It's Expo Time! Rock 'n' Roll Denver Here We Come!


It's expo time in Oiselle world! This time I'm off to Rock 'n' Roll Denver. I'm excited to return to Colorado after going to school there 6 years ago (go rams!)

What I love most about expos is meeting women runners. It's great to get out of the office and meet the people we're creating clothing for. I love hearing about their training, goals for the race, their thoughts on the Oiselle line and everything in between!

I also love hitting up all the booths for food samples. Hello, Nuun refills all day! All this sampling can result in what Sally calls "expo tummy" which I try to avoid.

What I don't love about expos is how hard it makes running. Standing for hours. Upon hours. Thank goodness for CEP compression socks, or it would be even worse. I have been training for a half marathon for the past 9.5 weeks I'm in the last 2.5 weeks of it, and so I'll need to fit runs in pre or post expo day. That can be tough with expo and the traveling.

Luckily I just read a great blog post by Andrija*, a Oiselle team member, that outlines race travel on a budget. Lots of great tips in there for race travel but also just traveling as a runner. I'm going to follow her advice on stretching, hydration, nutrition etc during this expo weekend. She's one speedy speedster so I trust her sound runner/traveler advice.

And if you're in Denver - come say hi! I'd love to meet you!

*Andrija's Blog: | Andrija's Oiselle Profile


Rundies - Days of the Week Undies for Runners

Sarah Mac

A few months ago the Rundies were an idea that cracked us up. Sally saw her daughter's days of the week underpants and thought of what a runner's version would look like. Instead of Monday it would be Rest, Tuesday would be Track... etc. As runners we all have our weeks outlined in workouts. Especially when there is a race on the horizon. (Of course we made Race a day of the week, so post race you can celebrate all day in your rundies. Next up we'll need to make our 'podium pajamas'... but that's a story for another day.)


Last week we finally had the finished product in our hands. We simply need to roll the rundies into their packages. All 3,000 pairs. So we threw an underwear party yesterday. Oiselle's closest girlfriends came by the office to roll rundies, eat snacks (don't no crumbs are on the rundies!) and catch up.


We were laughing that not only were the undies designed by a women runner, they were hand rolled by women runners. Three of whom had even raced that morning! Authenticity! Through and through!


And today they are up on the web! Ta-da. They come as a set of 7 colorful pairs of cotton Rundies, each printed with a different workout on the bootie. Runners are different and we're glad that we have such a fabulous group of runner nerds laughing with us! (That would be you!) You keep our wheels turning.




ReTREAT with Kingston Adventures


This weekend Oiselle was honored to be the apparel sponsor for the inaugural women's ReTREAT put on by Beth Brewster owner of Kingston Adventures in Kingston, WA. I went to represent Oiselle and Beth me up for the weekend (in the cozy laundry room) even though the retreat was sold out. That means I got to participate in the ReTREAT as well as get really great feedback on what women love and hate about running shorts in a focus group on Saturday afternoon.

I have never been to a retreat like this and was anxious to see what it was all about. The purpose of the weekend was to share our goals, dreams and also problem solve the obstacles we face in accomplishing them. Amidst the goal sharing and thoughtful discussions was a lot of fun, including standup paddle boarding, trail running, yoga, and belly dancing. Yes. Belly dancing.

My favorite moments from the weekend were really hard to narrow down, but here we go in no particular order.

- Swag. My friends know I'm a swag nut. From lotion samples at a marathon expo to ... real swag like this. Of course each gal got a Oiselle 50/50 running tee and a pair of running shorts. Sweet. Plus trailshoes from GoLite, compression calf sleeves from RecoFIT (I wore them on two runs - great!), Bonk Breaker bars, Run Like A Mother book, Amphipod water bottles and more!

- Food! Molly Ward Farms catered lunch and dinner. The Cup & Muffin did coffee and breakfast. I was so spoiled this weekend it was a harsh reality to not have steal cut oats and coffee waiting for me this morning...

- Meeting one half of Run Like A Mother: Sarah Bowen Shae.

- Getting feedback on running shorts in general and Oiselle's in specific. Got to keep the fast ladies happy.

- Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP). So fun! We even did pushups and plank on the boards.

