If your daily workouts feel stale and repetitive, maybe it's time to retire the shorts and too-tight tee and get inspired with some fashionable and functional fitness wear.
This season's exercise attire follows the same color and pattern trends seen on the big-city runways, including neon, color blocking, stripes and feminine details such as ruffles and ruching.
Athletic skirts also are popular. "Nothing is more flattering than a running skirt," said Liz Findlay, co-owner of Albion, a family-owned fitness and swimwear store in Salt Lake's City Creek. Not just for tennis anymore, "the fitness skirt is perfect for a day on the court or the track, and transitions seamlessly as you run off to your lunch date."
Another great transitional piece is a long, nonfitted tank top, which allows for comfort and maximum confidence.
It's the perfect fit for Robyn Stewart, a local fashion blogger cleverlyours.com who is seven months pregnant.
Stewart maintains her chic style with neons, bright colors and comfortable pieces that will stretch to accommodate her changing shape. She believes feeling good in what you're wearing is as important as looking good.
Fun and fashion-forward outfits inspire her to continue working out. The Albion store sells two styles of fitted ruched maternity tops.
Fashion meets function • Fitness wear should be fashionable and functional. "There is no point in wearing a workout pant that doesn't stay in place, or a hoodie with tassels that whip you in the face when you are running," says Findlay.
"Fashion without functionality is pointless," explains Kyle Muir, CEO of Swoob Inc.
Noticing that many women use their bra as a pocket to store cellphones, money and keys, Muir responded with a solution â a sports bra with pockets.
The Swoob bra has a center front pocket for cellphones; two side pockets stash cash, keys, lip balm or other small items. Water-resistant pockets ensure that even if you're sweaty, your phone won't be.
"As more and more women look to find balance in their lifestyle, we are seeing new and creative looks to meet the demands of the busy, active female," Muir said.
Flattering fit is no sweat • As an avid runner and workout enthusiast, Findlay understands the importance of a flattering fit.
Combining her design skills and manufacturing background, she and co-owner/husband Dave Findlay have developed the Albion brand of women's fitness and leisure wear.
Albion's customers are looking for apparel that accommodates a woman's desire to be feminine and active.
"Our line is great for women who do all kinds of sports and are interested in wearing something comfortable that makes then feel beautiful when they are trying to live an active lifestyle," she said.
Today's textiles are breathable, comfortable and technical.
Figure-friendly fabrics such as Albion's signature spandex/nylon blend provide compression control that lifts, tucks and tones.
Sweat-busting supplex materials wick away moisture, cool the body and prevent chafing, while antimicrobials keep things fresh with long-lasting odor control.
Many shorts and pant styles feature a compression waistband that easily converts from a tummy-controlling midrise to a more sassy fold-over low rise.
Albion has outfitted professional and collegiate athletes and custom-designed uniforms for local high-school tennis teams.
Ruby Parkin, East High tennis captain, plays her best game when fit, comfort and fashion are in balance. When you feel pretty, you are able to be confident and "cuteness is crucial," she said.
Runway at Gateway
The Runway at The Gateway is a fall fashion event that will feature clothing from retailers as well as from three emerging Utah designers: Nephi Garcia, Ghiselle Larusso and Arron Ibara. Guests can get free samples, styling tutorials and fashion tips before the show.
When • Saturday, Aug. 24; booths open 6 p.m.; fashion show 7 p.m.
Where • The Gateway Mall, Salt Lake City
Cost • Free
After party • 9 p.m., The Urban Arts Gallery in The Gateway
Details • facebook.com/TheRunwaySLC; Twitter and Instagram: @TheRunwaySLC