Hello everyone! Hola, hiya! It's been too long and I've forgotten how to open a blog post..
Okay, it's been about 10 days, but this has been the longest break I've taken from Minimal Effort since I've started it so it feels like forever. I took a little step back the last two weeks to focus on health and work (and enjoy our first wedding anniversary!) and it was much needed. But now, I am so so happy to be back and am ready to bring some new great content to Minimal Effort!
PS: If you ever need more of a daily dose, make sure you check out @minimaleffortblog on Instagram - I post every day!
While I was gone from the blog world, Eric and I took an adventure into the big city to visit the first ever pop up shop for Ever Forward Apparel. You might not have heard of Ever Forward unless you're like us and are an avid fan of the social media fitness community (largely run by YouTubers and Instagrammers). Assuming you haven't spent the last four years watching these people's lives on social media, I'll tell you that Ever Forward is an athlete-owned brand of premium fitness and lifestyle clothing. While their athletic wear is nothing to sleep on, their every day fashion-inspired clothes are actually a must have to you (and your husband's) wardrobe.
In my opinion, the brand is mostly tailored to men's east coast fashion. Think: button ups that actually tuck into your pants, chino shorts, and sleek leather belts that can be worn to work or out at night. Living on the east coast, having married an east coat man, this style speaks volumes to me and I love how Ever Forward's men line is sleek, buttoned up, and masculine. However, there's also an ever-growing line of women's clothing that has always been worth the wait. And like I said, the athletic line is a must have.
All products come from the think tank of an athletic owner who likes to see Lululemon-matched quality but at a more affordable price. How can you go wrong? The owner is a one-man team and he manages the entire process from research & design through customer support. This means every fabric and every sample must pass his own stamp of approval before going into commercial production, something I'm a huge fan of.
(PS this also means you aren't getting all the mark-up that you get buying from large retailers who play middle-man in the equation. Buying direct from the source means there's no middle man or retailer there to make an extra profit on your dollar, which further maximizes the value of the product. AKA - you're paying for quality).
As if the great products weren't reason enough to attend this pop-up shop, an added bonus is that the owner, Maxx Chewning, is also a YouTube influencer. This term still rubs me the wrong way a bit; I just don't think it accurately describes the atmosphere that some YouTubers create within their audience. If you're unfamiliar to YouTube, think of influencers like characters in a TV show that you watch week to week. Maxx's channel specializes in entertainment: grade-A video editing, hilarious jokes, and the adventures of his life all strung into a neatly edited story line. Bottom line: it's cooler than you think!
So having watched Maxx's videos with my husband for about two years now, we were pumped at the prospect of going into the city to celebrate this huge success for his company and support his efforts. Plus, if you know us by now, you know we don't ever really need too much convincing when a big adventure stands in front of us ;)
We live far enough from NYC that getting there requires multiple hours and modes of transportation, but close enough that it doesn't make much sense to spend a night. Also, we're just not city people, so while we'd likely drive hours to be in a secluded cabin in the woods, we wouldn't quite do the same for city-living. Based on all of this, we decided on a 4am wake up call to start our day. 4am wasn't nearly as tough as it should have been and honestly, I feel like I should start getting up earlier to go to the gym. But let's save that type of self-honesty for another time.
A drive, train ride, and a subway ride later we found ourselves in NYC and in large need of a warm drink & a bathroom. If you can count on NYC for two things, I'd say it's:
1) A Starbucks on nearly every corner
2) Extreme lack of public restrooms
We ran into the Starbucks above the subway and quickly ordered some coffees and got the code to their bathroom. Despite the bathroom requiring a customer-code, it smelled (and looked) like a scene out of a horror movie. So against my bladder's wish, I used my best judgement and kept walking. NYC: 1, Krystal: 0.
We found a smaller, more "vibey" coffee shop called Ground Support and immediately regretted buying Starbucks coffee but were super happy that they let us use their *clean* bathroom. I'm gonna give NYC and myself a point for this one, because honestly it was a win win. Eric dumped his Starbs and got another drink from this place, which he said was amazing. NYC: 2, Krystal: 1. Does one ever win against the big city?
Not knowing what the line at the pop-up shop looked like, we went straight to there to wait. We were probably first 50 in line, which was great because eventually that same line wrapped around the block! We waited a bit until the shop opened, but met some awesome people in line and got to fan-girl over the featured fitness influencers. Once inside, it was another world. The energy for fitness events like these is always top-notch. If you're into the fitness industry I highly recommend you check out the YouTube community. This was our second event (first being a huge event in Houston we flew out for) and the people and energy is just amazing every time.
I'll save you all the fine details, but we got to meet some amazing influencers and caught up with some of the ones we had already met earlier this year in Houston. After some chatting and lots of Poloroid pics, we each picked up some new items from the Ever Forward fall line!
I picked up the new women's bomber jacket, which is in the best pink color. Seriously, I'm not even a fan of pink, but realized I've accumulated a few things this color over the last few years. It's the most perfect cool-toned pink that matches with literally everything.
The jacket itself is amazing quality, but I already knew that because Eric ordered the men's version in olive last season. I was always to tempted to steal his so when I saw Ever Forward was releasing a women's version, you know I had to have it!
Fit is TTS, but you can size up if you want a roomier fit. I would have probably preferred an XS, but they only had smalls left when we got to the shop. The small still fits great and I'm super happy with it. I'm wearing the small in all these photos.
If I could wear leggings and sneakers everywhere, I totally would. And honestly, this jacket makes that possible. It's the perfect way to class-up a sporty outfit; it adds just enough detail to make you look super fashionable with minimal effort. I'd also love to see this paired with jeans and heels for a night out, making it one of the most versatile jackets I own. As much as I love my cargo jacket, a green army jacket just doesn't pair as well with classier or nicer outfits, making this bomber my new go-to choice!
While I love this look for girls, if this is more your guys' style, then make sure you check out the next launch for the men's line. Similar bombers for men will be released in olive, khaki, black w/ striped collar, and burgundy w/ striped collar.
Eric loved the striped collar bomber but he already has the olive version so he opted to grab one of the new premium hoodies. He's all about minimal branding so he loves the small embroidered "EF" logo that's nearly invisible in the bottom hem. Plus the material is so thick and soft, it's 100% better quality than the fashion hoodie he snagged last year at Express.
Let's talk availability - these items aren't released yet, but will be coming out with EF's next major launch on November 2nd. Follow Minimal Effort on Instagram & turn on your post and story notifications; I'll be posting plenty when these go live!
And remember, because this isn't a huge retailer, the brand doesn't have endless quantities and items may sell out quickly. In my experience, EF does a fantastic job at stocking inventory to avoid out of stocks on launch days, but it does occasionally happen. If something is going to go, it's the women's bombers for sure - I mean how cute are they?!
As always let me know if you end up purchasing one of these bad boys (or anything else from the launch) and tag me in your photos! Love seeing how you enjoy these recommendations!