Happy Birthday Cindy Parlow Cone

Happy birthday to Cindy Parlow Cone, three-time NCAA Women’s Soccer Champion and founding member of the Women’s United Soccer Association, former head coach for Portland Thorns FC and in her first year as coach in her first year as head coach of the Portland Thorns, led the Thorns to the NWSL Championship. Parlow was a member of the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympic, and 1999 and 2003 Women’s World Cup, teams. Parlow Cone played professionally for the Atlanta Beat for three years and was the Coaching Director of 13-18 year-old girls’ programs at the Triangle United soccer league.  Cindy is a co-founder of Goals for Girls.  Birthday –May 8th.

The “why” of Dragonwing girlgear.

kickstart_bannerPeople often ask me why I am so passionate about sports and girls and I have a simple, important reason – we need this generation of girls, now more than ever, to reach their potential.  Sports participation at any level is one path to actualizing potential –it is established and proven – we don’t need to create a new program or study its benefits.  But social expectations and social media are getting in the way of girls.  When I realized “the underwear experience” could have an impact, I had an aha moment that I could do something about it.

Let’s take Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid.  On one level of the pyramid is community or village – we all know and accept that it takes a village to grow a strong confident girl.  We are happier with friends, family, a team, a tribe.  Belonging is important.   Connections give life meaning (Brene Brown).  Sports provide a natural community.

The next level of the pyramid is self-esteem.  Sports build self-esteem in so many ways, such as setting and achieving goals, graciously winning, building resilience, pushing your comfort zone for what you think you can do and then exceeding it – just to name a few. For more on this, check out this TedEx talk by Alisa Herr.

Unfortunately, feelings about breast development are a top reason girls drop out of sports.  According to a recent study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, “three quarters of school-aged girls report breast-related concerns regarding exercise and sports.”   75%!!!  That’s just not acceptable.  Starting and normalizing conversation about body changes can improve this.  Sports programs frequently recommend protective gear for boys, like cups, or compression shorts, but there is no comparable list recommended for girls. At Dragonwing girlgear, we provide girls that list and more.

Having an excellent-fitting, high-performance sports top – whether it is a bra, cami or thermal tee-shirt, that is designed especially for the athletic girl’s figure, can eliminate worries about underwear malfunction.  Embarrassment about changing bodies can alleviate concerns about body image.  At Dragonwing, we strive to free up emotional energy– so girls can focus on their game – and everything else they want to achieve… because when girls are confident, the possibilities are endless.




5 Tips for the Best-Fitting Sports Wear for Girls

Tips for the best fitting athletic wear for girlsSpring sports season is just around the corner, and that means stocking up on clothes for practices and games. Your child has likely grown since last year – or even last month! – so clothes that fit then won’t fit now.

Like most tween and teen girls, your daughter’s body may be changing and developing. Research shows that girls enter puberty significantly earlier than 15 years ago. More than 20% of girls in 3rd grade have started to develop breasts. Of course, many girls don’t begin until their teens.

What a girl wears under her uniform can give her the confidence to play her best. Base layers (aka “undergarments”) that are comfortable and provide appropriate support and coverage empower girls to play the sports they love without being distracted by droopy straps, shirts that ride up their bellies, or bunching shorts (the dreaded wedgie!).

Follow these tips to get the best fit for your daughter:

Should be easy, right? But lots of base layers, like compression shorts, are designed for boys or unisex. The selection of sports bras for girls can be limited, even in so-called sports stores, so you end up looking for XXS in women’s.

Girls of the same age come in different sizes and shapes, so don’t automatically buy Size 10 just because she’s turned 10. If you’re buying online, take a minute to measure and check the size chart. Next to our size chart, you’ll also find a short video about how to get the best fit. If trying on clothes at a store isn’t an option, check the return policy so you can exchange if the size isn’t right when you get home.

While your daughter may not need a sports bra for support, she may appreciate the coverage – and comfort – that it or a sports camisole provides under her jersey or uniform. Similarly, compression shorts provide coverage and a smooth, wedgie-free layer especially under white shorts, skirts, and uniforms.

Look for soft, smooth fabric (not cotton) with four-way stretch that moves when she moves and wicks moisture so she can stay cool even when working up a sweat. Tug and stretch to check if the item will hold up to a season of wear. That inexpensive cotton bra or cami isn’t a great value if it loses its shape or the straps break after 2 or 3 washes.

A girl’s sports bra or camisole should be snug but not tight. It should move when she moves but not ride up when she throws a ball, grabs a rebound, or runs the field. Look for a seamless, tag-free design so there’s no irritation or chafing.

At Dragonwing, the highest compliment we get is when girls say that our clothing is so comfortable that they don’t even know it’s there. That means they’re focusing on playing the sports they love. What more could a Sports Mom hope for?!

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A slightly revised version of this post originally appeared on The Sports Mom Survival Guide, a terrific resource for parents. Subscribe to their weekly email to get great tips, recipes, and life to make your life as a Sports Mom or Dad easier. They’re hosting a raffle for a $50 gift card for Dragonwing (deadline Feb. 9, 2015).



