Increasingly, fashion and activewear are intertwined. Sports luxe pieces frequent the pages of fashion magazines, while sportswear has appeared on LFW catwalks (think Charli Cohen AW15 and SS16). I live my life in sportswear, from work to the gym to a weekend brunch, so I’ve built up a wardrobe of essentials that allow me versatility, functionality and confidence. So, sticking to the fashion theme (kind of), here are my tips on how to build the perfect workout wardrobe.
1 – Find what gives you confidence
There’s no denying that when you look good, you feel good too. Working out in something that gives you confidence is a surefire way to smash your training session.
Find some key pieces that suit you and stick to them. I know that I feel my best in full-length leggings, a beautifully shaped sports bra and a baggy muscle tank. But, if your thing is a T-shirt and shorts, or crops with a yoga vest, go with it! Build your workout wardrobe around these pieces to know that you’ll always feel comfortable and look good.
Find a colour scheme that works for you. For some people it’s patterns that inspire their legging collection, for others it’s bright block colours, and for some it’s monochrome. Wear whatever colours you are naturally drawn to.
If you stick to shapes and colours that you feel good in, you should be able to mix and match pieces at a moment’s notice and be ready to kick ass.
2 – Invest in compression
Whether you’re a runner, enjoy high intensity training, or love gruelling weight training sessions, it’ll probably be worthwhile you investing in a compression garment or two.
Compression garments can help to reduce muscle damage, increase circulation and boost your recovery. A good pair of compression tights is a staple in my workout wardrobe.
There are a few things things to look out for to ensure that what you’re buying is fit for purpose:
The amount of elastane in the fabric mix should be more than 22%
While we typically associate the word ‘denier’ with hosiery, the term applies to sports tights just as much! While, as with regular tights, a lower denier will provide a hint of colour and a touch of modesty, a higher denier will provide greater support and compression
The compression should be graduated; tighter at the extremities, tapering out towards the heart
3 – Check your gait
It’s incredibly tempting to select your trainers based on which ones you love the look of. I’m not going to lie, that is an important factor (refer to point 1). However, selecting the wrong shoe can cause a range of problems from simply wasting energy when weight lifting to causing physiological damage from repetitive movements like running.
Especially if you’re a runner, get yourself down to somewhere like the Asics Running Lab where the perfect fitting shoe can be determined for you by the experts. My tip is to arrive without an existing idea of what shoes you like, so that you are more open to trying the ranges that are advised for you.
I personally find these kinds of technical aspects of sportswear and training fascinating in their own right and would recommend anyone take the opportunity to learn more about their body and optimise their wardrobe for performance.
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