When it comes to what you wear to exercise in you want your clothing to be as functional, fashion forward and as comfortable to the activity as possible- thankfully sportswear is becoming more technically minded and a number of high street retailers as well as specialised clothing companies are providing more and more diverse clothing ranges to suit a myriad of programmes. Below we highlight three of our favourite companies that take functional clothing seriously and offer a fantastic range of products suitable for exercise and everyday wear. We also highlight our top picks for each.
Fabletics is the online clothing company co-founded by Kate Hudson and couldn’t be a more multi-functional range. Items are grouped together in collections to give you an idea of the kind of looks you could create but of course can be bought seperately; Fabletics works on a clothing subscription where if you sign up to the scheme you pay £44 a month for a new, whole outfit (if you want additional items you do get a VIP discount too). The great thing about their clothing ranges is their offering ranges in style, fitting, colour and cut meaning not only are the clothes fit for purpose but because of their sizing guides and recommendations (based on exercise preference, the locality of exercise, colours that inspire you, your body type etc.), you should be comfortable in what you buy and enjoy wearing all the time whether exercising or not.
If you are an avid gym goer than I would really recommend the subscription- you get a fantastic new outfit every month (and if you spend a lot of time in functional clothing- you should regard it as key pieces like seasonal trends) and is amazing value for money.
My picks for Fablectics:
Sweaty Betty is London born with an aim ‘to inspire women to find empowerment through fitness‘ with over 30 localities across the UK. Much like Fabletics, Sweaty Betty aim to provide functional clothing ranges that is suitable for a number of different activities (though you can search for items that is ideal for a specific activity if you want to narrow your search down) as well as looking fantastic regardless of where the day may take you. Not only do Sweaty Betty offer product ranges suitable for dance, yoga, running, swim, ski etc. but they offer online workout videos, classes, educational information on product technology, functionality and so much more. They make the approach into a health and fitness lifestyle flawless and ensure you’re well informed (particularly key if, like me, you just don’t know what to wear when working out!).
Marks and Spencers have recently developed a new range of activewear with a special focus on an entirely new concept of sports bras; the unique bras were developed using the same software that is used in Japan to create airbags. They are available in three impact levels (see below) to ensure you’re getting the optimum support for the type of exercise you choose with sizes ranging from sports bra to G cup (prices from £12.50):
Medium: is designed for low impact sports such as Pilates and Yoga
High: is designed for racket sports, horse-riding and cycling
Extra high: is designed for running and high impact aerobics
it took three years to develop the new sports bra which included extensive testing and research to develop a range that is ideal for both comfort and performance. Often sports bras are unconsidered when selecting activewear and/or many of us see that one type suits all when in reality it is arguably the most important aspect of sports clothing and the type of sports bra you have should support you in the activities you do.
It isn’t just their sports bra’s which are ergonomically designed, their clothing range is also designed for optimal comfort and performance abilities. With most sportswear items composed of one or more of the following clothing technologies:
Heatgen (TM) technology is a lightweight thermal range designed to keep you warmer without the need for bulky layers. This technology is more than idea for the Winter season when studios are colder and thoughts of going for a run or a bike ride are almost non-existent.
StayNEW (TM) technology reduces bobbling and colour loss ensuring you can wear time and time again and get more for your money.
Cool Comfort (TM) is a range of clothing that uses the softest materials and elastics which allows for all day comfort. You’ll also be kept cool- perfect for an active lifestyle.
Cool and Fresh (TM) technology draws moisture away from the skin, keeping you cool, dry and fresh. A range ideal for situations of intensity.
With prices ranging from £10 (though there is a sale on currently with items from £3.19) you can fully equip yourself with a wardrobe full of functional clothing.