Hey Santa, Here are Gifts that Sports Girls Want!

Dragonwing girls Emma and Montgomery show Santa how to stuff a stocking with great sports apparel for all the girls on his — and YOUR — list!

Racer and Keyhole sports bras for girls
: Super soft, great support, seamless and tag-free. Great under sports uniforms or everyday clothes. Perfect as a girl’s first bra, too.

Un-Dee Light Compression Shorts: Coverage and comfort under a sports uniform, wedgie-free fit means no tugging or bunching. Available in great colors!

Un-Tee Sports Cami:  Girls sports camisole with great fit in 8 terrific colors. Shelf bra provides light support and coverage for tweens and teens.

Chill Weight leggings and long-sleeve tee: Stay warm and dry this winter in these great base layers. Soft brushed inside and moisture-wicking fabric that’s made from recycled plastic bottles! Top details include thumb hole so sleeves stay in place and wrist wipe so face and nose stay dry. Leggings available in long and capri length. What sports girl needs “armour” when she can have Dragonwing?!

Order by December 12 for Christmas delivery with FREE regular shipping (US orders only). See shipping info for more details.


Armour for Your Sports Girl? No Way!

The driving force behind Dragonwing girlgear’s creation was a frustration over the lack of quality performance athletic wear for girls. Girls shouldn’t have to shop in the boys’ department or search the racks for XS women’s clothes.


That’s why we’ve created a line of performance wear designed for teen and pre-teen (or tween, if you prefer!) girls. No wedgies. No straps that slip or bras that ride up when you pull down a rebound. Everything designed for an athletic girl, so she can concentrate on playing the sports she loves.


She’s Picky. We’re Comfortable.

We love hearing customer feedback about our girlgear. This comment about our Un-Tee sports cami arrived yesterday from Jill D.:

“My daughter really likes the tank tops.  She is extremely picky about fabric and seams that can be irritating, and she is very comfortable in this tank.  Thanks for a great product!”

Another word for “picky” is “discerning,” and that describes Jill’s daughter! She appreciates the many features that make the Un-Tee Sports Cami the perfect light support sports tank top for girls:

  • Comfortable, moisture-wicking, 4-way stretch fabric with a shelf bra for gentle support.
  • Wide straps, flat seams, and tag-free design mean no chafing and no strap droop.
  • Perfect by itself or under a sports uniform — also provides coverage when changing at a game or practice.

We’ve sent a special gift to Jill with our thanks for her feedback. We’d love to hear from you, too. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and email. Submit a review on our website. Thanks for reading!

January 24: Happy Birthday, Mary Lou Retton!

Happy birthday to Italian-American Mary Lou Retton, the first female gymnast from outside of Eastern Europe to win an Olympic gold medal in the all-around event (1984 Olympics). Besides four other Olympic medals- two silver and two bronze- Retton is also a two-time American Cup winner and a 1997 International Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductee.

Aries Apparel! Special 15% Back-To-Soccer In Store and Online Promotion ends September 30

Check out the Back-To-Soccer Sale now on at Aries Apparel.

Dragonwing girlgear ™ (the first line of athletic sport and support wear designed for young sporty girls ages 8-17) announced that Portland, OR based Aries Apparel (a women and girls-only athletic apparel/footwear/accessories/equipment retailer) is now carrying the full line of Dragonwing girlgear ™ merchandise in stores.

“Like Dragonwing girlgear, Aries Apparel believes that strong, healthy girl athletes need high quality performance apparel,” states MaryAnne Gucciardi, Founder/President of Dragonwing girlgear. “Aries Apparel customers can now find our product in stores and online — and we think that is a winning combination for our customers.”

Diana Marsden, Founder/Owner of Aries Apparel, states “Our decision to offer customers the complete line of Dragonwing girlgear merchandise underscores our dedication to passionate, confident, and dynamic female athletes of all ages and abilities.”

Created by Soccer Mom and entrepreneur MaryAnne Gucciardi, Dragonwing girlgear ™ is the first performance line designed exclusively for pre-teen and teen girls. With unique sizing, high-tech moisture-wicking fabrics, age appropriate support and comfortable fit, Dragonwing girlgear ™ cammies, sliders and sports bras help girls play their very best — whether they are on the soccer field, lacrosse field, basketball court, volleyball court , or other athletic venue.
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About the Dragonwing girlgear Founder/President:
MaryAnne Gucciardi, Soccer mom and Entrepreneur, is on a mission to help girls become confident women! Contact her at Maryanne@dragonwinggirl.com.

About Aries Apparel Founder:
Aries Apparel was founded by Diana Marsden, mother of two athletic daughters. After many frustrating years trying to shop for athletic basics year-round, she recognized that they were not the only females out there with no choice, selection or options when it came to their athletic wear. The marketplace is dominated by male-oriented sports stores and girls are an afterthought. That’s changed now!

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Twitter: @ariesapparel
Blog: http://ariesapparel.wordpress.com/