There’s one area of my life with which I eternally struggle, and one which I imagine many of you ambitious jazz fans identify with; The desire to get – and stay – incredibly, intensely, awe-strikingly FIT.
It’s a good desire; a desire to be nurtured and fed, and welcomed freely into one’s everyday psyche. After all, we’re all old enough & wise enough now to realise exercise is a positive lifestyle choice. And frankly, you ain’t gonna get Michelle Obama’s arms from purely refusing the bread basket every time it comes round.
(Though, honestly, I find it hard to believe that people cut bread out of their diets anyway – not only is the the Original Food of mankind (probably), wasn’t it also God who ‘gives us our daily bread’? No-one refuses an offering from God. Not even a heathen like me.)
So, exercise is a must. A given. And actually quite fun once you get into it… But there is one problem I encounter whenever I decide to enter into a ‘work out’, and it can often be one that is so acute that it prevents me from acting on this decision, and thus traps me in that group of people who huff and puff after climbing one flight of stairs.
The problem is that I like clothes. Too much. And the idea of dedicating a couple of hours in my day to wearing something unflattering & misshapen (which more often than not is the case, given the frequency with which gym clothes are washed) when I could be giving air time to that excellent new jumpsuit weeping quietly for a wearing in the back of my wardrobe is a dilemma that often eats at my very soul.
Vain? Yes, I suppose I am, really; there’s no denying it. But I also really just like clothes!! Insomuch that eating a stale sandwich is a waste of the opportunity of encountering a tasty meal at lunch time (you only get 3 a day; savour them), wearing crap gym clothes seems like a wasted opportunity for a sartorial statement. There’s a serious gap in the market here…
Luckily, when I was last in London, I spoke of my workout woes to my companion who bides there, and she introduced me to something that was rather a revelation; a shop that makes a good attempt at filling this giant gym fashion chasm… Sweaty Betty.
Vintage inspired sports wear?? Suddenly I’m feeling energised!!
Sweaty Betty team clever materials & ingenious craftsmanship (such as fashioning vests from machines used to make tights in order to create a seamless & therefore comfortable garment) with an understanding of flattering cuts & the essential features needed in any garment you plan to sweat and stretch profusely in. They also make subtle nods towards current trends in their collections, through statement prints on their running leggings & gorgeous yoga jumpsuits.
Yet, it’s the attention to detail that really makes their wares special; and for the first time I see sportswear aimed at women which recognises femininity without resorting to the colour pink. It’s the understated ruffles on hems, pleats on skirts & drapery tanks that really steal the show. My particular favourite being the puff shoulders in the see through waterproof running jacket.
Impressive, no? I’d feel quite happy to potter about daily in this gear; Sweaty Betty, you’ve got my stamp of approval!
L – R: Disco Tee, Sweat It Over Vest and Garudasana Catsuit
There’s a lot in this shop (which is sadly, rather expensive) I’ve whacked on my wishlist, so I’ll share a few more with you, jazz fans, and maybe you’ll feel energised enough to get that Jane Fonda workout tape out too…
L – R: Work It Shorts, Phantom Tennis, Addias by Stella McCartney Ten Perf, and Ace Tennis Top.
That’s all for today, folks. Keep your eyes peeled for our guest blogger, Anneleen, coming to this page sooon!