Zoom on a trend – Sporty


Editorial via Teenvogue, BCBG, Vera Wang, Philip Lim, Victoria Beckham, Alexander Wang and Rag & Bone via Vogue.com

From wetsuit leotard to bright red parkas, athletics inspired style got popular last summer and it’s even bigger this year. To be completely honest, I hated it at first and it is still not one of my favorite trends. For those who are not tall and lean, this type of style is tricky to pull off since the outcome can either look too overwhelming for our body or it can make us look like a 12 years old tomboy.  After seeing several editorials, it has grown on me and I’ve come to a conclusion: Sporty style can be wearable if we tone it down and mix it with more feminine silhouettes and casual fabrics ! : )


Color palette Sporty style 2012 usually always consists of punchy hues. With primary colors as a base, you can add more trendy colors like turquoise, coral or tangerine.  Wearing a white outfit with colourful accents is always a great way to amp up the look to avoid the simple color-blocking path. Only a dash of black in your outfit  is enough.

Shapes The silhouettes are usually more boxy and strong than usual clothes. It’s usually bringing a balance by mixing extremely oversized parkas with leggings to bustier tops with large running pants. Or it’s wearing a semi-fitted tee, sleek trousers and sexy ankle booties. Personnally, I wouldn’t reccomend going the opposite way which is baggy from head to toe. If it looks absurd on a 6 feet tall model in a magazine or on the runway, than it is probably not for us.

Must be sporty The key details you often notice in sporty style: Fishnet/Openwork/Mesh (noticeable, larger than usual holes), parkas, wetsuit inspired, cliche tennis inspired, one single print as an accent or none, high tops (with a wedge or not), big watches, statement jewelry (large bangles or big necklaces) and visors or caps

Necessity-only Don’t feel like you need to renew your whole wardrobe. Just purchase a few items that will totally bring your outfit from ordinary to sport territory. What I reccommend:

  • A watch: whether it is neon orange in a jelly material or a big white one, it’ll definitely add some sport-y-ness
  • A few big bangles – awesome statement (if you are petite or have tiny wrists, skip this)
  • Purse: A great bag can add so much to an outfit. Look for mesh details  and/or atletic clothes  inspired colors
  • Shoes, shoes, shoes: Shoes can completely transform an outfit. High tops are very on trend this summer but if you’re like me and you’re not very fond of them, choose a pair that has a hidden wedge. For heels, choose something with modern details like mesh, peep-toe, clear material, metallic accents and even sling-back detailing or something very minimalist – sandals with a thin strap at the front and one at the ankle for example. Basically anything but your classic black pumps.
  • Clothing: Go for track pants made as trousers, pencil skirts with that same detailing on the side or a flowy dress with a modern cut and colors (see the BCBG one above). A parka is a more daring choice but a summery hued one can be a great addition to the wardrobe especially if you live somewhere with unpredictable weather.

Clockwise starting from Stella McCartney red heels, backpack, bag, Asos dress, heels, Nicholas Kirkwood for Prabal Gurung heels, parka, Watch, high tops w/ wedge, Mango dress, Rag and Bone heels


  • Do mix sporty fashion with more feminine details in fabrics (silk, satin, etc.) and in textures (pleats)
  • Don’t go overboard on the boxy silhouettes
  • Don’t go overboard on prints – Choose one if you have to because sporty style emphasizes on sleekness and minimalism. It’s about making a statement with the colors, the textures and the shapes, not your grandmother’s polka dots.

Runway to real way

It’s important to look at high fashion and know how to make it wearable for everyday – this tip applies to all trends.

Look #1 – Efforlessly chic

Forever 21, Forever 21, Dolce Vita

Cutout or net tanks are breathable and high low hemlines are super trendy. As shown on the runway, this outfit can be a great cover-up for your bikini but you can layer a bandeau or a tank top underneath the mesh top if you are just walking in the city. Finish off with an oversized clutch and a pair of unexpected white sandals rather than the typical tan or black colors. Add a pop of orange with jewlery or a skinny belt to keep up the sporty vibe.

Look #2 – It’s all business

Jcrew, Nordstrom and Zara

It might not seem like it but this is very work-friendly. Instead of ruched eletric blue pants that are very hard to pull off, go for a trouser style. Go for a pure white color and not an off-white for the shirt because  you don’t want to soften the look. If you feel bold, choose track pants instead! Yes those pants that have a line on the side..instead of juicy couture velvet loungewear, go for a pair of trousers that are made in a sporty style. White heels and red accessories will make your outfit more modern.

Look #3 – Subtly ladylike

Quicksilver, Jcrew, See by Chloe – cool pair -> Asos

 The key here is to tone down the strong silhouettes. Choose a light summer white hoodie or sweater and layer with a dress or skirt. Paring a boxy top with a fitted skirt gives a nice balance. For a more feminine ensemble, wear high tops with a hidden wedge which are a must for sporty style or modern nude heels with interesting details. Opt for a sandal or platform version if you are going to the beach.

Look #4 – The modern woman

Zara, Nordstrom, Zara

Perfect look  for brunching with friends or for a relaxed day at the office. The completely white upper body makes the skirt stand out. Your skirt should have a pencil or bodycon shape so the ensemble doesn’t look overwhelming.  If you want a more feminine vibe, wear a tweed jacket instead. Finish off with silver heels which will bring everything together beautifully.   

* Styling tip: I personnally am not head over heels for this but tying a sweater of the same color range at your waste can add an even stronger sporty vibe since people used to always to that…in the nineties or early 2000’s ^^

** Styling tip: For silver heels, I recommend something with a reasonably low heel, an almond shaped toe or something peep-toe because 5 inches-silver-pumps-kardashian-style can look very low-quality. If it still doesn’t look right, go for something slightly more on the bronze side.

Look #5 – Playful Picnic

Gap, Nasty Gal, Nordstrom, Zara

This ensemble radiates joy and youthfulness.To make sure you have a sporty vibe, choose a heather grey color for the top – it is very reminiscent of an old baseball sweater your brother would own. The skirt or the shorts should have an a-line shape – no bodycon for this one girls! Finish off with a small colorful bag, some high tops or simple sandals if you have short legs or if the weather is simply too hot for sneakers. Add a cap if you dare ; )

Other ideas:

A Spin on Sporty - Neutrals
A Spin on Sporty - Colorful

All runway pics via Vogue.com

I hope it helped! See you later! : )



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