“I feel pretty…Oh, so pretty…I feel pretty and witty and bright!” Just like Maria from “West Side Story,” some of us active women at SNEWS® like to feel, and dress, like a girl sometimes. No need to always be so utilitarian in dress, no? And said ladies were game for trying the SkirtSports Tough Girl Skirt for our various forward-motion, foot-powered workouts.
The Tough Girl, which is a trendy combo of skirt over slightly flared leg tights, is made of a nylon and spandex blend that has a smooth hand and pleasant feel. The tights are of the looser, not-so-skintight or compressive variety, which flared out below the knee slightly to a boot cut, making them stylish on most figures. There is even a hidden pocket on the thigh of the tights for stashing a key, a gel or an MP3 player (with a reinforced buttonhole to thread the headphone wire from under the skirt).
The built-in skirt falls about halfway between the hip joint and knee, offering a flattering look to most shapes. While tights can hug the bootie/thigh area a bit more than some woman prefer, this option bridges the choice of tights versus bare legs while avoiding the bun-hugging. One of our testers even garnered a couple of compliments on the look while she was hiking.
The Tough Girl lives up to its name construction-wise with heavy-duty, flat-lock stitching on all seams. That, combined with the skirt/full-length tights, does make it a bit on the heavy side, though, which can be an advantage in cooler temperatures. One tester appreciated the extra layer over the hips and butt on early-morning runs with temperatures as low as freezing. Depending on the wearer’s personal thermometer and the intensity of an activity, the thickness and extra layer could be a bit much when temperatures reach the 50s, though some people might remain comfortable when it’s as warm as 70 degrees.
We were a bit perplexed by the length of the pants. One tester who stands 5 feet, 8 inches and has relatively short legs found she had to hitch up the leggings to keep them from dragging, while another thinner, longer-legged tester who is 5 feet, 6 inches found the leggings were just barely long enough. That could mean that shorter or even just shorter-legged types may find the tights to be a bit long.
Our testers used the Tough Girl in a variety of scenarios: hiking, running, working out, and just going shopping after workouts. One tester tried it on a variety of hikes that surpassed 10 miles, finding that it provided a little extra protection to keep the chill off in the early morning when temps are lower, but also adapted to the rising thermometer without overheating. It also provided extra leg protection against brush and proved relatively durable to minor scratches. And the skirt provided an extra layer when sitting on rocks or the ground for breaks.
Our runner took them on road runs and some longer trail runs and frankly found the look rather fun but not necessarily that practical on dirty or muddy trails—unless you liked catching the extra flare of the leg on brambles or coming home with mud-dipped hems.
When the wind whipped up on the trail and some rain fell, the tights were not the end all to be all. The skirt provided an extra layer of warming protection, for sure, but our testers needed to keep moving to generate enough body heat to keep on the side of comfort. And when the tights got wet, there was a lot of extra material that was quite thick that didn’t dry very quickly.
We found that the Tough Girl worked better for road runs, plus we could waltz into stores afterward and not feel as if our buns were, so to speak, hanging out.
Our runner, who is a bit more oriented toward function than fashion, found that once you put on a slightly longer jacket, the whole cute look of the skirt was lost a bit. A more cropped jacket or top kept the look intact – and that’s what it’s all about it seems.
Overall, the Tough Girl can be a nice alternative to plain old tights or shorts. So, like Maria, our testers “feel like running and dancing for joy” because SkirtSports does help you feel prettier than a lot of other workout bottoms out there. And who doesn’t want to occasionally add a feminine touch while on the trail or in the gym?
SNEWS® Rating: 4 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $90