For my tween, it is all about the clothes. She's always loved skirts and dresses. That's just who she's been since she could speak enough to voice her opinion.
Since kindergarten, I have tried and failed to find a sport that my skirt-clad girl liked. Bitty basketball was a bust when she decided she'd rather talk with a friend under the basket than play defense, and that just the first in a long line of unsuccessful attempts to find an athletic endeavor for her.
That all changed when as a tween she realized that she could wear a skirt to tennis. She wore skirts, took tennis lessons, and liked the game. She wanted to take more lessons and is still doing so (she just started her 3rd round, so she's still very much a beginner). She isn't half bad at it and most importantly, she had fun being active. I don't think that choosing tennis was all about the fashion, but it certainly didn't hurt. It's the only sport that has clicked for her.
And it clicked most definitively when she finally got her own white tennis dress. Suddenly we're talking serious tennis practice. The dress came from Ivivva, a recent tween offshoot of the popular Lululemon, and they just opened a store in Chicago. Had they produced this clothing this years prior, my kid and I would have discovered the Rule the Court dress sooner, and perhaps spared a long list of coaches some serious frustration. Ivivva's brightly colored, feminine active wear for girls very much appeals to my tween.
She felt good about herself, and I think that helped her play well and enjoy the exercise. And if she finds clothes that make her feel good and comfortable and make her want to be active, she's going to be happy. If a tennis dress helps her enjoy a sport and keep her moving, I'm just fine with that.
I think that the clothes influenced her early interest in dance at age three. My tween is still going strong with dance, and Ivivva has lots of clothing options for that, gymnastics and skating. Ivivva doesn't enter the "is dance a sport" debate, but rather offers clothes for "active girls who love to move."
Erin Hochstein of Ivivva said, "Our mission at ivivva is to elevate the level of health and fitness in every community we touch. We want young girls to continue their passion for movement inspired activities as they grow up."
I was a little wary of how an all white tennis dress would work, but it is of high quality construction, and nicely lined. The built in shelf bra provided good coverage, and the built in shorts worked well, especially when my tween decided to practice her dance twirls while waiting for her turn on the court.
Ivivva clothes aren't cheap, by any means. Hochstein explained that the company "recognize(s) that families watch where they spend and our approach has been to produce the best quality product for our guests. The technicality and functionality of our product is what we are more proud of. All of our products are designed with high-quality, premium fabrics and innovative sewing techniques which make our garments extremely long-lasting and highly functional."
Hochstein added, "The product is also versatile enough to wear to and from school, practice or rehearsal." My tween has found that to be true, wearing a the cute Tumblin Tank ii both to dance rehearsal and to school. We went from tennis practice to dinner and with a jacket over the tennis dress, my tween was good to go.
I do think that the clothes are very high quality, and the fact that they are classic enough to last a while combined with their versatility does eases the bite of the price a bit. I'm a big fan of the final curtain call sale section on their website.
Disclosure: Ivivva was kind enough to send my daughter the items mentioned above I pictured above so that we could try out their products and share our thoughts with you.