Time to spring into action

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 March, 2010, 12:00am

One of this spring/summer's key looks is sporty. As with all things fashion there's a knack to getting it right. It's not simply a case of borrowing your brother's football socks or going for a night on the town in your old tennis skirt. To sum up the look, you need to make sure you don't look either too well turned out, nor too sweaty.

In his collection, Alexander Wang turned to American football, scuba diving, baseball and hockey for inspiration. Cropped tops in jersey fabrics were teamed with American football-style broad shoulders and leather cross-laced shorts. The cross-lacing that was on last year's sandals remain on this summer's shoes too, but now they are more influenced by the laces on sports shoes than last year's gladiator look.

Making a comeback from the 1990s are cycling shorts. Made from unforgiving lycra, they may seem like something most women would like to avoid, but they make sense given the shortness of hemlines this year. Much like the leggings trend last winter, cycling shorts are not meant to be worn in isolation but, by shortening the leggings, you can be cool, fashionable and preserve your modesty.

Short hemlines can be offset by another big trend this spring/summer, knee-high socks. These take all forms from sports-style socks with stripes, to sheer and luxurious fabrics for the evenings and, if you're brave enough, there are even leg warmers on offer. If the thought of socks is a bit basic, you can sex them up by contrasting the sports theme with high heels. Summer often means a chance for fashionistas to show off more flesh than in chilly winter months and exhibitionists will be pleased with the styles that take their cue from scuba diving and swimming. Gucci's collection show more than a passing nod to Ursula Andress' white bikini in Dr. No and the red scuba suit in Thunderball. Skin hugging, sleek and sexy, this look pairs the body (remember those fiddly popper fastenings in the crotch?) with sheer dresses or trousers.

Hermes looked less to flesh and more to old school when its spring/summer collection took its sporty inspiration from the 1920s.

Pleated skirts and long-striped sports jumpers offer a chance for those who don't want to bare all to show they are as up to the minute as those in skin-tight fashions to this season's must-have looks.