Gym Etiquette

There is quite a large fence in the work-out-wear world and there is no straddling of that fence. You sit distinctly on either side. One side belongs to those that feel make-up is essential: full-on face paint is accompanied by long flowing locks, skin-tight gym gear…as revealing as possible. Undoubtedly the tops are aero-dynamic and the cropped leggings absorb sweat and aid performance. That is not my side. I pole vaulted myself right over to the other team. We wear vintage school t-shirts (vintage because you last possessed them playing badminton at 14), tatty, baggy O’Neills and whatever hoody you happen to find, even if it’s your dads. Mismatched socks and sweaty, naked faces finish off the look. Bonus points if you happen across a pair of Nike rip-off tracksuit bottoms. But I think I do the same job as the gleaming lyrca brigade. I’m just not going to attract the hot gym guy.

sporting chic

i wrote some time ago about the issues around gym gear and general gym styling. i favoured the too-short, paint splattered tracksuit bottoms, with over-sized man’s t-shirt and scraped back greasy hair. well now with a personal trainer course upon me (this weekend) the style stakes have upped considerably. im quite sure i won’t be allowed into the personal trainer fraternity without the requisite lycra and compression enhancement, porous fibre optics. i have managed to solve my problem by combining it with a mission to purchase some designer-for-high-street goods. behold: christopher kane for topshop – blingin’ gym gear. sorted.


Put your hands up in the air if you have been shamed and disgraced by a cold and draconian overlord in the Ryanair queue, demanding you pay extra for baggage. Standing over you, brandishing the metal luggage contraption, features frozen in pure hate (hate for you? hate for the uniform? hate for o’leary? hate for the luggage rack? who knows. it might be mild incontinence) barking at you that your bag is too big/too long/too colourful/too old-fashioned to board this Ryanair flight without crossing his palm with some sheckles. And as you stand there, with the anger ringing in your ears and the flush creeping over your features, desperately shuffling things around about your baggage, you concede defeat and pay the damn €40.

Put your hands in the air also if you have schlepped an archaic and grotty gym bag around with you only to face a daily barrage of problems? The handle snaps, your shampoo leaks into the gaping black hole of the bag; a bag devoid of handy separating functions to prevent this exact kind of accident? Your runners don’t fit and so you carry them separately – but one day you leave them at home (thus missing your spinning class), another day you leave them at the gym (thus worrying somebody might lift them. they are the latest pair of aerodynamic-superair-max-triax-hero with inbuilt bouncability and GPS tracking technology) In fact, you might say that this bag stands in the way of you and Rihanna’s physique.

Well fear no more, I have found the perfect remedy: LeSportsac. Every size, every colour, every discernible taste. In fact, where have you been all my life? They have handy little zippered sub-pockets to hold everything but the kitchen sink and have excellent strap support.
Ryanair – 0.
Style – 1.

whats in and whats out, whats up and whats down, whats round and round?

here’s a tip. cycling shorts are back. with a vengeance. last seen in bananarama videos and at mother redcaps flea market in 1988 (also a regular feature on the tour de france circuit), cycling shorts are going to be busting a move all over spring/summer 2010. and you know what? i think i’m in. i’ll tell you why. people automatically recoil in horror at the mere thoughts of fluoro, shiny, skin-tight shorts and i concur. but people, we gotta remember, these historical cycling shorts are a) historical, b) historically paraded about as a key fashion statement and c) historically used for power walking (the sport of the 80’s). the crucial difference with the modern incarnation is that they are accessory and not focus. they can go under skirts, under shorts, under dresses. they shall preserve a bit of modesty, whilst flashing some leg (tights neglect to do this). they come lacey, they come floral, they come in subtle nude tones. they are altogether more subserviant in the greater fashion scheme of things. louis vuitton, prada, louise goldin, DKNY and topshop unique have all given their blessing. and the leggings joke was starting to wear a bit thin non?


having a(nother) casual day at work. white shirt – actually off-white. more  grey really – i have never mastered the white wash setting on the machine.  bobbled cardigan, black skinny jeans, hair pulled back in an elastic band found on the floor in the office.  battered leather jacket, possibly smelling of booze from saturday night. and no make up. to complete this look, i was planning on wearing my cons. with big, comfortable black sports socks. real thick ones. my cons that i left in the car. or so i thought. i arrive in my parking space outside work, check for the appropriate footwear, only to realise – shock, horror – they are not there. in the giant cons-shaped-hole in my car are my elegant, black, high-heeled shoe boots. with open toe.  nothing else. so i hobble into work (sprained ankle) looking rough-as, brandishing the fabulous shoe-boots and a lot of black sports sock.  stylish i think not.

bumming around town

was supposed to be writing about my indecent london shop-a-thon but… just…too…excited. why is that? two words. BUM BAGS. i can’t explain how much i am all over the new fannypack. trashy, flashy, they are the hip to the hop, the b to the bop, sheer tacky brilliance. i mean they are practical – no one can deny them that. the original reason for being – guard your passport, your monies and your keys – are still very valid reasons in the lawless, feckless underbelly of Irish Socialising. i regularly drop (fling) my wallet/scarf/keys/hat/coat/kitchen sink/identity/jewellery/sweeties at various stages of a night out. sometimes even in my own home. imagine the unadulterated freedom of knowing that everything you needed was safely ensconced in a sturdy, hip-hugging, bum-tugging hold-all? and now the fact that they have been tarted up to the high heavens, the possibilities are endless. please see rihanna, always ahead of the curve, (designers whispering sweet nothings into her ear), donning a louis vuitton beauty back at christmas. vuitton then pimped them all out over the catwalk for S/S 10, with designer Marc Jacobs presenting his own sporty little numbers for his show. Ashish have built the bum bag into jogging pants (my 2nd most favourite thing in the world) and trotted out some spiky, studded beauties, of which, im sure we’ll see replicas on the high street shortly. American Apparel have a variety for both men and women, being the outré fashion leaders that they are. but it is hats off to Yana who have thoroughly smacked that ass with a series of superbly trashy, quilted bum bags.
between the mc-hammer pants, the bodysuits, the knuckledusters and now the fannypack, i was clearly queen of the 80s. no scrap that, i AM the 80’s.

look hot when wiped out
for all you fashion-forward surfers prepare yourselves for a serious surf-style collaboration. Cynthia Rowley got together with Roxy to create 40 high-end pieces for surfer chicks. collection includes cossies, graphic-print dresses, hoodies and pencil skirts…the latter of which im sure makes more sense in the workroom than on the beach? its fun to think that a big name designer (with a minor surfing obsession) has created an action wardrobe for the beach. especially when, emerging from the sea, concussed from the surfboard, with mucus coming out of every orifice, seaweed glued to your face, and your whole body a mighty bruise, you can look  like you’ve stepped off the catwalk. thanks cynthia.