Categories
Review Style

Affordable Minimalist Watch Brands to Keep Track of Time & Your Budget

The trend of minimalism pops up every now and then, making its way into our lives. Living on the practice that we focus on the simple things to enjoy life, it a lifestyle that seems more attractive than ever as society becomes more hectic.

In a way, minimalism goes back to the idea of simplicity. In fashion, minimalism is all about building a capsule (or basic) wardrobe with versatile and neutral pieces that can be worn effortlessly everywhere.

That doesn’t mean that you can only dress up in dress shirts and pencil skirts — you can invest in accessories to complete your outfit. Look for elegant silhouettes, neutral colours, and even statement pieces if that’s your thing.

Watches are the perfect accessories because they add to your aesthetics and are pretty useful at keeping time. A good stylish watch goes with you everywhere from work to date night, and doesn’t distract if you’re going for a clean, simple look. Need we say anymore?

Here are our five favourite brands when it’s time for watch shopping.

Daniel Wellington

Taking inspiration from travelling, the Swedish brand’s watches are universally appealing to both genders. The style selection isn’t very big with a few timeless styles to pick from, but the customisation choices are endless. Their watches come in the classic gold, silver or rose gold casings, and you can choose a black watchface for a louder statement. The straps are where you get to have fun — the removable straps come in metal links, nylon, mesh, and Italian leather.

Couple watches are a thing too over at Daniel Wellington. The same design come in both male and female styles, taking couple wear all then way down to the accessories.

Olivia Burton

Olivia Burton is known for their chic timepieces that just oozes sophistication and charm. They have sleek, all-metal watches, but its their intricate designs where they really shine. Inspired by vintage British florals and nature, most of their watchface designs are a work of art in itself.

Florals, 3D designs, and pastels are very popular as they are not too flashy, but are still gorgeous enough to turn heads for a second look of admiration. Olivia Burton also takes away the headache of pairing your jewellery as they also release themed collections with matching necklaces and earrings.

Swatch SKIN irony

Minimalist is not the first thing that pops to your mind when you first see Swatch. You’ll probably think more ‘colorful’ and ‘sporty’. The Swatch SKIN IRONY Collection is a departure from the funky, trendy designs and takes a step into a more mature direction with metallic accents and leather straps that are more suited for the office.

And the watches will feel weightless on your wrist as the SKIN IRONY range is the brand’s slimmest watch in its whole collection. Occasionally, their seasonal collaborations with brands like Hackett are a good chance to score minimalist and more refined piece.

Plain Supplies

All you have to do is take a look at their Instagram to see Plain Supplies’ dedication to modern, well-designed products. Favouring simplicity and clarity, Plain Supplies watches are made for the unpretentious modern adult. For a subtle statement piece, you might want to get the all-black timepiece with a stainless steel mesh strap to balance out all the negative space in your outfit. They also have wallets and bracelets in the same unassuming simple charm to fit into your carefully cultivated aesthetics.

Timex

Stop by Timex for an everyday, classic watch that won’t break those purse strings. The Weekender Collection is one of their more affordable selections, and it’s for someone who wants a decent timepiece but with a more luxurious vibe.

The easy versatility of their watches and replaceable bands makes it a favourite as an everyday watch. It won’t do much more than telling the time and adding to your style statement, but for a watch that’s less than a hundred bucks, that’s good enough. After your first one, you’ll soon be itching to get another in a different colour.

Categories
Review Style

Our Favourite Singaporean Brands to #SupportLocal

Every Singaporean loves a good bargain when shopping, hitting up the mass chains and international brands for good deals. It’s a safer and much easier journey, as you can order online from your favourite shop and know that the sizing will fit you just right.

But with everyone shopping from the same brands, you might feel the urge to dress just a little differently after seeing three of the same Uniqlo tee in one hour. Or maybe you just want to show a little support to the local fashion scene.

Singapore’s local fashion scene is growing slowly but steadily with many small online shops and designers, but it might be hard to track down those interesting collections. For some retail therapy with a local touch, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite homegrown brands.

Charles & Keith

The footwear giant appears so frequently in all the major shopping malls that its easy to forget that it’s one of our most successful local brands. Thanks to Maisie Williams who brought the Charles & Keith bags to Hollywood, the brand is now known all over the world for their affordable yet stylish shoes. Their shoe styles range from 90s chic and modern office lady to more experimental trendy designs. They also have a range of matching accessories like sunnies, wallets, card holders, bags, and even children’s shoes.

ModParade

Go big or go home, right? Every outfit from ModParade will bring a smile to your face with their bold prints and popping colours. Mix and match cheeky tops or pull on a flattering sundress. Their vibrant detailing like ruffles and contrasting buttons add splashes of colours, reminiscent of our year-long summer weather here.

