Affordable High Street Sportswear by Charlotte Simon

Scrolling through my Instagram feed I am greeted with numerous images of new trainers in boxes or low-carb, low-fat, low-taste meals. And of course there’s the much loved before and after pictures making me feel guilty about eating the sixth chocolate hobnob in a row.Thanks to the giant that is social media,fitness inspiration has become easy and quick to access.

As more and more of us start the journey toward rock hard abs, we no longer want to be seen burning calories in a six year-old pair of PE shorts and an off-white crop top. Fitness got cool, and a growing number of people are jumping on the bandwagon.

This explosive rise in fitness and sportswear popularity means it is now acceptable to attend dinner in yoga pants, or go Christmas shopping in luminous Nike Frees, but what has caused the social and cultural evolutions of the active wear industry?

There has been a notable shift in admiration from skinny to strong female physique, meaning more girls are joining gyms and attending super-weird fitness classes in order to buff-up. Celebrities are also joining the fight against the fat, with Victoria’s Secret models and TOWIE cast offs starting their own fitness-related companies. We are also more willing to share pictures and 15 second clips of ourselves working out, turning exercise into a competition amongst friends.

As such, the last decade has seen a bunch of designer collaborations with big name brands, each hoping to cash in on the surge of interest (Stella McCartney and Adidas being one of the most famous). High street shops such as H&M and Mango have been quick to follow suit, stocking clothes to get sweaty in.

So whether it is due to a change in what we perceive as attractive, the fact that high street retailers are offering affordable sportswear or the spread of fad fitness classes, this consumer-driven trend is here to stay. Here are some calorie-busting offerings from our favourite high street stores.

Top row: Gilet £39.99 Mango, Bra £6 Asda, Running leggings £16 Next, Running jacket £29.99 H&M.

Bottom row: Leggings £22 Next, Top £19.99 Mango, Bra £15.99 Zara, Trainers £49.99 Zara, Shorts £4 Asda.

Charlotte is a student fashion and beauty blogger, follow her on Twitter: @FashionCarousel

  • Subscribe to The Student Pocket Guide for exclusive competitions, deals, discounts, tips and advice!
  • Read The Student Pocket Guide.