Sports Luxe or Lazy?

Sports Luxe or Lazy?

Stylist Annabel Falco discusses the pros and cons of sneakers in the locker room, boardroom and beyond.

By Annabel Falco | 18th March 2014

A quick scan of my favourite blogs, boutiques, magazines and celebrities, it is clear that the current trend is a relaxed one. Nicole Richie wears it. Vogue writes about it. Bloggers pose in it and designers are selling it. Sport luxe has well and truly crossed over from gym to cocktail bar and seems to be one of the biggest fashion trends in 2014. Tights, joggers, varsity jackets, visors, sweats and action-back singlets are now just as common at a fashion week front row as they are at your local Fitness First.

A picture of Tess Brinums wearing sports shoes and jeans at work.

Tess Brinums shows us how she does sports luxe at the Style office.

Despite my personal preference for this gym-gear-sans-the-gym movement, I have to ask: is this statement trendy, or simply lazy?

When my Sunday morning grocery shop rolls around, what look do I turn to? Sport luxe. Early morning coffee with a girlfriend and can’t be bothered to wear make up? Sport luxe. Overslept on a Tuesday? Sport luxe.

A picture of a black leather look cap and a silver wedge shoe.

(From left to right) Leather look cap $14.95, Colette by Colette Hayman; Marc Jacobs Wedge sneakers $575, Maryon's

Never has it been easier (or more acceptable) to put comfort before fashion. Or has it…

The debate on this controversial Autumn/ Winter trend has the fashion industry divided with many deeming the look ‘hypocritical’. Once upon a time, sneakers at the office were a major fashion faux pas, now, every fashionista worth her Stella McCartney kicks are accessorising designer duds with them.

To clarify, sport luxe doesn’t condone smelly/old/dirty gym clothes you have ACTUALLY worked out in (ew!). No, sport luxe may be comfortable and seemingly effortless but, similar to those ‘bare faced’ beauty looks we all love, this trend requires finesse, commitment and a lot of layering.

Popular website, Style Runner, is the perfect example of on-trend gym gear made for pilates to office to bar outings. Athletic, stylish and high quality, these pieces are designed to work back with your favourite pair of J-Brand jeans or Louboutins (be warned, they require serious saving as well). The silver lining? At least you can wear your $150 sweats and style them up too.

An image of a palm print top, a sports shoe, three-quarter pink tights, a black one piece and a black sports shoe.

(From top left) Barbados palm print top $127, Mikoh; (bottom left) Climacool shoes $160, Adidas by Stella McCartney; 3/4 tights $80, Adidas by Stella McCartney; mesh halter one-piece $250, N.L.P; Adipure shoes $130.00, Adidas. All pieces available at Style Runner.

Topshop have also released a line of sport luxe influenced pieces proving the high-street are well and truly backing this trend. Set to hit Aussie stores at the end of March, Topshop has teamed up with Adidas to present an urban range of clothing - and footwear.

The 20-piece collection will feature Adidas’ signature logo and three stripes, and embrace Topshop’s youthful, fashion-forward aesthetic.

A picture of clothing by Adidas for Topshop

Topshop's new Adidas line.

Still not convinced? Karl Lagerfeld recently decided that sneakers are more than just for jogging when he sent a Chanel wedding dress down the runway with a pair of glittering, CC emblazoned sandshoes. You can’t argue with that!

I took gym dressing to the streets of Brisbane and quizzed designers, PR gurus, media darlings and bloggers about their sport luxe tendencies.

The verdict? Sport luxe: no sweat!

Claire Campbell, Buyer and Director of Brisbane boutique, Maryon’s Philosophy: "When I'm in Milan or Paris and racing from showroom to showroom I opt for my Tod's suede high-tops and take a sneaky pair of heels in my bag. Keep in mind, they're definitely 'fashion' sneakers in that they're made from gorgeous orange suede with leather laces!”

Elyse Goyen, Director of Felix & Slink: “I absolutely dig it! Nothing I love more than rocking my Nike Frees on 'Sport Luxe Friday' at F&S HQ.”

Stewart Walton, Senior Director of Product at OPSM: “It is important to have a pair of sunglasses for your sports attire, you need something lighter in weight and usually with a darker lens. The good news is these no longer have to be unfashionable, quite the opposite.”

Sukriti Wahi, Editorial Assistant at Moda Creative: “It really depends on where you work. In a casual or creative work environment, it can totally go; in a corporate workplace, it will definitely give the wrong impression!”

Shannon Gunn, Designer for Tom Gunn: “Tom Gunn is about pairing beautiful leather brogues with a gorgeous outfit instead of sneakers.  There is a very fine line between Sport Luxe and just lazy.”

An image of a pair of red sunglasses and grey sunglasses

(From left) red sunglasses $260 and grey sunglasses $260, Emporio Armani


View mag here >

Article by Annabel Falco

Annabel is a Brisbane-based stylist and freelance fashion journalist. While she can rarely be seen without her besties Louis (Vuitton), Christian (Louboutin) and Michael (Kors), she'd almost happily trade them all in for a croissant in Paris and a pug puppy.


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