Pregnancy changed the way I exercise—here's what I wear to work out now
My bump loves Knix's loungewear set.
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At 25 weeks pregnant, it’s been a struggle to find anything that fits me. And yet I’ve made it my goal to resist buying maternity clothes—even exercise gear, despite my active lifestyle. I only plan on having one child, which means these specialty clothes will be rendered useless after I give birth. In the interim, I’ve found a loophole by using loose-fitting lounging outfits for exercises and day-to-day living. In my search for such practical, versatile, pregnancy-friendly clothing, I stumbled upon Knix’s $104 WFH Essentials Kit which includes a supportive comfy tank with a built-in bra and soft lounge pants—it works for my near-third trimester body and I’m excited to wear it post-pregnancy, too.
What is Knix?
I first learned about Knix while watching a show called Dragon’s Den (DD), the Canadian version of an international reality show franchise in which business hopefuls pitch ideas to VCs (in the United States, it’s called Shark Tank.) During her appearance in 2015, Knix founder Joanna Griffiths introduced her fledgling brand—which, at the time, mainly consisted of leakproof underwear for periods and incontinence. Knix secured an investment, and since then, its roster of products has grown—now, it includes wireless bras, seamless underwear, loungewear, and activewear.
As a fellow Canadian, I was inspired by her story and compelled to support this homegrown brand headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Because of this, I’d ordered a few things from Knix before my WFH set—such as the Catalyst Sports Bra and the Essential High Rise Thong underwear—so I had a general idea of my usual (albeit non-pregnant) size. Everything I own from Knix is durable, made with quality materials, and feels like it was tailored with real life in mind.
What is the WFH Essentials Set?
I ordered the WFH Essentials Set around my 21st week of pregnancy. I was drawn to it because my usual workout clothing was starting to feel tight and I wanted something comfortable that I could use for light fitness activities as well as day-to-day quarantined living, as we were in another lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It consists of two pieces, both in black: the LuxeLift tank, which has a built-in shelf bra that the brand claims offers medium support, almost 3,000 reviews and 4.4 stars, and modal lounge pants, which have 193 reviews and 4.6 stars on Knix’s site. You can buy each item separately, and, curiously, there’s no discount for buying them as a bundle—the tank is $55 and the sweats are $49. You also have more color options if you buy the tank on its own, such as peach, burgundy, and gray, but the pants only come in black. The top is made of nylon and spandex; the bottoms are made of 96% modal material (a semi-synthetic cotton alternative frequently used in activewear because it's breathable, absorbent, and eco-friendly) and 4% spandex.
The tank comes in 10 sizes (S to XXL, which is suitable for bra sizes 32A to 40G) and the lounge pants come in six different sizes (S to XXXL). When you order the set, you select the tank and lounge pant sizes individually—I got the tank in a medium size and pants in the small size. I knew my breasts would likely continue to grow during my pregnancy, so I’m glad I sized up because I’ve now filled out the cups. Pre-pregnancy, I would have ordered a small for a comfy, yet secure fit. I didn’t bother to size up for the pants because I knew they are naturally stretchy and have a waist-tie feature. If you’re unsure about your size, Knix allows you to book a free virtual fitting. With this service, you can chat with staff (described by the brand as "Knixperts") in real time via video to help you accurately measure your body and get your perfect fit. Admittedly, due to my baby brain, I forgot that this was available in their “Size Help” section until after I got my items. However, if I was interested in a few of Knix’s other creations, such as its new swimwear line, I would be keen to try this service out in the future because I don't know what my postpartum body will look and feel like.
What I love about my Knix WFH set
It's truly multipurpose
I often find myself wearing this set all day long because it's been able to “grow” with me due to my ever-evolving baby-bump body. Both the tank and pants are composed of stretchy, lightweight, and soft materials. This is perfect for any activity I do, because with my baby bump, I’m not going hardcore with my workouts anymore. More often than not, I’m on my at-home elliptical for about an hour, which is followed by some light stretching and/or yoga and meditation. Compared with the heavy sweat sessions at the gym in my pre-pregnancy days, in the present, I’m more concerned with keeping my body limber. This set helps me do just that.
