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Fashion

Look Fit, Get Fit: The Hottest New Workout Wear

October 22, 2014
As a self-confessed workout addict, I find it that much easier to get out of bed for a morning workout if I’m going to be wearing clothes that are not only functional, but also ooze a little stylish flair. Athletic clothing is more fashionable than ever before, so it allows you to transition easily from running in the gym to running about town. Who cares if you’re in spandex; why get changed when you are already sporting clothes that are comfortable and look good?
I always stock up on Lululemon workout clothes when I’m in the States (much more affordable than in the UK) and I swear by Sweaty Betty for running gear in London. After some research (and extensive online shopping!) I’ve discovered a whole new range of ultra chic designer athletic clothing brands around the globe worth splurging on.
These brands are so fashionable that you can easily wear pieces from their collections in and out of the gym – maybe even to the office! Whether you need an extra incentive to make that early morning workout in the colder autumn mornings or if you’re already writing your Christmas wish list, here are the top designer sportswear brands:
I’ve been a fan of California’s Koral Activewear for years. Their products combine eye-catching design and colourful fabrics – just putting them on makes you feel empowered and ready to go. 
Koral Activewear is far from cheap, but their garments last ages and you will get a lot of wear out of luxury sportswear that looks this good.
Backup dancer physique sadly not included. 

Outdoor Voices is a slick collection of stylish and relaxed sporty apparel. I first stumbled upon this American brand by asking a fellow yogi in class where her cute yoga top was from.
Their clothes are lightweight and flattering; great for lower impact and toning workouts (yoga, barre bar, pilates) and for wearing around town. 
I love travelling in their loose-fitting trousers, which keep me comfy throughout long flights.
 
If you’ve tried a hot Bikram yoga class before, you know how wet, sweaty and gross your clothes can get. Daquini specialise in breathable and quick-drying fabrics designed for hot yoga workouts. Similar to Spanx, Daquini’s form-fitting capris support your physique even in the most unflattering of postures. Their stylish sports bras, tank tops, shorts and capris ensure your downward dog is always fashion forward.
Free shipping worldwide – another reason to lift that yogi leg up and jump for joy!
My dearest friend Megan first introduced me to London’s luxury sportswear brand Lucas Hugh when I was training for the London Marathon and needed an extra incentive to take the gruelling workouts to the next level. A pricey pair of their Prism Leggings did the trick.
Made famous recently by Jennifer Lawrence who wore a Lucas Hugh workout jacket in The Hunger Games, Lucas Hugh is equally high-end fashion and high-quality versatile sportswear. The New Zealand founder and designer, Anjhe Mules, has perfected eye-catching and flattering stretchable fabric that keeps you supported throughout your workout. 
I can verify that Lucas Hugh’s sealed-seam technology prevent chafing – a HUGE plus for runners and gym rats. Like most designer brands, their clothes come with a hefty price tag, but their products won’t disappoint. I’m already saving up for their latest line – listen up Santa!

Available in select London boutiques and online at Matches Fashion and Net-A-Porter
Whoever said sportswear can’t be hot didn’t know what they were talking about. Michi has to be one of the sexiest designer athletic brands on the market. If you imagine yourself on the red carpet or the runway when you’re on the treadmill then this provocative athletic brand will put some seriously sexy pep into your workout.
Made by hand in Canada, Michi cleverly combines glamorous lingerie with sophisticated designer sportswear for an edgy, seductive and polished look. You can easily wear their latest line straight from the gym directly to the hottest nightclub in town! 
yoga
Designer sportswear will cause harm to your credit card, but in my opinion, if it encourages you to fit a workout into your busy schedule, that is money well invested. Think of all the money you have saved by staying in the gym and out of your local pub. Combat the quickly approaching festive and calorific holiday season with some extra stylish workouts! 

