Of course you see it in the gym – no one sweats in just any old thing these days. But you also see it in the streets, in the clubs, at fashion week, even at work.
It’s that fascinating girl in the café, in the perfect streamlined hoodie and leggings. It’s the fashion editor in her hot-off-the-runway sneakers. The chicest woman at the party, a coloured crop top peeking out from beneath her silk dress. It’s the girl boss taking meetings in her track-stripe pants. With heels. And it’s the mainstay of celebrity airport style.
Welcome to the new fashion uniform. Anywhere, everywhere you go now, the coolest dressers are in sportswear. Performance gear. Activewear. Athleisure. Sports-luxe. There are lots of names for what’s essentially the same thing – sporty clothes for modern life. Just don’t call it gym gear because that’s way too limiting.
Where did the sports luxe, gymwear-as-everywhere trend come from? One explanation is that fashion designers have fallen in love with the high-tech fabrications developed by retail giants in the sporting world. Another reason is that sporty silhouettes (and flats) suit the lifestyle of the modern, busy women. It all buzzes with the same message – this is what we wear when we’re getting things done. Confident, comfortable, strong and sexy – what could be more empowering than that?
So, what to buy this season to get active-chic? The marie claire fashion team suggests you start with Calvin Klein Performance.
Rooted in the iconic brand’s DNA – Calvin Klein himself pretty much single-handedly invented modern American sportswear – it seamlessly blends fashion with function. Think runway-worthy sweatpants, culottes and quilted bombers. (Our pick? The t-shirts, which with their high-tech fabrication but relaxed fit could take you from the gym to weekend coffee dates to work.) The collection (fronted by none other than Bella Hadid) takes the ready-to-wear approach and mixes it back with the more classically fashion pieces already in your wardrobe.
But it’s the construction that had us at hello. In an increasingly crowded category, Calvin Klein Performance stands out for its impeccable cut and attention to detail. Take their crops and workout tanks, for example. These pieces skim, support and flatter the body, as you might expect from the brand that’s been making the best underwear in the business since Kate Moss first donned her Calvins back in the Nineties.