The set is also supportive without chafing or constricting. My boobs have grown quite a lot in pregnancy (it’s normal!). As a result of this expansion the tiny bra tops I own are now unbearably uncomfortable because they make my breasts squished and sweaty. Additionally, most sports bras feature an interior mesh lining which my body finds far too rough and itchy right now. Lastly, with my body being in “pregnancy mode,” I can no longer tolerate thin spaghetti style straps—like the ones on my former favorite Lululemon Energy bra—because they dig into my shoulders and chest, leaving me with sore red bumps and markings.
Thankfully, this Knix tank features thicker straps and removable bra padding, so once I slipped it on, it was like the heavens opened up. I immediately felt supported with the weight being more equally distributed throughout my shoulders and back. For context, my breasts are usually a 34A and are now about a 34B or C—because the tank is suitable for bra sizes from 32A up to 40G, it works very well for me. The built-in bra isn’t as flat as shelf bras can be; instead, it has 3D cutouts and cushioned molds that provide a place for breasts to nestle in comfortably. Thanks to these design features, the garment hugs my body without compressing it. It doesn’t offer the same constricting support as a classic sports bra—so, I don’t see myself wearing this for jogs or HIIT classes—but it’s perfectly comfortable for activities that don’t involve jumping around.
I never overheat
As for the bottoms, the brand calls them their Lounge Pant, but I jokingly refer to them as my MC Hammer pants. Why? Well, they remind me of the rapper’s iconic parachute pants, as they feature billowy fabric in the legs and tapered ankles, except these elements are not as exaggerated here. In any case, this roomy design means that they feel breezy, I never overheat in them, and I’m never left with that sticky or overly-moist sensation after a workout. I also appreciate the pockets (which can fit my iPhone 8 and mask if I’m running outside to run errands), and elasticized waistband and drawstring features (both of which offer security, ensures that my pants stay up, and accommodates my ever growing baby bump) too. But perhaps the reason why I love them most is that on the skin, they feel buttery soft and are supremely stretchy.
It's stylish (for sweats)
I admit that lockdown has made me rather lazy when it comes to making an effort and dressing up. However, because both the tank and the pants have a more tailored and streamlined aesthetic, I can get away with wearing these to run errands with as well as for exercising. Although these could be considered sweatpants, they don’t look sloppy in the sense that I would feel embarrassed running into a friend at the supermarket while wearing them. Additionally, because I can wear these for numerous occasions, I feel that the garments offer good value for the money.
Post-pregnancy, I plan to wear them while taking care of the baby, doing light housework and cooking, for exercises like yoga and pilates, meditation, light strolls through the neighborhood with my newborn, and likely even for naps (whenever I can get them!).
What I don’t like about Knix WFH set
I was hard-pressed to find something I dislike about this set but if I’m splitting hairs here, the only complaint I have is with the pants’ waistband. If worn alone without the top (which is about 25 inches long and sits right above my pubic bone area) the interior stitching on the pants can cause tummy itchiness. However, keep in mind that this may not be the case for everyone. I currently have a heightened tactile sensitivity due to my pregnancy and respective hormonal changes. I think if I were wearing these sans being in “pregnant mode,” it wouldn’t be as bothersome.
Is the Knix WFH set worth it?
To me, this set is worth every penny. The best part about both the top and bottoms is that they’ve been able to “grow” with me on my pregnancy journey. But if you’re thinking of getting the Knix set and aren’t sure if you want the whole thing, I’d recommend going with the tank first. While the pants are slightly different from fashion-forward sweats due to the modal material used, which makes them far more breathable than ones made of cotton, I’d argue that it’s the tank’s wireless lift and molded support that makes it particularly special.
As for me, I’m looking forward to wearing both pieces post-pregnancy and can picture myself mixing and matching pieces with what I currently have in my wardrobe. The Knix Luxefit tank and Lounge Pants are what I now deem as staple items I’ll wear on a regular basis.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.