Tag Archives: Fashion

Creating a unique workout look: Stylish fitness fashions under $20

Fitness fashions have come a long way in styles and choices… but they still have a ways to go.

Sometimes we don’t want a logo emblazoned on every piece of clothing.  Sometimes we get sick of the same styles, materials, and colors of pants and tanks seen on every other person.  While quality pieces are important, sometimes we don’t want to pay $100 dollars for a pair of yoga pants, that if they do their job, get beat up pretty quickly. Sometimes it can feel like we’re a part of a workout wear army. Sometimes we want to – for good or bad – creatively express ourselves.

Your fitness regimen is all about you, and what it is you like to do. Above all else, it should be fun. Why not bring that fun and energy into your workout look. Here are some ideas for mixing in unique, and yes – even crazy – pieces to your fitness wardrobe that will expand your style options, while limiting the punch to your wallet:

THE ARTIST

Layered One Sleeve Mesh Crop top  $12.95

Dancewear Solutions

With a focus on layering, a little creativity gets you a unique look.

THE MINIMALIST

Dance Department Adult “V Front” Jazz Pant $17.95

Discount Dance Supply

Who doesn’t need an extra “go to” black workout pant, that’s comfortable and easy to transition from exercise to errands. The lack of exterior branding makes for a stealthier alternative.

THE WILD ONE

Open Sides Racerback Tank $13.95

Bring out your animal style in this fun leopard tank.

Dancewear Solutions

BOHEMIAN CHIC

Fisherman Pants by The 7th Rabbit $14.99

Etsy.com

Light, breezy summer cottons with fun prints. Easy to wear in yoga class or on a picnic.

BOLD SPARKLE AND SHINE

Sequin Bra Top $19.94

Dancewear Solutions

Throw this sparkly number on under a white tank top or cut-out t-shirt, to let a hint of your inner circus performer shine through.

Fitness Fashion Friday – Stella for Adidas, and The London Olympics

The world of fitness fashion is growing at a fast pace. According to market research firm GIA, the global market for fitness clothing is expected to reach 126 billion by the year 2015. This is due to, according to GIA, “dramatic lifestyle changes and the desire for stylish, functional and versatile sports apparel.”

I live in Los Angeles, where people don two uniforms – red carpet clothes or workout wear. And while I too spend most of my days in fitness clothing, I love fashion, and am constantly seeking unique pieces, creating ensembles reflective of a personal style.

Lucky for us the options are growing everyday. Recent workout fashion history has gone from spandex leotards and day-glo parachute pants to sustainable materials and tailored designs… I’m still holding my breath for a Rodarte dancewear line.

You always remember your first, and my first brand loyalty went to Stella McCartney and her line for Adidas.  What still draws me to these clothes is the combination of Stella McCartney’s impeccable Saville Row tailoring, with her sense of whimsy. Stella McCartney makes workout clothes that are both fun and smart. One of the first to elevate workout wear to a high-end sense of style, her designs have made lasting impacts throughout the fitness apparel world. It’s not just about looks, McCartney is an active person herself, and it shows in the practical aspects of the clothing and materials as well.

While her last few collections for Adidas were not as strong as the preceding ones, McCartney’s made a strong showing with her Olympic Designs for England, who is also hosting this Summer’s Olympic Games (July 27th – August 12th) in London.

Having worked on the line for over two years,  McCartney told UK Vogue that she considers her country’s flag as one of the most iconic.

Recognizing the Union Jack colors are similar to a lot of other flags, and that the flag might be overused as the Olympic build-up continued,  McCartney chose different shades to express the Union Jack aesthetic, wanting athletes to feel identifiable as Team Great Britain, but unique and yet respectful of the flag’s beauty.

Fitness apparel and the greatest fashion invention of all time

Lycra…or the less appreciated term…spandex.

It’s arguably the greatest fashion invention of the 20th century and completely revolutionized how we dress, move, and grow our girth, in clothing. It’s a safe bet that synthetic, stretchy fabrics are on your body somewhere right now.

Nylon, developed by Du Pont chemicals in 1935,  revolutionized women’s hosiery in the 1940’s and eventually led to the development of…Lycra, generally known in the US as spandex. While celebrated in the eighties, most of us cringe at the mention of donning spandex today, unless that is, you shop at American Apparel. Synonymous with the flashy neon sheen of aerobic wear of the 1980s, the word spandex is actually an anagram for the word expands.  Apart from fitness apparel, spandex is in almost everything we wear – bras, underwear, belts, socks, jeans, pants, dresses – you name it.
Despite comfort and expandability, fitness fashion is often lacking in the “fashion” part of design. Thankfully,  there are a few designers tackling well-tailored sportswear which is not an easy task. Stella McCartney creates gorgeous and functional athletic wear for Adidas,  while Jeremy Scott, Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander McQueen, and the Japanese design house, Undercover have all attempted to elevate the look and feel of classic sportswear apparel, and the under appreciated reputation of spandex.


