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Active Sportswear – are you for real?

Given the massive focus on active sports wear due to the recent focus on the World Cup & Wimbledon – MSP is looking into semi-casual sportswear for blokes, which is proving itself to be more sophisticated than ever before. Active Sportswear also covers sports that aren’t so commercial such as fly-fishing, hunting, sailing, aviation and hiking. No offense fellas, we are aware these sports are dear to your ticker, yet in the light of their social popularity, only the select authentic few are passionate about them. (ps- aviation style/fashion to follow in next week’s blog).

Many moons ago, we saw that luxury brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton were venturing into the sports arena with the likes of Adidas and more, to create a semi-casual yet premium look, which quite frankly – worked. The price tag lowered, the ranges expanded, and men could move out of their gym gear and still feel like themselves (in sports clothing) and wear this to outings without having to feel like a tosser and dress in something appropriate that they weren’t comfortable in. Like? Yes.

So in ‘style speak’ here’s what’s happening.

Denim textures are changing, there’s more of a rugged appearance developing, shoes are distressed more and more, (which reminds me of a funny story to tell you about a friend of ours and his new R.M Williams, and how he accidentally de-stressed them while stressing himself!), and there is a more sublimated depth to the fabrics.

Because MSP is all about keeping it ‘macho’ and ‘real’, I’m not even going to write about the deceptive trends that I see rising over the horizon when it comes to the faux fur that is being sewn into velvet jackets and hoodies, which will give you a ‘plush’ feel about yourself – it’s way too dandy for the likes of blokes that I chat to. But I am pleased to announce a more engineered nature to the sportswear that is emerging. Knits are being reworked in every manner by designers, and metallics are shining through but if you don’t want to wear your gold Nikes down the street, then that’s fine. We’re happy for you to do so in the comfort of your own home. But don’t be shocked when you see them on the shelves. Just slowly turn away, and walk to the ‘authentic and manly’ shelves and sigh quietly under your breath. You’ve escaped a bullet. Bond.

One area of sportswear that is sitting on top of the ‘uber-cool ladder’ is the virtual leather patches hanging over shoulders or on the elbows of jackets, the finer piping around pockets and the gloves that are needed in the southern hemisphere right now. What is going on with the cold-snap! Freak!

Men either can handle their clothing snug, or they need it to be loose. Depending on your body shape of course. Climate performance jackets are now multi-purpose and user-friendly. Much like an iPad. They’re adaptable, which is a big YES to the men who don’t want to look like they’re trying too hard in the fashion arena, and most are reversible which gives you a satisfying feeling that your money is well spent. Fleece tops are being reworked, but if you are like me, you’d prefer a sheep-skin jacket that is a little vintage. Some designers who are trying to innovate are taking the classic sheepskin and making it into something that is a cross pollination of a hoodie and a terry toweling cardigan. Don’t go there!

One area that I am really digging in this new emergence of sportswear is the 2011 adaptation of the cropped khaki or hiking pant. Snapping just under the knee, you’ll find the functionality when you’re doing your ‘crouching tiger hidden dragon’ the design gives you more flexibility and doesn’t pull at your crouch. We’re diggin’ it! The colours are still in dark and heavy shades, and we’re still feeling like men when we go hunting. Loving it sick!


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