Our Second Nature

A balance between everyday neutrals and streamlined silhouettes, the highlight of every collection from Our Second Nature is an artsy print. Available in relaxed separates like drape dresses and wrap kimonos, each piece is unique thanks to the irregular print. Their fuss free pieces are good for layering and building the foundation of your wardrobe. And the clothes are as comfortable as they look, because the founder intended them to be worn everyday.

Benjamin Barker

Here’s one where the boys can indulge too. Benjamin Barker is a purveyor of smart casual dressing in forever summer weather. You’ll find a range of classic and modern styles, all bursting with personality and fine details. If you’re into pantsuits, they do have a very limited by equally dapper ladies selection with dress shirts and fitted blazers.

Weekend Sundries

There isn’t anything like seasonal collections over at Weekend Sundries. Staying true to its ethos as a quality, timeless and breathable comfort brand, Weekend Sundries is all about conscious living. Their fabrics are all natural and eco-conscious, with factories in Singapore and partner workshops in Indonesia and Vietnam.

The Shirt Bar

Who says formal wear is dreary and boring? Stop by The Shirt Bar to inject some personality into your look with printed shirts, dapper socks and necktie sets, and cufflinks. Throw on some suspenders to rock the look, and you’ll be knocking the socks off everyone in a one metre radius.

Ginlee Studio

Ginlee Studio creates some of the softest silk dresses and tops ever for that effortless chic look. Their soft silhouettes and muted hues look sophisticated, not sloppy. Layer up or down depending on the occasion, and you can create endless looks with a little creativity. The secret to their enthralling clothes? Intricate embroidery and crepe de chine fabric will keep you cool even on the hottest of days.

Categories
Review Style

A Guide on How to Shop Sustainably

Beneath all the glitz and glamour of the catwalk is the dark side of the fashion industry. Landfill overflow, microplastic pollution, and human rights violations are just some of the issues that plague the industry.

While governments and big companies should be responsible for regulating the industry, they cannot guarantee the conditions that their products were made in. The supply chain is so opaque and complex that you can’t be sure that every part of your purse or your dress is eco-friendly or is 100% ethical. Smaller brands are often able to be more transparent with their production chain due to their smaller production chain.

Brands are now all about ‘living consciously’ and ‘shopping ethically’. Just by buying from them, we are also showing that we are supporting these brands and their values to be more socially and environmentally responsible.

Shopping local

Fast fashion exponentially grew thanks to globalisation, giving you convenience, price and choice. Even a garment labelled with a “Made in…” labels could have passed through several countries before being assembled in mentioned country.

Shopping local reduces the carbon footprint required to bring in the items, whilst contributing to the local economy as their products would employ locals and use raw materials sourced locally.

In Singapore, this might seem impossible to be sustainable as we don’t have the resources for a production chain. Because of our close relationship to our neighbors, a lot of local sustainable brands work with partners in nearby countries to produce natural and eco-friendly products.

What you can do is be very selective with what you buy. When shopping, look out for fabrics like cotton, linen, and hemp as they are organic and will break down more easily. Avoid synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester, rayon, and acrylic as they can contribute to environment pollution during production. Plus, they take a extraordinarily long time to breakdown when they get sent tot he landfill.

Unsplash

Who should pay the higher price?

Just like how a healthier diet is often seen as being more expensive, most people are also under the impression that shopping sustainably is more expensive. But as we change with the times, a Nielson survey shows that people are putting sustainability as a priority when shopping and are even willing to pay more if a brand is deemed ‘socially aware’.

Sustainable clothes are usually of higher quality than their counterparts from fast fashion stores, even if you’re just talking about basics. Paying workers a fair wage can also result in higher prices. Did you think that Primark was able to keep their prices so low just from economies of scale? You can also see your purchase as an investment, when you spend more on a piece of clothing, you tend to value it more and wear it repeatedly. A more expensive purchase will also make you consider if you really need it, which is good for your wardrobe and your wallet!

Sometimes, a part of the proceeds also goes towards eco businesses or charities for eco-issues. Some local brands that you might want to check out include ModParade, Our Second Nature, and Weekend Sundries.

If we stick to fast fashion just because of its cheap cost, the ultimate losers are still us as the lasting environment impact caused by pollution and landfill overflow will take more than a couple of decades to fix.

Pexels

Thrifting & vintage shopping

Where you choose to shop is not just limited to buying from sustainable brands.

You can also choose to go thrifting or vintage shopping. Saving secondhand clothes by not sending them to the textile landfill reduces the impact on the environment. And if you’re concerned if old clothes aren’t trendy enough to be seen in, some vintage shops also rework old clothes into modern styles.

Clothes swaps are also a fun way to clear our items you don’t wear anymore but are still in good condition. Set up a swap with your friends, or join a swap event in your community. Or if you feel like blessing someone else, list it on Carousell or a freecycling app like Olio.

