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April 1, 2013 / fionarwbl

If I Blog About Spring, Will it Happen? My Favorite Long Sleeve Tops

In honor of the 50 degree weather this weekend, I thought I’d give you the low-down on some of my favorite spring run gear – the much-loved long sleeve top and shorts combination. I went through my run closet (embarrassingly large, but then again, most of my socializing these days seems to involve sweat, so maybe that’s ok?), and picked out the ones I wear the most. Enjoy!


According to some people, I look angry in my selfies

The North Face Impulse 1/4 Zip ($65, old colors on sale)

I got this at a discount at the NYC Marathon Expo last year. If only the marathon had worked out as well as this top. It’s pretty classically awesome. The material is a little thicker and warmer than a standard t-shirt, but it also has a ton of side venting to keep you cool. The length is nice and long (no cold kidneys, as my mum would say!). The thumbholes are a great size. Sometimes I have thumbholes that are tool small for my giant thumbs and long monkey arms, and they kind of hurt. These are perfect. There is a secret pocket in the chest. I’ve put a ton of stuff in here, like a phone and keys, as well as small things, like it is designed for. Let me say this: you can run with your phone in here, but it is a little heavy and annoying. I don’t think it’s what they meant it for. However, it’s possible. It is a little loose and “body skimming” rather than being super fitted, but that sort of thing is totally up to what you like. All in all, this is a great shirt. I think that they make it every year, so it would be totally possible to look for discounts on last year’s colors as well.

I was going through a yellow phase apparently.

I was going through a yellow phase apparently.

Athleta Hurdle Top ($50ish)

I don’t think they still make this one, but this one looks similar. It’s a slightly heavier feeling material, but it wicked sweat really well. The ruching on the back both helps with wicking and looks super cute. The neck is quite wide, which made it feel a little cooler when running, but I imagine could feel actually cold if it’s a cooler day out. It has a Mary Poppins pocket at the back. For real, it seems to just keep expanding when I was putting stuff in it, but be warned – anything heavy might bump against your back. The thumbholes rock as well. I really like this shirt. Also, the great thing about Athleta gear is that if it doesn’t work out for you, you can take it back at any time and return it. That is an amazing policy and says a lot about the faith that Athleta has in both in its products and its customers.

one of many...

one of many…

Lululemon Long Sleeve Swiftly Top ($68)

I have a couple of these. I find them pretty comfortable but they are tight fitting. The material is wicking and quick drying, and there aren’t many seams to chafe. They are quite long, which I like a lot. These are great on their own, but one of my favorite things about these tops is that because they are pretty clingy, they are also amazing in winter under other long sleeve tops because they stay in place, don’t bunch or move around, and wick sweat nicely. Oh, and the long arms fit my monkey arms.

Same pose, different top

Same pose, different top

Brooks Versatile EZ ($38)

This is a more basic long sleeve top. No pockets, no thumbholes, just decent wicking and a flattering, although not super fitted cut. I’ve worn this on a couple of windier runs, and been impressed at it blocking the wind, but it doesn’t get too hot either. It has a super cute pattern printed on the back as well. The only thing I don’t love about this top is that it is a little shorter than the others, so I can sometimes get a breeze on my lower back.


I keep coming back to this one

I keep coming back to this one

Lululemon Run: Layer Me Long Sleeve ($88)

This is a recent addition to my long sleeve top arsenal. It’s made of rulu, which is a soft and cozy material that’s pretty light as well. This has a super flattering cut (a little more forgiving than the swiftly!), the requisite thumbholes, and a really rather functional pocket on the lower back. It’s definitely more expensive than the other shirts due to the warmer material, and wouldn’t be so useful when the weather tops 50F, but on those chillier mornings this top is an absolute gem. Also, because it’s so soft and snuggly, I like throwing it on after a tough refine class.

Freezing. But good for Spring

Freezing. But good for Spring

Target C9 ¼ Zip Jacket ($40)

I bought this during a Target excursion at Christmas since a lot of people had recommended the C9 product line. I totally don’t get what the hype is. Ok, so the top looks good, and it does have all the functionality that I’m looking for in a running top – quarter-zip, covered zip to avoid hurting me, pocket on the back, thumbholes. So far so good. It even has two different types of material – a softer, material used all, and a breathable mesh used on the underarms. However, the material was so thin that I was chilly on my 40F run, so I’m looking forward to wearing this on either warmer runs, I think I will end up using it mostly as a base layer in future winters.

What are your favorite long sleeve tops? I’m always looking to expand my wardrobe options, even if my husband despairs of running clothes taking over our entire apartment!


One Comment

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  1. Jen / Apr 1 2013 9:35 pm

    Love your collection of long sleeve tops! I need more, I only have a few and unless the weather warms up a lot, I think I’ll still need them for the next few weeks…

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