Fitness and Fashion: Why we wear sneakers and shorts

Funny how fitness fashion often leaves little to be desired. Athletic wear might be a trend for Spring 2012,  but we’ve yet to see Anna Della Russo sporting workout wear on the streets of Milan.  And yet, despite its lack of fashion sense, women’s sporting wear has made major impacts on how we dress today, from work attire, to the perfect cocktail dress. Here are a few historical sportswear facts that highlight the fitness impact on the fashion world:

Leotard

The first skin tight bodices were crafted by Jules Leotard during the Victorian era of the late 1800s. The leotard was made solely for men, namely circus performers, while women performers kept to inflexible and rather dangerous corsets. While men still wear leotards, or “biketards”, for cycling, swimming, rowing, etc, the name will forever be synonomous with women and dance fashion.

Shoes

One of the first pair of rubber soled, canvas shoes was created by Charles Goodyear – yup, the same name associated with tires. In 1916 the shoes, called Keds, were mass-marketed as the first sneaker. The name “sneaker” was bequeathed by advertising man Henry Nelson McKinney, because the rubber sole made the shoe so quiet.

Golf


The fabric of choice for women who golfed in the early part of the 20th century was tweed. Hmm…sounds heavy.


Tennis

While long layered skirts slowly became long wide-leg plants, it wasn’t until 1932 that Alice Marble made waves walking out onto the tennis court in shorts at Wimbleton. The world was aghast, but thankfully, we never looked back.

Swimsuits

In the 1800’s women wore skirts and pantaloons made of heavy fabrics that would not become see-through in the water. They also came with weights sewn into the fabric to keep the fabric from floating up.  It took decades of fighting for women’s rights coupled with the invention of Lycra around the 1930’s that brings us to the swimwear and bikinis we know today.


Beauty Culture – how beauty shapes our lives

If you are in Los Angeles, I highly recommend catching the Beauty Culture Exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography before it departs on November 27th. And if you aren’t so close to Los Angeles, you can still experience the viewpoint of photographers and some of their images on the Annenberg website. It’s thought- provoking, stunning, and horrifying, all at once.  In a word – intense. Photographer Lauren Greenfield created a 30 minute documentary for the exhibit which runs in a loop in the center of the gallery. It displays the highs and lows, the grace and pain, and everything in between that is modern beauty. I only hope Greenfield is able to publicly showcase the documentary after the exhibit. Beauty is so intertwined with our lifestyle and society, it can neither be all good or bad, and Greenfield does a great job walking the line between both extolling its virtues and being all too aware of its devastating traps.

In conjunction with the exhibit, throughout the month of October there is a great speaker series, discussing the topics of beauty and society.  Here are the dates and schedules, but for more information, click here.

Thursday Evenings 6:30 to 8:00PM

Thursday, October 6, Peter Fetterman and Lizzie Himmel -“Women In Photography

Thursday, October 11, Randall Slavin with Charlize Theron -“The Making of 24 Portraits

Thursday, October 13, Lauren Greenfield

Thursday, October 20, Mona Kuhn -“Beauty Without Apologies

Thursday, October 27, Elaine D’Farley and Philip Gefter – “Beauty: The Real vs. the Ideal

100 years of fashion history, danced

Charming and fun! It’s a 100 years of fashion and social dance history in 100 seconds.

Energy Saving Fashion in Japan

In the wake of both natural and environmental disasters, Japan is struggling with its lack of energy resources. Attempts to conserve are both large and small, down to making an energy savings fashion statement.  Last month, the Japanese Government launched Super Cool Biz 2011 – the summer fashion campaign to keep people cool while keeping air conditioners at a minimum during Japan’s most sultry months.

The Super Cool Biz fashion campaign, respectfully suggests the Japanese “Salary man”, known for conservative grey or black attire,  put down the ties and step away from the suits – just for the summer – in the name of energy savings.  In other words: The Japanese Government is asking its workforce to lighten up!

The fashion campaign started several years ago as an effort to fight global warming.  But this year, with air conditioner temperatures regulated to 82 degrees fareinheit, the campaign’s necessity is obvious. Super Cool Biz encourages a departure from the heavy suits, and opts for office wear like polos, t-shirts, hawaiian shirts, and sandals.

Interestingly, classic Japanese fashions are being promoted to beat the heat as well.  It is encouraged to carry around the traditional uchiwa hard fans, for men to wear contemporary suteteko (basically slim fitting capris), and women to don the traditional summer yukata. Generally, jeans are considered too informal, and would make most people feel “uncomfortable”.

While it makes sense, the fashion altering campaign faces an uphill battle. Work life definitely outweighs personal time. Wearing casual clothing to work previously would have meant inevitable firing.  Many workers feel they would not be taken seriously sporting a t-shirt in the office, as well as risk standing out apart from their peers. The preference is to suffer a bit more and maintain the status quo. Luckily, the Super Cool Biz campaign not only offers fashion tips, but other energy saving and carbon reducing suggestions as well, including working only in the morning and (my personal favorite recommendation) taking longer summer vacations. The need for flexibility and adaptation could help Japan usher in a more balanced approach to home and work. Only time will tell – as the summer heat and energy crisis continues – if Japan is truly ready to start shedding suits for sandals.