The circular fashion system keeps your wardrode fresh and updated without creating too much waste. Just increasing the lifespan of a garment by six more months will reduce its environmental impact by about 20% as compared to buying a new piece. Collectively, this reduces your carbon footprint over the years.

Pexels

Less is more

Despite many brands claiming to be ethical and sustainable, it can still be hard for them to actually be accountable. Conscious consumption is not just about where you get your clothes and what materials they are made of. Buying with purpose and re-wearing your clothes creates the least amount of waste. Once you stop seeing fashion as disposable, the thrall of fast fashion and clever marketing tactics will suddenly become an empty threat.

Ironically, the only way to truly shop sustainably is by not shopping. But we all know that it’s not possible with our lifestyles, so the next best thing is to consume with intention.

There are many ways of shopping sustainably, and finding the right habits that work for you and your lifestyle is a journey. Shopping sustainably is just one of the many steps towards leading a more conscious life, which is a personal choice. You might not be able to see the impact that you yourself as a single individual have on fast fashion, but as society gradually moves towards a more eco-conscious lifestyle, sustainable fashion will soon become the norm.

Categories
Review Style

Recreate Seo Ye Ji’s Top Fashion Moments From K-Drama “It’s Okay To Not Be Okay”

The latest hit Korean drama It’s Okay Not To Be Okay has solidified its near-cult status as one of the best dramas this year. From its intriguing characters to the unique plotline that addresses mental health issues, the drama is binge-worthy.

Shot in beautiful cinematography that just adds to romance, the show follows actress Seo Ye Ji, who plays a famous children’s book author, and and Kim Soo Hyun, a cynic psychiatric ward nurse who doesn’t believe in love, as they heal each other’s emotional traumas.

The main leads have amazing chemistry, but its Seo Ye Ji that totally stole the show as Ko Moon Young. Her cold and arrogant demeanour fits in well with her bold style as she breezes her way through life. While we’re not so keen on her aloof personality (don’t worry — she opens up as the show progresses), her eye-catching style has solidified her status as one of the fashion icons of the K-drama world. You might say we’re even a lil’ bit obsessed with her fashion too.

Take a peek at her best looks to see how you can channel your inner Seo Ye Ji too!

Stylish coords

Moon Young loves her coords — matching sets are part of her ensemble that just screams power-boss-lady. The short skirts accentuates her legs, but the fitted jacket gives off business-like vibes. She often pairs them with heels for a sophisticated edge, but you can always swap them for sneakers for a more casual look.

The matching sets can also be mixed with your other basic separates for even more looks, which make them a good fashion choice!

Flowy tops

Floral flowy tops are great subtle statement pieces. They don’t need much accessorising (think a simple bracelet or just stud earrings), and can go with any bottoms. Nicely styled hair will make this look seem put together, with a simple elegance.

Ethereal white dresses

The white dress is like the more ethereal and feminine version of the Little Black Dress. Best paired with neutral accessories like rose gold, off-whites, and heeled stilettos. Carry a purse for smart occasions and a crossbody bag for casual dates.

Printed tops

Bold prints and textures are a bold move, but not one that you shouldn’t shy away from. A printed top can be toned down with a blazer for the office, before it comes off for a night’s out with the girls!

Statement belts

Big, ruffled tops can be a bit intimidating, but you can take away the clever use of the corset or a statement belt. The right belt will take your outfit from complete to extra fabulous. It also defines your waistline for an accentuated silhouette. Major score!

Eye-catching accessories

Accessoring is almost like an art on Moon Young. Her perfectly kept manicures and dainty (sometimes mismatched) jewelry are the key to always looking put together. A pair of oversized cat-eye sunglasses hide natural eyes with a bit of sparkly eyeshadow, with Moon Young usually sporting rosy or cherry red lips. Play around with different geometric shapes when choosing to add a pair of sunglasses for some feminine edge.

Categories
Review Style

Bike Shorts Are Here to Stay: Here’s Where To Get Them

Bike shorts have been around long before the Kardashians trended them. Treading the line between fashion and sports has categorised the shorts under athleisure, but recently they’ve been adopted as a fashion staple by many. Before becoming a comfortable fashion necessity, bike shorts are for bike-riding with comfort in mind — high-waisted shorts that end at mid-thigh, explicitly designed to prevent friction burns from constant motion. 

Bike shorts are a great alternative to leggings. Trendy and functional, bike shorts are made out of compression fabric which follows your movement, hence enhancing comfort. Apart from that, the optimal length these bike shorts end at means no inner-thigh chafing, rendering them perfect for high-intensity workouts or a stroll. 

