Selected: Gym gear
I have been hitting the gym hard for the last four months, trying to establish a regular routine. I already had one, but my three-times-a-week have turned into six or even seven. Meaning: I am now always doing laundry, there is always a towel drying somewhere in my room, and most importantly, I will soon be in need of new training gear.
It would be too easy to talk about the usual suspects, from Nike and adidas to Under Armour but I wanted to review instead all the activewear, gymwear or sportswear that some of the High Street brands have been including in their lines as of recently.
During my visit to Spain it became patent that this wellness mindset is now unstoppable: there were more gyms in my hometown than ever before, and everywhere you looked there was people running, cycling, hiking... Protein supplement shops were as ubiquitous as the conversations about the local cross-fit clubs, all as idyllic and scary as it sounds. When I was a teenager there was only two gyms, and they were for people who actually trained as gymnasts, in the Louis Smith sense.
These changes in our behaviour have not passed unnoticed to retail brands, that have seen the gap in the market to also provide their customers with clothes and accessories for their fitness needs, adding style, celebrities' inspiration and a whole lot of tight lycra.
Under Armour's compression gear range is still the best out there in my opinion, and I could not recommend it more as the base layer for your gym training outfit, but there is a lot more out there.
For example, H&M presented their For Every Victory collection in June ahead of the Rio Olympics. The selection of tights, tops, jackets and shorts created in collaboration with the Swedish Olympic Team was released in July, and with the wide range of interchangeables for multiple disciplines, it is one of the best dedicated sportswear lines there has been on the High Street.
Uniqlo has always been known for the technical and innovative fabrics that are a big part of their success. Since the arrival of Christophe Lemaire, they have created a new division called UNIQLO Sports to classify and give an individual identity to their sport-dedicated pieces.
Also, the neatly packaging in plastic pouches makes it all look so very efficient. Who doesn't love that?
They have recently started sponsoring tennis players Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori, creating a range of performance wear that combines style and efficiency, all with the advantage of their quick-dry technology.
Another High Street retailer with their own dedicated sports line is Jack & Jones with their Jack & Jones Tech brand. This season, they have collaborated with Danish kayaker Jonathan Dagnæs as the brand's ambassador, creating a range of training tops, outerwear and sweats. Previous ambassadors have included footballer Kasper Schmeichel or trainer Leo Hutchinson.
The Inditex empire has also had their own activewear lines, but both Bershka's and Zara's ones are, for now, discontinued. They will probably resurface in the next few months, and if so, I will talk about them.
Now I only have to find the time in between training and laundry to actually do some shopping.