Fitness finds functional fashion
Posted Febraury 24, 2006

Kristen Chocek
Staff Writer

Have you ever seen women at the gym who work out in full make-up, matching exercise outfits and hair perfectly coifed? Chances are, you probably rolled your eyes in sheer disbelief.

However, it is OK if you want to look somewhat presentable at the gym – just don’t go overboard. In fact, it is becoming more and more common these days. The gym is viewed today as the “new dating ground,” and there is no doubt that people want to look good.

Companies like Nike, Adidas and Puma have taken note, creating more fashionable sportswear clothing that is actually fun to wear.

Following the recent ultra-feminine trends in women’s fashion, these companies are making workout clothing not only functional for the gym, but also for a woman’s daily routine.

These sportswear lines consist of skirts, pants, tank tops and stretch pants, which are intended to work well for both the gym and the office.

They have been carefully designed to accentuate and support a woman’s body, showing off her individual uniqueness.

Nike has been on top of this marketing strategy, continuously finding ways to intrigue women who want to look fashionable while working out.

“Nikewomen,” the company’s line specifically geared toward active women, has been a great launch for the female sportswear market.

They focus their designs directly for the sports and activities that are trendy for women today. Yoga, dance, cardio, running and sport culture have all become subdivisions in the Nikewomen’s line.

Women seem to love these divisions because they have polished, trendy outfits to wear that are designed especially for their workout hobby.

“For the first time Nikewomen and Puma have really cute, comfortable and fashionable clothes that I can wear to the gym,” said Leah Rubertino, a ULV senior television broadcasting major. “I love them because they make me feel cute even when I am wearing them at school.”

Not only are these clothes making their consumers feel attractive, but they also are helping them perform their rigorous exercises sweat-free.

“The latest trend in the exercise market is Nike’s Drifit material,” said Shachia Harville, a Nike specialist at Chick’s Sporting Goods in West Covina.

Both men and women sportswear lines are steering clear of cotton and leaning toward fabrics that are more functional.

“The next trend to look out for is soccer-inspired apparel,” Harville said.

With the FIFA World Cup coming up this summer, Nike and Adidas are incorporating country colors and logos into their next season’s line.

“This is going to be big for both men and women,” Harville said.

Sportswear designers are also looking toward Hollywood for exercise trends.

Companies are currently endorsing celebrities in order to get their point across that exercise wear is not only for the gym, but also for everyday wear.

Reebok is following this trend, signing actress Christina Ricci to be a model and spokesperson for their company.

High-profile fashion designer Stella McCartney also partnered with Adidas to create a line of workout wear, which also doubles as street wear.

The days of wearing oversized cotton t-shirts and baggy sweatpants are long gone, so let these new functional-yet-fashionable exercising outfits be your motivation to hit the gym.

Kristen Chocek can be reached at kchocek@ulv.edu.

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