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HOW TO PULL OFF THE SPORTS LUXE LOOK
Sports luxe. A seemingly contradictory style genre that brings together opposing ensemble staples into one cohesive look, but what is it, and more pressingly, how can you pull it off?
The New Casual
Sports luxe, if these MandM Direct UK reviews are a good indicator, is a trend that simply isn’t going away, so if you have been looking for a new way to embrace a high-end but casual look, this could be for you. As long as you don’t fall into the trap of focusing entirely on the ‘sports’ element, while allowing the luxe contingent to languish on the sidelines. Essentially, sports luxe aims to capture an effortless feel with a nod to athletic clothing thrown in. It’s about looking well put together, comfortable and fashion conscious. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, if you adhere to a few golden rules.
Focus on Fit
Unlike a lot of sportswear, you are not looking for a glut of slouchy or oversized cuts here. Instead, you want to invest in key pieces that help to carve an overall streamlined silhouette, so if a relaxed top is in the mix, you need to balance it with a close-fitting bottom. Tapered legs, thin materials and darker colours will help. An example of a perfectly-put-together sports luxe outfit with the right proportions would be a comfortable fine-gauge knit jumper paired with a tapered leg high-end jogging-style trouser (that you actually wouldn’t be comfortable running in). Clean fashion trainers finish the look well, without going overboard on the sporty side.
The Gym is Not Your Catwalk
Always try to remember that you are not trying to wear head-to-toe sportswear. You are not creating a designer gym look, but a street-friendly aesthetic that nods to classic sports motifs and influences with an expensive and upmarket vibe. A good rule of thumb is to choose a single ‘hero’ item then accessorise around it. A branded sports T-shirt makes for an easy-to-work-with central piece and can be dressed up or down according to occasion. Working with everything from jersey shorts through to stretch technical trousers, there are no limits to the sports luxe possibilities based around a simple tee.
Decide What Luxe Means to You
With the sports part of sports luxe taken care of, it’s time to turn your attention to the more exclusive and eye-catching elements. While luxe doesn’t necessarily have to mean expensive, pieces that fall into this category should allude to a certain level of designer chic. Tailored coats, on-point facial grooming and understated jewellery are all excellent ways to inject some elegance into a sporty ensemble, as are upmarket bags and the perfect sunglasses. If you have a relatively generous budget, investing in one must-have designer accessory from this season will give you an easy go-to for upping the luxe in your look.
It’s not news that your shoes can make or break an otherwise perfectly executed outfit, but in terms of sports luxe, it's even more pertinent. Opt for something too athletic and you’ll tip the balance into the realms of too casual, but go too smart and you look as though you ran out of decent shirts to wear to the office and just grabbed a hoodie instead. It’s a delicate balancing act but there is an easy way to get it right. When you know what you are wearing on your bottom half, contrast your shoes. For example, if you are choosing a tapered jogger, a chic loafer is excellent. Conversely, if you have tailored joggers on, a fresh pair of fashion sneakers will add a pop of youthful and sporty exuberance. The contrast will keep your overall balance in check and stop you from pivoting too far on one definitive style direction.
Play with Textures
One of the most fun elements of sporty clothing are the fabrics that come into play. Covering everything from stretchy to shiny, reflective and, dare we say it, perforated, you have a lot of textures to work with. When you add in the luxe playbook of materials as well, you can start to get a feel for how much enjoyment there is to be had mixing and matching. The interplay of something traditionally upmarket, such as tweed, with a relatively everyday material like jersey might sound odd, but it works well so don’t be afraid to experiment. How about cashmere and neoprene? Angora and spandex? Fashion is meant to be expressive and experimental, so don’t be a passive bystander.
Add Your Own Style
So, you’ve pulled together a few perfectly harmonious sports luxe looks – now what? It’s time to put your individual stamp on them and make them work for you. This is also a good moment to talk about grooming, as you don’t want to make your clothes work harder to overshadow sloppy hair styling or facial hair. The good news is that top knots, short and mid-length hair all work, but you really want to keep those beards looked after. Other than that, you need to think about how you normally like to dress and what you like to have out on display. Got a tattoo sleeve? Consider rolling your tops up to a three-quarter arm length to let your ink fly. Are you known for particular pieces of jewellery? Make sure you keep them in the rotation. These defining characteristics don’t need to be hidden when you embrace a new style, they need to compliment your existing vibe and adapt to it.
Sports luxe is a great way to tap into the smart-casual realms of everyday fashion, without needing to have suit pieces on standby. Easy to smarten or slacken, this aesthetic offers you an incredible amount of freedom and versatility, and can easily take you from day to night when executed properly. What’s not to love?