Maybe it’s because I’m writing this when New Year’s resolutions are thick in the air, or perhaps it’s because I turn 40 soon and need to think more about my health; or maybe it’s just because the catwalks and stores are awash with sportswear-inspired designs. Whatever the reason, this issue’s style guide is all about looking good while keeping fit. (Ish.)
Since I’m not convinced that I’m 100 percent committed to my new fitness regime, and because I’m a thrifty Northern lad, I’ve selected brands, styles and looks that can also be worn away from the gym, long after the good intentions have faded and the local takeaway is back on speed dial.
To be honest, I’ve never been to a gym in my life – give me the great outdoors any day: cycling, running, hiking. Thankfully, an abundance of activewear has emerged in recent years that panders to these pursuits. Cycling’s growing popularity is undeniable, and the increased profile of stylish stars like Bradley Wiggins, together with interest from designer enthusiasts like Sir Paul Smith, has seen an increase in the brands available for cyclists. No more squeezing into a lycra body-sock.
Rapha started kitting out serious cyclists over a decade ago but its approach was always rooted in fashion and functionality; lately, it has expanded into “urban” cycling – that is, gear you can cycle in and go to work in. See, for example, the stretch denim pieces with added Cordura for durability and weather resistance.
Anther bike brand I love is Vulpine – less “cool for school” than Rapha, and better for it, offering performance fabrics in styles you can wear to office or pub, incorporating subtle and intelligent cycling details. The signature Vulpine piece is a cycling take on the classic Mod “Harrington” jacket (very on trend for 2015); also look out for a nifty seasonal collaboration with British designer Oliver Spencer. Visit bikesnbites.com for info about Vulpine stockists in Singapore.
If cycling doesn’t fit your lifestyle, or you don’t have the budget for new wheels, then why not try running? All you need are two moderately functional legs and some motivation. Over the next 12 months, technical fabrics and contoured silhouettes look set to dominate the running scene. Sportswear giant Nike has developed some upmarket collaborations for designer credibility; check out the Gyakusou range, a joint-effort with cult Japanese label Undercover (available from luxury fashion retailers Oki-Ni and Mr Porter).
The humble sweatpant looks set for a luxury facelift this spring, with a move away from the the baggy cotton Abercrombie-esque number favoured by the hungover on Sunday morning sofa and TV sessions. Instead, brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Givenchy have freshened up their collections and gone for a more fitted affair with a slim or tapered leg. Fabrics have moved on significantly, too, and a quick scan of the options at oki-ni.com reveals everything from technical cotton to luxury silk and wool.
The sneaker trend looks set to continue and sport is yet again influencing catwalk designs, including luxury copies of classic basketball, training and skateboarding shoes. Check out Common Projects, a US-based luxury sneaker brand that uses the finest Italian leathers and handmade artisan manufacturing. Well-established fashion houses like Saint Laurent, Givenchy and Lanvin have also refreshed their collections with high-end sneakers, which they hope to sell to aspirational street kids, the nightclub-hopping offspring of Russian oligarchs and stylish Singaporean expats alike.
Until next time, put your best foot forward.