- Belly dancing lessons. My face was sore from laughing and smiling that whole hour!!

- Running, of course. The trails were beautiful on Saturday with all the ladies. And on Sunday morning at 6:30am Beth (our host) drove me out 13 miles and dropped me off. Holy hills, headwind and rain - but it was great to get my 15 (I added on) done on a new and very challenging route.

- Goal Setting. The first night's ceremony was beautiful. These women are so inspiring. The obstacles they have overcome and the ones I know they will... wow! Strong, beautiful women are my heroes. There was a lot I could learn from everyone there.

- Yoga - ahhh best way to end a 15 mile run.

- Getting to know all these gals. What a ridiculously fun group!

There are more photos in our Flickr album. Also stay tuned, Beth will be putting on more retreats this year and we'll let you know about them.


Runway to Race Day Style


Watching the trends for Spring 12 strut down the runways of New York City has been interesting. And inspiring. I'm no clothes horse, I don't own any $1,200 heels, and there's no couture hanging in my closet. But watching what designers are presenting, predicting really, for next year influences and excites my own personal style. Because I like clothes. I like the attitude transformation I undergo when I wear something I love, something that's me. For me personal style is not about following rules, or owning labels. It's something you create yourself. Runways will inspire, and rules are better learned before broken. But style is a creative way to express yourself to the world. A way to play with persona and character.

As runners the importance of style is as true, or more true. I say style not fashion, personal style to me is bigger than fashion trends. Think of your race day outfit. That thing is washed ahead of time - spotless. Laid out the night before (most likely with your race number already pinned on). Each piece, from your hair elastic to your socks, is selected not only for the way it feels, but for the way it makes you feel. Strong, beautiful, free, powerful, unstoppable, badass...


I want to see your race day outfit. THE capital R: Race Day Outfit. The one you feel like 'you, the racer' in. We'll pick one random name to win a rare (never for sale) Oiselle spike bag. If you don't have photos of the outfit feel free to describe it. Paint the picture :)

Enter your response on Facebook, Twitter or right below in the comments.

*Top photo is of Tadshi Shoji's collection which I loved watching - taken from NYDailynews


Onyx Running Tights: Here to Run Your Life


Running tights are essential for fall and winter training. And we're so excited to have our Onyx Running Tights in the Fall 2011 collection. They are super soft, sleek, ankle length wonder pants. The sporty detailing, like mesh vents behind the knees and the box seam around the front of knees, give them a modern edge.

We all know a good pair of running tights can come in handy for more than just those cold winter runs. Like layering under snow pants when you hit the slopes. Let me take you one step further: daywear. These days leggings are part of everyday fashion and it's easy to transition your Onyx tights into your wardrobe when you aren't logging miles in them. So in honor of Fashion Week, here's the first installment of Oiselle's Style Tips.

How to Wear Running Tights as Everyday Wear

Pair tights with a longer top: This creates a fasionable yet comfy look. The longer length of a tank, sweater, or tee covers part of your bum so you won't feel like it's ALL hanging out.

Add Layers: Starting with a long base layer is good, take the style up one little notch and add layers on top. I personally can't wait to pair my tights with a longer tank and my new leather (fine, it's "pleather") gray bomber jacket. Even adding a tee or second tank (maybe one is bright and colorful with a nuetral on top, or vice versa)

Footwear: Ballet flats, sporty sneakers, heels, you can pull it off. It just depends on what's on top. Tank with tee over? Flats, fashion athletic shoes, running shoes. Tank with bomber jacket? Ballet flats, heels, boots.

You can take the tights as far as you want. Shown above is a very casual look, longer burnout tank from Threads for Thought with American Apparel tee layered on top. (I love this top because you can wear it either way, scoop neck in back or front.)

Running shot is the Fargo Jacket paired with Onyx Tights. I love the Fargo Jacket, I would go so far as to say it's my favorite running jacket in. the. world. Thumbholes... so great.


The Roga Evolution - A Shorts Story


Updated: June 1st, 2014

The idea for the Roga Shorts happened in 2004 but didn’t come to life, in the form of what’s known in the industry as a “first proto” until 2006. The first proto was a God awful thing that looked like something like this – but worse because it actually looks uglier in person.  

