Workout gear inspiration

Outfits, Wardrobe planning

I’ve compiled a gallery of hourglass celebrities in workout gear for inspiration.  These workout outfits are incredibly versatile, so if you are looking for something to wear around Disneyland or for a walking holiday or for going to the gym or other sports event, this type of thing will multitask perfectly.  I suggest investing in 2-3 co-ordinating gym outfits and a good pair of trainers (sneakers) that go with all three, and you’ll never feel sloppily dressed when you need an activewear outfit.  You’ll see by the following pics that the general principle is to keep your workout gear mostly tight-fitting – an hourglass figure comes into its own when clothes follow the shape of the body.  I’ve tried to find links to similar items online in case anyone is interested.  But no matter what your budget, good quality workout gear is available from many cheaper stores these days (Walmart USA, ASDA UK, The Warehouse NZ etc) so there’s no need to pull on your fella’s shorts and a baggy old t-shirt to be comfortable any more.  The one thing I would make sure you pay money for if you’re working out is a good sports bra.  I swear by the Panache Sports Moulded Bra – it’s excellent at keeping the girls in place and minimizing bounce, and has a j-shaped catch on the back straps so you can convert it to a racer back whenever needed.  In my opinion it runs slightly small, but have a look at the reviews on Figleaves if you’re after a good sports bra.

So, first up lets look at the ever-gorgeous Halle Berry for some inspo.  She tends to keep her sports gear fitted, even when pregnant (see the grey/blue top with black trim below).  One thing that strikes me about her is that she’s obviously naturally curvy but she’s always maintained her figure extraordinarily well and has aged well as a result.  I’m sure her army of personal trainers and chefs doesn’t hurt but hey-ho….:D

I like the pop-of-colour t-shirts and note how well the necklines work with a medium/larger bust, despite ensuring her chest is covered up sufficiently.

Here she has gone for a slightly looser jogger-style cropped trouser, but kept the top relatively fitted to avoid looking too sloppy.  I find this style and length of jogger tends to work well with slimmer legs like Halle – if you’re carrying more weight, especially on the thighs, this style can add a bit more so be careful on that one and go for black if in doubt.

Next up, one of my faves, Kim Kardashian.  She sticks to an all-dark pallette for her workout gear usually and it works well because black is easy and flattering (generally).  She will usually stick to fitted top and leggings, but I found a pic of her with bootcut style joggers, and thought that looked pretty cool on her.  I’ve included one look that I wasn’t so keen on, for comparison sake, and it’s because her T-shirt is too long (the light brown top below), illustrating that the ideal length T-shirt for an hourglass is likely either just on the hip, or meeting the upper thigh like a micro-mini skirt length.

Next inspiration comes from Kelly Brook, a UK model who is about 5’11 and whose weight can fluctuate quite dramatically.  She’s very large chested and although her legs are about the length of my entire body (and I’m just referring to her tibia too…) she still provides great inspiration for what works, and doesn’t work, on an hourglass frame.  I think she may be more of what is called a ‘vase’ than an hourglass (basically a longer, sleeker version of an hourglass, according to Trinny and Susanna – bodyshapestyle.com is where I get all my info about body shapes from!) and that means she has a longer waist/midsection than an hourglass.  This means high waists and belts will work differently on her than us, but the rest of her outfits are likely relevant.

The first picture above is a promotional shot for Reebok from years ago, but I’ve been obsessed with this picture of her ever since I saw it – she looks phenomenal.  Its amazing how similar my hair looks when I workout too (and if you believe that, you’ll believe anything haha – I’m more…erm…drowned rat…shall we say, when I workout!).  Below is a couple of looks with hoodies, but I included the grey hoodie because it’s an example of how too loose tops disguise the waist and pack on the pounds visually.  Both the colour and cut of the purple top is better.

Last workout inspo lady is the curvy Amber Rose (an American model, actress and fashion designer).  She’s apparently 5’8 and has 36HH bust with extremely hourglassy measurements of 42-27-41.  Amber’s workout outfits are fairly classic in silhouette, generally featuring close fitting top and leggings.  I love the orange hoodie jacket below, would be a great outfit for jogging on a rainy day.

