Fashion: Fit for purpose

From a comfortable loose fit to figure-­hugging Lycra, sports wear should be flattering and fun. Claire Schofield has advice.


It’s that time of year when we all decide it’s time we got fit and in shape. Following a rather jovial festive season spent mainly over-indulging on turkey and roast potatoes, January typically rolls in with feelings of guilt and regret about eating one’s own body weight in mince pies, nuts and chocolates. Suddenly, all of those delightful festive nibbles seem like a bad idea.

Now that Christmas is over and done with for another year, we can all start looking ahead to the next big landmark occasion in our calendars for the new year. Like holidays. Sure it may still be bitterly cold outside, but even the blustery winter weather cannot keep wistful thoughts of summer at bay.

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It’s never too early to start thinking about trying to attain something like a beach body and there’s no time like January to start getting into shape, especially if you are detoxing or having a dry, alcohol-free month.

Kick off the new year with determination and a positive frame of mind that this will be the year that the renewed gym membership will not be a complete waste of money once again, and that, come February, you will not have thrown in the towel and drowned your sorrows with a big slice of cake and a bottle of red.

Besides, if you look good, you feel good. So why should dressing for a spot of exercise be any different?

Of course, heading out to the gym for a work-out or pounding the pavements for a run does not exactly scream “catwalk occasion”, but that’s not to say you cannot look good while exercising.

And if you are comfortable in what you are wearing, it’s likely you will feel and perform much better.

Loose-fitting lightweight vests, T-shirts and pants are great for a relaxed work-out look, and the slack fit is perfect for less strenuous activities such as yoga and pilates as it doesn’t restrict your movement. If you’re looking to undertake a more vigorous regime, tightly fitting cropped Lycra leggings are an active wear essential. The figure­-hugging leggings may be clingy but the stretchy material is both comfortable and breathable, designed to keep you cool as you build up a sweat. Or for those who dare to bare, opt for a pair of slouchy shorts with an elasticated waist and team with a Lycra crop top in a plain colour or a stylish bold print for a more striking look.

No gym outfit would be complete without that work-out must­-have, a sturdy sports bra. Anita Active offers an excellent range made with microfibre material which moulds to your body and adjustable straps which ensure comfort and support, ideal for high impact activities.

And if high impact sports, such as running, are your work-out of choice, be sure to invest in a pair of supportive cushioned trainers. Don’t skimp on this. No one wants to kick off the year with an injury, do they?