Athleta Opening on 70th and Columbus: I’m Conflicted About This

Crain’s reported earlier this week that  Athleta would be opening its first NYC store in the old Lucky Jeans space on 70th and Columbus.  Athleta, which sells gym clothes, yoga gear, and swimwear, was recently purchased by the Gap. Gap just started opening  brick-and-mortar Athleta stores (it was previously a catalog/internet business).

It’s absolutely no surprise that they chose the Upper West Side for their first NYC venture, is it? For those of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning, you may remember one of my first posts, an open letter to women on the UWS to stop wearing yoga pants day in and day out.  Now do you see my issues with this store opening?

On the one hand, I’ve been a regular Athleta customer for years; I’m actually thrilled that they’re opening a shop up here. Lululemon has sort of cornered the workout wear market up here, but their prices often rival those of Barneys–way too expensive to sweat in.

Notice I said “to sweat in.” The UWS has a reputation of being dumpy for a reason.  A lot of women up here have given up on fashion and dress for comfort–which is totally fine, but when comfort means nondescript yoga pants and ratty sneakers everyday, I have a problem with it. It looks like you’ve given up.

So please, ladies, use this Athleta with discretion. They do offer some pieces, that while I don’t think they’ll ever show up in Vogue, actually look like real garments instead of gym clothes. Just remember to throw on some makeup with them, OK?

**Photos: Athleta

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