Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Fostering a life-long love of sports

I’ve never been a sporty person, despite my best endeavours: I bought the kappa tear-off trousers, I begged for the coloured Nike Air maxes, I even had myself, at one point, decked out in a full-on Le Coq Sportif tracksuit. …

Tue, Jan 12, 2010, 12:51

   

I’ve never been a sporty person, despite my best endeavours: I bought the kappa tear-off trousers, I begged for the coloured Nike Air maxes, I even had myself, at one point, decked out in a full-on Le Coq Sportif tracksuit. Thank God those days weren’t captured on digital camera; film is so much easier to destroy than computerised evidence. So when November and December’s fashion magazines began to herald the rise of luxe sportswear, I began to worry. If terry-towelling material didn’t look good on me when I was 14 and weighed about 9 stone, it probably won’t look good on me now.

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But then I began to soften towards it. Fashion shoots – such as the above, from Vogue China (unless you can read Chinese, no point following that link), featuring Karlie Kloss and shot by Patrick Demarchelier (and via Fashion Copious) – slowly changed my mind.  What could be more politely casual than a jersey bottom with a structured black sandal?  Or a light grey marl bottom with a tight white T-shirt, black blazer and black shoes?

I put it to Twitter – what say ye to this new trend – and the responses were unequivocally negative. “Only for the very stylish under-25s,” said one, which gives me approximately four weeks during which to get very stylish and don said apparel. “So ’90s – think Mis-Teeq,” said another, reminding me of a girl band who, for a good year-and-a-half, I didn’t entirely hate.

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Balenciaga brought out some sportswear-inspired cuts for pre-fall 2010 (via WomensWearDaily - which, from an industry point of view, is worth subscribing to. It’ll set you back $99 a year, but you’ll have access to everything and, for me at least, it’s proving pretty invaluable) which, paired with almost robot-esque footwear, are stoking a fire somewhere deep in my fashion consciousness.

I guess the problem with Ireland embracing this sportswear trend is that it’s not very novel to us. Spend time in any other European capital, and you’ll see that Ireland is unique in its population’s tendency to wear sportswear outside the gym. There’s a reason we think Parisian ladies look so chic: they don’t do casualwear. If I’m heading down to the Credit Union (DANG! forgot again, stupid opening hours!) for a quick 10 minutes, I’m likely to throw on a pair of jeans, flat shoes and a loose T-shirt. I have never seen a Parisian woman in battered jeans, converse and a loose T-shirt, or at least not without all three being designer and without a full face of maquillage.

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My advice? Accept it, this trend is going to catch on. It might not be as noticeable in Ireland, what with the fact that any street in any town is awash with grey jersey at the best of times, but it is something that I, personally, am planning on trying. But I’ll be going the Asos route (above) and saving my pennies for fancy footwear, should any more of it come my way.

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