally, companies have realised that women want attractive and brightly coloured clothes to work out in, so there are now lots of really gorgeous designs appearing on the market.

skins dnamic speed crop

I particularly liked the look of the wide straps on this top, which suggest comfort, but don’t look frumpy!

Skins latest products have ‘Dynamic Gradient Compression’, which is meant to improve oxygen delivery to muscles and reduce lactic acid build-up, so I had high hopes for the kit.

I tried out the kit for a track session this week. I had checked the size guides and fell firmly in medium, so this is what I ordered. As expected from compression-wear the shorts and crop top were tight-fitting – not uncomfortably so, but I think I would probably have been OK in a large.

I was wary about how the shorts would feel, but was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable they were. The outer-layer is cut generously, so they were not too tight on my thighs, unlike some brands. They were shorter than my usual shorts – revealing a couple of inches of white flesh above my crisp tan lines – but this wasn’t a problem. The cut of the shorts gave me good freedom of movement, but I did find that when sprinting the legs rolled up a little. Runners with slimmer legs probably wouldn’t have this issue!

Skins shorts

I LOVED the crop top – it’s really attractive in real life. The straps don’t have white stripes on them; the edges are woven in such a way that they are see-through. A slimmer/more body-confident person could wear this crop top on its own in warm weather; I covered it with a t-shirt, but am hoping to find a strappy vest that I can wear with it in summer, so that I can show it off a bit. I’m quite a voluptuous runner at the moment (36DD/85E) and felt really comfortable wearing this crop-top. The straps and band lay smoothly and did not dig in or chafe. (This is possibly one of the worst photos of me that I’ve ever shared – I went open water swimming and the wee beasties decided to feast on my head!)

Skins crop top

I’m already looking at buying another crop top like this. It held everything in place and was extremely comfortable with no chafing. I’ll also continue wearing the shorts in hot weather as I found that they were extremely cool to wear.

I decided to try the outfit again when doing parkrun this weekend. The weather was initially quite cool, but by 9am it was starting to feel warmer.

It was great to catch up with lots of friends before the event, and I was pleased to see my friend, Teri. Her children’s sports commitments mean that she can’t make parkrun very much any more and she’s also a lot faster than me, but as Teri had just got back from a holiday she said she was happy to run with me.

Southampton parkrun was on route B this week, which involves going up the big hill twice, but there is a long downhill towards the finish.

Teri and I had a brilliant time catching up with each other and I was pleasantly surprised to see that despite our chat I wasn’t too slow.

parkrun 4th June 2016

I also realised that I had fewer problems with the Skins shorts rolling up… probably because I wasn’t picking up my legs as much as when I sprint!

Have you tried SKINS? Which products did you try and what did you like?