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The Parisian Spin on Fitness Fashion

March 2013

By Stephanie Wells , Paris

The French simply must look good when getting together with friends. And now, their keen sense of style is manifesting itself in an unlikely corner of life: fitness. Reaching new levels of sartorial know-how, they join running and cycling clubs and invest in workout gear to replace their sometimes comically formal exercise clothes of yore. A healthy detox lunch of green juice and fresh veggies is the new point of rendezvous, replacing the classic coffee break with ham-and-butter baguette sandwiches. Two favorites on the Right Bank are Bob's Juice Bar and the Gentle Gourmet Café, to which young Parisians flock for fresh juices, wraps and, in the case of the latter, vegan offerings. 

Firemen used to be the only Parisian joggers until a few years ago. Now, the Paris Marathon, women’s half-marathon and Paris-Versailles Race take thousands of runners down the city’s boulevards. Jogging-wear has equally transformed with the times. Oatmeal-colored sweats and Keds have all but been replaced by neon wet-wick tees from Adidas, and the latest sports gear can now also be found at the gigantic, new Go Sport and Citadum stores in city center.

Even cycling is taking off in new ways, tripling functions as a mode of transportation, of exercise and of leisure. But most importantly, the slick, hip biking equipment from independent designers that began with a whisper three years ago is now going mainstream. Look no further than Bicloune, on the Boulevard Beaumarchais , or BiCyCle in the 3rd arrondissment for a wide assortment of colorful and über-sophisticated cycling accoutrements.

Cycling boutiques also regularly throw open-invitation promotional parties. Mainstream brands, on the other hand, partner with wildly popular websites, like My Little Paris, to host events and online campaigns around high-profile sporting events, like the Tour de France and French Open. Yelp Paris even capitalized on the health and fitness-craze with an invite-only “Vegan Virgins” soiree that introduced veganism to the mainstream with delicious dishes in a friendly atmosphere.

Retail & Dining
Health & Fitness
Food & Drink
Fashion & Style
Culture trenspotting: Paris' Bicloune
Parisian Sports Fashion Trend: BiCyCle
Sunset in Paris, from a bicycle

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