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Spring training is about new beginnings, so we're tossing our threadbare T-shirts and crop tights and trading up for a fresh workout wardrobe from Athleta, Gap Inc.'s fitness-and-lifestyle brand, opening its first Chicago boutique today. (The building is also home to the sparkling new Southport Fitness, and with a Lululemon coming soon a few blocks to the north, the corridor is our new favorite place for a fitness-shopping spree.)

Athleta's 3,600-square-foot Chicago shop offers sporty women's apparel against a contemporary backdrop of reclaimed barn wood and inspirational photos.

Among the opening selection of style-minded gear for yoga, swimming, hiking and more is the Energy tank ($69), which lives up to its promise to "lift, separate, and banish the uniboob." The Hana 2-in-1 ($56) layers running shorts over tight-fitting compression shorts and arrives in time for rising summer temps next month. Fabrics are moisture-wicking with built-in sun protection, and some are water-resistant, in case you get caught in a spring shower.

Other shopper (and canine) perks: Staffers give free fitness classes (boot camp is this Friday at 8:30 a.m.; others on the schedule include boxing, yoga and Zumba), alterations, fun runs and even--woof!--dog treats.

First we shop, then we move.

Athleta, 3415 N. Southport Ave.; 773-525-5881 or

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