Monday, 15 March 2010

Step Away From the Shell Suit!

So, according to MSN, Bristol is the most unhealthy city in the UK, consuming far too much booze and takeaways. This is what we get for living in a city with more pubs per square mile than anywhere else in the country.* Apparently one in five of us smoke an average of 5 cigarettes a day and 4 out of 10 of us treat ourselves to two or more takeaways a week.

This little statistic happens to fall on the day that I started going back to the gym after a 3 month hiatus (yes, I did keep paying the subscription fee) so I feel it is the perfect time to look at sportswear, a major trend for S/S 2010.

Now this is not the kind of outfit you would run a marathon in but rather it is designer collections inspired by sports and sportswear. Stella McCartney has done this look so well that it led to a collaboration with sporting giant Adidas, but this season the focus is on American designers including Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and Alexander Wang.

Above; luxe sportswear by DKNY, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang, courtesy of

Slouching jersey, the integration of high performance fabrics, and a subdued palette of greys, dusty pinks and caramels have graced the catwalks in recent years as sportswear and streetwear have combined with luxury fabrics and cuts to create this season's sporty look. Collections gracing New York Fashion Week last autumn combined femininity with preppy jackets and cute playsuits.

In Bristol there are loads of designers and stores working this look. Seriously sports mad women should check out upmarket sportswear emporium Sweaty Betty on Clifton Triangle if you want your gym kit to look great on and off the treadmill. Stokes Croft's Dutty Girl have used lycra and jersey combinations that marry street and sporting influences perfectly and stock a large range of local designers while Avalaan of Gloucester Road has all the gear you need to look like you've just come back from the slopes.

Over the knee socks, which are a huge trend this season, can provide a preppy twist to slouchy shorts and hair slicked back into a ponytail or bun can add femininity and sophistication. Over sized bags are both on trend and perfect for fitting your gym kit in and if you want the luxury without the legwork then invest in cashmere jogging pants and sweaters. How ever you wear this look make sure you leave the shell suit in the fancy dress box!

*Disclaimer: this is one of the statistics the boyfriend likes to impress visitors with but I'm not entirely sure how accurate it is.

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