Sporty Luxe went mainstream a few years ago, and has grown into one of the biggest trends of our fashion era. Judging by what I saw coming down the catwalks for Fall & Winter 2014 and Resort 2015, it is only gaining momentum. We’ve reached the point where we can create a completely fashionable outfit based on items from sporting goods stores like Lululemon, Adidas and Nike. What was considered a faux pas ten years ago has become on trend today. And surprisingly, Sporty Luxe is probably the most popular trend among designers for their personal style.
Sporty Luxe comes through in all sorts of clothing items, colours, footwear styles, garment details, fabrications, and accessories. On the clothing side there are bomber jackets, trackpants, upscale anoraks, hoodies, leggings, silky trackpants, upscale sweatshirts, cotton knitwear, baseball shorts, baseball tops, rugby stripes and rugby jerseys. There are fashionable backpacks, webbing belts and haute baseball caps for accessories. Mesh insets, parachute fabric, neoprene, nylon, perforated textures, colour blocking, and drawstring details add a sporty touch to all wardrobe items. Neon and optical white have been given a new lease on life because of this trend. And sneakers — heeled or flat, chunky or sleek, slip-on or laced, neutral or bright — make up the largest component of the sporty trend. Check out my pinterest board on sneaker style, and the links to athletic sneakers outside the gym that Inge provided a few weeks ago.
The sporty trend is in keeping with our age of casualization and our increasing requirement for comfort and practicality. The trend is also relatable across genders, ages, lifestyles, budgets, body types and style personas. These factors are at the core of its unstoppable power.
Outfits can be made up of multiple sporty pieces, or just a single item — like a sneaker or backpack — that adds a relaxed and modern touch. Irregular juxtaposition is key with this trend because sporty items are often remixed with dressier pieces to create a jarring combination in a manner that has come to define 2014 fashion. The photos below give a taste of what I mean.
My clients are embracing the sporty trend with more gusto each year as they discover ways of incorporating pieces that feel right for their style. For some it’s the full on sporty look from head to toe with silky trackpants, a partially tucked big tee, sneakers and a bomber jacket. Others prefer the addition of sporty cotton knitwear, upscale sweatshirts, and rugby stripes with jeans and sandals. Some like combining a pencil skirt with upscale sweatshirts and pumps, layering a bomber jacket over a sheath dress, or wearing heels with trackpants. And some are into wearing sneakers with dresses and skirts, and will throw in the backpack.
I don’t have an athletic bone in my body and bat for Team Dressy all the way, yet I absolutely love the Sporty Luxe Trend. The comfort factor is liberating, and the juxtaposition screams Modern to me. We can truly “never say never” when it comes to fashion and style.
I can appreciate just about any Sporty Luxe outfit on others when it’s been put together with fashionable intention. For my own style, I like to keep things very simple and crisp, and have to add in the “pretty”. I was all over the bomber jacket in soft fabrications like lace as soon as it resurfaced. I bought a pair of silk ink blue trackpants that I wear with a sparkly top and dressy gold heels. I can’t seem to get my fill of sporty cotton knitwear, especially in white. I wear upscale sweatshirts in an assortment of stripes. I wear mesh tops and neon, and am very fond of my casual colour blocked black and white jacket. I recently bought a white perforated leather belt from Nike and added a refined white leather backpack to my handbag capsule. And Jerry Seinfeld would be proud that I added a pair of super comfortable, white athletic sneakers to my Summer look. I’m wearing those sneakers sans socks and with tucked away laces, with jeans or chinos that are rolled at the hems, baggy denim shorts or shorter dresses to make them look modern and fashionable.
Over to you. Which components of the sporty trend have you incorporated into your style? Has your like or dislike for the trend surprised you? If the sporty luxe trend is not your thing, can you appreciate the look on others? Or is the juxtaposition of dressy and sporty just too jarring?