Our aim is to design activewear that is made to last, and it’s something we’ve been working on perfecting for many years.
Back in 2012 when the idea for THE UPSIDE was conceived, our founder Jodhi Meares, our General Manager Tara Fraser & Head Designer Ashlea Holdsworth flew out to China to begin the development of our signature fabric.
“We travelled to a great mill in Guangzhou & worked with the staff to develop a knitted stretch fabric that would be soft to the touch, felt amazing to wear, but also ticked all the activewear boxes.” Says Ashlea
Because there is nothing worse than buying a pair of leggings and figuring out that they’re see through half way through your yoga class while you’re secured into downward dog.
The team came back from their trip with a fabric composed of 70% polyamide & 30% elastane. “The reason we picked a polyamide base cloth,” explains Ashlea “is because polyamide boasts numerous qualities necessary for active; it’s quick drying, has high elasticity meaning extra comfort & support, it’s easy to wash, has the ability to hold its’ shape while staying soft & maintaining the lustrous hand feel, it has durable fibres & is resistant to abrasion.”
There were a few important factors to consider when developing this fabric, one of which we thought to be paramount – it’s not see through. Because there is nothing worse than buying a pair of leggings and figuring out that they’re see through half way through your yoga class while you’re secured into downward dog.
So we, of course, didn’t take it lightly. Ashlea and the team spent “a lot of time bending over in striped knickers” to ensure the fabric was dense enough without being too think, but was also comfortable.
After rounds of extensive wear tests, the fabric then spent a lot of time in the washing machine (cold wash with no softener) to make sure it was the perfect base cloth for our brand.
When designing our signature Yoga Pant the team worked off the notion that these legs should feel like a second skin. They implemented flat lock stitching on the majority of the leg to reduce bulk and provide extra support. “The flat lock stitch is also designed to reduce chafe.” explains Ashlea
As active women in fashion, our team also values classic and timeless pieces in their wardrobe, so THE UPSIDE strived to create designs that lasts as long as the structure. A lot of our Yoga Pants are panelled, either with a contrast colour, or with the same print. “There are several reasons that I do this; other than just purely for design.” Ash says. “Sometimes a wicking mesh is applied to a panel behind the knee to provide ventilation for the wearer. Vertical panelling at the side of leg wear, particularly in a graphic print, is flattering to all shapes & it also breaks up a print nicely.”
And those little features that go unnoticed? Well, you might not see them, but they’re the reason your leggings are so comfortable. Ash explains, “We insert rubber into the lower waist seam to ensure the pant holds on securely and comfortably. The waistband has a soft fold-over edge with no rubber, which was developed specifically so that there are no ‘dig in’s’ – just soft and comfortable to wear.”
She continues, “We also offer our waistband with a drawcord – this is an extra element of support to ensure the pants stay secure when working out. We have also designed our legwear to have a triangular panel in the gusset – this has been built from the idea of a form fitting wetsuit. It is there to allow extra room in the crotch area for movement & flexibility, and ultimately, more comfort.”
For more information on our styles, see our previous article on our fits, and for measurements and a better understanding of exactly what your new leggings offer, please always check our ‘Details’ section on each garment, and review our size charts.
Now go on… it’s time to confidently get into that downward dog!