One of my housemates, when featured on ‘Fashion in the Forum’, responded to the question of campus trends with the statement; ‘a lot of gym wear’. Whilst we had a bit of a giggle and she will most definitely never live it down, it is of course, completely true. On campus it is totally acceptable to jog into your lectures in yoga pants and a tank top. And don’t even get me started on the number of Chelsea boots traded for trainers. Sportswear is suddenly so dominant. It is becoming part of our daily clad and has confidently deemed itself a growing trend. I’m not only discussing campus fashion but designer and high street brands are also on the bandwagon. Maybe, just maybe, one day I’ll jump on too.
It perhaps began with the emergence of ‘streetwear’ just a few years ago. Brands began to see that there was a rise in demand for more relaxed clothes that could really be lived in. Style, however, was still desired; cue Alexander Wang’s initiative and even the likes of Chanel and Miu Miu decided to give sportswear a go. I use the term ‘sportswear’ lightly as high fashion still barely suggests you break a sweat. As with all couture, these lines are art. As striking as the jersey lines and hoods are, I wouldn’t run in what is meant for the runway. Nevertheless designers seem to be experimenting with the fusion style and lifestyle. Hell, there was hardly even a heel to be seen at Fashion Week last September.
Photo credit: Pinterest
Personally, I’ve never been good at casual full stop. So being at a uni where gym wear is running, dancing, rowing at you from all angles was something that took a little time to adjust to. I just didn’t get it. Why wear leggings and an over-sized tee when you can don a leather skirt and turtle neck? Nonsense, I thought. I’m a total believer in feeling how I dress. If I love my outfit I’m all about carpe-ing that diem. I feel more confident, more prepared and just like I have it all together a little bit more because yes, even my nail varnish is coordinating today. I’ve never wholly understood how someone can take themselves seriously if they are in ‘lounge-wear’. Its name is pretty self-explicit. The Mean Girls’ mantra even tells us to reserve sweat pants for Fridays only. My wardrobe is full of faux fur and sequins so why would I opt to spend any more time than necessary in anything else?
Today, in light of my Pilates class, I headed straight to uni in my gym kit. Whilst I felt like I was screaming, ‘LOOK, look at me, I’m doing exercise today, oh my god, I could drop down into a push up at any moment’, my Nikes blended in. Besides I’m terrible at push ups. There were no gasps in the lecture theatre when I took my seat in running leggings and a tee. Even the waitress at Boston Tea Party didn’t take a second glance at my hoody. I have to admit it was easy to arrive at Pilates ready to go. And yes, okay, maybe it was quite comfy. I still stand by my earlier musing that I just couldn’t spend a day feeling unstylish. If I’m wearing sportswear then I’m wearing it my way.
Photo credit: Etsy
I was always put off because I thought sportswear was boring. It seems, however, that this is so far from the truth. I obsess over the Victoria’s Secret Pink ranges. I have a pair of black yoga shorts by Pink with a thick leopard print waistband and I would quite happily invest in seven more. They wear well, they’re comfy and, let’s be honest, they’re leopard print. Any print or colour just gives gym wear a little more style. H&M also have a great range; from bright base layers to some more leopard print merch that I wouldn’t say no to. They’ve even started to stock yoga mats, hairbands, water bottles; and a further extensive list of more ways to co-ordinate your gym wear. In some cases unnecessarily. I thought ‘waist bags’, as H&M so practically call them, were just a festival craze anyway? Regardless, every high street brand is fusing fashion and sport.
Okay, so I would not trade in my fur coat for a hoody everyday but I’ll admit I see the practicalities. And whilst I’m not one to choose comfort over style, and just never will be, a day here or there when I know I’ll be running to a dance class does make sense. In all honesty I’ll take any excuse to add more to my wardrobe and if sportswear is how to do it then I’m game, set, match.