Active Child

Active Child

When I was at school, I considered it a badge of honour to say that I skipped P.E. lessons by lying about period pains.  I scowled at the sporty types for their perfect hockey/netball/rounders/tennis skills.  I was outwardly proud of the fact that I got picked last for most team sports.  This was all part of my defense mechanism against the "mainstream".  To like or be good at sports was populist and rubbish.  Everything associated with being "active" was a total turn-off to my physically inactive self.  To loaft around at home watching My So-Called Life repeat marathons, read Bret Easton Ellis or teach myself HTML on my dial-up broadband felt way cooler than working out in the gym, going for a jog or wanting to be healthy.  To deliberately avoid brands like Umbro, Kappa and Nike was my way of fighting back against the sportswear brand-touting "townies" or the "chavs" on the bus, who would shout things like "Ching chang chong!" at me as I meekly buried my head in a book or pushed the volume up higher on my mini disc player.  Moaning at the TV when anything sports-related was on, giving the finger to sportswear stores and deliberately not trying or not bothering to lift a limb when faced with physical activity because "I CAN'T DO IT!" or "I SUCK AT THIS" was all classic Kevin the Teenager behaviour, which I look back upon and cringe.  

Somewhere in ensuing decade or so, something changed.  As someone who officially loafts around in front of the computer for a living, it's suddenly all the more important to want to move.  Sudden urges to run just to wake my body up from a Macbook Meltdown resulted in my running a my first half marathon last year.  Every opportunity that has been presented to me where I got to try out physical activities, which once scared or turned me off – cycling around London on a Tweed Run, trying out surfing with Nike out in Orange Country or most recently hitting a few balls with a coach from the All England Club with Lacoste at Babington House for their 80th anniversary – lo and behold, I thoroughly enjoyed it all.  I wasn't great at any of it but that's besides the point.  Using up neurones.  Moving.  Feeling like I don't have to just be the cliched loafter nerd, who stays indoors tweaking HTML, reading indie auteur books and listening to obscure MP3s, is in fact exhilarating stuff.  As is avoiding another tired and ghastly trope, which supposedly says that fashion people are allergic to sports.  The types that sneer at football.  They declare the Olympic Games to be boring.  They joke that their exercise is to go walking up and down in heels and walking the streets to shop.  

How then to marry that old chestnut up with the fact that year after year, another sport or active subculture gets appropriated into high fashion, so much so that the clothes not just become sportswear-inspired by that you wind up wearing actual sportswear.  One season it's surf.  Another it's climbing/hiking gear.  This year it seems, it's all about skate (Beach in the East's Dogtown and Z-Boys-inspired pop-up stock is now on FarFetch by the by…).  Or witness the rise of trainers where you actually get people debating amongst themselves about the merits of Nike Air Max vs. New Balance.  It's an aesthetic that has shaken up fashion in the last few years, so much so that it may not be just a temporary trend – so ingrained is it with lifestyle that the instinct to dress down an ornate piece of attire with the swift and speedy tool of a sweatshirt, a hoodie or a pair of trainer could well be lasting.   

The change in my own attitude towards physical activity and sports, has gone hand in hand with a real shake-up in my wardrobe where activewear – clothes that are either sports-inspired or is actual sportswear – now take up a large percentage.  You could see it as a faddy trend-led development but I know that there's some direct correlation between these clothes you see here and the number of miles I'm running, the number of times I'm now up for physical activities and my overall interest level in sports.  That's on top of the fact that generally speaking, I like the way the injection of sportswear and activewear relaxes an outfit and neatly avoids any notion of that stiletto-wearing, ultra-girlie fashionista clich√©.  The fact of the matter is that I'm no longer the allergic-to-sports dork, which I was so proud to be, and the clothes that I wear reflects that.  It's not an entirely orthodox representation of sportswear but how much fun to have this active strand in my wardrobe, alive, beating and pumping away, so that I can go about my day rapidly.  







IMG_2430Joe Duke customised denim jacket for Beach in the East, Shaun Samson felted stripe sweater, Facetasm shorts, Christopher Kane brocade pool sandals





IMG_2602Francis Leon neoprene-sleeved bomber jacket, Ostwald Helgason sweatshirt and flared satin skirt, Topman Design trainers





IMG_2650DKNY yellow windbreaker, Work Out Life jacket, Lucky Chouette owl print shirt and flared red skirt, Acne boots








IMG_2749Thomas Tait for Beach in the East top, vintage Chanel shorts, Lacoste socks, Nike Flyknit Lunar1 trainers, Thomas Tait "Crazies" sunglasses 

Oh and if I'm still feeling like sitting indoors and doodling away, these marker pen and ink bottles created by Krink NYC for Marc Jacobs' Bookmarc are definitely fun to use… 

IMG_2779Doodling next to a C√©cile t-shirt


Leave a comment
  1. Krystal

    2013-06-02 at 5:39 PM

    I am quite the opposite Susie! I actually spent my childhood and most of my adult years making fun of the chick who didn’t understand football, thought going to a bar to watch the World Cup was boring, and these other types of girlie girls. I spent so much time in sports wear as a youth, that when I finally discovered that clumsiness and wearing heels wasn’t an automatic death trap for me, I never took them off. Now as an adult I find myself out of shape, and not wanting to run and be active like I should. But I love the new trend of sportswear as day wear and I think I shall revisit my roots before the summer is over. And I will also be making that color block denim jacket! ASAP! Love the looks!

