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Equinox asks trainers to lose the muffin-top for its new uniforms

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For a gym that uses provocative photographer Terry Richardson to shoot its sexy advertising campaign, Equinox has always dressed its trainers in boring, baggy apparel. No more, as the high-end fitness club is asking its trainers to wear form-fitting tops—and drop any flab that may be lurking beneath.

A veteran trainer for the gyms told us that Equinox HQ announced the change in an e-mail. “The email told us we should use the next few weeks to get in shape, since the new shirts won’t look good if there is flab hanging out all over the place,” he said. But wait, isn’t it a trainer’s job to be in tip-top shape? Equinox seems to be reminding its trainers that chiseled abs are not optional.

Equinox confidence ad

Part of the sexy Equinox campaign shot by Terry Richardson

Currently, male and female trainers alike wear boxy, cotton t-shirts that make it impossible to tell if there is a six-pack or a muffin-top underneath. Inquiring minds wanna know.

So starting in late September, the shapeless cotton tee will be replaced by fitted tops from Sugoi, the cult Canadian athletic apparel company. Made of a poly blend called Fino Carbon, which includes some Lycra, the new uniform provides UV protection and is both anti-bacterial and anti-odor.

It took the fitness department a few years to settle on the uniform, said Karyn Riale, the national retail buyer for Equinox. “You’d be surprised how hard it is to find a shirt that’s the right fit for both men and women, with a great cut that is high quality,” she said.

While the company recently launched its own clothing line called Orange Label, it decided not to manufacture the uniform itself, despite the added cost. “It was expensive, but we decided to go for it,” said Riale, adding that the new shirts, the FinoCarbon short sleeve and long sleeve styles, will be retailing in the Equinox shops for $50-70..

The new uniforms will have some similarities with their predecessors: they will be black and read “Train” on the front and “Equinox” on the back. The secondary color, for the floor staff, will be light blue. The rest of the gym employees will keep their same cotton tees. —Julie Satow