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.

 

 

 

Stock up on Summer Camp Essentials

Summer Camp Essentials to Pack for Active Girl

Is your sports girl heading off to camp this summer? Dragonwing makes packing for summer camp easy!

Stock up on essential base layers that will keep her comfortable, cool, and confident all summer long.

• four-way stretch, moisture-wicking fabric for a cool, perfect fit
anti-microbial & odor resistant even in hot, humid weather
• tag-free design and flat seams for chafe-free comfort
• smooth, light support shorts & leggings with a wedgie-free fit
• fun, stylish, age-appropriate designs for girls, ages 8-17

Whether she’s at day camp, a week-long sports camp, or overnight camp for a month (or more!), Dragonwing will provide comfort, coverage (especially helpful for changing in cabins or locker room), and style. Some of our favorites with tweens and teens:

HALF-TEE SPORTS TOP: ideal for girls who comfort and coverage, the Half-Tee great under tees, tank tops, and jerseys every day.

Half Tee Sports Top for girls great first bra

RACER SPORTS BRA: our best-selling girls’ sports bra, the Racer’s super fine yarn and double-layered coverage ensures support, comfort, and coverage.

Racer sports bra for teen, tween girl

 

UN-DEE LIGHT COMPRESSION SPANDEX SHORTS: super comfortable with a wedgie-free fit, the Un-Dee comes in three styles: low-rise, mini (3″ inseam), and regular (5.5″ inseam). Lots of great colors, too!

 

Un-Dee compression Spandex shorts for girls in 3 styles

Play Wedgie-Free & Without Distraction

Monica watched her 10-year old granddaughter on the softball field as she adjusted her uniform again and again, tugging at the bulky compression shorts that were bunching up under her uniform. The girl glanced around self-consciously each time to see if anyone noticed.

“She was totally distracted by those shorts that just didn’t fit properly,” Monica told us a couple of weeks after buying a pair of our Un-Dee Light Compression Shorts. Since she started wearing Dragonwing’s spandex shorts under her softball pants, Monica’s granddaughter “hasn’t picked a wedgie!”

Review: girls spandex compression shorts

That’s our goal: empower girls to play — and be — their best without being distracted by sports apparel that doesn’t fit properly.

Monica’s granddaughter loves the way her compression shorts fit: stretchy enough to move with her but not bulky like her old shorts from a big-box store. And the mesh side panels and moisture-wicking fabric meant she stayed cool under her uniform.

Now whenever they see another softball player tugging at her pants and picking at a wedgie, Monica and her granddaughter say, “That girl needs Dragonwing!”

Getting Girls Off the Sidelines & Into the Game

With much of the world’s eyes and screens tuned in to the World Cup, Wall St. Journal reporter Patricia Kowsmann wrote powerfully about how girls in Brazil are often left on the soccer sidelines.

Her personal story of being bullied as a young girl for wearing boys’ soccer cleats really hit home for me. It touched at the core of why I started Dragonwing girlgear.

The sad truth is that, for most girls who play sports, the only high quality clothing — that wicks moisture and doesn’t chafe — is found in the boys’ section. Or the women’s section where sports bras don’t fit girls.

All too often, girls are forced to choose between the right gear for their sport OR lower-quality apparel — like a cotton bralette — that isn’t designed for playing sports.

Girls who play sports aren’t “tomboys;” they’re athletes and deserve to have comfortable, supportive clothing — sports camis, compression shorts, and sports bras — that helps girls play their best. That’s what we do every day at Dragonwing girlgear.

 

 

 

4 Tips Every Young Athlete Should Know for Staying Hydrated

After a long, cold winter just about everywhere in the US, what a relief it is to have warmer weather and longer days. Practices and games that occur during the heat of the day can bring the risk of dehydration, especially for young athletes.

Staying hydrated can help athletes feel and play their best. The U.S. Soccer Federation uses the acronym GOAL for its recommendations for youth athletes, parents, and coaches.

Get acclimated: Young athletes especially need to give their bodies time to adjust to higher, more humid temperatures. Wearing shorts, tops, and sports bras made of moisture-wicking fabric (not cotton) helps your body cool itself.

On-schedule drinking: Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Increase how much you drink throughout the day, every day. Develop the habit of drinking a glass of water before you go to bed or when you get up in the morning. And be sure to drink before practice or a game, too.

Always bring a drink to practices and games. Stay away from caffeinated, so-called “energy” drinks that can cause health problems, especially in young people. To replace electrolytes after you finish playing, try chocolate milk, V-8 juice, or 100% fruit juice, which contains more carbohydrates, potassium, and nutrients than a sports drink

Learn the signs of dehydration: dizziness, nausea, chills, and unusual fatigue. If you experience any of these, stop playing, move to a cooler location, drink fluids, and – most importantly – notify a coach, parent, or other adult.

What you wear can help keep you cool, too. Dragonwing girlgear is made from fabric that wicks moisture so your body stays cooler. Check out our new Mesh Racer Sports Bra and Un-Dee Light Compression Shorts.

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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