The key to looking good in these shorts is to opt for one with some length, and it’ll make shoe selection a lot easier. These shorts can pair with sneakers and a crop top for lazy days, and heeled sandals and an oversized blazer on top for dressier days. Depending on your look and activity, you can either dress them up or down, making bike sports an absolute necessity in every modern girl’s wardrobe. 

The ten listed shorts below are perfect for either lounging out or working out. We sought out quality bike shorts at competitive price points to suit different budgets.

Active Core Bike Short from Cotton On (S$19.99)

These affordably priced bike shorts are designed with a skinny fit that hugs the body firmly. With a high rise waistline and mid-thigh length, it provides a flattering fit. This particular pair is even moisture-wicking, so if you ever decide to bring these shorts out for a ride or run, they will rise to the occasion and perform, keeping you cool and dry.

White Biker Shorts from Kydra (S$62)

Designed at the perfect length- not too long but not too short either. This pair of bike shorts hits that sweet spot for length, and it is the ideal use for a spin class, yoga, and any other exercise you’d like to do.

Seamless Cycling Shorts from H&M (S$19.95)

This pair is high waisted and made out of fast-drying functional fabric. It is also designed with the minimum number of seams for a better fit and increased mobility. Available in two colours: light grey marl or dark grey marl.

High-Waist Biker Short from aloyoga ($56USD)

Aloyoga’s bike shorts are something else: not only are they perfectly designed to be fitted and high waisted, but they also lift and sculpt the body that the shorts are on, equipped with moisture-wicking technology and a 4-way stretch that moves with you. Available in seven colours, this pair of shorts is perfect for those seeking to use their shorts for an outdoor adventure, or just as a fashion-forward piece.

Nike Running Fast 7″ Shorts from JD Sports (S$55)

Nike’s Running Fast 7” Shorts cut off at a flattering length and has a high waisted, elasticated waistband for custom comfort. These shorts are fabricated from smooth poly fabric and wick away moisture utilising Nike’s Dri-FIT tech, making it perfect for sweaty workouts. They also come with pockets to hold your essentials. It’s also in a fun sapphire colour for those looking to inject some colour into their wardrobe. 

Lululemon Wunder Train High Rise Short 8″ from Lululemon ($58USD)

Lululemon’s 8” shorts are manufactured with Everlux, their fastest-drying fabric which keeps you dry and comfortable, even throughout the toughest exercises. These shorts are designed for training, are a high-rise pair and 8 inches long, a suitable length. They also come equipped with waistband pockets to hold your key or card.

Girlfriend Collective High Rise Bike Short from NET-A-PORTER (S$55)

Available in four colours, these bike shorts are stretchy, high-waisted, and end mid-thigh. For the fashion-forward and athletic, these shorts provide a sculpting and supportive fit, while being stretchy enough to facilitate movement. Another plus point is that these shorts are made from recycled fabric blended with plenty of stretch, making it an environmentally friendly, comfortable option.

TechSweat Flex Short by Outdoor Voices ($48USD)

The TechSweat Flex Shorts are made out of breathable, lightweight TechSweat fabric, with a soft, flexible waistband and a mid-rise fit, ending slightly below the belly button. This particular pair ends slightly above mid-thigh, allowing for mobility and flexibility. Moisture-wicking and with a hidden pocket sewn in the mid-rise waistband, these shorts are comfortable, breathable, and are perfect for daily wear or for working out. 

Women’s HeatGear Armour Bike Shorts from Under Armour (S$49)

Under Armour’s bike shorts are moisture-wicking and quick-drying, providing a compression ultra-tight fit. It has 4-way stretch construction, which allows the fabric to move with you. These shorts are suited for those who exercise often and require a durable pair, as it is made with anti-odour technology and ergonomic flatlock seams to prevent chafing.

Alexa Bike Short from Lorna Jane (S$83.99)

Lorna Jane’s Alexa bike shorts are moisture-wicking and made out of LJ’s active fabric. These shorts are suitable for gym, interval training or high-impact cardio usage, making it a stylish pair of shorts to wear to the gym or HIIT class.

Categories
Review Style

Must Have Cycling Activewear for Beginners

Cycling is an excellent way for many people to destress and discover unexplored terrains. Be it cycling out and about in the city centre or some far off nature reserve, there’s always some place to explore, and cycling just amplifies the whole experience. 

Cycling can, however, get uncomfortable. Cycling can also be an expensive hobby with all the equipment to acquire. To ease introduction into the cycling world, and to ease the pressure on your wallet, here are a few essential activewear items you ought to invest in before going out for a ride. 

Helmet

Helmets are primarily hats designed to protect riders from head injuries. Any helmet on the market can do that, but with the vast array of options from different brands, there’s a bunch of other factors to consider. 

