From the must-have outer shell to the surprisingly flattering one-piece, here’s our pick of the gym items you’ll love to wear, whether you’re a fitness fiend or not.
In the past we have shied away from doing athleisure, mainly because none of us are really cardio queens. However as it’s January and a time for resolutions – one of ours being to up our workout wardrobe game – Deborah and I are recommending our favourite pieces to buy this fitness season.
All-in-one bodysuits can seem scary. On first thought, there’s no place for your body to hide. However I find them super-flattering, as they skim over the body, leaving no pinching or lumps and bumps. J.Crew’s versions are made of soft, thick Lycra and have a double-layered sports bra built in. I love doing my yoga, Pilates and even personal training in them.
When it comes to a decent, no-nonsense sports bra, we don’t think you can beat M&S. Their pieces mange to strap down and support the most unruly of bosoms and are very comfortable for the majority of sports. I always go for a high-neck version so I can wear even the loosest of t-shirts when I’m doing downward dog.
Cool enough to wear with your non-sports kit, we think these Athletic Propulsion Lab trainers are both practical and flattering. They aren’t great for high-impact sports or running, but they are certainly good enough for a decent cross-trainer session or at the very least to look the part when you are picking up the kids.
I always like to mix up my workout wear. It’s never just all the high-tech stuff. I’m a big fan of grey sweatshirts, whether I’m training or not. This No Rain No Rainbow one from Made by Riley is one of my favourites. I love the bracelet sleeves, ribbed waistband and the slouchier but not oversized shape. Their black tracksuit bottoms are also on constant rotation. However these leggings by No Ka’Oi are high-tech in a way I love: ie you can’t tell. The extra-fine fabric is soft, lightweight and breathable too, with an anti-pilling technology that keeps them looking new, and colour-blocking that tricks the eyes and slims the thighs.
Our New Year’s resolution is to use less plastic in 2018. One of the ways we produce waste is by using plastic water bottles at the gym and this metal bottle by Marks & Spencer is a great alternative. It’s not ideal for outdoor running as it’s too tricky to carry on the go, however we can see it as part of any stylish gym bunny’s ensemble.
When choosing workout wear I always tend to drift towards block colours. I think it’s the most flattering way to do sportswear for my figure, as the single shade elongates and lengthens. Perfect Moment is a ski range that has recently branched out into sportswear, and I’d highly recommend it. I have a phobia about getting my arms out, so a breathable jacket or top is ideal. The retro feeling of this Tory Burch jacket is so chic, while the graphic lines helps keep it modern and timeless.
I’m a barefoot girl. But these socks are an old favourite of mine when doing Pilates and yoga. They are made from a thick elasticated Lycra and cross over the foot arches, giving light support. The base has an anti-slip rubber design, perfect for holding your poses, from warrior to plié.
So much of my workout wear is from Gap. Its affordable, well-thought-out designs and high-tech fabrics tick every box. This zip-up hoodie is perfect for outdoor running, especially in winter. With a reflective band around the edge, it’s lined in lightweight fleece so it’s insulating as well as breathable. The zip has a detail at the top which stops it flicking up when you run and the thumbholes in the cuffs make a great alternative to gloves. I’m also loving Stella McCartney’s teal take on camo print, and these leggings are super-lightweight and even come with built-in underwear.
I am a huge fan of Sweaty Betty – in fact 75 per cent of my existing workout wear is by them. This top is a perfect example of why they’re so great. The statement back is an interesting touch on what is otherwise a comfortable and practical workout top. It’s very soft and the lack of obvious seams also make it incredibly comfortable to work out in. Their swimwear is also brilliant for everything from laps in the pool to ambitious ocean swims.
It can be tough to find sports trainers that look the part, but Balenciaga’s Race Runner sneakers will give your gym outfit a good dose of modern glamour. Panels crafted from metallic leather, mesh and elastic make them easy to slip on and off. The streamlined sole disguises a wedge heel – perfect for giving your legs and bum a little lift.
One of our favourite tricks in winter is to throw a chunky knit over leggings so we don’t have to bothered getting changed. We love this Alpine sports knit by Tory Burch – it’s ski-chic and long enough to wear to pick the kids up from school.
Pre-kids I used to regularly exercise outdoors, so I understand the benefit of a durable, warm and breathable outer layer. This Adidas version ticks all of those boxes as well as being quite flattering on with the contoured panels and high collar. It’s a great length too, so your back won’t be exposed to the elements when you’re during burpees.
I like training barefoot, but these Nike Free RN sneakers have been developed for people who do exactly that. Their flexible, lightweight construction creates a more natural running experience. Made from breathable Flyknit, they’re grounded by an outer sole that expands and contracts with each step.
I do like to change things up from black, navy and grey now and then. And LDNR’s cranberry, amethyst and turquoise combination is the perfect way to do colour. The fabric is knitted so the colours blend beautifully, making the look elegant rather than eye-popping. The high-tech hydrophilic fabric compresses and holds you in while keeping you dry and comfortable and has been crafted with odour-eliminating yarn. The pieces do come up small however. The breathable technical knit boasts high-compression panelling and cross-hatching on the knees, increasing airflow and range of movement. The high-rise waistband provides double compression around the abs.
I’ve been wearing Perfect Moment since they started with skiwear, so it only seems natural that I’m drawn to their workout wear too. The colours and print reflect their bold sporty designs. But where else can you have fun with pattern and colour if not in the gym? I like the super-soft jersey they use and will wear them under my ski wear for double use!
When it comes to a post-barefoot workout, be it Pilates or yoga, I love nothing more than pulling on a pair of warm boots. Often I am too lazy to get changed, and my Penelope Chilvers snow pair are dressy enough that I don’t have to. I am considering getting them in another colourway, as even after a year’s wear they still look like new.
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