Get your kit on!
Whether or not we celebrated Christmas, we're probably all guilty of a little over-indulging during the party season. It simply comes with the territory (and the great special offers on chocolates). But now with the new year-new you craze that's heavily upon us, it's time to step away from the couch and get moving - in style.
Gone are the days when black Lycra leggings and baggy T-shirts were the uniform for the less confident gym go-ers. Also departed are the vibrant neon leotards teamed with a face full of make-up. No longer just gym-bound, sportswear has raised its game. It has not just grown with the times but become a trend in its own right.
Cool, quirky sportswear is having a serious fashion moment - and the best bit is, it's affordable. Sports luxe, as designers like to refer to it, was first introduced to us by Stella McCartney's collaboration with Adidas. Then there was the London 2012 Olympics that had us all kitted out in leggings and trainers for a summer and currently there's a paired-down style that isn't just preserved for workouts but for daily dressing, especially convenient on the weekend.
This trend also continues into Spring 2014 in the direction of sleek, minimal and luxurious, making itself ripe for new interpretations of fashionable casual dressing and worth investing in.
It is tempting to throw in your jeans for a pair of stretchy pull-ons, or, heaven forbid, a shell suit because of the sheer comfort factor. Sportswear is incredibly comfortable; it's the closest thing to wearing your pyjamas outdoors (assuming you don't own a onesie). The fabrics are often technical and breathable (whatever that really means!) and, alarmingly, a bit shiny at times. But make the right choice and you'll wonder how you ever coped without your flexi new clothing in and out of the gym. Try sticking to more muted colour palettes and clean lines. And always wear with trainers. Heavy boots, Uggs and pumps are a clear no-go area.
Sports apparel is already huge, stateside whether you work out or not. Take, for example, the brand phenomenon of Lululemon that has a mini community of fans and hosts events that encourage you to get active. This American sportswear company is growing by the second with its signature logo found in almost every woman's gym bag. The company's success is very much due to the fact that it created athletic gear perfectly designed for each activity whether you're bending into your "Downward Dog" or pacing hard on the pavement.
Similarly sought-after is the Australian women's sportswear brand Lorna Jane that launched in the UK earlier this year and has a huge following overseas. I predict this isn't the last time you'll hear of them.
I strongly believe good work-out gear enhances your performance and sets your mind into actually working up a sweat rather than just a glow.
Buy just a couple of ultra desirable pieces and you may even want to wear them so much the thought of a quick run or cycle ride may not be so bad after all.