Putting a Spring in Your Step this Season

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So it’s come to that time of year again, where we’re thinking about our holidays, sunbathing by the pool or a beach, and keeping our fingers (and toes) crossed that the British weather will be kind to us this summer. I say it’s come to that time of year again, as it happens in January too – spurs of motivation to get fit, whether it’s for the new year, or to reach your dream beach bod for your holiday. The snapchats, the hashtags and the grimace that forms on your face when you force yourself to order a caesar salad over a burger. Yep, I’m guilty too.

So in light of this, I’m going to show you my favourite athleisure must-haves and essentials that I keep inside my gym bag this season…

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I’m not incredibly fussy when it comes to sportswear, however I am always drawn to brightly coloured and patterned details when it comes to choosing my workout clothes. I tend to go for something that I feel comfortable in, both literally and physically. Both of the black gym bottoms I purchased from New Look, and the green coloured one is 3/4 length, and blue detailed one is full length – always nice to have a bit of variety.

Although I love patterns, I tend to keep it to one patterned item at a time. For example, patterned leggings, and a plain top, or a patterned top, and plain leggings. If you want to check out some patterned sportswear, check out Adore Me‘s collection, and if you’ve not got the time to mix and match patterned outfits, they even have patterned althleisure sets! The only choosing you’ll have to do is deciding which weights you’re going to lift this session!

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Footwear is one of the most important things to consider when searching for your gym gear – they need to be flexible, comfortable and supporting, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of cardio or running exercises. I have always been partial to Nike trainers, just because I know I am guaranteed all of these three things. I live in my Nike Flyknit Roshes, as they are not only the most comfortable shoes I own at the gym, they are also my favourite driving shoes! I would suggest investing in a good pair of trainers if you’re thinking of starting the gym or exercise, as it’s not only important to be comfortable, but if you exercise in flimsy (or the opposite – too hard) shoes, you can result in injuries.

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One thing I cannot go to the gym without is music. Once my headphones go in and I press the play button, I am instantly in the zone. Even on those sluggish days. Keep going till the end of the chorus… you’ve got this far, might as well smash this set until the end of the song. Music is my mini PT (Personal Trainer) cheering me on. Perhaps try this type of motivation if you’ve not challenged yourself before, or find it hard to motivate yourself during a set. You’ll be surprised at how you actually can finish the set if you put your mind to it.

Another gym bag essential I always bring with me is my padlock. The gym I use, padlocks are the only way you can use a locker, so this is an absolute must!

Towels are an essential, whether it’s a sweat towel to carry around with me in between sets, or an actual body towel for my post-workout shower (my favourite bit!).

Water. If you don’t drink during or after a gym session, then shame on you! Losing sweat at the gym, it is vital that you put back the water you have lost from your body to avoid becoming dehydrated and feeling lethargic. Depending on how much cardio I perform, I usually tend to drink 1 litre of water per gym session.

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Photography by Charlotte Jackson and Rachel Jefferies

Olympus Pen E-PL8, 45mm


Stylist Live 2016 – A Festival of Inspiration


Stylist magazine has been my post gym routine pick-up (and also my post gym pick-me-up on those lethargic days) for over a year now, and as some of you may know, I attended Stylist‘s very own magazine event last October, Stylist Live. Finding out that Stylist, my favourite magazine that I religiously collect, was holding a magazine event for readers like myself to attend, greeted with a complimentary glass of champagne and spending the day indulging in everything fashion, beauty and writing related – how long do you really think it took for me to decide whether to go or not? Five, six seconds? Most likely. And it meant I had an excuse to take a trip to London… As if my decision needed any more reasons to say yes. There was no need for persuasion, because a few mouse clicks later and my tickets were purchased.

If you want to read about my experience at Stylist Live 2015, follow this link: https://coffeeandchapters.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/stylistlive-magazine-event/

Some of you may have gathered where I am going with this… yes, you’ve got it; Stylist is back this October with Stylist Live 2016. Having such a brilliant time first time round, I have made sure Stylist Live is reserved in my diary this October. So what exactly is Stylist Live, I hear you ponder.


