by  Canon in 2D  Caption: Half the fun in signing up to do exercise classes is deciding what to wear

Today, there’s no limit to where you can be fashionable. Even when you’re working out, there’s no reason why you can’t look good doing it. Sure, there’s nothing you can do about how sweaty you look in the middle of a Metafit or Kettlercise class, but at least you can do it in style.

It used to be that any old pair of joggers and a t-shirt would be good enough to do exercise in. But today, half the fun of being active and fit is spending money on the kit to do it in. And, of course, the fashion sports market is now a huge industry.

For example, Market leader Nike has a sports bra called the Pro Rival Bra that is available in 25 different fittings and the range of different training shoes is immense. Not only do women choose to wear Nike to work out in, many also rely on Nike’s apps to help them with their training. And then, of course, there’s the ability to exchange notes with other Nike app users – logging into different forums to get tips on how to exercise and what’s best to wear for the type of exercise you’re doing.

It’s not just Nike, though. Other market leaders in the world of sports fashion include Lululemon, a Canadian active wear company. Lululemon Active hit the headlines a couple of years ago when one of its yoga pant designs turned out to be see-through, but a bit of notoriety didn’t do the company any harm. In the same year, the brand sold $1.3 billion of clothing. The big difference in sports fashion today than with sports fashion a few years ago is how many people now wear sports kit on a day-to-day basis, even when they may have no intention of going to the gym or heading out for a jog. Celebrities have a lot to answer for here – you see them in their sports kit all the time, and it’s not those shots where they’ve been caught out by the paparazzi – they’re posting images of themselves looking fit in their fitness gear on Twitter or tweeting about the classes they’ve done.

The sporty look is as popular with men as it is with women, and that’s not too surprising as today’s top footballers often combine their day job with modelling for big designers. Gone are the days when the only interest the average man had in football was watching the game on a Saturday or putting international football betting wagers on a big event such as Euro 2016 or the next World Cup. Now they can also look to their sporting heroes for style tips.

Last autumn, high-street chain H&M went into collaboration with designer Alexander Wang, to bring out a collection that could be viewed as both sporty and stylish. Wang’s inspiration was to produce clothing that women could wear to work or to drop their kids at school before heading straight into the gym, or straight from work to a dance floor at a club – where you’re as likely to build up a sweat as in a gym.

Wang incorporated performance-enhancing materials into his H&M collection. So his leggings whip away sweat and his waterproof jackets are actually waterproof. His collection included quick-dry running tops which have a hidden logo – only revealed when you sweat enough – that can be paired with reflective shorts and a Wang sports bra.

Back in the 1980s, Britain saw the rise of the shell-suit – when sport and fashion merged for the first time. But few of us really wanted to go down that road.

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by  minor9th  Caption: The shell-suit didn’t really inspire anyone – in terms of fitness or style

Today’s sports fashion is so much better in terms of performance, and so much more stylish. It’s no wonder that more and more of us are wearing sports kit – both at the gym and away from it.