Bringing the sexy back in activewear


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The saying goes, “when you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you perform better.” So it’s no surprise that the days of baggy sweatpants and oversized t-shirts are over — we want to look good when we’re active!

Enter Athleta. Gap’s chic activewear brand for women boldly arrived on the East Coast this week with two new stores in Manhattan’s Upper West Side (216 Columbus Avenue) and Upper East Side (1517 3rd Avenue).

That’s right, you can find quality apparel and accessories for yoga, running, swimming, the gym, hiking and skiing — designed by and for women — in two locations on either side of Central Park!

The stores feature FREE alterations and bra fittings, in-store kiosks that link directly to the website, offering customers access to additional products and sizes, and FREE weekly classes ranging from Zumba and yoga to jump rope to nutrition.

Athleta is even sponsoring the Urban Girl Squad’s Group Run Series, which will include coaching by an Athleta instructor (this fabulous Fitness Sweatidor is attending a class soon!).

Not in the Big Apple? No worries! Athleta plans on opening up to 50 stores by 2013. Coming soon are locations in Newport Beach, Calif.; Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia and Minneapolis.

Athleta is not the only activewear brand expanding. According to the LA Times, Lululemon plans to open 25 new locations this year. Under Armour will introduce a new yoga collection this summer; Target offers an exclusive C9 by Champion brand, which recently updated its collection line; and just last fall Gap rolled out its women’s workout apparel line called GapBodyFit.

Even sporting goods retailers who carry activewear, like Sports Authority and Dick’s Sporting Goods, are doing well in these tough economic times. According to a February 2011 report by Global Industry Analysts, the world sports and fitness clothing market is expected to reach $126.3 billion by 2015!

Tell us: What’s your go-to workout apparel brand?