Like most women I have a complete love/hate relationship with the gym, in that I hate going and love the days I skip it. However after a month of holiday and too much gelato, I have made the executive decision to get back in shape. In a feeble attempt to motivate myself further, I decided to invest in some new workout clothes seeing as I have been wearing the same cropped trousers and T-shirts for longer than I care to admit (don’t ask which gym I attend, I will never tell!)
Unfortunately chic workout wear options in Asia are limited. I love Lululemon but the quality has gone downhill in recent years while Stella McCartney by Adidas is hit or miss for me. Puma and Nike are a bit too plain, so for basics I tend to shop overseas at Australian brand Lorna Jane, Lucy in Los Angeles and Norma Kamali at Walmart in the US (honestly the best stuff ever!)
That being said, I have discovered two new brands available in Hong Kong that seem to fit the bill. Abi & Joseph was founded several years ago by ex-dancer and former Pilates instructor Abigail White. A bit of a fashionista herself, she wanted to create basics for working out, lunch or drinks. While the line was initially developed for Pilates, it’s great for the gym thanks to its four way stretch and expensive Italian lycra. The collection includes perfectly fitted cropped pants that are not too flared or sit too low at the waist (there’s nothing worse than your builder’s bum peeking out while you are lunging!) I also like her best-selling wrap top which is longer than traditional ballet styles, making it super versatile and stylish. Some cool jackets are set to come out later this year.
While Abi & Joseph is more elegant and understated, G-Pow, as its name suggests, packs a punch. Think of it as the Dolce & Gabbana of sportswear – flashy and trendy, but in a fun way. In fact the line owes its fashionable edge to its founder, Venezuelan-born Charo Perez Guisti, an exercise buff who didn’t want to compromise her personal style in the gym. She started off by selling embellished shorts in Los Angeles, and has now expanded into a full fledged collection based out of Hong Kong. Each style is about technical performance so expect quality fabrics such as Supplex and handy features such as adjustable leg openings. The fun part comes in the form of fashion details such as leopard print, studs and star appliqués. The look however is never over-the-top and adds a fun twist to your gym gear. Be sure to check out the slim kick Capri pants with an extra wide waistband.
Finally some tips from Abigail White on selecting the perfect workout gear:
- Take note of fabric thickness to make sure it is suitable for your chosen activity
- With tight pants, do a standing roll down or downward dog. Check in the mirror to make sure the fabric is opaque enough
- Sit down and make sure the waist band of your pants are not digging in or falling down
- With tops, always bend forward to check you are still covered
- Make sure you can pull the top on and off easily. If it’s the latter, it will stay in your drawer