AW14/15 Workout Wardrobe

Here's one for the fitness fashion lovers. Everyone else, you have my permission to look away and I will shout you back if I post something serious. I had all the opinions last week, so this week is all fluff pieces (kidding!)...

Now, I'm not particularly picky about my day to day look, but I do like looking good in certain situations. If anything, I am much pickier about my fitness fashion than my day to day officewear- Well, I do spend a lot of time in exercise clothes! And occasionally this lycra does end up worn in the office too...

I thought I would highlight some of my winter training clothes and talk about some of the features that make them work for me. This is not all of my fitness clothing, just the much-loved and much-worn pieces.

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Before I begin, this post was well-timed (it was already in the draft stage) because last week Sweaty Betty very kindly sent me the gift of a new running outfit*. It is gorgeous, so I thought I'd review it properly. I love new kit! My friends always take the piss because I need to wear new things immediately. This was no exception and has so far been worn: in my office, on a hill walk, on a long run, to strength train, to do Pilates, and to go to FlyFlexFlow class. It has been washed several times, I promise.






The top is the Pulse Training Top. Its a great spring green/turquoise colour (the website calls it 'mazarine green', Google tells me this is a butterfly breed), with bright coral accents. Like many SB tops it has thumb loopholes, a handy back pocket, and is a longer length- coming close to mid-butt. Its similar to the chill resistor top but doesn't have a fleecy inner lining. Instead, the inner is raw and the outer smooth and soft. Its a merino wool mix so should function as a great base layer. There are also reflective strips at several areas and the seam line placements are extremely flattering. I was a little worried the raw inner edges would rub, but they haven't at all and are much softer than they look. I feel like I'd walk past this top in the store, but as an item to wear its absolutely great, so if you do see it give it a chance!

The leggings are the Slider Training Tight. The material is sensational- velvety without being actual velvet, so it feels great from all directions. I squeaked when I opened the package and saw these, as I had been lusting after the pattern since the SS15 launch. May cause office sexual harassment: three of my colleagues were stroking my legs in the office on Friday... but hey who cares with leggings like these! I adore the pattern; which somehow manages to be both a graphic and watercolour print. Great colour mix too- teal and violet. The waistband is very wide and very comfortable, with a large hidden pocket along the back. They also make your legs and bum look fantastic. I fancy me in these. If I had to be picky and say something bad, I'd note that the very end of the tights were looser on the leg (below the calf muscle). However, this was not at all uncomfortable and still looked great. They also apparently run a little long, but at 5ft 8" this was not an issue.



Thank you so much to Sweaty Betty- what a gift!

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Now onto my pre-existing lycra! No links are affiliate, they are all just for information. Those without links aren't available anymore, I tried to provide similar when I could.

Please note, not side flab- its a bit of the wall!
I actually had no running capri pants until this Christmas (2014). I decided to buy myself some when I saw this super cute MPG (Mondetta Performance Gear) pair in TKMaxx and then, less than a week later, received some from my lovely S.O.'s mum in the form of Skins capris. Oh well, both are great. The Skins ones seem like they are going to be super transparent during dressing, but aren't once on. The MPG are completely perfect. If I had to choose, the MPG are slightly more comfy, but that's because the Skins are compression wear. I don't usually go for florals, but love their watercolour print too.

I obviously don't usually wear just a sports bra with these but wanted to make sure the waist detail was obvious. The bra is the Nike Victory Adjust X-Back bra. Its perhaps a little too un-supportive for fast running but its comfortable and supportive enough for the other workouts I do. I only have one running jacket- a Puma. Its pretty great but I wish it had a hood. It does the job though, I stay warm and dry without being bathed in sweat and without chafe marks. I don't wear it that often as I tend to under- instead of over-dress for the weather!



I only have a few pairs of leggings, nonetheless I found it impossible to decide which were my favourites when thinking about this post. Like choosing a favourite child. I love the Sweaty Betty (SB) marl Pace Run Tight (+), which are exceptionally comfortable- wide waistband, great pocket, a super-cute pattern. My most regularly worn top is this plain Nike Miler long sleeve, although it frequently maddens me how short it is in the torso. It appears that this doesn't effect the new design (as linked) though- mine is v. old. The headband is a gorgeous plaited wool one that my SO's mum got me. It isn't specifically for sport but it keeps my ears warm!

