Thought you’d left the neoprene shirts and stacked trainers of our Olympic summer far behind? No chance; luxe sportswear is most definitely set to continue its winning streak into SS14. The Stella McCartney for Adidas label was the tipping point for the trend on its creation way back in 2004 , and we’ve seen new collaborations emerge every season between Alexander McQueen and Puma, Comme Des Garcons and Speedo, Marc Jacobs and Vans, Philip Treacy and Umbro, to name only a few.
Why won’t our love for sports luxe die? Perhaps because it indulges our passion for the constantly evolving set of high-tech fabrics emerging each year. Perhaps because it reflects the new #fitnotthin mentality that makes us feel sleek and powerful rather than fragile and ethereal. Perhaps because it channels that special brand of effortless insouciance that Brits adore in their daywear.
But each season, designers give the trend a fresh twist. For SS14 they have moved on from previous collections’ clean, clinical looks to a more luxurious, high-fashion feel with slouchy silhouettes, innovative textures and unexpectedly juxtaposed fabrics.
Prabal Gurung SS14
One instant update has been in the addition of preppy and feminine touches to soften the athletic vibe. Glimmering sheen finishes and pastel shades are plentiful. Proenza Schouler showcased metallic glints on pleated skirts and ICB had iridescent shimmer on chunky separates and sporty skirts. Models at Prabal Gurung and Derek Lam sported tennis whites, striking florals, high-shine silk lamé and embellished separates on the runways, transforming sportswear into super-glam daywear – there’s nothing wrong with a little sparkle before the sun goes down.
Proenza Schouler SS14
But for all the catwalk inspiration, sports luxe is a tricky trend to master; it frequently looks either too literal (I just jogged out of the gym) or too fussy (a mess of shapes and fabrics). How to get it right this spring?
Build your new season capsule from a bomber jacket, a varsity knit, a couple of luxury sweatshirts, a shimmery backpack, a pair of city shorts and a new take on the polo dress. For example, team a slouchy sweatshirt in an interesting print with loose, neutral silk joggers, a crepe scuba top and a canvas grab-and-go backpack.
Now you know the score, it’s time to get your style game on with our top picks.
£43 – topshop.com
£355 – net-a-porter.com
£75 – johnlewis.com
£329 – wolfandbadger.com
£165 – theoutnet.com
£350 – montaignemarket.com
£445 – jimmychoo.com
£705 – ssense.com
£125 – net-a-porter.com