Affordable Activewear – Autumn Winter 16/17

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The one where affordable activewear from Primark and Matalan’s Autumn/Winter 17 collection and a walk in Highgate Woods happen to try and cheer me.

The couple of weeks has been miserable and 2016 has not been filling the world with joy and positivity. How can a blogger sit around and blog about lifestyle when all this awfulness is happening? Like Cher from Clueless (but with much less money), I went shopping.

I know I have a few Christmas parties to go to this Winter so I headed to the shops and tried on every sparkly item in every high street store. All the sequins and lamé in the world only made my mood worse. You can roll a bad week in glitter but you can’t polish an awful situation that you have no control over…as the well known saying goes. Nothing was lifting my spirits when it came to a Christmas outfit and somehow, I ended up buying activewear.

I knew it was my subconscious’ way of telling me that getting back into an active gear will help lift my spirits so I persuaded a friend of mine to venture into the Great Outdoors and reconnect with nature.


As a Londoner, finding nature on a whim is tricky, however there are small pockets of nature that are protected conservation areas. The nearest of these places to me is Highgate Wood. A 28 hectare area of ancient woodland which was originally part of the sprawling Forest of Middlesex but has now shrunk to the size of a park. However you wouldn’t think that when you’re looking at it from the inside…

Not being able to run (blame my knees) we went for a mini hike and a bit of a jog, and of course, took some photos of my new workout gear before being jumped on by friendly puppies. Highgate Woods is full of dog walkers, families and joggers, especially on a Sunday, so it’s perfectly friendly for a casual fitness dabbler like myself.

Most of my outfit is from Primark who have a surprisingly well designed and very affordable range of workout wear. The leggings are moisture wicking (less important in Autumn) and the printed detail on the side give it some contour and interest. I can see that they’d be a little too thin if it was any colder, but they would be a great base layer and perfect for studio workouts. They’re also a bargain at just £5!

The lace crop top is medium support and lined in all the necessary places. It has no fastening but I found the underbust elastic has a lot of stretch and it was really easy to put on and take off. It felt very supportive as well and ideal for a leisurely jog but I wouldn’t get competitive in it, that would call for something a little sturdier. Also another bargain at just £5.


The cropped hoodie might look a little plain at first glance, but I was drawn by the pleating giving a tried and tested basic a little twist. It’s subtle but it’s design that’s easy to wear and is a bargain at £8.


It got cold…as if you didn’t notice…but luckily I also picked up this two in one quilted hoodie. Designed for the bitter weather, the quilting keeps your torso warmed up and the sleeves feature thumb loops to keep your sleeves where they should be. I guess they’re not really necessary, but they’re fun to have. I was kind of worried about the marl-on-marl action, but as it happens, I quite like marl and at a distance, you just don’t notice. With all the details this jacket contains, I’m amazed they can produce these for their £16 price tag.


The Woven Detail Trainers trainers are from Matalan and are an absolute steal at £15.00. A dupe of the Nike Free Inneva Woven, but a fraction of the £160 price tag. I underestimated how muddy it would be in the woods so I managed to cover the white soles in brown mud. However I’ve been wearing them to and from work and have stopped getting the what-are-you-wearing-on-your-feet looks from passing strangers. I consider this a win.