Thursday, November 10, 2005

She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown

Longtime reader and friend Jia Li wrote in with this brain teaser of a fashion question: "I am a advid ice skater who hates to wear tight clingy spandex, and at the moment am wearing leggings and tank top and a ballet wrap skirt to you have any other ideas?"

I have to admit I was a little stumped at first because I barely know the first thing about ice skating and what to wear. The last time I went I was probably eleven, and I wore jeans and a parka because it was outdoors. So what I figured was that skate fashion should do three things: allow for flexibility, keep a person warm (if the rink gets cold) and not get in the way of the skater's movements. Basically the clothes should be form fitting but warm and breathable, and the first thing that came to mind is the new trend in relaxing outfits - yoga clothing. Whereas this genre had previously been left to new agers and the like, the growing popularity of yoga means that the mainstream public needed a cute outfit to wear when they went to their classes. Fortunately, my favorite store on earth, Old Navy, picked up on this trend and offered a line of yoga-appropriate clothing. The benefit for the skater is that you'll be able to be flexible and yet not be tripping over sweatpants that are too long. Plus, the fabric is breathable yet warm, and of course the best feature is that they are affordable pieces with feminine designs. The top at left is a steal at $6 each (if you buy two or more) and the foldover capris at right are a nice alternative to the usual stretchy pants. Of course, pick colors that go together - I'd suggest black pants with the top, but you couldn't see the foldover in black. If it gets cool, a zip-up fitted track jacket like this zips up to the neck for warmth but you won't get a hood in the face when you go for that triple axel, like some sweatshirts. Gap Body is another good place to go for similar styles if you have a little more money to spend.

Another suggestion I had in mind was to go to a dance clothing store and select something from their collection. The Danskin website has a great variety of things to look at, and Capezio is another good option. Their clothes have the same qualities that we're looking for, but you can get something besides boring old pants and tanks. They have skirts like the one you mentioned and other types, such as the one at left. I love the way flowy skirts look on ice skaters. They also have a great selection of leotards to go underneath if you're tired of wearing leggings with your skirts. These tend to be a bit pricier, but you can get some good deals on sale days. I hope these suggestions helped - I don't do a lot of ice skating. However, for those of you who've never tried it and are looking for a different way to get some exercise, give it a try! You'll be surprised at the workout you get.