While I like to think positively that I will get to attend a spin class or arrange a coffee with a colleague at Soho Works in 2021, it seems clear that our homes will continue as a triptych of exercise, relaxation and office space for the foreseeable future – with a little added calisthenics and cardio space at your local park if you’re lucky. Chances are this requires a slight rethink of the exercise kit you’ve got hanging in your wardrobe right now.
If you’re a committed health club nut, your indoor duds might benefit from an injection of outdoor appropriate items for winter calisthenics or cardio. If you’re keen to try then give yoga a go to balance both body and mind in your living room, you’d be surprised at how getting super-stretchy pieces tailored specifically for the practice are far superior to stuff you wear already for workouts. Even if you’re not going all-out with fitness, at a time when our work and home lives are inexorably blurred, the power of having an off-duty uniform that offers comfort and closure after you’ve tucked your laptop away is deeply mentally liberating. Whether it’s self-care or sweating it out in the park, make sure you’ve got the right gear to give your body what its craving.
For Working Out
Whether indoors or outside, your workout gear needs to keep you warm yet dry as you work up a sweat.
Torsa Onyx Top, £75
Launched last year, Torsa is a new premium active wear label that combines advanced technical fabrics with Scandinavian minimalism and a hint of what’s trending on the catwalk. This Onyx T-shirt epitomises the brand’s vibe, with a cool mock neck, subtle lavender colour and a micro-mesh fabric that both absorbs moisture and fights bacteria from sweat.
Available at Torsa.
M&S Good Move Shorts, £25
What’s great about these shorts is not only their incredibly reasonable price tag, but also that a whole lot of thought has gone into their design. The built-in compression undershorts help wick moisture away from your body and contain an elasticated pocket for your smartphone on the thigh. The upper layer has reflective bands and a zip pocket for small valuables. And it’s made from recycled polyester. Look good, do good.
Available at Marks & Spencer.
CDLP Mobilité Underwear, £44
Cut from quick-drying and anti-odour rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), these underpants are made to perform. Available in a trunk and brief, both are crafted with flat seams to reduce chafing and built in mesh panels to increase ventilation.
Available at CDLP.
Ron Dorff Massage Candle, £44
While you might not have space to install a sauna to ease your aches after a gruelling outdoor workout, activewear label Ron Dorff has a solution that’s just as effective. Not only does the brand’s signature give off the comforting, woody scent of a Swedish sauna, but the wax (formulated with a particularly low melting point) can be used as a warm massaging oil to soothe your muscles.
Available at Ron Dorff.
For Cold-weather Runs
Unless you’ve got space for a treadmill at your place, the next few months require running gear that will keep you protected (und upright) as you battle wind, rain and, god forbid, snow.
COS Performance Layers, £89
The key to getting through the coming season is layers. Some days you might need joggers and a jacket on your run, other days you might need a vest and shorts. The good news is that COS’ new activewear line has got it all – plus a design edge on many of its purely sports-focused peers.
Take its Performance running jacket, for example, slim-cut from water-repellent recycled polyester, and fitted with a wind-beating funnel neck and a mesh rear vent for ventilation. An outdoor MVP in its own right, but also available with interchangeable tonal shorts, leggings, tracksuit bottoms and shirts.
Available at COS stores.
Vivobarefoot Trail Sneakers, £120
While we can’t prevent rainy runs over the next few weeks, we can help to protect your feet. Founded in 2012, Vivobarefoot makes shoes with thinner, wider soles that help you to run in the way we are biologically designed to, enhancing balance while ensuring shock absorption. The label’s high-grip Primus Trail Winter FG sneakers are not only lightweight, breathable and vegan, but are designed to be water-repellent – meaning that the season’s inevitable showers can’t stop you going for a run.
Available at Vivobarefoot.
MDO Coat by SevenLayer, £395
If you’re prepping for temperatures hovering around zero for your next run, you need a SevenLayer MDO (or modular down outer). Manufactured from 94 per cent polyester and six per cent spandex – which creates a dynamic stretch for comfort and durability – this garment is not only extremely lightweight and insulating (thanks to down clusters that trap pockets of air), but it also repels water. Wear it as is, zip off the sleeves to create a vest, or zip into the 3L Hard Shell Outer (sold separately) for even more protection from the elements.
