Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

#Fitspiration in fashion

If there’s one thing I like about working out, it’s planning what to wear while I do it – but it can be tough to get out of the Nike / Adidas / Reebok uniform of loud slogans and OTT logos. Here are some stylish, unbranded sportswear options.

Thu, Aug 15, 2013, 07:30


Has it become acceptable to hashtag outside of Twitter these days? I’m a mere hop, skip and jump away from saying it out loud, “hashtag ‘getalife’”, Shit Girls Say style.

My newfound obsession with finding fitspiration on Instagram has taken me to some very interesting places – much deeper into the world of female bodybuilding than I needed to go, for example – but one of the things I’ve noticed along the way is that the coolest chicks have the coolest workout gear, and I’m not talking about branded gear with “JUST DO IT” screaming from every seam (although I do quite want these leggings). If you want to go where I’ve gone, check out my recently followed on Instagram – you’ll find me @rosemarymaccabe.

Anyway, I’ve decided that it’s going to be my personal quest – for the next wee while anyway – to find some seriously cool and unusual workout gear, the less branded the better. My thoughts? If I’m going to be advertising your brand for you, I’m going to be getting paid for it. Otherwise I’d like to take my goods logo-free, ta.

I asked Twitter yesterday and there were some great suggestions thrown up – Lululemon and Sweaty Betty being two – but some good old-fashioned research has yielded a few more. So without further ado, here’s where you can go to get your fashionable fitspo fix.

Sweaty Betty (top image)

UK-based website whose founder wears Isabel Marant and Ash trainers with her super-cool quasi workout gear. What’s not to love? They have a huge range of super-cool workout gear with a fabulous lack of logos, and customer reviews mean it’s extra tough to make a mistake when it comes to size or fit. At £40-plus for a yoga vest, these duds don’t come cheap – but if fitness is your thing they may be worth the investment.


Surprised? Don’t be. Dunnes Stores has come a long way from fleecy hoodies and flared tracksuit bottoms, and you can find some really top-notch workout gear with clever little details like reflective piping and rear zips for a fraction of the price you’d pay at the dedicated sports shops. You can even shop online, to boot. This zip-up will set you back €25, while the leggings are €20. Bargainous.

Forever 21

This is another one that came up in the Twitter search, and not somewhere I would have considered, despite the to-ing and fro-ing I’ve had regarding the US import. There’s a great selection of activewear for a variety of pursuits – see above for an example, and there are some great, bright, logo-less bits.

This top (€12.75) comes in a variety of colours, and even has those handy thumb-holes that “real athletes” love – they keep your hands warm and stop your sleeves riding up – and they have more leggings than you could shake a sporty stick at. This pair is €21.75 and I love the sporty colour block.


Maybe this is an obvious one, but it’s hard to beat Penneys when it comes to selection and, in most cases, price. This vest top is €8 and the leggings are €9, and while I wouldn’t say they’d survive a robust workout schedule and frequent machine-washing, they’re a good shout for beginners, and you don’t need to worry about anyone knowing where they’re from (unless they’ve bought the same ones).


Another one from Twitter, Lululemon has been on my radar in some form or another for a few months, although I’ve never actually had a good trawl through the site until this week. (What can I say? I read a lot of semi-sporty magazines – Zest and Self are my faves.) There’s a strong yoga focus with some running bits thrown in for good measure, and the designs are backed up by technology to keep you cool / warm / compressed etc, something that is reflected in the prices – a racerback vest will set you back €55. For that price you get moisture-wicking fabric and concealed seams to prevent chafing, so the price could well be worth it for the serious runners among you.

Quads not Included

Here’s one Instagram threw up: a leggings collection designed and sold by an American body builder, Jill Rudison. They seem to be favoured by the weightlifting Instagrammers, and they sure make a nice change from plain ol’ black and navy. Plus, at $30, they’re a darn sight cheaper than Black Milk (the closest equivalent I can think of).

Happy shopping, sports fans!

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