As a teenager, I had very little choice when it came to workout wear. I grew up in a small town where activity comprised of phys ed class, team sports, or the occasional bike ride. Other than a team uniform or a pair of sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt from the local Saan store, there was little in the way of choice when it came to exercise clothes. Function ruled over fashion.
Thankfully, things have changed in a big way. Young professionals now have the option to make a fashion statement in terms of their workout clothing without having to compromise function and performance. We can choose various colours, lengths, and fabrics to suit our personal style and our activity. With this in mind, here are some of my favourite places to find workout gear in Calgary.
Love ‘em or not, Lululemon has grown from humble roots in Kitsilano, Vancouver, to a retail powerhouse because it has developed apparel that delivers undeniable performance benefits while helping us look great while we sweat. If I can find a tank or short that I can wear more than once without having to contend with odour or stretching, I’m happy – and my Lululemon gear does just that. Although the price point is higher than some labels, it maintains its structure and performance despite repeated wearing and washing. I actually had to get rid of the original yellow tank I bought when the store opened in Calgary in 2003 because I grew tired of it. (I also felt that it no longer matched my fashion sensibilities as it was purchased at a time when cropped tops were all the rage.)
Heavens Elevated Fitness
Heavens has a small but well-curated line of fitness and lifestyle apparel based on the quality of performance that they provide for their clients, the cost, and the overall aesthetic appeal of the clothing. Heavens has chosen a versatile product line that delivers from a performance and quality perspective when clients are working hard, but the clothing also looks great worn after the gym. Heavens carries the brands Lole, Karma, Lija, and Mondetta; check in on a regular basis as the collection is updated frequently, meaning regular sales!
Mountain Equipment Co-op
Although the apparel at MEC has always been directed toward active outdoor living pursuits, its focus was on practical clothing suited for hardy outdoor activities (read: hiking, camping, cycling). My first pair of cycling shorts from MEC were anything but flattering, but they did provide me comfort that has lasted to this day. Today, MEC sells some cute and flattering running, fitness and yoga gear for the ladies, as well as outdoor activities like climbing, hiking, cycling, and watersports. As always, MEC delivers great value and quality gear that’s been put through the ringer to make sure it lasts beyond a few wears.