Key factors include:

  • comfort
  • aerodynamics
  • breathability

However, the hierarchy of importance is different for everyone. For competitive cyclists, aerodynamics would be quite high up the list as it helps with speed. If you’re just starting out, perhaps comfort and breathability would be more critical over aerodynamics. 

An expensive cycling helmet can be more lightweight and breathable, with a more comfortable retention system, providing you with a safe and secure fit. It all boils down to your hierarchy of needs, which streamlines your decision-making. 

Padded Cycling Shorts

A good pair of padded cycling shorts are incredibly essential for any rider. The more time you spend on your bike without padding, the more at risk you are of getting saddle sores, forcing you to rest instead of cycle. Padded cycling shorts also make your overall ride more comfortable, so there’s no reason not to get one. 

Again, there are vital factors into deciding which pair you should get that fits your needs and budget. 

A good pair of cycling shorts should include: 

  • a quality chamois (the pad)
  • quick-drying, high-wick material
  • stretchy compression fit fabric 

Cycling shorts are available in two forms: bib shorts and waist shorts. Bib shorts are more comfortable than waist shorts, but if you opt for waist shorts, be sure to look out for a pair with a high, thick band to prevent digging in. 

Baselayer

A performance base layer should sit close to the skin and provide a compression fit. A tight-fitting fit is more comfortable for active cycling sessions and reduces chafing or rubbing. It might not make sense initially to wear a base layer while going for a ride in sunny Singapore, but choosing to wear one that is appropriately fitted and has moisture-wicking properties can help you feel more comfortable during the ride. A light base layer will move moisture away from the skin and aid in evaporation, keeping you cool and your skin dry, preventing irritation.

Waterproof jacket

A waterproof jacket can be useful for sudden downpours. There’s a lot of technical terminologies to sift through when searching for a waterproof jacket, but the key elements to look out for are:

Waterproofness

Water-resistant is not water-proof. Water-proofed jackets typically come with a claimed rating of at least 10,000mm, have taped seams and storm-proof zips. Water-resistant will usually come with a Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating and be more lightweight, making it more convenient to carry around. 

Breathability

Breathability is also rated — ratings above 10,000g can help you from feeling humid inside. Typically, the more waterproof a fabric is, the less breathable it becomes, so there are some trade-offs to be made in your decision. The jacket design is the deciding factor for breathability, followed by the fabric used. 

Fit

Those who ride fast or race will require a tight-fitting rain cape which minimises fabric flap, maintaining aero performance. Casual riders can opt for a looser fit. 

Packability

If you are seeking to carry a jacket around, water-resistant options are usually more lightweight and compressible than waterproof jackets which tend to be heavier and bulkier. However, technology has come a long way, and Gore’s new ‘Shakedry’ technology is exceptionally waterproof and very lightweight. 

Shoes

Choosing the right shoe for you at the best price bracket can be a tricky affair, but here’s a couple of tips to help your selection. The major factors you need to consider in shoe selection are the fastening system, sole, cleat style, and how they fit.

Fastening system

There are four different fastening systems: velcro, ratchets, laces, and dials. Velcro offers a lightweight option, and it holds the shoe firmly in place, but they can be difficult to adjust on the move. Ratchets provide more adjustability than Velcro straps, offers a secure fit, and can be easily tightened while riding. However, loosening a ratchet requires both hands. Dials provide security, easy adjustment and hold well. Laces are regular laces which provide excellent hold but are impossible to adjust on the go. 

Sole

The main thing you want in a sole is for it to be stiff. It shouldn’t bend when you press down on it. The second consideration is weight; the lighter, the better. Different price points offer different material soles, with the cheapest to most expensive being: plastic, carbon composite, carbon-soled. A plastic sole is adequate for a beginner rider, and you can always upgrade if your needs change later on as you learn more about yourself through your rides. 

Cleat style

Your choice on cleats is dependent on the type of riding you’re doing. If you need a pair of shoes that are easy to walk in, go for a pedal system that uses two-bolt cleats. For road riding, opt for three-bolt cleats as they provide a broader platform. 

Categories
Review Style

Your Guide to Ethical and Sustainable Sportswear

From plant-based alternatives to stainless steel straws, consumers are increasingly more conscious in making sustainable purchases. More than just using eco-friendly materials, sustainability also includes issues surrounding social welfare, labour, inclusivity, waste, and consumption.

For fitness enthusiasts who are looking to do something good for your body while minimising the impact on animals, people, and the planet, these are some of the qualities you should look out for in the search of sustainable sportswear.

Natural fibres

Keep a lookout for organic cotton, hemp or bamboo mixed with a little bit of recycled synthetic fibres for flexibility. Tencel is also a common choice amongst ethical and sustainable sportswear brands.

