When I first started working out I always wore basic black. It was the easiest thing to roll out of bed, jam on a pair of leggings and a top and leave for the gym or a run without worrying about things mismatching or standing out. As I got more confident about my exercise abilities I began to seek out louder workout gear, items that made me feel great as well as performing properly. By the time I started doing Crossfit even the instructors began to comment on my seemingly endless array of patterned leggings and matching / artfully clashing trainers, it was a proud moment indeed when one trainer said I was the best dressed woman at Crossfit. But not as proud as the moment I managed my first T2B (toes to bar).
Sadly, many of the items of clothing available on the market aren’t that inspired and definitely cater to the customer I was five years ago when I just wanted to slip under the radar in basic black. It’s hard to find exercise gear that really stands out and does the technical bit too. I haunt the Nike running shop in Covent Garden but often find it uninspiring and a bit same-y, Sweaty Betty sometimes produces a colourful outfit, Stella McCartney for Adidas is way too expensive and overly flouncy. I have found Black Milk a good source of out there leggings for the gym (but alas they aren’t quite so comfortable for long runs) and Sports Direct, whilst not glamorous, is always good for a rummage for cheap Nike kit and high vis jackets (when you’re training for a marathon in the winter months you need more than one).
So when I was in Australia last year the discovery of Lorna Jane was one I embraced wholeheartedly. Patterned leggings and matching bra tops, singlets with inspirational quotes to get you going, vests with a bit of detail and neat accessories like headbands that actually stay put all went into my suitcase home. The company have recently started to sell their wares in the UK and for a fortnight recently opened a pop up store where I couldn’t resist a rather fabulous floral zip up shell for the winter months that will soon be upon us. I have only one complaint – why is so much of the stuff handwash only?