But before the awful paisley proto that not even my musical muse Prince would wear, there was Yoda. And the search for Yoda. Because before I could wear bad looking protos, I had to find the Jedi Master of sewing…someone who could translate my idea into a real garment. Granted, this was the land before time…when I was a brand strategist and copywriter and a wannabe designer in my fantasy life, so I really didn’t know what I was doing.

So back to Yoda. There I was with just an idea. Nothing more than a thought bubble. A whif of smoke. A blade of grass. Everyone, everywhere has ideas about things they’d like to make. It was of course the execution that had me stumped.

But like the good little endurance athlete that I was, I set out on my journey. My first idea was to go to the fabric store. Brilliant! Fabric people know sewing people. When I got the fabric store (Nancy’s Sewing Basket on Queen Anne to be specific), I told the matronly sewer ladies of my quest for the non-poofy running shorts and tried to ignore the look that said “why is that skinny runner woman so weird about the shorts?”

They didn’t have an answer, but they had a binder. A 3-inch, 3-ring fattie, containing names of contract sewers, 90% of them who made custom wedding dresses and 0% of them who made athletic apparel. A bit defeated, I slid the bridal binder back across the counter. That’s when a woman behind me piped up. She had overheard me and knew another woman, who was married to a man, who worked at Eddie Bauer, and boy, was that woman really good with the sewing. I guess the Eddie Bauer connection equaled athletic apparel, and for whatever reason we were both very excited to start talking about my idea.

So I contacted the super sewer and we got together for coffee. The first meeting went great. I had sketches and a budget, she had skills and confidence. Away we went. In the second meeting, however, the skies got stormy. She informed me that she had been advised by her friends that she should consult with an attorney before handing over any patterns; that the patterns, in fact, would be her copyrighted work.

Now it’s true, I knew even less then than I do now, about all things garment industry, but something didn’t sit right. I figured, if it’s my idea…and you’re helping me execute it…isn’t it still my idea? Well, whatever! It was too much trouble to get into a pissing match – or worse, involve attorneys.

The next stop was a lunch with Helen Rockey, the former CEO of Brooks Running who was the head of a gaming company (as in board games). This was an informational, networking kind of lunch, of which I was fortunate enough to finagle. This meeting produced two gems: 1) the notion that covering the CASH FLOW, between production and accounts receivable, would be the business’s make or break (as it is with almost all businesses; but for us creative types, we need our pearls of business wisdom to hit us smack in the forehead) and 2) a name. The name of her friend who was also trying to get into the garment business with ice skating apparel.

I met the friend, and looked at her clothes, which I thought were awful in an ice skating kind of way, but she also gave me another name…the name of a woman who lived in South Seattle who was experienced in pre-production pattern making. Wow, finally, a real lead for my super sewer.

After talking with the super sewer on the phone, I headed to her studio. Now South Seattle is not Compton or East Oakland, but it’s rough around the edges. And the directions were involved. Freeway, city roads, smaller roads, left turn down the alley, park behind the chain link fence surrounded by blackberries…well, by the time I got close I was asking myself what fresh hell is this, and where’s the exit? Anyway, that’s how I imagined Luke felt right before he met Yoda.

But when she opened the door (next to the blackberries and chain link fence), my perspective was transformed. Before me was a very small woman with large, sparkly blue eyes, and behind HER was an elaborate, complex, completely tricked out sewing studio – with all the bells, whistles, and doodads you might ever imagine.

To make a long story longer, this was my first introduction to the Jedi Master of Sewing and, ultimately, the shepherd of the Roga Shorts, from the awful paisley prototype to (all biases acknowledged) the kick ass garment it is today.

And the idea of the Roga remains the same: to combine a yoga style waistband (flat and flattering) with a running short (liner, storage pockets, lightweight, etc.) to create a more comfortable, more stylish kinda short. Running + yoga = Roga. Hell, why not? (I’m pretty sure that’s what Luke said before he jumped into his X-Wing Fighter).

Fall 2007, the first Roga hits the market:

roga .jpg

It was also this short that helped me run my fastest marathon and half marathon. Of course it was the shorts.

