Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lookin' Good Is No Sweat

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lookin' Good Is No Sweat

Article excerpt

THE HOT LOOK for sweating this year is just what Marilyn Scherl wore just the other afternoon.

She was doing crunches in her Clayton bedroom, with Timmi the cat at her side. Both looked decidedly cool, but especially Scherl in a combination of black Champion jog bra, black Guess bike shorts, black Reebok aerobic shoes, white socks and Polar's heart monitor plus its companion stopwatch.

"Shorts are getting shorter," said the personal trainer as she graduated to a stationary bike in the gym next door. "Leggings are still very popular, and tops are either sports bras or zip-up crop tops or T-shirts." The workout look, Scherl added, is calming down from the flaming colors and Lycra shines of '80s aerobics classes. "We don't have a lot of fashion discussions here," she said. She and her private Muscle-Up clients "all try to be as simple as we can." "There are not," she added, "a lot of women here kicking their legs higher than each other and trying to compete." Instead, women - and men - in many gyms these days, "spin" on stationary bikes and march on step-climbers to a beat of their own - that is, to head sets pumping out their own brand of music. And therein lies a key to current workout clothes. They're often as low-key and individual as the exercises they're worn for. Says Tina Hodak, fashion director for Famous-Barr stores, "The shiny leotard-tight combination is in big decline. The big favorite is bra tops with bike shorts and a lot more emphasis on performance in the clothes now." She likes the properties that "wick" away perspiration, in new shorts and in reversible warm-up jackets. She favors adjustable straps and back closures to sports bras - formerly all one piece and tugged on and off overhead. And she likes the matte-cotton finishes to most of these items. At Dillard's, Leslie Rafferty sees a variation on this workout theme. "I think when you're talking workout wear, there are two groups of people," says Rafferty, the activewear buyer for Dillard's St. …

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