Because it’s Fashion Week: surviving the sweaty life in SF in style & function

It’s officially New York Fashion Week, so a professional photo shoot was in order. Obviously.


I even survived it without falling on my face or bruising some part of my body. Snaps for me for that sh*t.

Plus, many of you have requested pictures of my favorite items and suggestions on how to pair them to look cute during and post-gym time.

There are countless amazing pieces of active wear, and millions of products that are advertised as amazing, and honestly, it can get a bit exhausting trying to sift through the reviews to find one that works for you. This week, I’ve put together a simple list of “SF basics/essentials” when it comes to tackling the ever shifting climate and necessity to fit everything on the calendar (transitional active wear).

What better way to showcase my faves than a fabulous photo shoot in the neighborhood with Rachel, from Rachel Radcliffe Photography? She’s local from Marin, takes fabulous photos across multiple genres, and is just downright fun to work with. She does it all from weddings, editorial fashion shoots, and portraits. I can’t wait to showcase her ability to take some killer action fitness photography on the trails, and some off-fitness-topic fashion shots as well. Stay tuned!

So about those faves….

#1: Lululemon Swiftly LS

If you have never tried one of these on, GET WITH THE PROGRAM. It will honestly change your life. As much as running gear can I suppose, and in that aspect, its a whole lot for me.

You will rarely see me bouncing around town without one of these on, or in tow. It’s amazingly versatile, and a perfect layer for every type of weather our city gets. It shields you from the sun, wicks sweat like none other, and dries quickly so you aren’t stuck freezing post-workout if you need to walk home or to your car. The anti-stink mechanism is also great (Silverscent), as there is nothing worse than smelling your gym clothes while you’re still in them. They are also lightweight, and easy to stow if you get too hot, or want to save it for later when the temps drop at night. They are a staple for all my trail runs, and have survived everything from an outdoor bootcamp to a 50 mile trail race. Plus, they are just freaking adorable, flattering on EVERYONE, and come in every color under the sun. I own far more than I care to admit…



#2: Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses

Ray-Bans are the rage these days, and there are definitely more reasons why, in addition to the fact that they just look cool. I’ve run in countless pairs of sunglasses over the years, mainly due to the fact that I used to wear contacts (pre-laser surgery) and had to find a way to keep the trail dust out of my eyes at cross country meets and races. There are many functional options (Oakley to name one), but not many that are actually flattering in addition to being useful. These have ranked at the top of my list of “Mandy Functionality”: both functional AND fashionable. I have powered through outdoor bootcamps, run club, and 20 mile trail runs in these, and they are the lightest and most breathable model I have tried. Gone are the days of me running in huge plastic framed sunglasses.


PS9 PS10

#3: bumble & Bumble Surf Series

If you haven’t given this a go, you are seriously missing out. It has taken my lazy rocker/beachy bed head to a whole new polished level, giving me that “off-duty model” look all week long. The spray also helps tame sweat soaked hair, so you can NOT look like you got hit by a bus. Take it from me- if this product can give me beach waves and keep them, they can give ANYONE beach waves. My hair is hopelessly straight (I have the asian hair curse and I’m not even remotely asian) and this stuff makes me look like Alana Blanchard (if you aren’t following her on Insta, YOU SHOULD BE), and not the little girl from The Ring.




#4 Transitional Leggings

It goes without saying that having stuff that can function as both running gear and brunch appropriate is key here in San Francisco. I am always on the hunt for the most fashion forward active wear bottoms that don’t suck in the performance department. My current faves this season just happen to be from Lululemon: The High Times *Tech Mesh Tights in Black (sold out).



These tights are actually functional for running as well, in addition to the obvious uses of yoga, dance, barre class, etc. I have used them for several 6-14 mile runs in the city, and they have been super comfortable, as well as just all around bad-ass looking when running down main streets in the neighborhoods.


My other faves:

Michi NY is quite possibly one of my favorite brands of active wear. As a hard core fashionista, I love things that push the envelope of style, and push me out to the edge. Michi’s quality is unmatched, and their style is unlike any other brand I have ever experienced. You’re missing out on some beautiful and flawlessly functional gear if you haven’t tried it. Totally worth the investment.

MICHI NYToque Legging


If the $108/$198 price tags on these aren’t for you, behold:

These below are great alternative and budget friendly options:

Fabletics: Gaviota Capri, Rocha Legging


#5 Bag: Gym bags that do it all

It goes without saying that you need a large bag to get life accomplished in this city. With the amount of engagements I have around the city on any given day, I need to carry my life with me and not have it weigh me down or look janky, since more often than not, I have to pop into a fancy place before or after a workout (hello business dinners!) due to my 9-5 gig. I have always been a huge fan of Lululemon’s bags. They are beautifully versatile, and incredibly functional. I also care to NOT admit how many Lululemon bags I own…

One of my personal favorites is my special edition Keep On Running Duffle (sold out in current run of colors also) from the very first Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver back in 2012. Not only is it an ever present reminder of the amazing weekend I shared with friends, it is also a beautifully useful piece of gear, and a great conversation piece. I’ll let the photos below speak for themselves!

PS7Multiple handles, to allow for carrying in any way that is convenient for you! Pockets galore on the outside, complete with a sleeve for your smartphone on the side for easy access.


The interior is the best part of this bag (minus the amazing color on the outside of course): complete with tons of pockets (labeled with cute phrases) and even a sweat-proof bag for wet gym clothes! Gone are the days of the smelly gym bag doom. Even my horrifically smelly socks don’t get out of that bag.

This gives you an idea of what comes with a Lululemon bag: Pretty much holds the kitchen sink and more without weighing you down or looking like a typical dirty gym bag. Check out your local Lululemon store, as they always have bags in stock that are thoughtfully crafted and just plain pretty to look at (AND mix into your work wear or gym wear).

In closing….

I could go on and on with lists of my faves here, and for use anywhere in the country. However, without these staple pieces, I would be an unfashionably hot mess here in the city. Check out your local stores for styles like these, and feel free to reach out to me with any questions or more suggestions!

Happy fashionable sweating, and happy New York Fashion Week 🙂



  1. Margaret
    September 5, 2014 / 6:30 pm

    Yay for new post. Thanks! I look forward to these every week. Have a great weekend missy.

    PS. your photos are great! Prob bec you look great ❤️

    • September 5, 2014 / 7:11 pm

      Aww thanks! You’re a sweetie. Have an amazing weekend <3

  2. Yue
    September 5, 2014 / 10:25 pm

    Love the new post, Mandy! You look super pretty in all your pictures:)

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