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What It Is: A line of technical athletic apparel for men and women with lots of attention to modern style and detail. FYI, RYU stands for Respect Your Universe.
What You Might Not Know: RYU was first a Portland, OR, brand with a strong bend toward MMA. When now CEO/president Marcello Leone, fashion industry veteran, transplanted RYU to Vancouver, B.C., the brand was vastly reinvented to target athletic men and women interested in gear that performs well at the gym (or wherever) and looks sleek on the street.
Feelin’ the Love: For shirts, I test-drove the TecLayr Tech Tank and TecLayr Long Sleeve Top in matching Ink Blue Heather. Lightweight and very fast-drying, both tops were engineered to stand up to a variety of fitness activities. I wore them in the weight room, along the seawall, and to teach my HIIT class. All good.
The racerback tank with shelf-bra fits close at the chest then floats away just a tad by the time it hits your mid-section. If you’re not wild about tops that cling to the abdominal area, this one could be your jam.
Update: These shirts are no longer available, but RYU now offers new workout tops that, TBH, I like better. Check out the Vapor racerbacks and long-sleeve crew-necks on their site or over on my Shop My Test-Drives page.
Workout Tights That Flatter Like Your Favorite Skinny Jeans
I’ve exercised in a variety of fitness tights and loved many of them. But my RYU capris are the only ones that feel as flattering as wearing my favorite AG skinnies. Of course, you still get the comfort and range of motion you’d expect from high-performance gear, but the folks at RYU told me their workout pants for women are constructed to fit your backside like a great pair of jeans. It has to do with the wide, sleek waistband and supportive sideways stitching along the back that—again, excuse the non-technical description here—holds your butt firmly in place while lifting it up.
The Verdict on See-Throughedness
When RYU sent me their Black Rose capris to try, I immediately fell for the flower print. It’s such a fresh design. But when I pulled them on, my first thought was, OMG, are these completely see-through?
As the fabric stretched over my thighs and butt, it revealed a hint of lighter color underneath about the same shade as my pale skin. Eek. After careful inspection, and squatting in front of my bathroom mirror, I finally clued in. The staff at a nearby RYU store confirmed my theory.
Turns out, the Black Rose tights are actually made from light grey fabric with a black “stencil” of sorts on top. Technically speaking, the print gets transferred to the fabric through heat press. When the fabric stretches, you see more of the grey showing through, so no worries, it’s not a bare a**. And if your skin is darker than the grey, the pants might not have the same sheer appearance.
Just to be sure about the see-through thing, though, I tested the same style in solid black and it all checks out. Add these to your mental checklist of workout tights and capris that are not see-through. They also don’t slip down or ride up at all.
If I Could Change One Thing: I have a drawerful of RYU bottoms because they are that good. But RYU really needs to come out with a wider variety of tops and tanks.
Should You Buy It? If you don’t flinch at spending $80 and above on workout pants and at least $50 on fitness tops, I’d recommend making a switch from your usual brand(s) to try RYU. (Their warehouse sales are also great for deep discounts.)
Shop online at RYU.com with shipping to Canada and USA—be sure to select your country on the website. International orders coming soon.
RYU has stores in Vancouver, Toronto, Los Angeles area and NYC.
*Disclosure: I’m an RYU Connector, meaning RYU has asked me to wear and showcase their clothes, but also to review them and provide honest feedback. This is not a sponsored blog post, but there are affiliate links here. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I might receive a small commission. You can use these affiliate links or, if you prefer, you can go directly to RYU.com from your browser.