Thought Sportswear Was Just For The Gym? Think Again. Here’s Why It’s Having A Fashion Moment…

Fashion Features Director Victoria Moss explains why cool, quirky sportswear is having a serious fashion moment – and the best bit is – it’s totally affordable.

If you hate being all trussed up and uncomfortable on a night out, take a leaf out of Cara Delevingne’s book and work a statement tracksuit. The model of the moment wore a two-piece by Aussie label Mink Pink (available at Urban Outfitters) to last weekend’s Virgin Media V Festival.

Yep, it’s time to ditch those heels and embrace your Nike Air Max. Here’s how sportswear got cool again…

Rolling with the homies
Earlier this year, Brian Lichtenberg struck fashion gold with his tongue-in-cheek bright orange sweatshirts emblazoned with the word ‘Homies’. The sweatshirt’s cheeky riff on the famous Hermes packaging and font was embraced by fashion girls (Rihanna) and psyched up by the stylishly cool level of irony which brilliantly reinvented 90s logo-mania with a knowing 2013 wink. The trend has gained incredible pace, with countless brands springing forward with a trademark wit to their wording.

Ones to watch
Alongside their online dedicated ‘Sweatshirt shop’ channel, in Browns Focus’s brand spanking new space, half the basement floor is dedicated to these young upstarts. Show your allegiance to your favourite designer by sporting one of Le Plus Dores NYC’s American football inspired tees (We’re team Tisci) or Conflict of Interest’s ‘Niu Niu York’ and ‘Brawlmain’monochrome tees. Whilst hot new brand Filles a Papa have whipped up the gorgeously bold ‘Tomboy’ slogan tees which are primed to be paired with your favourite baggy denims.

Embracing trainers
For winter, the hottest shoe to work your circle skirt with isn’t a towering stiletto, but a pair of trainers. Seen everywhere on the AW13 catwalks (at Italian classic MaxMara the entire collection was styled with them while Givenchy and Celine have both created skater style slip-ons), and now even netaporter.com are selling Nikes (though get in quick, they’re down to the last few sizes of the awesome black and white leather Air Max).

Thank the recession
So where did this penchant for low key, sportswear come from? Essentially it’s a trend straight out of the recession. Trainers, cotton t-shirts and sweaters are cheap, easy to produce and can be priced accordingly: yes they might be a smidge above Topshop prices, but they’re still a manageable treat. For start-up brands, it’s a bit of a no-brainer, they create an instantly recognizable image which is perfect for our fashion blog friendly times – striking standout pieces make for the strongest and most imitated street style looks.

Whilst for designer brands, a statement sweatshirt has become the new entry level point for people buying into the brand – earning them keen, aspirational customers who are all over an accessible style hit (when Humberto Leon and Carol Lim launched their Kenzo Tiger-face printed sweater it was fashion pandemonium to get hold of one).

Bambi’s back
Of course, as ever, it’s not all cheap thrills. Givenchy had the front row itching over their brilliant Bambi emblazoned sweater – the not so thrilling price? They’re over £800. The not so shocking news? They’ve already sold out. Browns have a waiting list of over 100 baying fans for their next delivery. How fashion.

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