This spring, workout wear banishes black in favor of bold and bright colors

  • Article by: JULIE GORDON , Newsday
  • Updated: March 20, 2013 - 3:26 PM
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Athleta wicking Prasada tank (with built-in bra), and wicking Rubik capris, $79, both at Athleta stores; and Gaiam Shakti yoga mat, $59.95; at Whole Foods Market stores.

Photo: Barbara Alper , MCT

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Step away from the black exercise pants.

This spring, workout wear isn’t just functional, it’s taken a fashion-forward turn, with daring prints, intricate details and look-at-me shades. Yes, even in pants.

Bold hues are huge, says Marissa Stephenson, fitness editor at Self magazine. Neons, jewel tones, corals and yellows are some of the top shades for fitted jackets, tops, sports bras and pants.

“The colors and patterns are so new and fresh I’m almost giddy,” says Karyn Riale, director of retail buying for the shop Equinox, which sells its stylish wares in nationwide locations.

With prints, anything goes, from hot-pink leopard created by Adidas by Stella McCartney, to bright tribal prints from Nike, to splatter-paint, florals and zigzags.

“To see companies like Nike that are taking risks with patterns and colors, it makes the experience more fun,” said celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, whose clients include Gwyneth Paltrow.

Wearing bright-colored pants can be intimidating, especially for women who prefer the slimming power of black. But, Stephenson says, it’s all about choosing the most forgiving shade and flattering cut.

Her pick? A bright-blue capri that hits just below the knee.

If you simply can’t let go of black, pops of color and detail add pizazz, such as pants with a print waistband or a bright stripe down the side. Perforated detailing on tops is also hot, as are texturized prints, such as a black-on-black animal print, Stephenson says.

Even neon socks and underwear can add a shot of color, adds Amanda Casgar, area community manager for lululemon.

Getting rid of your stretched out, faded workout wardrobe doesn’t just make you look good — it makes you feel good.

Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson says that dressing well for your workout can increase your motivation.

“Anytime you’re making a conscious decision to do something, you’re connecting more to the experience,” says Anderson, who has studios in Manhattan and Water Mill, N.Y.

One move to avoid? Buying constricting, skin-tight clothing in the hopes of looking thinner.

“If you’re doing a workout properly, these kinds of constricting fabrics can cut off your ability to perform well.” It’s much better, Anderson says, to simply “do your workout well.”

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  • A netted top for yoga allows for cool coverage, like this Pure Karma top, $50, with Equinox compression bra, $42; New Balance capris, $59.99; and Gaiam Honeydew yoga mat, $29.98; at Target stores.

  • Zara top, $35.90, and pants, $29.90; at Zara stores. Levi’s sandals, $118; at Levi’s stores. Lia Sophia necklace, $168; at liasophia.com.

  • Go for the bold in statement-making prints and colors with the NikeDri-FIT jacket, $65, and Nike Free Run +3 sneakers, $100, both at Lady Foot Locker stores; Gap Fast leggings, $54.95, at Gap stores; and SofSole socks, $7.99 for six pairs.

  • Nike Dri-FIT seamless top (with built-in bra), $58, and Dri-FIT capris, $80; Sidi Moon cycling shoes, $199.99; SofSole socks, $7.99 for six pairs.

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