Is it exercise wear, or is it lounge around and potter about all day at home wear?
Well, it’s comfortable, that’s for sure, and that’s a good move as it means that it will be wearable long after January’s resolutions have been forgotten.
An increasing number of High Street fashion stores have decided to develop their own fitness and exercise wear lines, but what’s interesting is that many of the pieces also seem to fall into the category of loungewear, relaxed separates in soft, luxe, easy fabrics that you’ll be most reluctant to take off.
You might not want to head off to the gym wearing them either, much less go jogging, or make that spinning class. Perhaps a spot of gentle yoga, later. It’s your choice.
The White Company has just launched its own Activewear range of soft, luxurious mix-and-match tops and bottoms in grey, black and white. They are all excellent for exercising but look uber-chic and super-polished, whatever you’re doing .
Launched this month at Marks & Spencer, the Rosie for Autograph Active collection is inspired by dance and movement, and brings together ballet wrap-style layers combining satins and soft, fluid fabrics in charcoal grey, soft pinks and a hint of mesh and floral print. Tellingly, it’s described as a complement to Rosie’s lingerie collection.
Soozie Jenkinson, head of lingerie design at M&S, says: “Silhouettes take inspiration from the barre and are designed to layer together. Luxuriously super-soft fabrics are dressed with design details which draw inspiration from ballet slipper ribbons and sheer tulles.
“Medium and high impact bras form the foundation of the collection which are designed with support, comfort and femininity in mind.”
Indeed, these are pieces that can take you pretty much anywhere, in luxe fabrics with a little stretch, materials that are warm and flexible rather than cold, shiny and not much thicker than a pair of 40 deniers.
For sheer choice, take a look at what Next has got in store and especially online at www.next.co.uk. You can find pretty much whatever you want here, and it offers brands such as Adidas, Nike and Converse, as well more than 100 trainer styles. Its own brand range features gorgeous, easy luxe pieces in grey, soft pink, white and black, which does seem to be a favourite colour palette for female fitness, lounge and lifestyle wear at the moment.
Look out for its NX Studio loungewear range, featuring, for example, the lounge longline sweat top, £24, to team with grey studio yoga trousers, £26, for an endlessly wearable and flattering look that you will probably live in for the rest of the year.
For a streetwise vibe, head to Matalan, which mixes in outerwear with its SS16 Souluxe fitness range in the form of bomber jackets and padded gilets, to wear with crop tops and harem leggings. Just tie a sweat top casually about the waist and you’re good to go to the gym, or for a run, or maybe just a little light shopping. There are some lovely styling details and the whole collection is worth a look.
Evans has great pieces for sizes 14 and above, and the website www.evans.co.uk features a “See how it fits” facility, which lets you input your measurements so you can get an idea of how pieces will work on your body. It’s a wonder more fashion stores don’t offer this.