Investing in sportswear now is like backing Facebook in 2004; a guaranteed rocket return year after year. Put it down to the upcoming summer of sport – Euro 2016, Rio Olympics, Wimbledon, Tour de France – or a resurgence in 1990s-themed looks, but sports-inspired fashion has scored big in recent seasons.
So why is it a sudden crowd pleaser? “Sportswear always begins its life on the back of athletes, before becoming popularised by people in the public eye,” explains Mr Porter buyer Daniel Todd. “It then gets reappraised by designers, making it a trend which cannot be ignored.”
The look goes beyond celebrity, though. By nature, sportswear is wearable, comfortable and adaptable, making it relatively easy to pull off. You want to look clean and tailored, not like you just ran 10k, and definitely not like a college frat kid.
Sport by sport, here’s a template of how it should done, without resorting to compression leggings in the office.
Track & Field
It’s safe to say the shell suit is up there with the worst ever trends we don’t want to see return. However, that’s not to say the track and field look can’t have a moment on the winner’s podium once again.
Start with a vintage track jacket or lightweight zip-up bomber in sporty fabrics such as a cotton-poly blend or nylon (you never saw Linford Christie in suede). Bring the look racing up to date by teaming with a crisp white shirt and slim-fitting trousers.
Mango Man 2016
Whether you support the Mets, the Yankees, or have no idea where either hails from, this summer it’s all about nailing a home run with your own baseball look.
SS16’s big hitter, the souvenir jacket, carries many of the same features as the baseball jacket – including a ribbed collar, cuffs and hem – but with an oriental twist.
In the market? Todd suggests Gucci or Valentino as the go-to names, but if they’re out of your price bracket, then high street brands do some excellent versions that are equally lightweight, low-maintenance and great for layering.
Fancy looking like you’ve just stepped out of an Audi R18 e-tron quattro at Le Mans (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) all-over leather would be your first pit stop. However, it’s not the most practical choice for summer, so park that idea and pick up on some behind-the-scenes inspiration.
The boiler suit, the equivalent of a onesie you can wear outside, is a divisive look. While it won’t be one for everyone, labels such as Hermés and Louis Vuitton have all shown it can be done stylishly in past seasons.
Keep the look fairly fitted, roll the sleeves up and avoid any puddling at the shoes to avoid any whiff of a repairman.
ASOS Slim Boiler Suit In Oil Wash With Biker Detail, available at Asos, priced £50.
Having been an anchor of summertime style for countless seasons, you should have by now mastered the nautical look. But when it comes to stealing from sailing, rather than the fisherman we look to in winter, think leather boat shoes, light knits in a marinière pattern (the original name for Breton stripes), slim chinos and lightweight rain coats.
Transform the daytime outfit by subbing in a pair of loafers and a crisp button-down for dinner on the deck. Equally, sail through an evening event in style by setting off in white trousers and shirt with a navy double breasted dinner jacket and bow tie.
Mango Man SS15
Golf clubs (and we’re not talking about the ones you swing) have strict dress codes, meaning the expected attire is already a hybrid of sportswear and formalwear. Do it well and you can wear the same outfit from first tee to the ’19th hole’. The aim should be to nail the same transitional style when stealing the look.
Loud patterned trousers should remain in the bunker; team slim neutral chinos with a classic polo shirt in true Arnold Palmer fashion. A splash of colour is par for the course when it comes to a wool jumper or cardigan for an evening round.