I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, it’s officially cool to get your sweat on. The recent news that Net-a-Porter are launching a fashionable fitness destination called, yep you guessed it Net-a-Sporter, puts sportswear at the heart of the style map. Move over high-heeled glamour and make way for the relaxed, sexy and damn right more comfortable sport luxe look.
Whatever you think of fashion and the so-called images of “strong women” sporting this gear, this nod by the fashion big wigs has to be a good thing. Come on, stick with me here, it means even more choice of lovely legwear, an excuse to buy yet another colourful vest and sporty numbers that you can wear if you dare on and off the court. And just to convince you, I’ve picked out some of my favourite pieces for a summer of sporty style.
1. LIJA Hourglass Tennis dress, £48, LIJA Style
Sometimes you need to add colour to your life and what better way than this shocking pink tennis dress by Canadian leisurewear brand LIJA. It’s not for the faint-hearted and sure it may be on the short side for work but this little number will work on those lazy summer days. It would be a go-to for holidays and thanks to the contrasting zip is a welcome change from the classic tennis whites. After seeing Susie Chan (mega Ultra Runner and inspirational chick) working a cute tennis dress at the City Mile the other day, I’m tempted to buy one and try it out for races as well as the post-medal celebrations.
Thank you Laura from Life Laura London for bringing this ‘Runsie’ Onesie all-in-one cute number into my life. As opposed to the LIJA Tennis dress, I would never run in this. I would, however, wear it again and again (see how I’m trying to justify the price here). For example, on a hot and balmy day. It would be one of those things I’d pull on when heading to the beach on holiday or take to the festival as I optimistically hope for sunshine. Put simply, I need this one piece in my life this summer.
3. Nike Pro Sparkle Sunburst leggings, £90, Nike
You could either book a Eurostar to Paris complete with Prosecco, lentil-based salad dish for lunch and perhaps a pudding or purchase these Nike leggings. Bright, bold and Holly Fulton-esque, I don’t care if they made my legs look like sausages or the insane price – 90 smackers for what are essentially a piece of stretchy lycra. I know, I know, they are made from a high-tech, wick away the sweat fabric. You could wear them with a loose-fitting boyfriend shirt to work too. Paris or leggings? The jury may be out for me but they are pretty fabulous.
4. Patagonia Women’s Capilene® 1 Silkweight Graphic T-Shirt, £45, Patagonia
Thanks to Yotopia Yoga’s free classes over the past three Fridays, cloud-gazing has become a weekly ritual and why not? After all, it really does help calm the mind. That’s why I love the Skyscape print of this tee by Patagonia. Designed for the outdoor adventurer, this piece is also highly practical for those wanting to hit the trails. Not only does is the material breathable, fast-drying and made to filter out the sun’s harmful rays (it says it’s UPF 50+), it’s also scores highly on the green points as 35 percent of the polyester that goes into this top has been recycled.
Even if you’ll be spending this summer running through suburbia, at least you can imagine sailing away into the sunset with this vest by Sweaty Betty. In fact, the blurb says that this print is taken from the founder of Sweaty Betty Tamara’s own archives – what a lucky lady. It’s not only the print that makes this such a standout addition to the wardrobe, the longer length of the top means this vest will not ride up and show off your belly (unless of course you want it to). Constructed with an in-built bra, you may not even have to worry about packing your under armour unless of course you’re running, where I’d always say pack them in as tight as possible so they do not budge.
A few months back, I attended a Gap with Glamour magazine event to showcase the new GapFit sportswear. Now I know during the evening the Prosecco was to blame for me loosening the purse-strings but when I woke up the next morning, I was still pleased with my purchases. The shorts, in particular, are well-made, light-weight, comfortable and come in a range of standout prints including this take on camouflage. I also find that they’re neither too short (as in flash your bum cheeks) nor too tight and the relaxed fit is flattering for ladies with powerful thighs.
Hello new top to go with my black pencil skirt. The sleek silhouette combined with flattering mesh detailing and ultra-light fabric make this elegant top a great choice for the gym or dare I say it clubbing. The cobalt colour is particularly eye-catching and, once again, it ends at your hip so you don’t have to worry about flashing your tum. The only decision you have to make is whether you’ll really want to just wear this piece while exercising.
8. Puma Ferrari Track Jacket, £50, Puma
Fans of biker jackets, take a look at this bad boy by Puma. Created with Ferrari, this is way more stylish than a hoodie and would work with yoga pants and jeans alike. It’s also the perfect layer for the temperature at this time of year – let’s call it a transitional jacket to see you through the seasons. And with the Ferrari shield badges sewn on the cuffs and the back, it’s one for fans of the classic red Italian sports car and costs about the same as four pairs of Ferrari socks – just trust me on this one.
9. Creation Tubular Scarf, $30, Lolë
The lovely Cat of Diaries of a Marathon Widow drew my attention to this Canadian brand, which is not yet available in the UK (goddamit) and on searching through the site of quality pieces, I spied a selection of tubular scarves. Again, they’re not the type of thing you’d wear on a run but when there’s a chill in the air on a long walk or cycle, this useful item will keep you warm. The tubular shape means they’re less fiddly than scarves and less likely to get caught in bicycle wheels. Forget those kaftan-style throw-on shirts for festivals or shawls, that you’ll only end up traipsing in the mud. Try a tubular scarf instead.
10. adidas Flower Jogger Pants, £26, adidas
When you’ve just run god knows how far, have jumped in the shower and want to change into something more comfortable, what do you reach for? Jogging pants – well I know that I do. Thankfully, I can now slip into these relaxed pyjama-style pants from adidas with a pretty flower print rather than a classic jogger pant-style from the 90s (and probably from the 90s). They may not be as toasty as the fleecy ones but who needs it when the sun is shining. Made out of light-weight polyester, the slim but not skinny fit makes them fantastic for holidays and you can create a relaxed look when teamed with a white vest, flip-flops and the tubular scarf from Lolë. There you go, holiday outfit sorted.