Staying Active In Style
The dawn of a new year naturally inspires us to ditch the booze for a month, and invest in a new fitness regime, which (if we’re all honest), never usually lasts beyond the 1st of February. But these are unprecedented times, which means it’s never been more important to move your body, and burn off some stress.
As we are all using the power of home workouts to either escape the challenges of homeschooling, or simply as a way to keep sane and positive, it’s quite easy to end up spending most of your day in your workout kit. So this week, I am breaking routine from the usual ready-to-wear fashion, and talking things all activewear.
Activewear is such a go-to part of our lifestyle at the moment, so why not treat these clothes like you would the rest of your wardrobe and make sure you look equally on point in your leggings and running top, as you do in your Gurkhas and chambray shirt. There is no better time to up the style stakes when you exercise, and believe it or not, there’s a whole world of stylish and sleek activewear out there. Here’s a guide to some must-have essentials to upgrade your activewear wardrobe, to take you from workout to Zoom meeting, or mid morning coffee, in style.
I am a huge fan of base layers, especially when you are training outdoors, but before I start sharing my thoughts on this particular category, there is one cardinal rule all men must acknowledge when it comes to wearing one particular component of base layering – and that is that tights should only be worn under shorts.
Let’s talk about the pro’s of base layering. Introducing base layering into your training kit provides a host of benefits, including making your physique look more defined. More importantly, base layering offers a host of performance benefits, making them a key activewear investment. Base layers provide support to key muscle groups and promote blood circulation during training, which also supports recovery, and reduces the risk of injury. Whether your current collection of base activewear needs a freshen up, or you’re looking to make your first purchase, I’ve shortlisted some essential activewear base layers for you to browse.
Tracksmith – Running Tights
Nike – Compression T-shirt
Falke – System Roll Neck
Whether you’re smashing a home HIIT, or cracking on with a daily kettle bell session in the park, getting your top half right when it comes to activewear is important. Ultimately you need a top that fits your body shape, as well as one that is going to help absorb moisture and sweat, and continue to keep you warm during your exercise.
Over recent years, the activewear market has been flooded with brands introducing new technology to support performance, including products that aid the natural cooling system of the body by dispersing sweat evenly throughout the surface of the garment to speed up evaporation. Outside of the very well know household brands, there are a host of new brands on the block that are also embracing technology to support performance and comfort during exercising.
Two brands I feel need a shout out when it comes to activewear tech well done are Castore, and Reining Champ. Castore is a relatively new British brand whose mission is to create the lightest, highest performing technical sportswear in the market, by using patented technology and advanced technical engineering. Their pieces are strong on the design front too. Canadian brand Reigning Champ develop original fabrics and make clothing by hand. All design and manufacturing takes place locally, inspired by their hometown of Vancouver’s vibrant community. The team’s mission statement is ‘respect the details’, which shows in the quality of their clothes. Their seamless, 90’s-inspired design will also help you up the style stakes in your local park.
Reigning Champ – Mélange Solotex Mesh Hoodie
Castore – Garda Slim-Fit Logo-Print Stretch-Shell Half-Zip Top
2XU – Melange Stretch T-shirt
Training bottoms come in a wide range of forms, from tracky bottoms, to training shorts, and running shorts. Unless you are savvy with the world of activewear terminology, it can be quite confusing to know the difference between a running short and a training short. Typically a training short will be slightly longer, designed to inhibit the movement of your legs during training, while a running short is designed to sit higher above the knee, and constructed to give you freedom when running – optimally focused for cardio specific training. For me, the key is to choose a pair of bottoms that are going to be a good all rounder.
Reigning Champ – Slim Fitted Sweat Pant
Lululemon – Pinnacle Running Shorts and Tights
Tracksmith – Track Bottoms