Stylist Live – A Festival of Inspiration

Fashion | Beauty | People | Life | Books | Ideas



Following last year’s hugely successful event, Stylist Live returns from 13 – 16 October 2016 at the Business Design Centre in Angel, London.

Stylist Live is hosted by inspiring idols, such as journalist and author, Caitlin Moran; journalist and writer, Sali Hughes; author of The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins, actress, producer and fashion designer, Sadie Frost; novelist and non-fiction writer, Marian Keyes; British television presenter (BBC), Cherry Healey; Journalist, broadcaster; cook, writer and presenter, Thomasina Miers along with many more. This year’s Stylist Live brings guests talks, workshops, pop-up shops, food & drink and catwalks… everything you could dream of, all in one place.


Talks & Workshops

Stylist Live weekend features over 150 talks and workshops across seven stages, where Stylist ‘aim to inspire each and every guest’. So if it’s beauty tutorials, tips on how to write a novel (umm, yes please!), a cooking master class, or life and relationship advice, Stylist will have you covered. Find the full list of talks and workshops here http://live.stylist.co.uk/talks-and-workshops

Image taken by: Rachel Jefferies
Image taken and provided by: Stylist


And you’d be silly to assume that is no such thing as a lifestyle magazine event without that one thing we all go crazy for – shopping. Over 100 boutique pop-ups with our favourite brands such as Clarins, Swarovski, Tangle Teezer, Caudalie, Coco’s Liberty and many more. Not to mention the holy grail of quirky and unique gift brands – notonthehighstreet – where guests are able to ‘make and customise a range of gifts and homewares’ at the ‘Create Lab’, presented by notonthehighstreet.com. Offering tutorials and advice for this season’s latest trends, make up brand (and without a doubt my absolute favourite), Urban Decay will be making eyes pop… with make up, and probably most definitely literally. Find the full list of pop-up boutiques at http://live.stylist.co.uk/pampering-pop-ups.

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Image taken by: Rachel Jefferies


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Image taken by: Rachel Jefferies


Supported by Swarovski, Stylist’s catwalk shows run throughout the day for every guest to experience, strutting fashion looks such key a/w 16 trends featuring Swarovski’s latest season jewellery and high street style ideas. The ambience of the show is unforgettable, pulling together some perfect pieces making you leave cat-walking through the London Underground.

Food and Drink

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Image taken by: Charlotte Jackson

And if all of that isn’t enough to look forward to, Stylist Live 2016 partnered with Chambord means that receiving a complimentary cocktail on arrival will kick start your day the best way. Additionally, The House of Peroni, Toastits and Crosstown Doughnuts will be available to tempt, and satisfy (once you inevitably give into temptation) your taste buds. Stylist Live 2015 introduced me to Pukka tea, converting me into a herbal tea lover, transforming my dull, solo choice of Breakfast Tea into an exotic herbal selection. Cheers Pukka.

Give me the deets!

Stylist Live 2016 – A Festival of Inspiration is held at London’s Business Design Centre, commencing between Friday 13th and Sunday 16th October 2016, and tickets are available now. ‘Standard tickets allow purchasers to reserve a place at their choice of talk or workshop as well as one catwalk show. You can attend more than your reserved sessions on the day, on a first come, first served basis.’

Tickets are available as Standard or VIP, where VIP includes exclusive access to hair styling, a make-up station, cocktails, shop & drop and more, plus a Stylist Live goodie bag. For more info on tickets click here.

Sounds like your cup of tea? See you there!

To view the full programme, buy tickets and reserve your place for talks, workshops and catwalks visit live.stylist.co.uk

For more info please contact fiona.swanson@stylist.co.uk

Stylist Live

13th – 16th October 2016

Business Design Centre, London, N1 0QH


All images credited in image captions.

All quotations (of information) given: Stylist.