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Ruth Harrison Roberts Headshot

Fighting Fashion Fit

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I joined a gym. I thought it was time for a change of lifestyle, well the scales did, I suppose it is to be expected as at thirty-something all I have done over the past 20 years is drink wine, smoke fags and pop out two kids.

Before I could flash my new membership card around I had to buy a new P.E. kit; this thought filled me with more fear and dread than the fiercest personal trainer ever could. Let's just cast our minds back to the grey days of school P.E. Anyone who has ever had to run laps of the playground in a gym skirt, basic polo shirt and those god awful 'knicker shorts' (God help you if you ever forgot your netball skirt - they were not a flattering look), will know exactly what I mean. As an adult, I love Kurt Geiger heels, tailored blazers, Mulberry bags and lots of shiny things. I'm a girl!

For the basic gym kit, I wasn't prepared to pay a fortune for what is essentially a grown-up P.E. Kit. I braced myself and entered the sports shop, after pretending to know what I was looking for, I found the clothing section. Shocked (remember it's been a while) I couldn't believe what I was looking at. Fitted, tailored pieces that flattered my figure and made me think that I could wear lycra again. Under Armour, Nike and Adidas all produce fitted, long line tops and leggings, let's not forget the scaffolding, I now have the added cost of sports bras - not a required part of the school P.E. kit when I was 15, but still my whole shopping trip totalled up to a very reasonable price.

However, after a few sessions at the gym I started to get bored with my gym kit and the gym. So I thought perhaps I ought to broaden my search for active wear and seek out something a little bit different. It is then that I unlocked a world of bold design and on-style cuts. I discover Adidas by Stella McCartney colour block running tights, Homebody Yoga camisole tops, and Payne source canvas biker jackets.

Now, I haven't worn my heels for a week. If it wasn't for the daily gym sessions then I'd think I was turning into a remarkably well dressed slob. There is a lot of truth in the saying - 'If you look good, you feel good' Oh and I suppose the exercise has helped! I have to thank the people of the gym world too for all their help - If I hadn't joined the gym, then this little zone on the fashion map would have passed me by. So, on behalf of all the women who have found stylish sportswear, I would like to say a massive 'thank you' to our under-appreciated, long suffering Personal Trainers and Gym Instructors. You don't know just how much you have helped us.