Best Sporting Goods/Outdoor Store

Dick’s Sporting Goods Locations: 10251 Indianapolis Blvd., Highland; 2225 Southlake Mall, Merrillville; 100 Porter's Vale Blvd., Valparaiso Phone: 219-924-2237 (Highland), 219-791-0610 (Merrillville), 219-707-8237 (Valparaiso) “Dick’s Sporting Goods is always striving to give our customers a wide assortment of products that cater to their individual fitness needs and goals,” says Brian Dibbert, community marketing manager at Dick’s, noting they offer a number of private label brands such as the female focused fitness brand Calia by Carrie Underwood, Field & Stream—an outdoor specialty product line—and their newest private label brand for high-intensity athletes, Second Skin. “We take pride in these exclusive brands that are designed in-house by Dick’s Sporting Goods experts and give our consumers premium products at a more affordable price point.” But it’s more than just a wide array of quality products for any sports or outdoor enthusiast, says Dibbert. It’s also that they value providing excellent customer service. “We believe this combination allows for a great customer experience,” he says. Dibbert says the company is excited and grateful to be recognized in the Best of the Region contest. “We are lucky to be a part of such a great community,” he says, “and are looking forward to serving our athletes and customers in the future seasons.” SECOND PLACE Cabela’s Location: 7700 Cabela Drive, Hammond Phone: 219-845-9040 THIRD PLACE Bass Pro Shop Location: 6425 Daniel Burnham Drive, Portage Phone: 219-787-6800 Continue Reading

31 celeb clothing lines, past and present

From Khloe Kardashian's successful Good American line, to Nicki Minaj's failed self-titled collection, here are some celebrities who tried their hand in the fashion industry, for better or worse. Jennifer Lopez Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez launched her self-titled clothing line, The Jennifer Lopez Collection at Kohl's in fall 2011. The line includes women's sweaters, tops, dresses and more sophisticated pieces. Lopez's previous clothing line, Sweetface, was launched in 2003 as an urban streetwear line. It was discontinued six years later, in spring 2009. The line included chiffon dresses, crop tops and more trendy clothing for women. Sarah Jessica Parker "Sex and the City" alum Sarah Jessica Parker launched her clothing line, Bitten, in 2007. The line was sold at Steve and Barry's but was discontinued when Steve and Barry's closed its stores between November 2008 and early 2009, after filing for bankruptcy in July 2008. The line included clothing separates, including jeans, knit shirts, sweaters and sleepwear, as well as accessories and dresses at low prices. Since the fashion flop, Parker has launched the SJP Collection, a luxurious and affordable shoe line, in February 2014, with George Malkemus III. Each shoe in the collection is handmade in Italy. The collection is sold at SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker boutiques in the Bellagio Las Vegas and MGM National Harbor, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and more. NeNe Leakes "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" star NeNe Leakes launched her self-titled clothing line, NENE by NeNe Leakes, on July 28, 2014. The collection includes chic, affordable separates such as jackets, sweaters, skirts and trendy tops. It's available at HSN. The reality star said the collection is inspired by her own personal style. Eva Mendes Actress Eva Mendes partnered with New York & Company in fall 2013 to launch a multi-year line of feminine, fashion-forward clothing and accessories, named Eva Mendes Continue Reading

Mom-to-be Carrie Underwood launches activewear line Calia

She may have millions in the bank, but Carrie Underwood doesn't see the need to spend $300 on a pair of yoga pants. "It's not necessary at all," the songstress, mom-to-be and now fashion designer told reporters Wednesday afternoon at the launch of her new activewear line, Calia. Underwood teamed up with Dick's Sporting Goods to create the affordable collection, available in March, after having trouble finding workout clothes that simultaneously did their job and looked cute. "I noticed that if it works, it's not attractive, and if you're gonna wear it outside, it's just cute and that's all, so there needed to be something that could bridge that gap." Calia's tops, bottoms and accessories do double duty, from the gym to errands to meetups with friends. The items are flirty — with feminine details such as a signature floral print, rose gold accents, ruching and sexy straps — but tough enough to last through a major sweat session. Underwood said the line's inspiration is "strong women" and that the quality of her products was a top priority for her. "That was something that was really important, especially if I'm gonna be picking out things and attaching my name to them," she said. And the six-time-Grammy winner wasn't just going to attach her name to products. The singer was hands-on, picking out patterns, materials, and sharing her likes and gripes about workout gear with the Dick's team. One caveat of typical exercise clothes, in Underwood's eye, is that they're not designed with women's bodies in mind. "So often I'll put on a pair of capri pants or something, and I'll be like, 'Oh, this was made by a dude,'" she said. To that end, her line has none of those annoying zip pockets on the butt (pockets are in the majority of the clothes, but in front), the shorts are adjustable so that women can choose just how much leg they want to show, and the tops are long so that ladies can wear them with Continue Reading