Olympic Fever: Top 5 Sportswear Style Tips
One week in and the Olympics are well and truly underway. With an impressive record breaking introduction to the track events and exciting swimming finals, it’s safe to say many of us already have Olympic fever but, before you strap on those trainers and sign up for a gym membership, you need to nail your sportswear wardrobe. In the spirit of a sporty summer, we share our top 5 Sportswear Style Tips. The great news is that sporty fashion has scored big in recent seasons. This is partly as a result of the resurgence in nineties style and a summer of major sporting events from Wimbledon to the Euros and now the Rio Olympics. From the backs of athletes to the streets, the rise of the athleisure trend has seen more and more of us swapping heels for trainers and donning leggings for casual and, even sometimes, workwear. However, the difference between sportswear and athleisure is that your sportswear must meet the needs of your performance, which is why luxe cotton pieces are a definite no no!
Prior the rise of athlesuire, fashion and sport had a rather complicated on again, off again relationship. Traditionally, high fashion has steered clear from sportswear. However, in the last couple of decades runway shows have taken inspiration from street style and, following the athleisure awakening in the nineties, active wear has been forever jumping in and out of fashion.
That said, there is no reason for you to turn your back on your fashion principles when it comes to your workout wardrobe. As an avid gym goer and runner, I have more patterned leggings and sports bras than I know what to do with and, in recent years, I have learnt how to build up a fashionable yet practical sportswear wardrobe. At the Rio Games I have seen many a national kit that has inspired so, without further ado, here are my top style tips!
Look Good, Feel Good, Workout Better
The first of my Sportswear Style Tips is the most important: to look and feel good in your gym clothes. Many gym goers still hide behind all black outfits, fearful that their workout gear is unfit for the eyes of the outside world. However, I feel that a diverse and colourful kit encourages me to exercise and, by wearing something stylish, I feel better and much less self-conscious when working out.
Your workout gear should be given the same emotional importance and freedom as the rest of your wardrobe. I am sure many athletes agree! Looking at the vast array of impressive national kits on show at Rio, there has never been so much freedom, expression and pride in sportswear design, from Stella McCartney’s inspirational collaboration with Adidas for the British kit (which saw the flag replaced with a coat of arms) to H&M’s colourful and modern Swedish kit.
Invest in a Seasonal Workout Wardrobe
Britain is famous for its unpredictable weather and, if you plan on exercising outdoors, then your active wear will need to be versatile. Luckily thanks to the rise of fashionable sportswear, you can now shop designs by season!
Summer may be all about colourful sports bras and patterned shorts but with an undoubtedly wet autumn and potentially cold winter ahead you need to ensure you stock up on some key performance pieces. It is important to find gear that is both wind and waterproof but also breathable and high in visibility. It can seem like a minefield for those trying to stay fashionable but there are options out there. Invest in a colourful, high vis, windproof outer layer that is roomy enough for the option of wearing body armour underneath. I would also recommend a pair of light yet waterproof full length leggings.
Embrace Technology to Enhance Performance
Sadly, many of the athleisure pieces you may find on the high street simply won’t cut it as performance wear. You need practical pieces that won’t impinge on your movement or comfort, yet will still allow you to look and feel good. Thanks to developments in technology, such pieces do exist!
Look out for ClimaCool (made of synthetic fibres) and ClimaLite (made of a cotton blend) pieces, particularly if you enjoy running outdoors like I do. This brilliant technology allows for quick moisture evaporation and reduces your skin temperature during exercise. Also, invest in pieces with TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) as this breathable and durable ingredient will give you the support you need. The good news is that breathable components are already present in the trainers, jackets and leggings of many sportswear brands from Nike, Adidas and Asics, and fashion designers such as Stella McCartney look to developments in technology to improve upon their collections.
Pick some Pack Away Pieces
Ever find yourself planning to make that early morning gym class and failing because you did not packed the night before? Have you missed that post work exercise class because you don’t want to humph a gym bag around all day? Sometimes packing for the gym is half the battle. Thankfully, lightweight pack away pieces are the answer!
Many sportswear brands carry stylish, lightweight and wind resistant ranges that are not only fantastic for exercising outdoors but are also easy to fold up and pack away. Pack away pieces make sport much more accessible. They can easily slot into your work bag and are perfect for those who cycle or run to and from the office.
Treat your Feet
Finally, we have one of the most important sportswear style tips: to treat your feet! If there is one item of performance wear you should invest in, then it’s a quality pair of trainers. Snap up a pair of new, high quality trainers and you can transform the way your body responds to exercising; stick to an old worn in pair and you might do yourself an injury.
Hundreds of sports companies are embracing new and exciting technology in their trainer designs and, with the rise in popularity of the trainer over heels and brogues for casual wear, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to design. For those looking to exercise regularly, particularly runners, I would recommend going to a specialist store. Shops such as Achilles Heel and Run 4 It not only have a vast range of fashionable choices but they also have specially trained staff who will assess your walking and running style to help you find the perfect fit.
Top 5 Sportswear Style Tips inspired by the Olympics
So there you have it my top 5 Sportswear Style Tips. Watching the Olympics over the last week, my love for sport has grown and the diversity and modernisation of sports fashion is all but apparent. Do you enjoy working out? What are your top sportswear style tips. Share your thoughts in the comments below or read our other fashion blogs here.