Feature, Travel

Weird & Wonderful Tokyo Souvenirs

September 25, 2014

I never imagined I would completely fall in love with Tokyo until I visited earlier this month. I was only there a few days, so I had to make the most of every last minute and see as much as possible. I walked, ate and shopped my way around the districts of Shibuya, Harajuku, Roppongi, Shinjuku and Minato. Exploring a foreign city which is illuminated by lights and lanterns at night was a pretty dreamy way to get lost in translation in Tokyo.

It’s true what they say about visiting Tokyo for the first time, the food is just unbelievable, you can easily buy a kimono, Japanese tea services are a must-try, the Tsukiji fish market will surpass your wildest dreams, the jet lag is insane and the loos are mind blowing. For first time visitors (like me!) it is hard to anticipate the many wild, crazy and typically Japanese items you will stumble across. In case you are headed to Japan sometime soon, here are my top eccentric souvenirs from Tokyo:

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Green Tea Oreos

Just when you thought Oreos couldn’t be any more addictive, add a dash of neon coloured green tea to the equation and you have struck the cookie jackpot. My only regret is not buying more!

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Strawberry, Bean and Green Tea Kit Kats

It’s a mystery why these enhanced Kit Kat flavours haven’t made it to the UK or US as I have no doubt they would fly off store shelves. I now prefer the strawberry Kit Kat to the original. Further reason for my next visit?

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Clear Umbrellas

The Japanese are such fashionistas that the umbrella of choice to be seen using in Tokyo is translucent in colour – to match every outfit of course! Downpours have never looked so chic.

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Harajuku Shoes

You have to see these elevated beauties in person to believe they exist- or that it’s humanly possible to walk in them! The achingly cool Harajuku girl platform shoes worn by Tokyo’s youth must make Lady Gaga proud. Rabbit tail pom pom footwear accessory sold separately.

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His & Hers Wine Kimonos

For the couple that has everything, behold these stylish male and female kimonos for your wine bottles -Valentine’s Day present solved!

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Sparkling Sake

Prosecco is soo last season. Get the party started with sparkling sake – it’s bound to be a crowd pleaser.

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Baby Makeup

There are no words to describe seeing an entire aisle of baby makeup in a Japanese department store including powders, lip gloss and designer scented baby wipes for your little one. You can never start pampering yourself too early?!

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Shampoo Hats

Keep shampoo out of your eyes with this revolutionary stylish shampoo ‘support hat’. Great for unruly tots or granny, although I can imagine the shampoo hat application could get tricky.

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Face Brightener Cream

This self-application foam mask takes feeling bright and breezy to a whole new level!

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Snail Face Masks

One of the latest beauty fads to hit Tokyo is the snail essence face mask from Korea. This slimy moisturizing beauty treatment smells surprisingly nice and practically injects collagen into your face upon application.

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Perhaps one of your best chances of getting upgraded on the flight home is applying a snail mask mid-flight. This mask is great for combating jet lagged skin – all hail the snail!

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Quacking Dog Muzzles

It took me a while to figure out how this duck shaped dog muzzle worked, but essentially it humiliates your dog to stop it barking. Quacking mad right?! A new dog training trick to try when Fido misbehaves…

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Canine Kimonos

Another shocker on store shelves was the doggy kimono. Halloween can never come too early right? Just when I assumed this outfit was for pint sized pooches only, along came these rather fabulous kimono clad huskies.

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Super ‘Kawaii’ Toys

One of Gwen Stefani’s songs, Harajuku Girls, speaks about Japanese school girls’ fatal attraction to cuteness – aka, items that are super ‘kawaii,’ which means super cute in Japanese. And now I see what she meant. The rather ridiculous plush toys in Japan are so utterly adorable, it is hard not to instantly fall in love with them.

The only other advice I would give anyone traveling to Tokyo for the first time, would be to bring your camera charger and not be ashamed about transforming into that tourist with a camera at the ready. I said “Konichiwa” (which means ‘hi’ in Japanese) to these teenage boys and this was their reaction!

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Sayonara for now Tokyo, next time I’m packing a larger suitcase!