In Spring 2008, a lighter weight fabric, not evidenced by this bad photo:


In Fall 2010, we added a rear pocket and shaping to the side seams:


In Spring 2011, a new super stretch woven fabric, poly/spandex waistband and drawstring:


AND in Spring 2011 we introduced the Long Roga:


Fast forward to Spring 2014, the Mac Roga was born, proving less is more: 



Roga Revolution!


We are starting a Roga Revolution! Because it's time to get your booty out of those poofy shorts and into the Roga. The Roga running short is a hybrid Yoga-Running short. We've been perfecting the Roga since 2007. Once you try it on, you'll never go back to shorts of your past.

To prove this we've having a contest to giveaway some Roga shorts! Here are the two ways to win.

1. Show me or tell which shorts in your drawer you would donate (or trash) if you won a pair of Rogas or Long Rogas. You know the pair I'm talking about...lurking in your running wardrobe, with its saggy bum and weird waist band. Best story...aka worst shorts, wins your choice of Rogas!

2. If you already own the Roga or Long Roga tell me your Roga Revolution story! Send a picture for extra points! Best Roga Revolution story wins another pair of Rogas!

Here are a couple examples of Roga Revolution stories from our Facebook page.

Connie Meehan's reaction to her first pair of Rogas:
"My Roga running shorts have changed my life. Logging 25 miles this week! (that's a lot for me.) Two words - get them."

And Amy Katz:
"Tried out my new Roga shorts this morning and LOVE them! So cofy and I think the zippered pocket is great!"

***Post your response to the contest on Facebook, in the blog comments or on Twitter (#rogarevolution). If you have a photo, post it! Or if you'd rather send it via email, Two contest winners will be chosen on Tuesday September 6th.***

Check out the Roga Revolution photos on Facebook and Flickr. We'd love to add yours!


Fall 2011 Photoshoot - Behind the Scenes


Have you ever wanted to go 'behind the scenes' at a glamorous Oiselle photoshoot? Well then, today is your lucky day! I'm going to take you behind the scenes to the thrilling, freezing, goosebump-covered, giggling madness of .... OISELLE FALL 2011 PHOTOSHOOT in DISCOVERY PARK.

First, meet Ariel:

She's the one in the hood wielding the giant camera. You may have guessed already, but Ariel is the Oiselle photographer. She is a 'designer with a camera'. She has a smile on her face even in 20 degree weather, is happy to work with both pro and faux models, and basically rocks our world with fabulous photos. Since I realize that hood might make you think Ariel is a little bear, here's what she looks like without the fur.

Now the Oiselle Fall 2011 Shoot:

For every season we take all the studio shots one day. Those are the shots you see on the product pages of the website. So, white background, hand on hip, posed action. Morgan has modeled for Oiselle for a few years. You literally can't take a bad picture of her. So beautiful!

Morgan and Sally

We wanted some lifestyle shots for Fall 2011 so the next morning we all met at Discovery Park in Seattle.The day was cold. No, we need a better word than cold... frigid. Intolerable, shiver until your muscles ache kind of cold. But that did not stop the show. Modeling for us we had Rose, Ashley and Andrija. Andrija and Ashley run for Oiselle and flew in from Idaho. Rose is a local (celebrity) runner who has modeled for Oiselle before.

(The models: Rose, Ashley, Andrija getting their stretch on)(The models: Rose, Ashley, Andrija getting their stretch on)

We had a tent with heating lamps, changing rooms and the entire shoot was catered by Macrina Bakery. Er, sorry daydreaming... we actually had to photoshop all the goosebumps out of the pictures. And wardrobe changes were behind jackets and trees. But we did have some fun!

Sally directs and can see any stray piece of grass on a model's clothing from 500 feet away. Photo perfection. She also tweets and facebooks live from the fields. (seen above) Also seen above is her sweet fur hat she bought before the shoot at a drugstore if I'm not mistaken. I was there for moral support, to hold coats when the models dashed out from under them, and to be a general looky-lou. 

Sally coming to fluff the model and remove a small piece of grass, presumably.

Here we are all cheering Andrija on after she left the warmth of her three coats. "Don't look cold!!", was the cheer of the day.

Andrija's three coat nest. Ashley looks on while warming her ears with a 'Lil Hottie' mitten warmer. glam-or-ous.

