The very first thing I do in the morning is look out of the window wistfully to check the weather is suitable for my morning run...
That at least, is the belief I am trying to sell you.
I'd love to pretend that I'm not secretly praying for rain so that I can spend another 30 mins in bed... Despite my insistence that my morning routine is not complete without some form of physical activity. But you see -I've already been sold that idea myself, along with the belief that spending all day in my sweats is perfectly acceptable.
We should all embrace a lifestyle dedicated to health and fitness, they insist. Because reach back only 60 years ago or so and it didn't even really exist yet alone be deemed as acceptable. In fact sports for woman in general was not really an everyday thing until at least the 1970’s when Jane Fonda and the other leotard clad fitness gurus appeared. Oh we were so deprived back then...
Fast forward to modern day of course and we are greeted with a new wave of enthusiasm for the industry; the marketing campaigners hell bent on promoting exercise as the fashionable method of figure control and empowering women by encouraging us to aim for a fashionably slim but toned body, embracing what we already have and what we had in the 70's.
Luckily the fitness industry no longer has so much to do to coax us girlies off our little un-toned bottoms and into breaking a sweat because we are already there; making healthy lifestyle choices and waiting in our gym gear eagerly to attain our body bliss ideology.
But as we slip on our joggers, yoga top and fashionable trainers and bounce towards the door on our way to the office (that's right office, not gym) convinced that we haven't a clue what this new 'Athleisure' thang is all about, all the while bombarded with daily inspiration quotes like 'skinny is the new strong' and tag lines such as 'fit is the new beautiful'; we forget the subconscious impact this, marketing has had and not even realizing that sportswear has gradually crept into our everyday lives.
So far this whole 'Athleisure' trend doesn't seem to be a bad discovery and neither are the motivational quotes that boost it... It's just contagious.
All of a sudden it's completely normal to wear sportswear garments everywhere and phrases such as "après sport" or "gym-to-the-office" gradually earn their place along side 'Pret-a-Porter' and 'Avant-Garde'.
Ok so wearing yoga pants in the office? This I hadn't prepared myself for and I definitely didn't go out last Saturday night in my trainers (eep!) it's a good thing that the offerings are as feminine and elegant as the come because otherwise I don't know how we would quite get away with it!
But at least my initial fear of the shell suit returning has subsided and it is only my imagination that appears to be running wild, along with my legs.
The change is all down to the modern day attitude and the overwhelming focus on looking good in yourself everyday.
We start to realize it's not just a fashion trend but also the new way of life and that we cannot simply rely on style anymore. Because even when the garments aren't particularly functional they still prove popular. In many cases proving they are not technically 'sports' garments at all... they just have the outlook.
People only need to appear healthy; wearing their priorities along with their hearts on their sleeve. Screaming 'Hey look at me, I'm going to the gym, I care about my body' -whilst they twizzle around on the office chair.
And we surely have an exciting future ahead as previous years statistics show year on year growth as sportswear rockets!
Of course, the trade shows have prepared themselves accordingly; Moda Lingerie & Swimwear announces is dedication by launching a new trend area dedicated to ‘athleisure’ with a fantastic response from industry buyers who have reacted with enthusiasm; having dubbed the new launch as 'a reflection of the contemporary consumer demographic seeking apparel for active lifestyles and wellness'.
Many brands show record successes, pushing the industry forward and showing no signs of slowing down; Anita active being clear winners of the industry last year showing us that plus size in sportswear was certainly a gap in the market (aren't we all gutted we missed the boat on that one!). Sportswear is also newly becoming an interest to even small boutique owners that now seem to be expanding their offerings and taking the risk.
With all of this it seems that SS17 is the year to be investing in sports and I see the trends going in two main directions...
SEX APPEAL -combining both sports & lingerie via black leather effects, zips & chains for a bedroom look and fabrics with erotic intentions. Whilst lamination and hot fix are not as strong in development for other luxury items they are clear runners in sports.
NATURAL -soft yoga styles for comfortable everyday looks using ecologically sourced fabrics and bringing a casual ambience. Back to basics construction via a return to cut and sew methods and generally moving away from moulded cups and strong padding.
Whichever side of the coin, overall It has to be visually attractive as well as functional and it has to make a statement.
The statement that we care about our fitness levels and that we want to appear physical as well as just attractive.
But that's not only it... because now you cannot simply rely on style; It is in fact YOUR body that does the hard work... The garment is just the paint on the walls of the temple.
But no worries If you're not quite ready to get on the treadmill yet. Here's a little love from V.O.E attached -to help improve our physical attractiveness...
Your body is the temple so your clothing should just paint the walls. Yet let's not bypass all the fun! Experimental styles show there's more to sportswear than the expected, leaving the gym as it scores a place on our streets. Athletics is a lifestyle choice and becomes part of our whole life, even our leisure time; because image is as important as your wellbeing.
Inspiration A mix of sports and loungewear with added allure. Regardless of practicality and beyond aesthetics it aims to sell an overall message.
Colours Black on black forms gradients. Leatherette creates fluidity. Gold & Shimmer adds glamour; whilst skin tones brings us back to earth.
Fabrics Leather & Glisenette effects for a bedroom look combat suitable eco fabrics designed to be natural. Sheer mesh adhere's to both roles.
Brands Start ups get a kick start & promising future. Celebrity endorsed & designer labels expand ranges. Success rockets for existing key players.