  2. Hosuyuen

    2013-06-02 at 6:00 PM

    Pretty much sums up the last 10 years of my life! Except for me it was because I seriously got back into ballet that getting fit and healthy became part of doing what I love, and not simply because I had to “lose weight” or “slim down”, as was hammered into me in my adolescence (which probably why I was so anti-exercise!). I am quite happy that sportswear has become much more aesthetically pleasing, it definitely brightens up the studio!

  3. Meital

    2013-06-02 at 6:02 PM

    nice looks!!
    love them all though I’m not a fan of sportswear..
    the third outfit is my favorite!
    Meital from Très Jolie fashion blog

  4. coline

    2013-06-02 at 6:14 PM

    I have to admit to having never been a massive sports person either….

  5. Like__Enchanted

    2013-06-02 at 8:11 PM

    You look beautiful as always …
    Love, unicorns and glitter on you. <3

  6. McKenzie

    2013-06-02 at 9:03 PM

    Haha I’ve never hidden away from the idea of sport before, I’ve always done dancing and netball, and enjoyed most of P.E, but I’ve definitely gotten into running more for the enjoyable factor lately – I’ve gotten over the whole ‘I’m going to die, make it stop’ aspect, and now enjoy feeling my muscles work hard! Though I may never (and don’t ever want to be haha) a fitness freak, I do love sport! and the intertwining of sport in fashion is a trend that I really love 🙂 I think you’re right in saying that it doesn’t go away, it just reappears in different ways! As always I love your expressive and quirky style!

  7. Herrbergquist

    2013-06-02 at 9:12 PM

    The first outfit in particular is so good! Inspiring.

  8. Dark Blue Stripes

    2013-06-02 at 11:35 PM

    Love the striped trio in your first outfit. Great textures. The denim jacket is super cool.
    Christie x
    Dark Blue Stripes

  9. Eat.Style.Play

    2013-06-03 at 1:11 AM

    I was always into sports. At least thinking about it. I watched Gymnastics, figrue skating religiously. I wanted to be those women so bad. But I hated P.E. I didn’t like running and I couldn’t stand push-ups. Now I love spinning and I still love dance classes. I love all of your outfits with the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th being my favorite.

  10. milex

    2013-06-03 at 1:27 AM

    You are the only girl who can convince me to like pink.

  11. Sunday Desire

    2013-06-03 at 2:08 AM

    so in love with the flared skirts!

  12. Marcie Batting

    2013-06-03 at 3:00 AM

    How we wear matters, that is why we must know to to dress nice and appropriate. For other advice about this topic ask help from image experts.

  13. Carolina

    2013-06-03 at 3:01 AM

    Susie you’re style is really interesting!
    In love with your blog.. cool stuff! 😉

  14. sassyshann

    2013-06-03 at 5:40 AM

    Cute looks. I feel like I should get out more because I spend so much time in front of my macbook, but then I remember how much effort that involves & how comfortable my life in bed is.

  15. anne

    2013-06-03 at 7:35 AM

    why youre so good at mixing patterns?

  16. marti

    2013-06-03 at 11:30 AM

    these outfits are horrible

  17. marti

    2013-06-03 at 11:36 AM

    the yellow ones with the pleated red skirt seems someone that had dressed up in a room without light,I think is a great way to make fashion!swith off the light and fetch the first things you find…Im sure the result will be like that..!

  18. Denisa

    2013-06-03 at 12:04 PM

    So many nice outfits. Have a great day.

  19. Serdane

    2013-06-03 at 12:56 PM
  20. Lady Vintage

    2013-06-03 at 1:30 PM


  21. Putri Soe

    2013-06-04 at 7:06 AM

    Yes i especially agree with you that “fashionista” type doesn’t have to be so ‘allergic’ to sports. In fact, it’s what keeps us alive, right? Hahaha i love it that you incorporate sneakers with “stylish” outfits. I also notice the trend, especially the sneakers trend (NB on Instagram is like sooooo everywhere). I like all these looks! But especially the yellow one, probably because you had an ice cream on your hand haha.
    Cheers from Jakarta,

  22. taggy

    2013-06-05 at 2:44 PM

    im a big fan of yellow rainy coat, so cool

  23. Celana Chino

    2013-06-19 at 2:48 PM

    incredible what you show. I love it

  24. zoe

    2013-07-29 at 6:13 PM

    Waa! these glasses~~~ I like them><

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