With swimsuit season around the corner, you might be hitting the gym a little harder than usual to prep your body for another season of beach volleyball and bikinis. If you’re running out of workout tanks and yoga pants before your weekly laundry day, Athleta (3415 N. Southport Ave.; 773-525-5881) will have everything you need – and then some.
This month, Gap Inc.’s activewear catalog for women opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in Chicago. Tucked just under the Southport Brown Line stop in Lake View, the 3,600-square-foot store features stylish, high-performance athletic and everyday apparel – designed by and for female athletes.
I attended the store’s grand opening party and chatted with Tess Roering, Athleta’s vice president of marketing, who gave me the scoop on the store’s offerings, which will include complimentary fitness classes and in-house alterations so that every woman can find the right gear for her active lifestyle, be it yoga, running, swimming or skiing.
“We want to be a resource for all women toward their fitness goals,” said Roering. “We want our customers to look and feel great in our clothes, which are comfortable enough to wear after the gym but stylish enough that they can be worn day-to-day.”
In addition to the comfort-fitting tanks and bottoms, some of the most coveted pieces are UPF 50+ jackets that offer sun protection for outdoor plan and organic cotton dresses that are perfect for post-yoga or a day at the beach. The opened its new Chicago location, which is Athleta’s 11th store nationwide, offers free in-house alterations, complimentary fitness classes, and kiosks that link to additional products and sizes online.
Following the Westchester opening in January, Chicago will be Athleta’s second store opening this year, with the plan to open a total of 50 stores by 2013.
When Athleta was first created in 1998, the goal was to provide female athletes with the best products and services available. Today, Athleta partners with a number of programs that lend support to female athletes, including Girls On The Run, a non-profit organization that encourages pre-teen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyle through running.