Recycled Synthetics 

Recycled ocean plastics are becoming increasingly popular, with fabrics such as Econyl, a branded type of recycled nylon, leading the change. Econyl’s production company recycles fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring, and industrial plastic, restores the nylon to its original state, and turns it into a fabric that can be repurposed once the customer is done with the garment.

Eco-Conscious Production

This essentially means manufacturing sportswear with minimal to no impact on the environment. These products should not be made from harmful chemicals and all materials are either being recycled or being disposed of in a responsible manner.

For an eco-friendly brand to stand out, the use of dye is a strict no-no. Almost 20% of industrial water pollution globally is attributable to the dying and treatment of textiles. Alternatively, they can be used with synthetic materials like polyester to reduce water and energy usage.

Manufacturing and Working Conditions

In today’s world of fast fashion, garment workers can often suffer from poor working conditions with long hours, low pay, and dangerous environments with unsafe buildings, hazardous processes or a lack of safety equipment.

It’s generally easier to track the production practices and working conditions if the clothing is made in your local area, region or country. Otherwise, you can keep your eye on brands that are certified Fair Trade, a marker of quality working standards among a company’s workforce.

Charitable Endeavours

Most eco-friendly brands are passionate about important social causes. They are involved in community work and are committed to various charities and nonprofits. They also encourage their consumers to do their part by making a donation to shared causes that help the betterment of the community at large.

Now that you have understood the qualities to look out for, here is our list of top sustainable and ethical sportswear you can use the next time you work out a sweat!

Top Ethical and Sustainable Sportswear

Pact

Pact is a one-stop-shop where consumers can find organic alternatives that fit their lifestyle because they believe that doing good should be easy. Their sportswear serves as a basic gear for indoor gym and yoga activities. It’s also a reminder that style and sustainability can co-exist.

Pact believes that the best ingredients make the best clothes and the people who make the clothes are as important as the people who wear them. 

Athleta

Athleta’s products are designed for every type of sports. Whether you’re in search of tights for yoga or jogger pants for a trail hike, Athleta has got you covered. It also has skirts for tennis and bathing suits for swimming, if those activities are more your speed. 

60% of Athleta’s materials are produced with sustainable fibres, and they feature quick-drying, anti-chafing, and water-resistant qualities. What’s more, they are a size-inclusive brand with sizing extends to petite, tall, 1X and 3X which helps to refute the notion that women sportswear are only made for petite and fit girls.

Adidas

More than just stylish sneakers, Adidas is also a popular choice when it comes to sustainable sportswear. Adidas’ zero waste efforts include using half the amount of water in manufacturing, reducing energy consumption, and stop using virgin plastic by 2020. They also collaborate with Parley for the Ocean to create adidas x parley for oceans which is the brand’s first footwear model made from recycled plastic and illegal fishing nets.

Threads 4 Thought

Founded in 2006, Threads 4 Thought was born out of the idea that for every purchase we made as a consumer, we are casting a vote with our dollars for a better world. With a focus of affordability and sustainability, they use sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Lenzing modal for their range of sportswear. 

They also take pride in obtaining the highest certifications in the industry, ensuring the best working conditions, and the highest level of sustainable production processes.

That’s not all. They have also partnered with the International Rescue Committee to help refugees live better lives and for reducing environmental issues.

Categories
Review Style

Best Workout Shoes in 2020

If you are serious about working out and spend more time training with weights, you must wear a supporting pair of shoes that is suitable for the activity. Choosing the right pair of workout shoes that support your feet is crucial in preventing injuries and improving your foot health. Whether it is just a morning jog or a hardcore fitness routine, you need to invest time to find the best shoes that suit you. High-quality, workout-specific shoes offer a lot more than a snug fit. For instance, low drop shoes are great for functional fitness exercises, but if you run long distances in them, you will experience stress on your ankle tendons and calf muscles. Working out on athletic shoes can be dangerous as they could interfere with your balance while performing snatches or weighted squats. Buy a pair of breathable gym shoes that support your joints if you do a lot of HIIT or CrossFit. If you are looking for a new pair of workout shoes, here is the ultimate list for you. 

Nike Free X Metcon 2

Best for:  Weightlifting and gym workouts

If you are a hardcore fitness buff who spend a lot of time in powerlifting, this is undoubtedly the best choice for you. They come with a breathable upper, good grip and incredible ankle support. They offer excellent ground connection, providing a steady platform for hard training. The toe area is crafted mostly with breathable material to allow plenty of airflow around the toe areas that could get sweaty during an explosive workout session. They fit snugly around the ankle and support rapid direction changes. If there is a negative point to mention, it is the flat sole which could make you feel a bit uncomfortable if you hit the treadmill for about fifteen minutes.

