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Give your fitness a fashion boost
3:03pm Thursday 16th January 2014 in Lifestyle
Kick-start your exercise regime with a new fit kit. Lisa Haynes gives you a stylish head start.
If you signed up for gym membership at the beginning of January and you're already flagging, look to your workout wardrobe - the perfect way (besides a shouty personal trainer) to boost your motivation levels.
Ditch the tired, crumpled gear last used in January 2013. Investing in a new pair of trainers or bright vest can put you on the right track to your New Year fitness goals. Think about what you really need though, and what you'll actually feel comfortable in and wear, before putting your debit card through its paces.
If you're not sure where to begin, copy your day-to-day wardrobe so you don't feel completely out of your comfort zone on the treadmill.
Time to 'workout' your fitness style.
Go with the glow
You normally wear: Bright clothing and accessories that virtually require sunglasses. You'd describe your personal style as anti-wallflower.
Workout wardrobe: Nobody wants to look like Mr Motivator, but colourful workout gear can instantly put some bounce into your step. Pump up the volume with neon if you really want to stand out in the gym crowd.
Go for a statement running jacket or top, or introduce brights the subtle way, through strategically-placed panels on clothing or a pair of eye-catching trainers.
The high-vis look is especially suited to outdoor runners who want to stand out on dark wintry nights.
Game, set and match
You normally wear: Highly co-ordinating pieces, like suits or matching tops and skirts. You'd never dream of wearing mis-matched underwear.
Workout wardrobe: Look instantly put-together at the gym with matchy-matchy pieces for a streamlined look.
It's the ideal kit if you love black, but want to add colour through block panels or bold print. Colours don't have to match; it might be that a feature detail carries through from trousers to top.
Co-ordinating gym gear is ideal if you're more of a studio junkie and want to look top of the class in Bodypump or Tabata.
The bling ring
You normally wear: Lots of jewellery. Whether it's shiny silver or rose gold, you are the ultimate fashion magpie.
Workout wardrobe: Sparkle may be a touch OTT for the gym but metallics have transferred to workout wear and trainers.
Channel the Olympians with gold, silver or bronze statement pieces to inject some gloss into your gear. They're the easy way to look glam, even if you're red faced and sweaty.
Avoid wearing top-to-toe metallics and make it a molten flash with a sports bra worn under a gym top, or shiny panels on a running jacket that double up as reflectors.
Metallics are more flattering in matte fabrics, if you're worried about adding bulk to your frame.
Play it safe
You normally wear: Black, black and more black. You rarely stray far from safe, neutral colours in your wardrobe.
Workout wardrobe: Fitness gear doesn't have to be obvious. Don't be afraid to wear all-black for working out, but try adding a flash of bold colour, through a bright sports watch or even the laces on your trainers.
If you're more of a yoga bunny, grey and white are great neutrals to base your look around, in fabrics with stretch fit to allow total freedom of movement for flexible poses.
You'll also find classic grey marl works well with neon detail trims that are still safe but chic.
Fit kit fundamentals
Once you've got the gym ball rolling with your workout look, ensure you've got the basics sussed with author of The Exercise Bible, Joanna Hall's expert guide:
:: Sports bra: Look for high-wicking fabrics, which offer ventilation and directional support. Outer-style bras (worn as part of exercise clothing) tend to compress more.
:: Socks: As you get older, you lose the protective pads on your feet, so sports socks can provide protection as well as comfort. Looks for pairs that offer durability but allow your feet to breathe.
:: Long-sleeve tee: Great for outdoor workouts when the temperature is still cool.
:: Short sleeved airtex: When temperatures warm up, look for materials that allow your skin to breathe, drawing your body's sweat away from your skin.
:: Long trousers: Look for a material with stretch that accommodates your movement.
:: Shorts: Don't be afraid to get your pins out! Lycra can provide a lot of stretch and freedom of movement as you exercise.
:: Waterproof jacket: Lightweight shower jackets are useful for rainy days. Choose one that's waterproof to keep you really dry.
:: Hat: A baseball-style cap can keep your hair out of your eyes and sun off your face and head.
Get the look
Myleene Klass nails the art of retro cool on the red carpet. Emulate her monochrome look with the Myleene Klass for Littlewoods Fitted Pencil Dress, £73 (www.littlewoods.com).
Buy it now
Still stuck for a 2014 pledge? Try a few of the potentials listed on a sweater with Wildfox's New Years Resolution Jumper, £99 (www.asos.com).
:: Big and beautiful
No need to trawl the rails for 16+ sizes. House of Fraser is set to launch a dedicated plus-size online shop, for sizes 14-28. The department store's niche offering is aimed at fashion-conscious women, with an edited selection of the most popular plus-size ranges, including Marina Rinaldi and Anna Scholz. "We know our customers are women who want trend-led pieces and won't compromise on style or fit, so we have carefully selected an assortment of brands that together create the style conscious woman's perfect wardrobe," says Louise Bailey, womenswear brand and concession buying manager. The online store launches on March 3 at www.houseoffraser.co.uk
:: Recessionista alert
The January sales continue. Never miss a mark-down at ShopStyle.co.uk. Simply sign up for alerts on your favourite brands at www.shopstyle.co.uk/salealerts and stay one step ahead of the sales.
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