Lifestyle The fusion of sports and fashion makes sportswear trendy. Sangeetha Devi Dundoo finds the city in the mood to be stylish while fighting fit

After Preity Zinta went nerdy with shell-framed glasses, Sania Mirza sported them for a while and made them even more popular. Sports stars were just about beginning to turn fashion icons. Then cricketer Mahender Singh Dhoni came along and set the trend for long, poker straight mane. Being sporty and stylish all at once became the done thing. Today, Dhoni has designed a line of clothing for Reebok where his favourite number, 7, is predominant.

Forget Dhoni, Sania and their ilk, fitness conscious youngsters have begun to splurge on smart sports apparels. Well-known brands, realising the market’s worth, are introducing dedicated lines for golf, tennis, soccer, basketball, training, aerobics, swimming and yoga. The brands also boast of impressive lifestyle range of clothing.

“The line differentiating sportswear and lifestyle is blurring,” says Subhinder Singh Prem, MD, Reebok India. The brand unveiled a premium range of shoes designed by Manish Arora called Fish Fry. “These shoes have Swarovski crystals as embellishments. Priced at Rs. 20,000, they cater to a niche segment,” adds Prem. Manish Arora is all set to unveil his new line for the brand at the upcoming Paris Fashion Week.

The Adidas fall-winter collection includes denims, cargos, skirts and capris for casual wear alongside sports apparels letting you mix and match sports clothing with that of regular clothing. Men can match a pair of Real Madrid shoes with deep blue/black denims and a tri-tonal track top for an evening out. Women can be adventurous and try an off shouldered tee with a skirt-capri and cross trainer shoes, or a turtle top and a fusion halter with a crinkled capri and micro trainer shoes.

It’s hard to ignore the lifestyle element for sports majors. “We’ve created a category that draws its inspiration from sports, but is lifestyle in its look and feel. We cater to yoga, motorsport, golf, soccer and cricket. All of these have both performance as well as lifestyle products,” explains Rajiv Mehta, managing director, Puma. Look forward to brighter colours, new silhouettes and fabrics from its new collection.

Tailor-made for asanas

While most international sports brands have individual lines of clothing and mats for yoga, Indus League Clothing’s Urban Yoga markets its range of clothing as spiritual-fitness wear. Your regular capris, tights and tees are now called kriya tights, gurukul gusset pants, gurukul racer back tops, suryanamaskara tees, sarvangasana tops (which do not slide back to reveal your midriff as you perfect your sarvangasana) and so on. “These work best for active yoga practice. For meditation, there are cotton crush kurtas and other garments. Different lines cater to the ‘body’ and ‘soul’ aspects of yoga. These lines were created with the inputs given by yoga students and instructors. The motifs of yogic poses and chakras bring in the fashion element,” says Kanwalpreet Walia, marketing manager, Indus League Clothing. The ‘soul’ range includes moksha tees and capris, silk tunics and wrap pants.

In the end, it’s all about looking and feeling good.