The activewear revolution

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

I watched What Not to Wear religiously throughout the show’s ten season run and can still see Stacy London’s disapproving frown at the sight of someone standing in front of the show’s infamous three way mirror in baggy sweat pants. She not only disliked sweat pants but she also felt that exercise clothing should only be worn when working out. Those days are gone. No longer reserved for the gym or yoga class, workout apparel has become the latest chic men and womenswear trend. As I see it, the amazing evolution of activewear designs combined with our increasingly casual lifestyle account for this phenomenon.

Whether you are young or old, a marathoner or a couch potato, the love of activewear is universal because it is comfortable and affordable. Designers like Alexander Wang, who recently created an activewear inspired collection for H&M, have their fingers on the pulse of what people want. Elie Tahari’s Designation collection for Kohl’s is flavored with a French terry jogger pant and faux fur sweatshirt. Retailers everywhere have enhanced their activewear offerings in response to the surge in sales of this clothing category. I recently discovered Nordstrom’s line called Zella. My sister gave me two pairs of Zella pants, two tops and a jacket for my birthday this year. All the pieces fit like a dream and also have fabulous features like ruching and strategically placed mesh inserts that give them an ultra–hip look.

Active wear is such a formidable fashion force that it has influenced how we dress on a daily basis. Instead of reaching for my skinny jeans, I now put on my yoga pants to run errands. Although I still love my ballet flats, I’ve become quite attached to my puma sneakers. The line between active wear and street wear is so blurry that we might just start referring to activewear as “everywear”.

Active Wear is now Everywear

Vests make magic

Thursday, April 11th, 2013
City Chic

Marni printed blouse, $365 / Topshop / White House Black Market slim pants / White House Black Market t-bar shoes / Oasis handbag, $43 / Sandy Hyun / Carolee LUX

I’ve always loved vests. I purchased my all time favorite one back in 1992 at Nordstrom. I still wear this black suede number with black leather trim, and patch pockets. I always feel sharp and put together in it. Besides that, the vest provides extra warmth in the winter when worn over a sweater.

Last week I checked out the Derek Lam’s DesigNation Collection at Kohl’s in advance of my writing about it for the Examiner.com. Included in the collection is a streamlined black crepe vest that drapes beautifully and looks expensive. I especially like the way it skims the torso. I’ve been on the lookout for a vest that exactly matches the design and weight of this one. Since it fit perfectly and cost $38 with a Kohl’s coupon, I bought it.

Lam’s designs speak to contemporary women who want stylish clothes that are also functional. Many of the pieces in his collection, like the black vest, could be dressed up or down. Inspired by my vest purchase and this season’s black and white trend, I created an outfit that showcases this versatile wardrobe piece.

An online reviewer gave this item 4 stars and has these words to say about it: “…..this vest is the kind of piece that I can see wearing for years to come”. Nicely said.