I'm happy to say that fitness has found its way back into my life, in a rather butt-kicking way. I've been taking Muay Thai classes (that's kickboxing) which is the hardest thing I've ever done because of the conditioning aspect - the sweat mop comes out 15 minutes into the merciless two-hour class and you kind of want to die, but you also love it. It's funny that way. I ignore the fact that there's a defibrillator on the wall and that I might get punched in the head.
The fun part of committing to fitness is getting a new workout wardrobe. (I'm convinced that even sitting around while wearing stretchy clothes made of sweat-wisking fabrics burns a few calories in itself.) I admit that when I started my sessions I wore old leggings and an ancient, shapeless T-shirt of my husband's because I just wanted to cover myself up and spare others a nasty scene. Luckily consistency pays off, and now my parts have toned up enough to dress in proper gear without shame. And you really do need clothes that are built for the activity if you want to be able to move well and be comfortable.
With that in mind, I've created an outfit wish list and it all begins with what's underneath. Underwire is a big no-no in terms of comfort but most of us need firm support if we're running and jumping. (I learned the hard way, and your trainer will look at you sideways if you're running with your arms folded over your chest). So a good sports bra is an absolute must, as are bottoms that are light and stay in place. I chose the Panache Sports Bra and matching shorts from My Curves and Me first due to the set's looks; I love the contrasting greys and lilac detail. But where it really counts is in the wide, padded straps of the bra - no digging! - and the generous cut which will help you avoid a shock in the mirror when your top goes south and what's underneath goes up. I know from looking around 15 minutes into a class that this does not only happen to me.
Next is the top and leggings. I, um, sweat a lot and therefore need to dress as light as possible on top while actually wearing a top. And sometimes you want a good legging rather than shorts and a capri will be less hot than full length. This ribbed tank with built-in support converts from straight straps to an X-back and would work great as a layering basic for every day wear. (And yes the straps are very thin and would not cover those of the sports bra, but I think that would actually look kind of cool.) The ombre capris are a very fashionable take on the gym staple and they have reflectives on the knee that help keep you visible during night-time runs (which I don't do because running and me don't gibe but that may be a good feature for you). They also wick away sweat so you'll feel dry during your workout.
And some finishing touches can be quite essential. I'm only now clueing into the fact that I can actually do something about those stray pieces of hair that fall into my face - which is highly inconvenient when wearing boxing gloves - and that's to put on a non-slip headband. I like the thin style and vibrant blue which is what I would try before going for a John McEnroe-esque 70s sweatband. As for outerwear, I usually show up for classes already dressed, and for most weather in the UK you need a jacket or coat, and I think this Adidas by Stella McCartney jacket would be perfect for milder weather. It's a splurge but I'd wear it for all kinds of things, and it's actually two looks in one - an outer panel that is like a smaller jacket layered on top zips off when you warm up or just want to change up the style. And bright yellow will put you in a positive, energetic mood.
Finally, a bag to keep all your sundries. I'm not normally a backpack person - but why not? It makes sense considering it's not good for your alignment to carry a heavyish bag around on one side, and this one offers a clever laundry compartment to keep your sweaty clothes separated, handy access for your water bottles, and a tricot-lined sleeve that fits up to a 17" laptop which could be very handy as carry-on luggage when travelling.
So that's a great start, and you can reward yourself for working hard every month or so with something new to keep you motivated!