The New Guide to Activewear for Women

Clothing designer Stella McCartney's activewear range for Adidas. Source: Adidas

Clothing designer Stella McCartney’s activewear range for Adidas. Source: Adidas

By Olivia Shiels

Monday May 26, 2014

 In the last couple of years, I have seen more and more people swapping jeans for leggings and sneakers and wearing  them (unapologetically) everywhere and anywhere. Lycra, once considered to be a fabric restricted to the confines of  spin class or over 40 male cyclists, is now the go-to wardrobe staple for women.

The fitness fashion trend

Recently, a girlfriend confided in me over coffee about her ‘new addiction’. Expecting a confession about finding comfort in alcohol, gambling or carbs- I was surprised to hear her family was on the brink of staging an intervention for her obsession with active wear.

Sure enough, there she was looking guilty sitting across from me in form fitting leggings, the latest style of runners and a designer sports jacket. There’s no doubt there is an appeal in slipping into leggings rather than skinny jeans threatening to cut off blood circulation, but is wearing clothes intended for exercise a bit, well…lazy? Absolutely not!

Activewear to inspire you to  Source: Popsugar

Activewear to inspire you to get…active.
Source: Popsugar

Where is it acceptable to wear gym clothes?

In a world where we are trying to fit more into our days, women are seeking practical, comfortable clothing and as a result the traditional rules of clothing are blurring.

Australian activewear brands such as Lorna Jane and Running Bare are jumping on the lucrative sportswear market and sales are going through the roof as they cater for both stylish and sporty women’s clothing.

You can move seamlessly between the gym and coffee with the girls by choosing a nice pair of leggings, jacket and comfortable shoes, without being mistaken for an 80’s aerobic instructor.

They’ve got you covered.

Don’t be put off by the “active” part of active wear. This trend truly caters to all shapes and sizes. There is even a garment named the Bootywrap designed for the sole purpose of covering your behind if you’re not comfortable squeezing your toosh into tight leggings.

I encourage all women to start replacing their tired trackies with a some fresh spandex and embrace this wonderful fashion phenomenon while it lasts.



By Olivia Shiels

Monday May 26, 2014


We all know the feeling. The disturbing buzz of your alarm goes off, aggressively rousing you from a pleasant dream. You lie there for a moment as the reality of the busy day ahead sets in. The list of things to do run through your mind before you’ve even left bed. The demands of the day seem too great and the warmth of your bed tempts you to just roll over and push the snooze button. 

 I understand this well as it’s a routine I’ve fallen into before. Feeling overwhelmed by the day ahead is a downright unpleasant feeling and a negative habit to get into. The first waking hours are precious and can determine how the rest of the day will map out. It’s amazing the difference it can make by changing few aspects of your morning routine.

centre the mind, body and soul.  Source: stephynow

centre the mind, body and soul.
Source: stephynow

What is the best time to wake up?

It’s important to set your body clock by rising at the same time each morning. For most people, waking at 6 o’clock offers the best results. Of course, this won’t work unless you are tucked up at reasonable hour too. Make sure you are in bed with your phone, laptop and any other technology switched off by 10 o’clock at night.

Exercise is key

Cold, dark mornings in Winter can make it particularly difficult to convince yourself to work out in the morning. Telling yourself you will feel better after you exercise sometimes doesn’t cut it. Set yourself personal goals and creative ways to motivate you. Maybe you want to feel great in a new dress for the weekend, or you could reward yourself with a new breakfast idea post-workout. Whatever it is, find a way to make yourself look forward to getting up.

Fresh is best!  Source: popsugar

Fresh is best!
Source: popsugar

Eat a healthy breakfast

A nutritious, well-balanced breakfast is essential to starting your day well. Your body needs to be fuelled to be able to tackle the tasks ahead! Steer clear of sugary cereals and spreads to avoid an energy slump before lunchtime. Choosing high fibre foods such as oats, whole meal bread and fruits will keep you full and powered throughout the day. If you’re not a breakfast person, try a fresh fruit smoothie. Smoothie mixes can be prepared ahead and frozen to save time. Try this delicious and easy banana, almond and date shake for a sweet start.

Visualize the day

This is one of the simplest methods you can adopt to ensure you achieve all that you want. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine how you would like the day to unfold. Think of the most important things you would like to do. This will give you focus and help keep you on track. The quiet hours of the morning allow you to map out your day without interruption and are often one of the only times you can reflect in silence.

Knock over difficult tasks first

There is usually one thing we have to do each day that we don’t look forward. The best thing you can do to minimise the stress and procrastination involved in avoiding it is to get it out of the way early. Knock over your least desirable tasks first thing and you won’t spend the rest of the day worrying about it. You are more likely to be ‘switched on’ and able to handle problems in the morning rather than at 3 o’clock in the afternoon when you could be lacking energy.