Tag Archives: under armour

Outfitting Your Exercise

7 Nov

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At this point in my life, I’ve accumulated enough clothes for every occasion. I have my work clothes. I have my clothes that work well after work. I’ve got my bar clothes, not to be confused with my club clothes. I’ve got Sunday brunch clothes that can lead to the day party later. And, best of all, I’ve got my gym clothes.

I’ve been working out so much over the years that my gym-clothes drawer is spilling into other drawers. I’ve got a decent amount of running pants, more than enough running shirts, quite a few bras with a few pairs of shorts sprinkled in. I’ve learned how to dress for every workout. What I’ll wear on a summer run may not be suitable for working out at the gym at my job. The running jacket I have for the fall and winter serves as just a jacket when I’m going to a class or the gym. And I’ve got plenty of items to keep me happy.

But I like shopping. So…I’m gonna buy more stuff if there’s a sale or I see something I like.

Which brings us to two completely different incidences where choosing the wrong item could have wreaked havoc on my bank account.

Fashion designer Alexander Wang released his new collection in collaboration with H&M yesterday. He previewed the collection a few weeks ago, which was where we saw the newly slimmed down Missy Elliot. I looked at the clothes online, and some of them seemed really cool. I liked the crop tops, though I’m not ready to expose my stomach to the world outside the beach. Some of the pants and shorts were nice, too, and they looked like they’d function during one of my many high-intensity workouts.

Um…not so much.

I went to the launch yesterday—twice. During my lunch break, I walked up the block to H&M only to find there was a barricaded line outside the store. Then the line went inside where it snaked around another barricade. I hadn’t planned on a two hour lunch, so I decided to browse the store. I’ve always liked H&M, even though it’s Old Navy with better looking clothes. There were some cute coats and dresses I saw, but what really intrigued me were all the people walking around with Alexander Wang bags. Many customers went through the long line, bought their stuff and continued to shop. One woman I talked to had gone through the line and seemed unscathed. “How was it?” I asked.

“That shit was ridiculous,” she said. “They kicked me out after 15 minutes.”

The store I went to was allowing customers to peruse the items in 15-minute increments. They even had a guy with a bullhorn announcing when time would be up. Still, I got a pretty good look at the items from the second floor. Just about everything is black, which makes them useless during the cloudy, dark days ahead. Some items had reflective fabric, but most were just for show.

In fact, just about everything was for show. When I came back that evening after the crowd had died down, I got a chance to look at all the clothes. None of them really seemed able to withstand a vigorous workout. Some of the capris seemed OK, but who wears a crop top on a run in the middle of winter? Not this gal.

Then there were the prices. Like I said, I like H&M, but making high-quality clothing isn’t their thing. That’s why most of their clothes are so inexpensive. Even though Alexander Wang is a top designer, the prices for his branded material was outrageous. Tank tops for $35, non-functioning sports bras for $40.

Where he failed in performance wear that you can perform in, he excelled in some dresses. They were designed to fall in line with Wang’s collection, but they had a “we’re gonna kick it hard” kind of vibe. Still, those dresses were about $200, way more than I planned to spend. So, I bought the one piece of sports equipment I could afford: a water bottle.

This experience was different from the last time I went sportswear shopping, which was a couple of weeks ago. I went to the Under Armour sample sale. This, too, was a bit overpriced. But it wasn’t nearly as bad as Alexander Wang, mostly because the clothes have better functionality. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as H&M. Plus, if you’re looking for stuff you can sweat in, the sample is your best bet, not the Alexander Wang collection.

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Where There’s a Will…

10 Sep

medium_10911602524Misty Copeland is amazing. Have you seen her? Have you heard of her? She is a soloist for the American Ballet Theater.

I’m not sure how much you know about ballet. My own knowledge is slim. My history as a dancer is limited to one year in preschool, three years in high school and one year in college. But what I do know: ballet is a very difficult art form. As a dancer, you have to be highly attuned to every muscle in your body. You must have immense strength of both body and mind in order to precisely execute sublimely graceful movements. This takes years of training. Some of the best ballet dancers have been working at it since they were toddlers. Misty didn’t start receiving formal ballet training until she was 13.

Lots of naysayers gave her plenty of reasons why she shouldn’t pursue this dream: her age, her feet, her lack of training, her body. But she had the desire to keep moving and is now one of the most famous ballerina’s in the country.

Under Armour took note of this and decided to feature her in its new ad campaign: “I Will What I Want.”

I’m not big on brand loyalty. You find what you like, whether it’s a a well-known name or something in a bargain bin. But Under Armour may get a new customer out of me. Unlike some other fitness apparel brands, Under Armour is celebrating women who are passionate in their drive to achieve a goal. You have skiers, soccer players, tennis players and the like in these ads telling us how they kept after their goals, what it took for them to achieve them and why it was so important.

One of the campaign’s newest ads features Gisele Bundchen. Yes, Gisele of the idyllic life with a superstar-athlete husband, Victoria’s Secret contracts and amazing legs. But Gisele’s also had two children. Whatever you may think about celebrities, know that they are still human and pregnancy does…stuff to the body. Gisele’s showcases her strength in a place you wouldn’t think would naturally assume is her element: a boxing gym.

We’ve all heard white noise about the things we can and can’t do. The second you tell a few friends you’re going to start monitoring your diet, one of them will find a way to tell you all the ways you’ll fail. The day you step into the gym or the pool for the first time, someone will look at you like an alien. God forbid we don’t all start off with the perfect shape or the perfect dietary plan. Your weight-loss journey takes work. But more than that, it takes will.

Under Armour was brilliant in executing this campaign. They are showing how to, for lack of a better phrase, make your haters your motivators. You can do whatever you set your mind to, health-wise, career-wise, love-wise, whatever. It’s all about what you plan to do to achieve your goals. So muffle the white noise and get cracking.

What do you think of the ads? How do you get past the white noise of naysayers?

photo credit: notmydayjobphotography via photopin cc