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What's Hot in Exercise Fashion, Be It on the Track or on the Greens

Women's workout wear has come a long way in the past decade. Our fitness expert, Minna Lessig, is here to tell us what's hot this spring on the tennis court, the track, the golf course, and beyond.

There are six outfits including the one Minna will be wearing. They are a tennis outfit, a running outfit, two golf outfits, and two gym outfits.

Tennis Outfit

Outfit and shoes by Reebok.
$30 for shirt
$30 for skirts
$75 (Stadium court DMX)
This is very sexy looking, almost like a bathing suit. Venus Williams, who is in design school and signed a deal with Reebok, helped create this look. (Williams does not design by herself.)

The halter-top is influenced by the fashion industry, which has been emphasizing this style. In general, tennis outfits are more form-fitted but still geared for athletic wear, meaning the fabric can move. This fabric is Lycra. It has "moisture management" treatment, meaning it has wicking ability. The lines are still technical and supportive. The skirt is an A-line, which is good if you're worried about looking hippy. It's flattering to a lot of body types.

Running Outfit

Outfit by "Moving Comfort"
"Bee Tee"--$25--with wicking fabric which dries rapidly
Runners shorts--$30--with cool max line for wicking. Light and dries quickly. You want to prevent moisture from being trapped next to your skin, which can cause bacteria to develop, which can lead to infection.
Shoes by Asics--Gel-Kayano 7--$130

This company was discovered back in 1977 by two women who couldn't find running shorts that fit them.

The company, Moving Comfort, is very concerned with how fabric feels against the skin. Many of their shorts are made from Microlite, which is a polyester microfiber. This doesn't cause chaffing like other materials. A buzz phrase in the athletic apparel industry is "technical fabrication," which means that the clothing or the fabric has some performance feature like "wicking."

Wicking, which means the material takes the sweat off your skin and dries faster, is a big thing for runners.

The Moving Comfort shorts aren't form fitting but they're not super baggy either. They come in two different inseam lengths. Moving Comfort's products get top billing from many runners and running stores. Their items come in bright colors and patterns.

Interesting fact from Moving Comfort brochure: In 1999, women spent $3.4 billion on active sports retail clothes.

ASICS SNEAKERS: Gel cushioning for shock absorption, SpEVA for bounce back, 3m reflectivity for low-light hours, synthetic leather and breathable mesh for light weight comfort

Golf Outfit

Very upscale outfit
Pink skirt--$215
Pink wool argyle sweater--$265
Tan and white Nike Air Course Shoes--$150

This outfit reflects the current fashion trend for preppy chic. It's a sophisticated update of an old standard.

Less expensive outfit
Outfit by Tommy Hilfiger
White fat-front capri trousers--$65.00
Blue gingham cotton long-sleeve oxford--$65
White wind vest--$75
Pom-pom socks--$7.50
Shoes by Nike--Air Zoom Jewell--$115
General golf trends from Rona Cherry, editor in chief of Golf Digest Women

Really top-of-the-line: Ralph Lauren Polo is gorgeous, Tehama (Clint Eastwood's company) , Gucci, Prada, Tommy Hilfiger, and Lacoste, (as well as Escada)

Traditionally, women's golf clothes have been really, really bad. But there's been a really big change. Golf clothes in the past have been totally out of sync with fashion.

Golf wear should be like any fitness wear so you can wear it on and off the golf course. We're seeing more form-fitting clothes and some nice sheer tops. Lacoste came back and they're in the golf area. They have some really cute little golf dresses.

We're also seeing linen silk shorts, stretchy material shorts. Golf wear should look like street wear but stil be active. Previously, a lot of people thought golfers just had bad taste! But that's not true anymore.

Requirements on the golf course: collars on shirts (although some courses are relaxing that rule now.) Some places don't want you to wear skirts, so you have to wear shorts or pants. Remember, with golfing, you have to be careful because there's a lot of bending over so you really have to watch yourself! Also, some of the more rigid courses have certain short-length requirements.

Today, especially among the younger players, they're out there and they want to look good. More and more women are playing golf for social and business reasons. If you were playing for business, why would you want to look any different than you normally appear in your business outfit--stylish. These days, golf clothes are a little simpler, and more elegant.

Shoes: We're seeing more high-tech design, more cushions and more shock absorption. And, they're a little more stylish--more patterns and colors.

Gym/General Fitness

Outfit by Becca Sport
Total = $76
Becca Sport --This outfit is for the woman stuck on basic black who still wants to have a little fun. These short shorts are really popular in gyms now.

Shoes by Reebok--U-Shuffle DMX. These are really cool. They use a toggle system rather than your typical laces or Velcro. It's a cross-training shoe for short-distance running, weight training, and other sports workouts. It retails for $90 and will be available starting in June. The shoe features a gore mesh upper for stretchability and comfort.

General Gym Trends

As always, the main focus is on comfort and function. Longer support bra tops are popular--instead of little crop tops; women find the longer ones that cover some of the stomach more appealing. Many companies are emphasizing support built right into athletic tops so women can avoid layering (wearing jog bras underneath athletic tops).

Colors and prints are in. Cropped pants are till in and shorts are shorter nowadays.

Fabric material is key--Wicking and technical fabric applies to fitness wear too, not just running. The emphasis is on fabrics that help keep you dry while you exercise.

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