A FUNNY thing happened one day last summer when I dropped into my neighborhood Athleta. Actually, two funny things. The first was that one-half of the store was carrying a “work/commute/travel line of clothing.” I noticed some pants in textured linen, long-sleeve T-shirts with UPF sun protection and a couple of attractive anoraks. Wasn’t Athleta supposed to be the place to buy tights and sweats and such? Anyway, the second thing I noticed was that I wasn’t the only one over 50 in the dressing room trying on T-shirts and pants. Maybe Athleta was paying attention to a customer that other brands neglect—us.
And Athleta’s not the only one. About the same time I discovered the other side of Athleta, MyLittleBird’s well-being editor Mary Carpenter asked if I’d heard about a company called Anatomie. She had been looking for lightweight pants that didn’t bag at the knees after sitting for a few hours. Her friends were raving about Anatomie, which, in addition to pants, sells tops and outerwear. The company, which was founded by a couple who had been in the fitness business, transitioned into “luxury travel clothes” made of wrinkle-resistant fabrics that were machine washable. (Mary subsequently bought a couple of pairs of pants and said they were terrific on a recent trip to Cuba.)
Then, just a few months ago I was in one of my favorite boutiques and saw several pairs of Anatomie pants, plus trousers, upscale T-shirts, sweaters and jackets from yet another travel clothes-friendly brand—Ecru. The Anatomie pants didn’t work for me, but when I tried on a pair of navy blue Ecru pants with a tuxedo stripe, it was love. They hugged me in all the right places. The label said machine washable in cold water, but I was terrified to do that for fear that flattering fit would be a thing of the past. Happily, they’re on continuing rotation in my wardrobe.
Below are some of the jackets, clothing, shirts and pants that we’d gladly wear for traveling around the world or for staying right here at home.
LEFT: Athleta’s Rain Drop Jacket will keep you dry during April showers with its water-repellent, recycled shell. Zip pockets and mesh ventilation on the back are practical; the adjustable cinch waist and pleated detailing make it stylish. $158. RIGHT: These Cabo Tide Linen Wide Leg Pants with stretchy waistband kept me cool in sunny southern Italy last summer. $84, Athleta.
LEFT: Ecru calls its Springfield Slim Leg Pull on Pant its ultimate, 12-months-a-year, 7-days-a-week pant. A blend of cotton, polyester and spandex, the sleek trousers feel even sleeker thanks to a concealed, elastic pull-on waist. They’re available in white and beige as well as this gorgeous seafoam blue. $170, Ecru. RIGHT: This short-sleeve crewneck Sweater with Silk Insets feels and looks luxe both in a neutral hue (shown) and pale blue. A flattering classic shape that makes nice with other items in your wardrobe. $172, Ecru.
LEFT: Stay snug and warm on the airplane or on a cool spring day in this brushed fleece, waterproof Travel City Slick Jacket. The slightly longer length with strategically placed side stretch panels gives that svelte effect. The collar zips up into a high funnel neck. A handy wardrobe item whether you’re jet setting or heading to the grocery store. $348, Anatomie. RIGHT: The mid-rise, ankle-length Thea Relaxed Fit Pant is constructed of a comfortable stretchy material that won’t leave you with baggy knees. Plus, you get UPF 50+ sun protection. $225, Anatomie.
LEFT and RIGHT: No risk of looking bedraggled when you wander the world in Athleta’s Wander Slim Straight Crop. Slit hems offer more mobility and encourage breezes. Out for a walk without your handbag? Stash your cards and keys in a zip pocket on the back of the waistband. Also available in gray, olive and navy. $98, Athleta.
LEFT: We personally can’t wait to wear our white jeans again. Athleta’s new Sculptek Skinny White Jean promises to flatteringly subdue all those jiggly parts. $118, Athleta. RIGHT: A blazer that’s packable, won’t wrinkle and that you can machine wash? Sign us up. The fitted nylon-and-lycra Cosmic Blazer from Athleta is $198.