THE SPORTING LIFE

By
By Deirdre Carroll: Senior Editor

 
THE SPORTING LIFE POSTER
WHO: Varsity jackets, neoprene dresses, high fashion baseball caps and ridiculously fancy sneakers—lately designers seem to be taking the term “sportswear” literally; even leading to high profile partnerships like Puma by Hussein Chalayan, Giles Deacon’s capsule collection for sneaker brand Superga or the ongoing collaboration between Adidas and Stella McCartney. For women, everyone from Lacoste to DNKY and Rag & Bone to Alexander Wang sent sports-inspired looks down the runway. Unfortunately, for men the trend can look gym rat very quickly if they are not careful. Luckily, designers like Michael Bastian for Gant, Moncler Gamme Bleu, Richard Nicoll and Dries Van Noten all struck a nice balance between sport and fashion in recent seasons for the guys.

WHAT: Though usually meant to describe casual or street wear, the term sportswear has been evolving and gaining momentum for the past few years and these days can also include active-inspired clothes for everyday wear. It’s taken a bit of time for the concept to catch on in eyewear, but frame designers are now on board and producing sport lifestyle-inspired everyday ophthalmic eyewear for men who lead active lives (or just want to look like they do).

WEAR: (Clockwise from top right) The Carrera CA7548, part of its re-branded Active group, from Safilo speaks directly to Carrera’s “authentic racing attitude” thanks to its race car-inspired red, black and chrome paddle temples. The entire Skechers line is based on sport lifestyle-inspired fashion and the SK3085 style from Viva International is no exception with its sleek, flexible carbon fiber temples and spring hinges. The Oakley Crosslink epitomizes functional sportiness; the frame’s nosepads flip up allowing for the lenses to be swapped out depending on the wearer’s chosen activity and though the sky blue drives its active leanings home, more wearable, everyday colors are available. The Reebok R1001 from FGX International looks like it came to the runway by way of the track thanks to the red squiggle running down the temple reminiscent of a sneaker tread. The TMX Invert from Kenmark speaks to the active wearer with its bright neon, bendy rubber temples that help provide a no slip grip and a trendy pop of color on an otherwise classic metal front.

WHY:
The realities of a sporting life have rarely been accounted for in what we’ve traditionally considered “fashion” eyewear. Physical activity results in sweat. Sweat and most everyday eyewear just don’t mesh well; frames slide, warp, obstruct vision or are just too plain heavy to be functionable and comfortable when active. Sport lifestyle-inspired optical frames, however, often offer the best of both worlds—no slip rubber temples; lightweight, tech-heavy materials and sleek design—which makes that transition from locker room to boardroom much less awkward.

dcarroll@jobson.com