Asics Gel Kayano 

Best for: Strength training and running

These light and fashionable shoes are carefully designed to provide better ankle stability. If you have muscle imbalances, this works best for you. The right support for the ankle and knees helps prevent over-pronation. Over-pronating causes your feet to roll inwards leading to swelling and pain on the knees. The light-weight design supports your feet and alleviates the pressure on the joints. They offer a smooth and slow heel-to-toe shift and hence, a good choice for running and strength training. 

Nike Varsity Compete

Best for: Weightlifting and gym workouts

Carefully designed to provide the most comfortable fit with an airy feeling, Nike Varsity Compete is extremely lightweight. They offer excellent grip on the floor for a steady and confident workout session. The flat, cushioned sole makes them good for sprints and Olympic lifts. The outer is made of woven mesh to enhance breathability. When tied tightly, they offer a tight fit that gives a feeling of stability.

Reebok Men’s Nano 9 Cross Trainer

Best for: Gym, cross training 

Designed as a perfect gym partner, Nano 9 Cross Trainers are flexible to enable jumping, weightlifting, lateral moves, and Olympic lifts. It is important to have a grip and feel the ground to perform cross-training confidently. Though not ideal for long-distance running, they can be comfortably used to run short distances. They have flat soles with very little cushioning and hence, they do not offer good rebound on roads. They have a form-fitting design that holds your feet firmly in place yet allow them to move flexibly. 

Nike Women’s Metcon 5 Training Shoe

Best for: Gym, cross training

Metcon 5 comes with a great design that supports cross-training, jumping, Olympic lifting and other CrossFit workouts. These stable and comfortable shoes keep you firm on the ground while working out. The removable insoles facilitate a better range of motion. These insoles are called Hyperlifts. If you have narrow feet, this is absolutely a good choice for your gym workout sessions. They have amazingly stable heels and outstanding ground feel. They are good enough for short-distance running, but not suitable for running long distance. They are one of the best women’s gym shoes available today. 

Vibram Women’s KSO EVO Cross Trainer

Best for: Cross training

These snug-fitting shoes make you feel barefoot and gives excellent ground feedback. Adjustable laces and upper mesh add to the style and fit.  The five-toe design with individual compartments for the toes enable a natural feeling and movement. It comes with an anti-microbial lining that prevents bacteria build-up and fights odour. Machine washable material makes it easier to maintain. 

While selecting workout shoes, consider your sport and your feet. Your workout shoes should keep you firm on the ground, fit snugly around your ankle, and offer good stability while jumping and lifting. Check what you do not like about your current pair of shoes, note them, and search for a pair of shoes that addressesses them.  

 

This article first appeared on Reflect Fitness.

Categories
Review Style

The Hottest Activewear Trends for Women in 2020

As fashion trends evolve and offer variety, so does activewear. You’d be pleased to know that in 2020, workout clothing extend beyond biker shorts and the typical midriff-baring top. This year, it’s all about bright statement pieces, smart tailoring and a greater emphasis on eco-friendly choices. The ‘60s also make a revival as tie dye is now back in vogue, and the demand for convenience grows as bodysuits make their debut in the gym.  Below, the hottest activewear trends dominating the fitness space in 2020.   

The dye

One of the trends that’s making a major comeback in 2020 is tie-dye. This ancient resist-dyeing technique, commonly associated with the free spirited nature of the hippies from the ’60, involves crumpling fabric with string or rubber bands and soaking them in bright coloured dye. While tie-dye has for the most part been seen on baggy t-shirts and oversized sweaters, today, you’ll find this psychedelic-coloured print on sports bras and leggings. Popular athletic apparel brand Lululemon has released new versions of its all-time favourite Align pants in iced purple and olive dye variations, and luxe athleisure label Bombshell Sportswear just dropped a collection in stunning baby pink and blue colours.  The best part about this trend is that you don’t necessarily have to splurge too — with hundreds of tutorials online, simply DIY an old pair of leggings and make one that’s uniquely yours!   

Bright colours

2019 might have been the year of muted pastels. In 2020, we’re all about bright, balmy shades. Think flaming scarlet red, vivid orange and neon yellow that perfectly capture the essence of summer. Make a statement with Gymshark’s latest Sol collection which features biker shorts and loose-fitting crop tees in intense teal and lemon hues; Balance Athletica’s Oasis drop which sees bold hot pink and orange leggings; and Buffbunny’s Taste of Summer launch with the brightest reds. With a vivid gym outfit that’s set to be a surefire way to lift up your mood, there’s no excuse to miss your next gym session anymore.  

Shades of blue

Apart from bright colours, we’re also seeing hues of blue making appearances on workout outfits. While prime blue continues to remain a staple, getting increasing traction are various tints of blue, especially steel and muted blue. Activewear brands that have released softer shades of this primary colour include Balance Athletica, Colourfulkoala and Kamo Fitness. Blue also appears to be a frequently used colour in most tie-dye leggings, further reinforcing its position in the activewear scene.   

