The 2012 Summer Olympics in London are just a couple months away--opening ceremonies are July 27th--so now is as good a time as any to start gearing up for the Games! Of course, we don't actually mean running a marathon or honing your archery skills, but rather "gearing up" in the sartorial sense. Championed by so many notable designers, the sportswear-as-streetwear look dominated the spring runways, solidifying it as one of the season's top trends to try!From streamlined track pants (CNC) to surf-inspired skirts (Rag & Bone) to high-fashion sneakers (Kate Bosworth), there are so many intriguing ways to adapt athletic-influenced ensembles into your repertoire. All the more reason this month's Runway to Real Way story deserves a gold medal!
On The Runway
When creating a look that's suited for the playing field--yet still appropriate for real life--it's all about minimal silhouettes, fitness fabrics, and a subtle game reference or two. At Alexander Wang, models were outfitted like fashion-forward BMX riders, in edgy uniforms of mesh dresses, jersey tops with high necklines and racing stripe motifs, and leather bottoms. In the look above, the sleek combination of the Athletic Patchwork Sleeveless Mock Neck Top ($895, 212.977.9683), Motocross Pants ($435, 212.977.9683), and Joan Heels ($545, 212.977.9683) made for a surprisingly chic outcome, with a bit of that tough-girl attitude we've come to expect and love from Wang. Over on the CNC runway (Costume National's lower-priced line), the look was more track and field, as demonstrated by the see-through mesh Tank ($158) worn over a midriff-revealing bandeau top and paired with low-slung, side-stripped Casual Pants ($415), which felt equal parts laid-back cool and deftly sexy.
For less literal interpretations, you can always turn to Rag & Bone and Y-3 for some styling guidance. At the former, designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright hinted at '70s-era surfers via fantastic turquoise and tangerine hues and smartly tailored pieces. Here, the unbuttoned Raw Edge Sung Shirt ($290), Ibiza Bandeau Top ($105), Scuba Skirt ($290), and Katja Sandals ($850) translate into an effortlessly cool and seductive ensemble befitting of a evening beachside bash. Finally, we have to hand it to Y-3's Yohji Yamamoto and Dirk Schonberger for their athletic-inspired footwear, which includes the Oriah Ankle Boots ($690) featured above. Though the sculptural wedge heel has a decidedly modern look, we think the black and white knit mesh front, combined with the asymmetrical top and shorts, boast a striking resemblance to a boxing uniform, don't you agree?
On The Streets
If a head-to-toe adaptation of today's trend seems a bit out of your league, you'll be happy to know there is a subtle way to show off your sporty style. Take the outfit Kate Bosworth wore while out in Beverly Hills last month, for example. The trendsetter expertly grounded her teal H&M pleated skirt with a casual gray sweatshirt and Isabel Marant wedge sneakers. The contrast of the feminine skirt sandwiched between easygoing pieces resulted in a downtown ladylike look we can't wait to emulate.
Luckily, incorporating athletic-influenced elements into your day-to-day wardrobe is a cinch! To ensure you don't look like you're headed to a track meet, we find it's best to stick to just one or two sporty pieces, like Bosworth, and keep the rest of your outfit feminine for a balanced result. If you're on the hunt for some sporty outerwear, windbreakers and parkas in bright neon colors are always a good bet. We approve of Boy. by Band Of Outsiders' yellow Hooded Cotton Windbreaker ($695) and Topshop's Basic Pac-A-Parka ($48) in Turquoise, and think either option would look chic worn with a slim skirt as seen on the Rag & Bone runway. If you don't already have a pencil skirt, Diane von Furstenberg's Koto Skirt ($198) and J. Crew's Long No. 2 Pencil Skirt ($128) in Warm Jade are two must-try options. Come summer, swap your sporty jackets for a relaxed mesh tank top, like BDG's Mesh Tank or Alexander Wang's Mesh Tank Top ($295), and take your game-inspired look a step further by layering either tank over Bodas' Bandeau Bikini Top ($110) a la CNC.
Now for the bottom half of your look! If it's a pants option you seek, we suggest picking up a side-striped version, like Cut25's Side Stripe Pants ($270) or Washborn's Side Stripe Pants ($90), but ASOS' Scuba Leggings ($55) will do the trick too! Last, but certainly not least, you must grab a pair of high-fashion sneakers pronto! Styles like Ash's Cool Suede Lace Up Wedge Sneakers ($225) and See by Chloe's Lace Up Wedges ($375) can add just the right amount of cool to any look and are quite comfortable to boot. However you choose to embrace your sporty style, with a few of these key pieces on hand, you're sure to construct a winning look every time!--Jessica Baker