Work It Out
As the days get ever-warmer I’m reminded of Saturday morning Farmers’ Market trips, leisurely afternoons on State Street and taking a run along a sunny stretch of the lakeshore.
After work and weekend activities demand clothing that’s non restrictive and casual. If we want to dress up, it’s acceptable just so long as it doesn’t overshadow our laid-back city vibe. That’s where Title Nine comes in—they’ve got plenty of options for running errands or running a few miles.
“This is a lifestyle store—it’s designed to cover everyday life from the gym to grabbing coffee,” says manager Wendy Stanley. “It’s really casual, functional clothing.”
Founded by former college athlete Missy Park in 1989, the mail order and retail business’s name refers to the famous 1972 legislation that requires schools that receive federal funding to provide girls and women with equal opportunities to play sports. So, the empowerment theme is big throughout the store and catalog—inspirational quotes line the walls at the Hilldale store (open since November), and each catalog has a different theme; a recent one is “strength.”
Speaking of strength, the brand believes in the everyday woman—so much so that it won’t use professional models in any of its material. Title Nine features “real women” as representatives of the brand (any woman can apply online to be a model).
The shop’s utilitarian look reflects the sporty-chic aesthetic of the clothing: polished concrete floors, bright walls and an uncluttered sales floor make you feel comfortable in an instant. Salespeople are at the ready to consult on which dress is more flattering or which yoga pants will work best. Prices are more than affordable, and overall, the atmosphere is pretty empowering.
“If you feel good in what you have on, it’s another push to do that activity,” says Stanley. “If I can go to the gym wearing our stuff and pull something on of ours after I leave the gym, then why not? It encourages you to be active and healthy.”
Price range: $10–$150
Owner’s Picks: “Unstoppable” dress (“Most of the dresses have a built-in bra!” says Stanley), $59; skorts, $45–$55; swimsuits (“They’re supportive and made to play in,” she says), $33–$74; running bras, $24–$60.
Editor’s Picks: Snap skort, $55; “Wonder” dress, $59; “Not-So-Tight” fitness pant, $58; “Voila” dress, $62.
Verdict: If you need a compelling reason to work out or simply need a dress that’ll keep you cool running errands or enjoying a relaxed day, check out Title Nine’s gear—you’ll be hitting the streets in no time to show off your new workout (or play) duds.
• Title Nine, 662 N. Midvale Blvd. 310-5590. Titlenine.com
Shayna Miller is associate and style editor of Madison Magazine.
Read Miller's weekly Window Shopping blog here!