Browsing the racks at Lululemon is so 2012. This year, a slew of new web-based fitness fashion retailers are offering innovative ways for you to dress up your fitness wardrobe—from delivery boxes filled with surprise tanks to Gilt-esque sales solely for sweat-wicking gear. Here are the new companies that want to outfit you for your next workout:
This Santa Monica-based company, which launched in summer 2012, applies the delivery-box model that’s worked so well for beauty and snack sampling, to fitness apparel. After taking a style quiz that asks you questions like “Where do you prefer to work out?” and “Do you like patterned tops?,” the company sends you a new workout top and bottom every month, for $49.95.
Items may come from indie faves like Electric Yoga or big-box brands like American Apparel and Lululemon, but they’re all curated says Amanda Meixner, a PV Body brand ambassador manager. “We’re workout fanatics, so we’ll try on the stuff ourselves, get a feel for it, and then choose the best items.”
Of course, if you’re super picky about your leggings and jog bras, a monthly surprise may not be a fit for you. That’s where sites like FitFrosting and Healthy Chic and come in. Both take flash-sale approach to fitness gear.
“I was the person waiting for Gilt to do another fitness sale,” says FitFrosting founder Hilary Fetter. The site, which launches January 15, will host five to six one-week sales per week that offer “edgy, fashionable workout gear aimed at the urban yogi” from a mix of up-and-coming and established brands.
The first week, for example, will feature Hyde Yoga and New York-based Nesh (and supplements from Pure Matters.) Items will be 25 to 70 percent off retail price.
HealthyChic, which just launched this fall, has been testing a similar model, selling a mix of clothing from big-name brands like Lululemon and Lucy to more fringe labels like Brazilian Devi and YogaGlyphs, as well as healthy lifestyle products like workout DVDs and natural beauty products.
While most products are currently sold at a discount in a flash-sale format, founder Joel Fan says that “we will always have deals and discounts but our ultimate positioning is going to be less of a deal site and more of a curated site. Our goal is to be the go-to place for all things healthy and chic.”
HealthyChic has geniously tapped an all-star team of ambassadors to help curate and promote its products—yogi Anita Goa, the founders of Sakara Life, and Barry’s Bootcamp’s Matt Maggiacomo, among them.
While the site doesn’t yet have the hip, fun feel of FitFrosting (ultimately due to poor image quality and varying quality in terms of product selection), that will most likely change as more players continue to enter this new realm of online fitness fashion and the competition heats up to Bikram levels. —Lisa Elaine Held