26/06/2015
Because lycra is so in right now.

Words by

Fashion Journal

If you haven't heard of Stylerunner, we don't know what to say to you. Hello? Welcome to 2015?

The e-commerce giant is completely dominating the sportswear industry, stocking a plethora of activewear labels that value style as much as functionality. In other words, they're all things sports luxe.

Clearly an expert in the field, Stylerunner co-founder Sali Stevanja had a chat to the FJ team, about just how to nail this tricky trend. 

What is sports luxe? How do you define it? 

Sport luxe is all about mixing fashion forward sportswear with everyday wardrobe items. However, you do need to do it with some form of finesse. 

How can we nail the sports luxe trend? 

It’s all about the way you tie the look together. Some carry off a really cool, understated sports luxe look by having a key sportswear piece like stand-out leggings with a really on trend print. They’ll then marry it back with basics like denim and leather or even a plain white tee. Whereas the daring go over the top with big, bold allover prints; it becomes more about their accessories and attitude that help nail the style. 

Apart from the gym, in what other places do you wear sports gear? 

When I was working at Stylerunner I practically lived in sports gear. From coffee / lunch catch-ups to dinner dates or the boardroom, I was always in some form of lycra. I guess that is because I was completely immersed in that world.

Leaving and starting my new project with Poppy Renegade, I tend to now only wear sports gear to the gym and when running around for errands. 

Jeans and runners. How do we get it right and how do we get it wrong? 

These days is there really any wrong? If pairing with jeans I love to roll the hem up and pair with kicks like New Balance trainers or Stan Smiths by adidas Originals. If I need a little extra height I can’t go pass Nike High Tops.

Trends come and go. Do you think sports luxe is here to stay?

I think it is here to stay for a long while yet. People are time poor and as life continues to get busier, our need for efficiency grows stronger. Women especially love the ease of sports luxe. It means you can drop the kids off at school, run your errands, grab a coffee, then hit the gym without having to change. The fact brands are continuing to lift the bar with functionality and fashion-forward designs will only continue to help push this market forward. 

Sports luxe style icons? 

Nicole Richie for stepping out in sportswear + a leather jacket. I’m obsessed with that look. 

Hair and beauty looks to match our sports luxe outfits?  

Messy top knots are always on trend and I love a fishtail braid. As for make-up, keeping it fresh and dewy is always beautiful, but if you are wanting to take it from day to night, a little bright lippy can do no wrong. 

What’s the best way to mix high and low designers in sports luxe? 

I love investing in a good statement piece like a stand out jacket, but the most important investment you can make is a good pair of leggings. You can’t afford to go as cheap as you want, to ensure they don’t leave you in a compromising situation when you are mid downward dog or out on the town.  

Buying tees and tanks at cheaper price points so that you can buy more often is a great way to keep your workout wardrobe looking current and fresh. 

Do you think the sports luxe trend is actually making us eat healthier and exercise more? 

I think when you wear activewear you are definitely more conscious of being more healthy and active. Most people would tend to opt for the healthy smoothie over hot chips if they are ordering food in sports gear! 

Why do you think the sports luxe trend has resonated so well with the fashion industry? 

It came at a time when Nike was really pushing the boundaries with Nike Frees – they were coming out in amazing colourways and activewear was just not keeping up. The collaboration of adidas and Stella McCartney was also a brilliant move. It really helped shape the expectations of consumers wanting more from their workout wear. It’s no longer about looking daggy when working out, social media has helped us have a sense of pride in the way we look and that includes the way we dress when breaking out a sweat! 

How would you transform an outfit at the gym to drinks at night?

Leggings are the easiest to transform – tie it together with heels, a relaxed plain tee or muscle tank and a leather jacket – accessorise to finish the look. For something more understated, pair skinny leg jeans with a muscle tank, heels and a clutch. 

You can catch Sali at the upcoming Online Retailer Conference & eCOmmerce Expo and keep an eye out for her next project Poppy Renegade.

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