Shawn Johnson East Calls This Activewear Brand 'the Best Thing to Happen to My Wardrobe'

The gold medal-winning gymnast tells PEOPLE about why she gives CALIA a perfect 10

Photo: Courtesy Calia

Shawn Johnson East knows it's all about balance.

The retired Olympic gymnast, 30, has teamed up CALIA for its inaugural CALIA Collective, standing on the podium of the brand to help inspire and reflect all women. Johnson East tells PEOPLE she partnered with the female-focused fitness line because it celebrates "everything it means to be a woman, in every walk of life and every shape of life."

"These clothes have been the best thing to happen to my wardrobe because I truly felt like a train wreck as a mom," the athlete reveals. Johnson East shares daughter Drew Hazel, 2, and son Jett James, 7 months, with husband Andrew East.

"I saw all these cute moms on social media — I should not compare — that seemed all put together. I truly will put on one outfit from CALIA and I'm like, 'Okay, I can wear this to a business meeting, I can wear this to dinner and I can carry my toddlers around and actually feel kind of cool,' " she says. "It's comfortable, it's cute. They've thought through every detail and it's really high quality."

Johnson East joins influencer Hannah Bronfman, actress Dascha Polanco and golf journalist Alexandra O'Laughlin as the first CALIA Collective ambassadors for the brand sold out of DICK'S Sporting Goods.

Courtesy Calia

When asked to cite a favorite staple from the line's upcoming Spring/Summer collection, featuring activewear, loungewear, swim and outerwear in sizes XS to 3X, Johnson East says it's impossible to choose just one piece.

"We're taking our babies and we're going with my parents to the Caribbean for our first full family vacation next week, so I'm very biased on their swimwear and their cover ups," she says of CALIA's latest looks — many of which are coming along in her suitcase. "Their coverups are the brightest, best colors and their swimsuits are truly for every type of body, which is really awesome."

Shawn Johnson, Andrew East family
Shawn Johnson/Instagram

Though she's spent much of her life in athletic gear — Johnson East won four medals for Team USA's women's gymnastics team at the 2008 Summer Olympics, including gold on balance beam, before retiring in 2012 — the star says that her gymnastic past doesn't influence how she dresses today.

"If it resembles a leotard, I'm probably not going to wear it. If anything, I went the other direction from gymnastics," she jokes. "Back in the day, we lived in leotards and old school warmups, when I was competing. A lot of high ponytails and scrunchies."

Courtesy Calia

Well, scrunchies are still sort of fun, she clarifies. "I don't mind the scrunchies anymore, but I'll steer clear of the leotards and those old school joggers," Johnson East says.

When opening her activewear drawer today, the busy mom of two reaches for the basics — and trusts that CALIA has her back.

"A good pair of leggings and a supportive sports bra, those are my go-to. I will say that's probably the first thing that hooked me on CALIA, was that it's impossible to find a good supportive workout sports bra that looks cute and doesn't have Velcro and stuff everywhere," Johnson East says of the designs with women in mind.

"They have mastered it. I tried on their sports bras first and I was like, 'Okay, they know what they're doing. They know how to take care of us women. This is awesome.' "

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