Even dogs needed sweaters that day.

I hope you enjoyed your look behind the scenes at Oiselle's Fall 2011 Photoshoot. If you'd like to see more pictures check out the Oiselle Flickr Page. To check out more of Ariel's photography go to her website,

And to shop the Oiselle Fall 2011 Collection click here!

Now for some outtakes:

Even Ariel can't save me from my lazy eye...

Posing and testing the mobility of the hoodie fabric. (It is now approved for yoga)

I'm so warm...really. SEE!!

The 'I got a new hoodie' dance.


The Power of 9


After a lot of planning and dreaming and talking, I am SUPER excited to write this post and let you know about a new project we’ve got going on. So this is one part announcement, one part product preview, and one part CALL FOR ENTRIES. Please read on for the deets…

First, the background: Title IX, the mother of all enactments in the realm of women’s sports, is turning forty next year (1972-2012). Yep, she’ s entering the masters category and she’s still kicking serious butt. Consider the stats*:

   - The number of high school girls competing in sports prior to Title IX: 1 in 27
   - The number of high school girls competing in sports today: 1 in 2.5
   - There are 3,714 more women's teams on college campuses than in 1972
   - The number of female college athletes in 1972: 32,000
   - The number of female college athletes today: 164,998

*Title Nine

So…In celebration of the big four-oh, we’re partnering with our friends at Title Nine to produce a collection of six graphic tees that will honor forty years of progress. Missy Park, Founder of Title Nine, who I’ve had the good fortune of getting to know recently, put it best: “This enactment brought a whole generation of girls and women off the sidelines and onto the playing fields. With a confidence born on sport teams across America, women began a movement into boardrooms, war rooms and courtrooms that continues to this day. And THAT is something worth celebrating.”

Who will design the tees? This is where you come in! We’re looking to work with six top-level women graphic designers. We have some names in mind, but we also wanted to open it up to our respective communities, as we know that there is an amazing talent pool among you. In the spirit of full disclosure, the compensation to the chosen designers will be the benefits of high profile exposure and being a part of a shared movement (i.e., we ask that the designs be provided pro bono, but “winning” comes with a boat load of benefits – as we intend to put a spotlight on the individual designers, online and in stores, to highlight their work, as well as have each tee “signed by the artist”).

Got the skills and interest? We’d love to hear from you. If you or someone you know is interested in submitting a design, please email me at and I will send you the creative brief. Thank you!

Deadline for inquiries: Friday, September 2, 2011

*Note: Title Nine will also be opening this competition up to their community. So check their website, Facebook page, etc., for information within the coming weeks.


Summer Days


Summer is my favorite season to run. Every season has its certain charm (except for spring in my opinion, spring is a turd). But summer is the bees knees. I'm in the best shape because of all the accidental cross training. Riding my bike all around, walking after dinner, kayaking, hiking, swimming...I'm a happy kid. Running in heat is something I love, I will wait for the hottest possible moment of the day and go out for my long run. Just to sweat as much as I can.

What's your favorite season to be a runner?


Chicago: RnR Expo and Chick's Night at Fleet Feet


This past week I was in Chicago. First I had two days at the Chicago Rock n Roll Expo with Oiselle rep: super energized, snack slinging Cindi. We had so much fun meeting women runners, some who'd already found Oiselle and some who fell in love that day (after trying shorts on usually).

Then Tuesday night (8/17) I hosted Chick's Night at Fleet Feet Chicago in the name of Oiselle. Wow! What a great group! They have between 40 and 50 gals every week. All training for this and that, all excited to be a part of the running community in Chicago by volunteering at water stops or cheering. It was really inspiring to see the community that running in Chicago has built. Really inspiring. Running is bigger than our individual PRs it's really about supporting each other. I think I see a water stop in my future...

Anyway, we raffled off some prizes after running. And enjoyed drinks and snacks. I had so much fun in Chicago, every time I visit I find a new reason to love it.

View more pictures of the Chicago Rock n Roll Expo here.

View more pictures of Fleet Feet Chick's Night here. "Like" them on Facebook here.


How to Run (and Win) Four Races in One Week - By Jen Bigham


Guest Blog by Oiselle team member Jen Bigham.