Available at SevenLayer.
Soar Running Socks, £21
Bored of white tube socks that rub through after a few jogs? Soar, founded by lifelong runner and fashion designer Tim Soar, brings big, bold colour to running gear crafted with longevity in mind. The label’s socks are not only eye-catching, available in bold prints and zingy shades, but have the kind of utility few of their competitors posses.
Cropped to a mid-calf length and ribbed to support your calf and achilles while in action, a light compression band over the arch to stop the sock slipping, terry cloth padding on the heel to lessen impact, mesh construction to allow maximum air circulation – the list goes on. In fact, it’s rather incredible Soar’s been able to fit so many features into such a small item.
Available at Soar Running.
Tribe Sports Jacket, £105
If you’re braving the coldest temperatures for a jog then you’re going to need something with added warmth – and British running label Tribe has the garment to suit. As you can probably gather from its name, the Thermal Panel Jacket is stuffed with a lightweight, compact layer of soft insulation that will keep you toasty when the mercury dips and has a packaway hood for when the heavens open – not to mention reflective panels for early bird training.
Available at Tribe Sports.
Want to get beyond downward dog? You’re going to need kit that’s fit for purpose. Look out for garments that are not only stylish for meditating in, but also have ludicrous amounts of stretch for mastering your gladiator pose.
Lululemon in Mind Pants, £88
When I say ‘yoga pants’, you probably think of a pair of trousers with a gathered waist, baggy thighs and tie-dye fabric, complemented by a vague waft of incense. Lululemon decided to change that. Cut with a tapered fit that hugs your calves, but gives breathing space to your thighs and glutes, these high-stretch slacks have mesh ventilation to keep you feeling cool while looking cool, during even the most challenging poses.
Available at Lululemon.
Pendleton Yoga Mat, £75
Famous for their legendary wool blankets, American heritage brand Pendleton has brought some of its signature style to a new selection of yoga mats. Designed and crafted in Portland, Oregon, each will bring a hit of eye-popping Western States style to your workout.
Available at Pendleton Woolen Mills.
Saint Laurent Rive Droite Yoga Outfit, £260 for top and shorts
Achieve inner piece while looking like a rockstar. Saint Laurent has just released a new line of sports kit, including a monochrome bicycle, leopard print surf board, and even pool inflatables. However the yoga kit, designed in collaboration with American activewear brand Alo Yoga, is particularly cool. This all-black tank top and shorts is the reward you deserve to showcase the fruits of your labour after months of sweating it out in your front room.
Available at YSL.
Mr Marvis Sport Shorts, £69
Created from 88 per cent recycled plastic bottles, these sporty shorts have four-way stretch to maximise the movement you can do. And while they’re fitted with secret zip pockets for valuables should you need to repurpose them for an outdoor workout, what’s great is their lack of branding and embellishment means they’ll be just as good-looking for a walk in the park come summertime too – plus they’re available in a veritable rainbow of colours.
Available at Mr Marvis.
For Chilling the Hell Out
Whether you’re slipping it on for a jog, kicking back in it after work or making Casual Friday a whole lot more causal with your colleagues on Zoom, chest-level designs, bright colours and super-soft materials are the only way to go.
A Day’s March Cashmere-Wool Hoodie, £155
There are two distinct advantages of buying clothes from a Swedish brand: not only do they get that sleek, Scandinavian minimalism down pat, but they also understand how to beat the chill winds of the northern hemisphere. This hoodie from Stockholm-based label A Day’s March is an exceptional example: relaxed enough to feel comfortable but tailored enough to still slip under a smart jacket (one day, and cut from superbly soft cashmere-wool mix fabric.
Available at A Day’s March.
Sir Plus Blue Paisley Print Silk Dressing Gown, £495
If a hoodie isn’t really your style, only a dressing gown will do. Whether you’re slipping this on after closing your laptop at six o’clock or kicking around the house in it all Sunday long, this number from Notting Hill label Sir Plus – cut from 100 per cent Liberty print silk – will instantly make you feel like a Hollywood leading man.
Available at Sir Plus.
