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Fashionably Active 

Priorities offers clothes that make an attractive transition from workout to lunch and beyond. A wardrobe that can keep up with the active lives of women, and look good doing it, is what Priorities (8128 Hampson St., 861-8780) offers its customers. The Riverbend store, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in October, provides women of all ages tailored clothing that can make the transition from workout to errands to lunch with friends.

"Originally the [inventory] was more exercise wear," says owner Marloe Goodman D'Agostino, who bought the shop a decade ago and started its evolution into a lifestyles clothing store. "My slogan is active wear that goes anywhere. It is something you should be able to work out in, then go out and feel comfortable in. It's comfortable casual wear, but geared toward more active lives."

Her active wear includes an assortment of what she calls "carpool clothes" or "travel clothes" for those who no longer have to cart kids from one place to another. "They're everyday clothes," D'Agostino says. "You have to look presentable to do all that basic stuff, but usually they've been working out in the morning."

Priorities' newest line is by Mari Dade, who creates cutting-edge fashions with sleek lines tailored specifically for today's woman, including pockets for iPods and cell phones. City Lights provides yoga outfits, travel wear, T-shirts and technical wear, Carushka offers pretty clothes for workouts and beyond, Pezzi's line is active but cute, Basic Threads has comfortable cotton items for travel and casual activities, Terry Bicycles has skirts with built-in padded bike shorts as well as tops for tennis or golf, and Exhale designs basic workout clothes.

"Most of my lines are designed for women by women," D'Agostino says. "I like the smaller, elite lines that fit well. It's better to get quality over quantity." She avoids the ultra-expensive lines, however, that go for glitz over quality, and everything in the store can be laundered at home -- no dry cleaning or ironing required. "You're my shopper if you want something that's going to look good and last and carry you through a few seasons."

After 34 years in business, Gentlemen's Quarter (232 Royal St., 522-7139) is closing its doors, and most items in the store are 20 to 75 percent off, including women's apparel and accessories, sportswear, jeans and name-brand clothing.

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