In defence of bankrupting myself for activewear

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In Defence of...

We all know the song… “Activewear, activewear, doing literally nothing in my Activewear”. The anthem for our generation, who are slipping out of their denim (sorry Levi…) and into their ultra-lightweight, sweat-wicking fabrics, often without even breaking a sweat.

But for many of us, our leggings symbolise something much deeper, that transforms the way we move and even how we feel. Natalie Morris explains why she’s such a sucker for hers…

The athleisure market has gone mad – and I am a complete and utter sucker for it. My latest Sweaty Betty reversible ‘must-have’ leggings were £85 – the new Nike running trainers I’m eyeing up are £130 – but they are made with Flyknit fabric, targeted cushioning points and the tears of a golden unicorn so…

Part of me knows it’s ridiculous and that I am nothing more than a slave to consumerism. I’ll catch myself in the mirror in the Adidas shop – barely visible beneath a pile of lurid lycra – and ask; is it really worth it? But I can’t change the fact that the perfect pair of leggings makes me feel like a goddamn superhero. And on some drizzly, dark mornings, it’s only my Wonder Woman leggings that can force me to get up and move. That has got to be worth it.

It’s really not even about the aesthetic. I regularly team my insanely expensive yoga tights with the stained, fraying t-shirt I got in fresher’s week. I’m not ashamed to say that my pyjamas draw and my gym draw are the same draw. It’s not about how it looks – it’s the feeling. And there are certain things I’m not willing to compromise on – and if that means I have to live on lentils for a week, then so be it.


Nothing pains me more than seeing someone running on the street or on a treadmill in battered plimsolls. Think of your knees – for the love of god, think of your knees! After almost two decades of playing high-impact sport, I can affirm pretty confidently that your trainers are the most important part of your kit.

Your joints will thank you for getting your gait analysed, for choosing the pair with extra support, for buying a new pair every year. Having said that – I need to learn to let go. My hallway is an ocean of trainers. I’m an addict.

Sports Bra

No matter if you’re an A cup or an F cup – when you’re running around, the ladies need support. The bigger your boobs – the more you’re probably going to have to spend to get a fit that works for you. But it is absolutely worth it.

I go pretty industrial with my sports bras. These aren’t pretty bralette/crop-top contraptions – they have thick straps, extra Velcro, an intricate system of hoisting mechanics. When I buy a sports bra I’m paying for the freedom to not have to think about my boobs at all when I’m working out – I want to forget they exist.


Leggings are my absolute favourite piece of kit. Finding the perfect pair is as tricky as finding the perfect jeans – especially because I demand a lot from my leggings. I need them to stay up, keep me cool or warm as the season demands and make my bum look as perky as possible from every angle.

Nothing gives you confidence like knowing that your wobbly bits aren’t going to move no matter how vigorous your burpees are. And, given that I wear them almost every waking moment, I’m pretty sure I’m getting my money’s worth.

In my ideal life I would love to be lululemon’ed up from head-to-toe, every damn day. But annoyingly I also have to pay my rent – so I need to be slightly more realistic. When fitness is a huge part of your life it’s important to feel great doing it.

It is no secret that women are under an enormous amount of pressure to look a certain way – and that is particularly true in the fitness world. If spending an extra £50 on what you’re wearing helps to alleviate some of that pressure and makes you feel even 1% more badass then you shouldn’t have to feel guilty about.

By Natalie

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