Fitness + Fashion: What to Wear When You Don’t Want to Exercise

New Balance trainers from Sportshoes.comI’m a big believer in the ‘be pretty on rest days’ mantra sported by Bangs, but while I wouldn’t advocate wearing make-up to work out – a full face of make-up plus sweat is a breakout waiting to happen – I do believe that what you wear can have an impact on your exercise routine.

In the same way that dressing in a suit can make people feel more confident, business-like and in control, so too can the right outfit make you want to step outside on a cold, rainy day to go for a run, or go to the gym after work when you really want to go home to a bottle of wine and a Great British Bake Off omnibus.

I’m not suggesting that being dressed head to toe in Stella McCartney for adidas will shave seconds off your personal best, but wearing something you look good and feel comfortable in really can make a difference to your mindset. Last year’s London Olympics demonstrated the power of appearance with many female athletes showing their personality, and patriotism, through nail art and hairstyles – my personal favourite was Team GB’s Joanna Roswell, who routinely sports brightly painted nails on and off the cycling track.

Brands like Sweaty Betty, Nike and the aforementioned McCartney/adidas collaboration are focussed on using performance fabrics (sweat-wicking, breathable and temperature regulating) to make garments that look good but are also technically brilliant, too. When I go running I wear a mix of brands but if I’m struggling with motivation, I put on the technical t-shirt I gained after completing the Bristol Half Marathon last year – because even though I might not feel like it some days, it reminds me that I can do this, because I already have.

A recent addition to my kit are these New Balance running shoes, courtesy of I’ve never purchased running shoes online before but my current pair of Asics are on their way out and I wanted a colourful pair to inspire me throughout winter. These do the trick and unlike my Asics, they’re light as a feather!

I have rubbish feet and anyone who followed me on Twitter through my half marathon training will know how I’m prone to blisters and the like, but have a guide to picking the right running shoes which narrows down trainers based on the level of support they provide – handy for an over-pronator like me.

So an admission from me – what I wear does alter the way I feel about exercise. What about you? Do you think there is a place for fashion within fitness?



  1. October 23, 2013 / 12:15 pm

    I love my brightly coloured gym kit, it makes me feel much more ‘me’ when I am doing something that is so foreign to me haha!

    Maria xxx

    • November 6, 2013 / 5:12 pm

      I love bright colours too – though I have to avoid red otherwise you wouldn’t be able to distinguish my face from my outfit after five minutes of running!

  2. October 27, 2013 / 10:28 am

    Nice work out gear definitely encourages me to get out and run! I love my brightly coloured outfit, and its good for being seen in the dark now that it’s winter too!

    • November 6, 2013 / 5:13 pm

      That’s definitely a plus! A little bit of colour/reflective detailing is better than being walked/cycled into!

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