Rowing Blazers X Slim Aarons Hoodie, £180
The images captured by legendary American photographer Slim Aarons are bright and exuberant – often focused on the glamorous gatherings of the rich and famous. In lieu of such gatherings in real life, this collaboration between the artist and nouveau Ivy League label Rowing Blazers is a bold-coloured celebration of the social lives we can hopefully look forward to reclaiming soon.
Available at Rowing Blazers.
Holzweiler M. Rainbow Hoodie, 2,000 NOK
Fresh in from Oslo, minimalist Norweigian brand Holzweiler has gone all maximalist with this organic cotton black hoodie featuring its signature coat hanger logo on steroids. The irony, of course, is that it’s so comfortable you may never want to hang it away again.
Available at Holzweiler.
Goodee Hoodie, $100 USD
Founded a few years back by Canadian design duo Byron and Dexter Peart (who you might know from their accessories brand WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie), Goodee is an online marketplace and crucible for cool new brands with an environmental edge. It gained such a strong following that it now has its own merch line. The logo hoodies, which are available in a range of colours as well as a multicoloured patch design, are worth buying for the pleasing rhyme alone.
Available at Goodee World.
Everlane Felted Merino Wool Hoodie, £93
Everlane’s not just good for its transparency-first approach to manufacturing clothes, it’s also a brand that really thinks about what a man needs. Take its felted Merino wool hoodie: not just good looking, but also woven from wool that’s been boiled to ensure it’s softer, thicker and more durable.
Available at Everlane.
Aveda “Nutriplenish” Haircare System, £82 (for Three Products)
While you might only feel the immediate drying effects of the cold weather on your skin, take a moment to think about your hair too: not only buffeted by chill wind outdoors and radiator-heated air indoors, but also charged up with static from woolly hats. Aveda’s all new, all-vegan Nutriplenish line comprises shampoos, conditioners and leave-in treatments infused with omega 5-rich pomegranate oil to bring shine and strength back to your barnet in time for the summer.
Available at Aveda.
Haeckels Exfoliating Vegan Seaweed Block, £18
Gently buff away dry patches while rehydrating your skin with this deeply moisturising body bar from Margate-based grooming brand Haeckels. Infused with seaweed from Margate beach as well as crushed peppercorns to gently exfoliate and tea tree oil to repair, this pleasingly girthy block is one of the best-smelling soaps I’ve ever tried.
Available at Haeckles.
La Mer “The SPF50 UV Protecting Fluid”, £85 for 50ml
Damaging UV rays on our skin have been proven as one of the leading causes of premature aging – and it’s all around us during daylight hours even in the winter (yes, it can penetrate glass). The crazy thing is it’s so easy to guard against it by simply swapping your regular moisturiser for one with SPF built in, such as the incredible Protecting Fluid by La Mer. So light, it sinks into your skin like butter on hot toast.
Available at Mr Porter.
The Nue Co Vitamin D, £15 for 15ml (Approx. 35 Servings)
Getting the right items into your grooming cabinet isn’t just a matter of looking good, it’s also key to feeling good. Getting enough Vitamin D from sunlight is tough in the best of winters here in the northern hemisphere, but with the added complication of the pandemic meaning we’re all spending more time indoors, it’s time to get serious about a supplement to ensure your bones and muscles stay healthy, and your immune system is up to task.
The Nue Co’s Vitamin D spray is a real winner. Three sprays under your tongue after you’ve brushed your teeth in the morning or evening and – boom – you’ve taken 375 per cent of your daily dose (and your body’s absorbed it 2.6 times faster than if you took a pill).
Available at The Nue Co.
Heath London Hand Salve, £10 for 75ml
My hands live in a permanent state of dryness thanks to a combination of poor circulation and being an obsessive handwasher even before the pandemic kicked in – so a hand cream needs to be damn good before I go around recommending it. Of all the tubes I’ve tried, Heath London’s Hand Salve is one of the absolute standouts. Infused with shea butter and pro-vitamin B5, it’s not only intensely softening and soothing (and rubs in like a dream), but it’s also protecting thanks to the presence of ‘pollustop’ to rebuff the ageing effects of pollution from your hands.
Available at Health London.