Don't Hate the Playa

gapWatch out Lululemon: there's a new game in town. Much to HCG's delight, Gap has revamped its underwhelming workout apparel line with a variety of tops, shorts, pants and even headbands that will make any gym rat squeal with glee. The line, gently renamed Gap Body Fit, is finally what all workout-crazed women have been longing for: attractive, understated, great-fitting fitness clothes at normal prices.

This past Monday, Gap welcomed an onslaught bargain hunters across the country when it announced via e-mail a one-day sale of 45% off all merchandise in its stores. HCG, along with most of the other females who work in Center City Philadelphia, dashed up to the Walnut Street store at lunch, our palms sweating and our Blackberry buzzing (we finally ditched that sorry Motorola Razr). We'd heard about the new Gap Body Fit pieces, and we were anxious to take a crack at them with a 45% discount.

The trip was a whopping success.  Gap has devoted a significant portion of the store to the new activewear apparel; if you're lucky enough to  have a Gap Body store near you, we bet the selection is even more expansive there. The pieces aren't exactly Old Navy cheap, but they are by no means expensive. If you're interested in checking out the new stuff, it's worth going to your store soon: all Gap Body Fit apparel is currently 30% off in stores.

The pants are stocked in shelves just like Lululemon and are available in endless cuts and lengths. Vertically challenged and blessed women alike can rejoice: all the pants we saw are made in regular, short and long cuts.  I picked up the gFast capris ($44.50) in black because we've all learned the hard way that light-colored workout pants are no one's friend. capris

The gFast fabric and cut was so flattering, I just couldn't leave the store without the full length gFast leggings ($49.50), too. leggings

I'm always looking for long running pants that keep me warm but don't cut off my circulation at my ankles, and the gFast leggings seem to fit the bill. While I haven't given the leggings a test run (pun intended) yet, they felt great jogging in place in the dressing room (sorry, that's the best field test we can offer you now). Plus, they fit spectacularly and the thickness of the fabric makes you feel skinnier just by putting these pants on.

I rounded out my workout wear purchases of the day with an essential workout companion: the black headband ($12.50; not available online) and my favorite new top, the fit active tank ($39.50):

tankI struggle to find workout tops that are slimming yet not so incredibly tight you struggle to breathe, so I was especially excited that this top was a hit. The racerback cut is one of my preferred workout top styles, and the mid-section of this tank has enough give to let you workout comfortably. It has a built-in shelf bra, which is nothing we haven't seen before, but this shelf bra is padded.

Time will only tell how these pieces will wear and wash, and we plan on giving them an intense test drive. As always, we'll keep you posted.

To see more Gap Body Fit styles, click here.