Adele Mitchell takes Vulpine’s new seamless range for a spin – and breaks a few fashion rules while she’s at it.
According to Vogue, I have reached an age where I should approach the wearing of workout gear with caution. Apparently, as I am in my 50s, it is sartorially risky to put myself ‘out there’ and to be on the safe side the rules suggest I ‘stick to neutrals’. I think that’s another way of saying ‘remain invisible’.
Vogue doesn’t actually state the consequence of recklessly ignoring the rules (frightening the good folk of Dorking? Looking a bit fat on Instagram? Drawing attention to myself mid Sun Salutation?), but I’m guessing it is no where near as dangerous as flinging myself down a root-strewn trail on a mountain bike, which is what I enjoy doing on a regular basis.
So I think I am prepared to run the risk of wearing leggings.
Because athleisure wear (as its known by the deeply fashionable) perfectly suits both my lifestyle and my preference for comfort: basically I can’t be arsed with spending my day in a constricting waistband. I work from home. I do yoga. I ride bikes a lot. Why would I wear anything else but a wardrobe of super-stretch?
What’s more, breathable fabrics are super efficient – if they can keep you cool during a workout, imagine what a walk in the park it is for them to do the same while you sip your macchiato in the local caff? And, if you don’t want to look like you just stepped out of the gym, you can create a relaxed, sport-luxe look by adding what fashion folk call ‘key pieces from your casual wardrobe’ – also known as ‘putting a jumper on’.
Honestly, workout wear is wasted on the gym.
So how happy I am to get my hands on the new Vulpine seamless range – a racerback top – ‘perfect for the morning cycle commute, a downward facing dog, or sat outside a cafe’ – and cycling leggings – ‘for nipping round town, parkour or meeting friends for coffee’. Okay, so the closest thing I come to parkour is walking up the ramp in the supermarket car park – but the rest ticks every box!
I’m an ambassador for Cotic bikes this year (stick that in your ‘out there’ pipe and smoke it, Vogue) and my current two-wheeled crush is my Escapade ‘life’ bike. Like me, it kind of refuses to conform – we’re as happy on a gravel fire road as we are around town. So together we put my Vulpine fitness gear to the test with a Saturday afternoon spin to the supermarket via some photogenic back alleyways.
Both garments are seamless and supremely stretchy for comfort, as well as super soft to the touch. They’re odour resistant and quick drying, and spun with zoned compression areas (in other words, no chance of baggy knees). The leggings feature a diamond gusset, which makes them suitable for short rides without padding beneath (so long as you have a well fitting saddle, of course), while the top has support – though I opted to wear a sports bra as well.
Technical talk over, rest assured they are both jolly comfortable in a ‘don’t really see the need to take them off all day’ sort of way: ideal for yoga, freelance writing, urban bicycling, coffee drinking, and a quick snooze on the sofa while watching Crufts.
They also come in a choice of colours. So in defiance of the aforementioned advice about sticking to neutrals, I highly recommend bright, bold cerise.