Tie those laces tight, approved grab a water bottle and, if necessary, engage in some light stretching — the viral fashion 2012 womenswear trend athletic sporty sportswear sportif alexander wang spring summer new york runway meshspring runways were rife with an Olympics’ worth of athletic-themed apparel. From track and field and basketball to motocross and surfing, sportswear in its most literal sense was apparently on the minds of many a designer from New York to Milan and Paris.viral fashion 2012 womenswear spring summer trend athletic sporty sportswear sportif rag & bone new york runway hooded hoodie hooodThe sportif trend first took storm at New York Fashion Week, where the collections of Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, rag & bone, Reed Krakoff, VIctoria Beckham and 3.1 Phillip Lim (to name a few) drew upon athletic influences to varying degrees. The mood at rag & bone was decidedly streetwear-oriented and surf-inflected, with toggle and drawstring accents on brightly colored separates, DayGlo bandeaus layered under just about everything, and a white leather mesh pocket t-shirt paired with a parachute skirt; most of the looks were made complete with perforated chokers and wristbands. A few of the models at Alexander Wang walked the runway with motocross helmets in hand — safety first! — providing a fitting complement to the laser-cut mesh zip-ups and knits with arrow patterns reminiscent of a raceway.viral fashion 2012 womenswear spring summer trend athletic sporty sportswear sportif victoria beckham new york runway outerwear sweatshirt satin Meanwhile, Victoria Beckham delivered her interpretation of the athletic look as only she could: elegantly and womanly, with impeccable tailoring and luxe textiles. Take, for instance, the series of satin outerwear pieces that looked like the most luxurious hoodies that money could buy. Sure, between her time spent in close quarters with Sporty Spice herself and her soccer star husband, it’s no surprise that the woman knows her way around a mesh panel or two (not to mention the metal D-ring closures that secured nylon viral fashion 2012 womenswear spring summer trend athletic sporty sportswear sportif versus milan runway christopher kane donatella versace basketball cheerleaderstraps and belts in place). Across the pond, the sporty chic aesthetic made a splash at Isabel Marant, where key pieces included slouchy drawstring track bottoms, a navy and orange nylon pullover and oversized tees and tanks that wouldn’t be out of place at a middle school 5th-period Phys. Ed. class. The venue for Versus’ spring outing was constructed to look like a basketball court, with fashions to match; inspired by b-ballers and cheerleaders, standout looks included flippy pleated skirts, zippy jackets and shifts with mesh inserts, all in a palette of pastels.

The key to pulling off this trend in real life is not to take it too literally. That is, you shouldn’t viral fashion 2012 womenswear spring summer trend athletic sporty sportswear sport if victoria beckham look like you’re fresh from a serious workout sesh or slumming it while running mundane errands. Under no circumstances should you reach for those dreaded sartorial S-words…you know, sweatpants and sneakers; indeed, as Karl Lagerfeld has astutely held, “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat.” Instead, choose an aspect of classic activewear, be it mesh, drawstring accents, nylon and other techno fabrics or metal buckle closures and work it into your spring wardrobe. It can even be as simple as sporting a short-sleeved polo top (buttoned to the top) or a parka in a bold hue, or looking for pieces with sharp lines and strict tailoring. Any of the above options will have you running laps around your less sports-savvy cohorts. Just don’t be surprised if anyone accuses you of being a (stylish!) jock.by Gianna Froccaro