Below I’ve featured one outfit I’m not keen on – the yellow top/highwaisted cropped leggings combo.  I’m not sure why this doesn’t work for me, as I like the highwaisted grey leggings on the left picture.  But the higher waist of the black leggings on the right, paired with the sleeved t-shirt seem to heavily over-emphasise her lower half, unless she is just carrying a bit more weight in this picture.  As a general rule however, I find that it’s best for high waist to come below the belly button on a shortwaisted figure, and in fact I find on my body that often normal rise waists come up to high-waist level (just on belly button) and low-rise waists sit normally at mid-rise for me.

Anyway, that’s all for this post, hope it’s useful for you to have inspo like this compiled in one handy place.  Below are some links to similar items of clothing to those above in case you’re interested.  Workout gear is actually not all that difficult for an hourglass figure given that most of it is quite tight, but remember to keep things fairly close fitting (avoiding drapey, baggy tops and joggers) and not too high-waisted for the most flattering silhouette.

Halle Berry outfits

  1. Under Armour pink top, similar grey leggings, Nike Air Rifts
  2. Under Armour Red top, brown leggings (similar pair), Nike’s as above.
  3. Nothing like her top but equally cool (!), dark grey sweater, grey Aasics trainer
  4. Black jumper, grey cropped joggers
  5. Similar VS PINK joggers, white racerback tank, Nike’s as above.

Kim Kardashian outfits

  1. Brown longline vest, black cropped leggings, Sketchers
  2. Tight black hoodie, grey leggings (hers are a bit more slouchy at the ankle), Nike Air Max
  3. Zip up navy top (I’ve not bought from this shop before, but it seems to have legit reviews), yoga pants, Nike trainers

Kelly Brook outfits

  1. White sports bra (Reebok no longer doing 😦 ), black capris, Nike tennis shoe
  2. Grey tank, grey capris, Nike’s
  3. Red top, grey capris
  4. Patterned leggings

*I haven’t got round to finishing this list just now – will be working on it over the next day or so, thanks for your patience*

Two looks with Topshop trainers on an hourglass body

Casual hourglass, Outfit of the day, Outfits, Reviews

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Here’s a couple of ways I’ve been wearing my Topshop trainers lately.  These flat soled type of trainers are surprisingly easy to style with our type of body, even though I haven’t yet tried them in that typically Instagrammy style with an A-line midi skirt (see pic below).  I’m too scared to try – just thinking about my cute (body acceptance) but chunky (body realism) ankles and calves poking out the bottom of the skirt ha!  I’ll work up to it eventually.

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Now I bought these trainers from Topshop in NZ a couple of weeks ago, but I can’t find them online now, so either they’ve been sold out, or we just get sent all the nine-seasons-ago stuff the rest of the world didn’t buy….option two is a veritable possibility in NZ, you should see what we have to work with over here :p  But currently online is an almost identical pair of trainers to mine, here, if you’re interested.  But I love these gold-tipped trainers too (Topshop again).

For outfit one, I’ve paired an old burgundy leopard print crew-neck sweater from The Warehouse, and some old black skinny jeans from Primark.  I tend to buy a size or two up in skinny jeans, just to house my thighs and calves – anyone else have to do that?  I will hopefully be testing out jeans meant for us curvy girlies eventually so I can report back to you whether they’re worth your investment.  For this look, I rolled up the ankles just a bit, but found that too much of a roll up is just emphasising a weak area for me, so I kept my roll up low and only showing the slimmest bony bits of my ankle.  My leather cap is from The Warehouse too, two seasons ago, but any black cap would work.

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In look 2, I’m wearing a khaki stretch dress from Cotton On in NZ, bought a size up so I can also wear it to work without it looking too spray on.  I’m laughing at our blurred photo editing in the second pic – when preparing some of these pics for Instagram and Pinterest, me and my husband thought it would be *really good* to blur out the photo except for focusing on the footwear, that being the emphasis of the outfit.  And, er, now I’m just cringing!  Anyway I’ll leave you with outfit two, hope you enjoyed the quick ‘two ways to wear’post, and that you can use it to judge how well the trainers work with an hourglass body.

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Book review: Calories and Corsets, a history of dieting over 2000 years

Philosophical rants, Struggles

Author: Louise Foxcroft

In my previous life as a health professional, I’m used to seeing fat and gaining weight as indicative of health and life and a positive thing, and thinness and weight loss as a sign of sickness.  With any physiological pressure exerted on the body – surgery, pregnancy, disease – you’re always more likely to cope better if you have a covering of fat on you.  So I generally prefer a bit of flesh on a woman and tend to only gently diet if and when I’ve overeaten for a few weeks.

