Sporting the look

Sporting the look

Sporting the look

First published in NewsXtra

Mark the summer of London 2012 with an Olympic-inspired wardrobe. Lisa Haynes shows you how to work the sporty trend.

It's not just the Olympic stars who'll be looking athletic this summer. The sporting season has infiltrated the fashion world with fit kit references a-plenty.

From the subtle sophistication of Victoria Beckham and Stella McCartney's sleek racerback shapes to the urban aesthetic of Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant's relaxed silhouettes on the spring/summer catwalks, sportswear is a winning trend this season.

And you don't need to be a gym bunny to sign up for membership of this sports club. Even high heels will put you on the fashion fast track.

Track star To really champion the sporty look, you can go all out with a workout-inspired wardrobe.

If you've got the legs of an athlete, anti-running running shorts are a key item.

Look for silky-style shorts with contrast trims. If you don't like flashing your legs, you'll find trousers with similar go-faster stripes running down the sides.

Make a dash for standout athletic-looking pieces but in a colour palette of pastels or primary brights to keep things fresh. Seek out detailing like mesh panels, tie drawstrings and visible zips to ramp up the luxe factor.

Ditch those old gym trainers and head for this season's winning footwear - haute couture hi-tops. Classic sports shoes have been given a glossy makeover with comfy trainers that feature a concealed wedge heel to instantly lengthen your legs.

Style contender Believe it or not, this take on sportswear can be uber-chic and will even work for eveningwear.

Look to the designers' favoured new clingy 'scuba' material. Inspired by wetsuits, these body-hugging pieces come in a thicker, more flattering material than Lycra.

Dive into the deep end by opting for dresses with streamline racerback necklines or peplum details for added structure.

Failing that, give your favourite sporty swimsuit an airing outside of the water, worn as a layered piece under a sheer shirt.

Give your glam outfit a medal-winning edge with flashes of metallic against Wimbledon whites. Opt for gold, silver or bronze depending on your colouring.

Take the high jump with towering heels to keep this look in the fast lane. Bright shoes will make your outfit 'pop'.

Sporting spectator This is one trend where comfort and style can still be the perfect match, especially if you adopt the sports fan look.

Fabrics are all-important to ensure your relaxed look says sport-inspired rather than slob-inspired. Think cotton slouchy tees, silky trackpants and bling trainers.

For something more quintessentially British than global athlete, be knocked for six by a cricket jumper this summer. Kate Moss was recently spotted in one of the cable knit sporting classics.

In keeping with this season's retro Americana trend, baseball jackets and American football tops are also enjoying a moment. Borrow from your man but leave his collection of rugby and footy tops firmly in the back of the closet.

If traditional trainers are your thing, look for runners with a stylish twist like the patent or metallic leather numbers on sale the moment.

Styling the sporty way Give your look a sporting chance with these instant nods to sport style: :: Neon flashes: Give your look athletic appeal with subtle neon accents. From bag strap to sweater, you're sure to stand out from the sporting competition.

:: Wedge wonders: Don't let heels be your hurdle. Power walk freely in this season's wedge trainers. Choose between lace-ups or retro Velcro straps.

:: Racerback top: Balance out your shape. If you're wearing slouchy trousers, keep your top half fitted with a swimsuit-style racerback vest that shows off your shoulders.

:: Sports bag: Bored of your tote bag? Look for a large sporty bag with pockets and zips aplenty that works as a shopper, day bag and gym kit carrier in one.

:: Medal trinkets: Go for gold with your jewellery box. Look for pendants that resemble mini medals in your favourite metal: bronze, silver or gold.

Get the look Demi Lovato has stepped up her fashion credentials in her new role as judge on the US X Factor. Ensure you're taller than Simon Cowell in her towering Chloe Jade Green CJG stud-back peeptoe courts, £115 at Topshop (www.topshop.com).

Buy it now Be a good sport for the Olympic season, whatever the weather, in Cath Kidston's Olympic-inspired print Cag in a Bag, £26 (www.cathkidston.co.uk).

Fashion flash :: Closet count British wardrobes are bursting at the seams. Despite living space having declined by an average of 11ft over the last three years, the average woman's wardrobe contains a whopping 128 items. A typical man owns substantially less, making do with 106 items, according to new research by Cotton USA. Women also outstrip men in the smalls drawers too, owning an average of 25 undergarments (or three and half weeks' worth), compared to just two weeks' worth owned by a typical British man. Women own three times as many pyjamas as their male counterparts.

:: Recessionista alert Shop savvy during the sales season - from the comfort of your sofa. Sign up for summer sales alerts from ShopStyle to help you bag bargains of up to 70% or more on your holiday wardrobe. Simply click on 'Sale Alerts' at the www.shopstyle.co.uk homepage and choose the brands you want to receive sale alerts about.

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