Jen is one fast runner! She's also a great mama with covetable abs has some serious style (as seen in the blog entry "Tee Two Ways") We're honored to have her on the Oiselle team. Hearing about her racing is inspiring! Like this blog post about her birthday week of racing victories.


A lot of runners do something running-related for their birthdays – run their age in miles, race a distance they haven’t, or try to set a personal best. For my 30th, I ran 4 races in a week…and won them all! In the process, I pushed myself harder than I ever thought I could on some of the hottest days I’ve experienced.

My crazy week started on my birthday with a 5k at the local zoo. It was a nice day, pretty cool for July. I won on the hilly course with a decent time and was feeling good. The zoo race was on Sunday morning, so I had a whole three days to rest before I raced on Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday morning.

I haven’t ever run 3 races 3 days in a row so I was worried. My coach (also my older brother) predicted that I would run well on the first night, run faster on the second night, and just have to give whatever I had left the final morning. It was hard to believe I could be faster the second night, given that I usually take 2 days to recover after races, but I decided to trust him. Part of me wondered why runners didn’t always do a warm-up race the night before if it was really true.

Thursday finally came, and it was time for the USATF Niagara 3 Mile Championship. I got a message from the local USATF chapter saying the race might be canceled due to heat. Remember the heat wave the swept across most of the country? (I know, Seattle, it missed you!) It decided to show up the night before my 3 consecutive races.

All day I remained focused (anxious), knowing I would need to be extra tough if the race happened. I knew I also had to prepare for the heat. I drank ice water and Nuun (an awesome electrolyte replacement) all day so I could start out hydrated. I got to the race about 90 minutes beforehand and did a shorter warmup than usual. I also packed my sports bra and shorts with ice cubes right against my skin to try to keep my core as cool as possible.

The final thing I did was mental. I reminded myself that every person in the race was dealing with the same conditions and I was prepared just as well as anyone. It’s a good thing to keep in mind for a lot of what’s intimidating about races – hilly course?  Well, it’s hilly for everyone. Too hot or cold?  Same for everyone else.

The heat index was 98 degrees at the 6:30pm start. My ice cubes melted by the first mile (but still helped me beat the heat!). My time was slower than I would have normally expected, but everyone’s time was slower. And, I won!

Afterwards I stretched and did a short cooldown (funny thing to do in this weather…), and stretched again. I ate a Clif Bar as soon as I could after the race, knowing it would be critical for the next day’s race. When I got home I took an ice bath, had dinner, and went to bed early.

Friday came and the stakes were high. The winner would get $500, plus an additional $100 for breaking the 5k record. I was a little tight, but felt better than I had expected. It was hot again (a chipper 90 degrees at 7pm), and so I repeated my routine from Thursday – I hydrated, mentally prepared, and stashed ice in my sports bra and shorts. It was just under 90 degrees at the 7pm start.

The race started off well. I went through the first 400 meters, and heard my parents and baby daughter cheering. Despite the heat, it really did feel cooler compared to the night before. I got the win and course record. My time was only 8 seconds off my personal best and given the heat I was happy. I finished up with stretching, snack and a cooldown, plus an ice bath and dinner at home, knowing every effort made would help my legs on the final race.

My final race came just 13 hours later on Saturday morning. By this race, there was no denying that my legs were tired and sore, but once again not as bad as I thought they would be. This race has sentimental value because it marked my one year anniversary of returning to racing after having my daughter. I ran a 5k personal best on that first race back, and this encouraged me to keep training.

The race went well. My dad also ran and I used him to pull me along, cheering as he zoomed by his competitors. It was a great race. Not a fast race, but I pulled off another win, and my dad won the master’s division. What a great way to end my birthday week!

As I reflect on the week of racing, especially racing in the heat, I think a few things were critical. I was mentally prepared for the heat – I knew I wouldn’t run my fastest times, but kept in mind that everyone else would be struggling too. I stayed tough in the heat, even though I feel heat is my major running weakness. I did everything to make sure I was physically prepared, from hydrating and fueling up post-race to ice baths and stretching. Every bit helps.

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of competition even the tough parts. People often think that these hard races - the hot ones or hilly ones or long ones, will be their worst memories, but they make the best stories and my best memories.