Yes, my ribs stick out a ton.


The Nike twist leggings in yellow/grey are another favourite, as I just think they look fantastic. They are however not that cosy... and the yellow stripe on the bum is transparent. I recently bought the SB Ultra Run Bra and I'm loving it. Their back bands run a little small but it is very supportive- the boobs hardly move once they are womanhandled in. Despite being tight, it is completely unnoticeable once on. I'm glad I splashed out and bought it. Again, I'd wear a vest or top over it but wanted to show everyone what I meant!



I have the Nike twisted tempo in two colours - grey/black and red/black. These shorts really are cool, and I find them a much more comfortable and flattering shape than the classic Nike tempos, which are sometimes a little nappy-ish. The twisted tempos need body glide on long sweaty outings. I also have the SB chill resistor long sleeve (+) which is soft, long and flattering.

I like to call this one 'the rapture'


The SB Body Map Thermal Tights (+); are currently out of rotation unless I'm up hills or its 6am as they really are thermal. I also have the SB Body Map thermal long sleeve (+), which is well designed for thermal warmth with ventilation, but sadly is shorter in length than the chill resistor. The headband is similar to previous but is a great bright teal.

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Conclusions: So the vast majority of the stuff I have purchased and/or loved is from just two brands: Sweaty Betty and Nike. I think both have fantastic design - how they look and how they perform. SB tends to be a little girlier, whilst Nike sticks to graphic prints. SB has longer top lengths, which I prefer. MPG is one of the brands I will keep an eye on in the future- great design and fit in the pieces I have used and it can be bought cheaply at TK Maxx.

I have been disappointed by Adidas in the past; with see-through leggings and an extremely confusing website- particularly useless in the domain of sizing (their swimsuits are sized by chest size by the way. It doesn't say this anywhere), and delivery (no notification until after order that they deliver by UPS so need a signature. Sad as the leggings are a great design. They also package tiny things in HUGE waste-of-paper packages). I haven't tried many other brands, obsessed as I am with high-end.  I did buy F21 shorts once but, whilst cute, they rode up massively. They're in the charity shop box.

Overall it seems that the following things are most important to me in buying running kit:

  • Comfort & Fit: They shouldn't rub, dig in, fall down, flap about... or any other uncomfortable and distracting verbs you can think of.I like soft, close fitting leggings.
  • Style: I like graphic prints more than anything. I prefer my sportswear not to be pink-washed. I like tops that are a little longer; shorts at a flattering length, and leggings that are tight to the leg. I like flattering (who doesn't).
I appreciate the kit I have is pricier, but its good quality/value and I buy expensive so that it will last and look good. I exercise 5-6 days a week in various ways, so I really do use the kit a lot and the price per wear ends up a lot lower than that of a night out dress!

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What kit aspects are important to you?

What are some of your favourite pieces of kit? Why?

* This outfit was c/o Sweaty Betty; because they are total and complete babes and asked if they could send me a gift. They did not ask me to do anything at all in exchange. I just wanted to post about it because I love it! Therefore all of the posts or social media links are my doing only, this post was not sponsored or requested by the company and is just my honest opinion.
+ The crosses indicate kit I was given by companies and did not purchase. The only kit covered by that + was the set of SB AW14 clothes discussed in this post. All other kit was purchased by myself.


PS: Taking photos of oneself being all fashiony is super awks. Couldn't have done it without my beaut camera-woman. I apologise to anyone on Park Circle we accidentally flashed whilst changing. Please enjoy the below outtakes...





4 Comments:

  1. There is so much awesomeness in this post! :D I love all the leggings but I need to stop buying new ones for now - summer is coming soon and I only have 2 pairs of shorts!

    P.S. you make a great fitness model
    P.P.S. my ribs stick out like that as well!

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    1. Thank you! I felt like such a twat.

      I honestly feel I might miss my leggings in summer. But I do love some short shorts.

      Also, I'm so glad other people have this! Sarah (goldilocks running) and I were just chatting about it on Twitter too!

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  2. Such a lot of lovely kit :) Looks like you had a lot of fun on this shoot!

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    Replies
    1. It was ridiculous Steph- post part of town to get the lighting; plus lots of changes; plus not being able to take ourselves seriously!

      Yes, I have some terribly gorgeous kit! I'm lucky/spend wayyyy too much on kit...

      Thanks for commenting!

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