Sporting good style

Blame it on the Olympics. Fashion, like the rest of the planet, is about to high-dive into a period of sporting mania.
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While not quite doubling as Olympics kit, new collections due in stores this month carry more than a hint of the sportswear aesthetic. Think racer-back tops, cotton cashmere hoodies, mesh fabrics, bodycon dresses, fitted leggings and even tracksuits – all elevated to legitimate style status.

Not that one would contemplate actually exercising in this gear. At $279 for Acne’s metallic sweatshirt, say, or $189 for a pair of Nicholas leggings, the only sweating will be over the price.

”No, this is definitely not stuff you would wear to the gym,” said David Bush, head of fashion at David Jones. ”It’s very much a street fashion trend. Much of it’s in very high-tech fabrics with amazing properties or it’s in the more luxe fabrics, like merino tanks or cotton cashmere tracksuits or silk jersey zip-through hoodies,” he said.

”You could see influences of it in several international collections last season and locally Josh Goot, Jac + Jack, Dion Lee and Ksubi have a strong sportswear look this season.

”It’s not just a fashion trend, it’s a lifestyle trend that has started to find its way into fashion – that relaxed, easy, active sportswear dressed up as fashion.”

Much of its popularity can be attributed to Stella McCartney, who has designed Britain’s Olympic uniform and long incorporated a sporty style into her collections.

But it is not just high fashion that is cashing in on stylish sportswear. At the other end of the fashion spectrum, legitimate exercise gear is also enjoying renewed interest owing to a growth in the number of women’s fitness outfitters such as lululemon athletica, Lorna Jane, Bloch and Icebreaker which fuse a fashionable look with performance.

Lululemon, the pricey Canadian sportswear label with yoga pants for $98, has embarked on an accelerated rollout of its brand in Australia.

Lorna Jane Clarkson, founder of Lorna Jane which has more than 120 stores in Australia and three in the US, said sportswear was now designed to take women through their entire day.

”We are very lucky to not be feeling the strain of the current retail environment, as activewear is considered a crucial tool in living a healthy life,” she said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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