I was also raised by a family who enjoyed a hearty meal and a dad who supportively (and repeatedly) pointed out that ‘men like a woman with a bit of meat on her’, which was good for a normal sized teenager to hear.

As an adult into clothes and fashion, I do feel the pressure to have a lower BMI than I currently do, even from within the normal BMI range – particularly as many of the fashions seem to be designed to suit stick thin people with no curves.

But I’ve been training myself over a number of years to reject this extreme and harsh, unfeminine approach to my body and let my eye look at the softness of my body and enjoy it.  That curve of the thighs and butt?  Beautiful.  The slight squidge on my upper arms?  A sign of life and health.  Chunky calves?  I call them my sexyfatlegs.

Because as this awesome book illustrates, the taunting, skeletal figure of ‘ideal’ thinness has been haunting normal women for generations.  Literally hundreds of years.

Lord George Byron, a good looking 18th century English poet with a tendency to put on weight, was a well known extreme dieter who epitomized the fashionable cult of thinness in his time.  When invited to a friends house, he would insist on eating nothing but mashed potatoes with vinegar on, instead of heartily enjoying the meal offered him.  He had bouts of subsisting mostly on vegetables, and berated meat eaters as mindless brutes.  He inspired a generation of young girls to eat practically nothing in order to fit his, and fashionable societies’ ideal of a woman.  On the other hand, when one of his lovers, the wife of a nobleman, lost dramatic amounts of weight due to distress after their break-up, he publicly berated her as a ‘skeleton’.  Talk about impossible to please.  Just like the ideal image we’re meant to aspire to.

Described in this book are the many different ideal physiques women were told to have over the generations – sloping shoulders, square shoulder, thin waist, long neck, short neck, thin legs, thick legs, full bust, small bust…etc etc ad nauseatum.  See also this interesting article about size zero culture in Ancient Rome.

This book contains many more examples of fad diets and techniques for losing ‘corpulence’ that have prevailed over hundreds of years, and puts to death the notion that dieting, or overweightness for that matter, is a new problem.  Whenever ample food has been available (even if only to certain classes, like in Byron’s time) we humans have always tended to become overweight.  We’ve always sought to lose weight, and on top of that, it’s often been fashionable to attempt to look like an early adolescent with a fat-free frame, especially when society has valued the cult of youth.

On the opposite extreme, we’ve also apparently frequently fallen into medicalizing overweightness instead of accepting it is ‘the result of an inclination to which we give way, and we alone are to blame’ in the words of Professor Brillat-Savarin.  Scathing, hard words but probably accurate.  Writing about successfully dieting away his own large belly, he described it as the fruit of hard work, cutting out sugary food and carbohydrates, exercising self-control and moving around more.  No fad diets for this ancient professor.

I am still finishing off the book, but it excellently illustrates the fact that women have always been told to strive for something else, some physical characteristic they don’t yet have but could possibly be obtained if they could do X, Y or Z.  The emphasis has constantly been on creating dissatisfaction with their current state, even if the woman is perfectly healthy as she is.  And it is this enforced dissatisfaction that I’ve opted out of.

It’s a quietly liberating read.  I come away choosing to value my own system over societal pressures. A hearty, healthy enjoyment of life, a little softness to the body but not excessive weight, and no existing in starvation mode to achieve a death-like thin figure.  Learning to see life, health and beauty in the curves of a woman’s body.  Learning to love what makes her a woman, and not a man.

Here are some photos of women recently who make me realize that soft curves are just stunning, and make me want to enjoy my body and dress it beautifully to honour what it is.

 

The first blonde lady is a model from Pepperberry (she models their Bravissimo underwear ranges too) who I think looks amazing, and proves you can be in the normal range of body sizes and look perfect.  Go to the Pepperberry site to see better pics, as I could only show the thumbnails here.  And the last three photos are of the beautiful Margot Robbie, who occasionally looks stick thin but the rest of the time has a tiny bit of flesh on her, slight fullness in her upper arms and calves, and still looks, in my opinion, better than the Hollywood perfect bodies any day.  Sorry for the very white-skinned and blonde inspo people today, these are the first ones off my head as they have similar colourings to me and hence are relevant to me.  Next time when I have more time I’ll find some pics of beautiful women across the range of hair and skin colours.