Why is women’s sportswear so impractical and which brands are breaking the mould?*

Wimbledon, the world’s
most famous tennis tournament, has been and gone for another year. If you
missed it, you missed a fortnight of top-class sport, a second title success
for Great Britain’s Andy Murray and a 22nd grand slam championship for the
amazing Serena Williams. Those were the headlines from the two-week event, but
there were also others – including criticism of a new dress from Nike.
The sportswear giants drew
flak for its £75 Premier Slam dress, which was deemed impractical in this article
by the Guardian
. ‘When
I was serving, it was coming up and I felt like the dress was just everywhere,’
commented Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson in the New York Times. Some players liked the outfit, others opted
to switch for an alternative.

Sportswear that is
impractical for the female wearer is not a particularly new phenomenon. The
website Bustle recently presented a selection of ‘puzzling
pieces of women’s gym apparel’, which included a pair of cashmere ‘track pants’
– flesh coloured – and a ‘casual athletic jumpsuit’ which looked suitable for
lounging around watching box sets but not for anything remotely sporty.
Thankfully, there are
sports brands out there which are managing to combine style with practicality.
Here are three that are well worth checking out the next time you’re looking to
update the sportier side of your wardrobe.
Perhaps more commonly seen as a lifestyle brand, Superdry has surged into the
sportswear market with great success. Its range of women’s gym clothes is eye-catching, colourful, simple and – yes –
practical. No see-through leggings or mesh-style bras here, our pick of their
selection are their hoodies which also have pockets – a modest feature which is
often overlooked.
Manduka Yoga
Can yoga be classed as
a sport? Why not – after all, it’s a form of exercise enjoyed by millions and
is great for body and mind. We love the range of women’s clothing from Manduka,
which is comfortable and classy. Our favourite is this Tie Back Tank, which is
loosely tied at the back and therefore looks elegant – and is perfectly suited
to wear over a crop top or vest.
Every Second Counts
‘Designed to work with
your existing wardrobe, this collection will take you from yoga to spin and all
the way to coffee afterwards,’ said Marie Claire of Every Second Counts, which was founded by a
former fashion magazine director. Sally Dixon launched the label in 2011 and
said: “If you’re wearing something that looks and feels great on you
before you even step in the gym then you’ll feel more inspired to get the most
out of your workout.”

These are three brands
dedicated to making sure sportswomen not only look good, but can perform well,

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*Post in collaboration with Jessica Foreman.

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