How to wear... sports luxe
No trainers allowed - this season's athletic-inspired looks are evening-proof, writes Meadhbh McGrath
The sportswear trend is here to stay, but leggings and trainers aren't going to cut it these days.
It's difficult to pinpoint when exactly 'athleisure' took over our wardrobes, and when yoga pants became suitable for daywear, but there's no denying its hold on Irish women. It may have been when Stella McCartney was appointed creative director of the British team's Olympic kit in 2012. Shortly afterwards, trainers started popping up on the catwalks during the spring-summer 2013 collections, and it's now commonplace to see sporty footwear styled with everything from suiting to couture gowns.
But designers are shaking things up for 2018 - way up, in fact, combining sporty silhouettes with super-luxe silks, crystals and rich hues. Isabel Marant nodded to the 70s with ultra-cool anoraks, jumpsuits and track pants. At Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli presented 'glamleisure' with sleek, cut-out dresses adorned with beading and sequins. There were halter and racer necks, and boxy jumpsuits paired with elegant high heels, trailing earrings and bum bags (they're back!).
Valentino even shot its spring campaign on a basketball court, but these outfits certainly aren't gym-ready.
The key to this look is not to have a trainer in sight - sharp pointed courts, metallic boots and embellished loafers are your footwear of choice to elevate a pair of track pants, go-faster-stripes or puffer jacket. Zara's striped top and skirt looks super-stylish with metallic sandals or sock boots, while Ganni's fabulous pink co-ord really sings with matching pink loafers or bright emerald pumps.
Our love for side-stripe trousers is still going strong and you can find everything from checked to floral versions on the high street. We like Gwyneth Paltrow's mix of striped black trousers, navy high-neck blouse and red heels (left). Get the look with a pair of H&M slacks or Isabel Marant's cool stirrup trousers.
The stripe trend of 2017 continues to be a street style favourite, only this time around your stripes should clash. Topshop's red-and-pink striped blouse looks great paired with striped trousers or mini-skirts and a Chevron-striped puffer coat.
The half-zip track top may scream 80s, but subtle details and smart styling can make it feel utterly contemporary. Pop singer Rita Ora (right) pulls off an expert high-low mix of dressy and sporty in Paco Rabanne, offsetting the retro top with an edgy leather mini-skirt and strappy sandals. Tuck a striped track top into Whistles' waist-tie detail skirt, and finish off with ankle boots.