Butt-accentuating leggings

You know what they say — almost anyone’s rear can look impressive in a good pair of yoga pants. Besides comfort and aesthetically pleasing colours, consumers are also looking towards bottoms that give the bum a good lift. While seamless leggings used to be the holy grail of activewear, the opposite stands true now. For a flattering derriere, keep a lookout for leggings with seams at the back — better still if they’re high waisted. These seams cut in the middle, separating both butt cheeks and thus accentuating those peaches. A classic option would be the Lululemon Aligns, which come with attractive contour seams. For a greater booty illusion, opt for leggings with a scrunch at the back, such as Gymshark’s Camo Leggings or CLS Sportswear for a range of booty scrunch leggings. Tip: try to keep the scrunch as subtle as possible, you don’t want to risk looking like you’re trying too hard.  

Bodysuits

One-piece workout suits such as bodysuits and leotards have commonly been used for activities like ballet — who knew they would make their way into weight rooms and yoga studios? While many brands have yet to jump on the one-piece bandwagon, it’s only a matter of time before they do. Stay ahead of the curve with Bombshell Sportswear’s sculpting all-in-one piece that comes with a built-in sports bra and sexy strappy back; Gymshark’s cycle short length version; or Free People’s fashionable high neckline rendition.   

Eco-conscious activewear

We know the impact of fast fashion on the world. The sustainability zeitgeist is now extending to sportswear too, as consumers want to know how and where their activewear are coming from. Are they made using natural organic materials instead of synthetic fibres? Are companies practicing ethical manufacturing and labour? These are just some of the questions consumers will keep in mind. If you’re clueless on where to start, check out popular brands like Girlfriend Collective, Athleta and Alternative Apparel.

 

This article first appeared on Reflect Fitness.

Categories
Review Style

Instagram-based Shops in Singapore to Follow for Vintage Inspiration

Classic brand tees. 80s style box TVs. Pearl necklaces. Rotary phones.

The charming appeal of all-things vintage — whether its home décor, clothing, or jewellery — hasn’t died down as people continue hunting thrift shops and vintage shops for hidden treasures.

The obsession with scoring the perfect piece or that one-of-a-kind finds is almost half the fun. And you’re also doing the environment a bit of good by repurposing old clothes and not sending them to a wasteland.

Building up your collection of vintage finds will take a long while as there is a lot of browsing (and luck) involved. Enter Instagram, the thrifter’s godsend. Some shops have ventured into the online space, where you can shop to your heart’s content from the comfort of your bed. Most, actually all of the Instagram accounts also double up as Pinterest-worthy inspiration to get your dose of vintage eye-candy.

Here are some local Instagram shops that we’ve currently got on our saved list. Some have clothes, others specialise in refurbishing old antiques. But we know that there is definitely something for you old souls in there somewhere.

And if you really want love the item, just slide into their DMs.

Vintage Wknd

Touting their clothes as ‘affordable vintage’, Vintage Wknd repurposes vintage into more modern silhouettes. Each drop is themed, with florals, crops, and even lace chemises. Their feed is full of quirky and old school vibes, and is worth following for some creative style inspiration even if you’re not eyeing anything.

Dust Bunny Vintage

Giving new life to old pieces with a little nod to our local heritage is Dust Bunny Vintage. Their carefully curated selection of lightweight blouses, batik wrap dresses, and the occasional thrifted statement piece.

They’ve also launched their own mini-label, Dust Bunny Label, where they debut modern vintage inspired pieces. You can even bring in your own cloths and fabrics, and they’ll work their Dust Bunny magic and turn them into unique showstoppers.

Hock Siong & Co.

The go-to for one-of-a-kind secondhand and antique furniture. Hock Siong restores and refurbishes old furniture that have been thrown away or rescued from old establishments, giving them new looks with gorgeous fabrics and fresh coats of colour. Do constantly check back as most of their stuff gets snapped up pretty quickly. We can’t blame them, really.

Empire Rework

Empire has all sorts of styles to fit the modern day girl, but their reworks deserve a second look. Find authentic pieces from all your favourite streetwear brands reworked into modern silhouettes. Stand out from the crowd with a Nike toga top or a Ralph Lauren polo crop.

Lucky Chance Store

If you love mesmerising prints and quirky textures, you’ve chanced upon the right place. Lucky Chance Store unearths interesting fabrics and patterned shirts that will become your next statement piece. There’s no one size fits all as each shirt sits differently. And once it’s gone, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another as there is only one of each piece.

Vintage Gang

This one’s for the boys too, and you can shop pop culture t shirts, tracksuit jackets, and even tie dye stuff from their Instagram feed. Athleisure brands, rock bands, sports teams, and even cartoon characters just some of their popular items.