Tight is right

Women are dropping the sloppy look in clothing 

By DAVID SPEAKMAN special to next

From the health club to the nightclub, figure-flattering workout-style clothing is quickly replacing the baggy grunge look on Fort Wayne area women.

Tighter-fitting clothes started as a trend on the West Coast in 1994, yet Fort Wayne clothiers didn’t start stocking workout wear as fashion until late last summer. The local surge in figure-hugging clothes began with a boom in sales of belly-baring crop tops, according to Jessica Jones, a sales clerk in Hudson’s New Attitudes juniors’ section.

Jones said the average customers who buy these clothes range from late teens to late 20s. Popularity of the style has been gaining since Christmas, she said.

Joining with the crop top, now form-fitting silk blouses, skirts and pants have been big sellers in the post-Christmas shopping season.

“Workout fashions haven’t changed a lot,” according to Maxine Brown, ladies manager at the North Clinton American Health Fitness Center. “Women in good shape are wearing leotards and thong.”

Seria Nelson, assistant manager of Merry-Go – Round in Glenbrook Square, agreed that the loose-fitting look is on the way out for women.

“Women’s clothes fitting more toward the figure are selling better,” Nelson said. The store’s biggest seller are Y-legs, which are like leggings and are a typical accompaniment with the crop top.

These clothes are available at most specialty clothing stores and department stores in sections that cater to young women. Prices range from $15 to $60, but may be less because of current sales. Most are made of silk, cotton, rayon, polyester and blends.

“Women are more fashion-conscious,” said William Tyler, fitness consultant at the Fitness Connection. “Men just throw things together. Sometimes they match, sometimes they don’t.”