This Throwback Trend is Back on Track

tracksuits

It’s #TBT time, and we have the ultimate throwback for you this week.

Everyone remembers the days of Paris Hilton rocking Juicy Couture velour tracksuits in every hue, or Missy Elliott’s adidas ensembles. The tracksuit trend seems to have died out years ago and has lived on in memory of comfier times.

Well, lovers of athleisure, you’re in luck: Track is BACK and trendier than ever!

Juicy Couture has initiated the #TrackIsBack campaign to promote the resurrection of the tracksuit. Sequins and velour are no longer a thing of the past; Juicy has revived their classic designs that scream “fashletic”, and we’ve noticed that other comfort brands are following suit. If you’re still not sold on bringing back the tracksuit, look to some of today’s most fashion forward celebrities. They’re totally buying into the tracksuit trend and making us want to run out and buy velour sweats in every colour.

Comfortable, effortless style is always the end goal, and a chic tracksuit is a surefire way to get there. We are loving the fun prints offered by Adidas and EA7, and the sparkly details we know and love from Juicy Couture. Whether you’d prefer a neutral colour palette, a fun fabric, or the classic velour, brands are producing a wide variety of styles that perfectly combine style and comfort.

What do you think: will you bring track back this fall?

SHOP TRACK JACKETS

SHOP TRACK PANTS

 

 

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The Best InVESTment for Fall

mens-barbour-x-triumph-rider-sleeveless-denim-jacket

 

Days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping…it looks like fall is officially here. The time has come to unlock an entire section of your wardrobe and bring out the layers! When it comes to fall fashion layering, there is one important piece that everyone should inVEST in…

You guessed it! Vests are the ultimate layering piece for autumn. We love vests because of their versatility; whether made for fashion or the outdoors, a vest is a stylish way to add warmth and dimension to any outfit. Today we’ve laid out the best 12 vests for men and women. Between fashion, outdoor and quilted pieces, dressing for style and warmth will be a breeze this fall.

Which style of vest is your favourite?

QUILTED
The hybrid vest: fashion meets function. Quilted vests will keep you warm while adding texture to an otherwise neutral outfit. Barbour offers the ultimate selection of stylish quilted outerwear, but brands such as Ralph Lauren are contenders to fight for that top spot. Get into the English look this fall; style your quilted vest with a pair of boots or a wax jacket!

FASHION
For Fall 2016, fashion brands are coming at you with trendy vests in an array of colours and fabrics. Lovers of shearling and suede, this season’s selection is calling your name! Velvet and Esprit in particular offer styles in beautiful, soft fabrics. Fashion vests are perfect for creating transitional outfits, elevating casual clothing, or adding colour to a neutral fall palette. Whether for daytime or evening, try accessorizing your outfit with a vest this season!

OUTDOOR
For a day spent hiking through the woods or apple-picking with your family, an outdoor vest will keep your core toasty warm all day long. Down vests come in varying degrees of puffiness, from slim to Michelin Man. No matter your preference, vests from brands such as Canada Goose perform well on their own or layered with other technical pieces.

 

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Brand Spotlight: Parajumpers

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Parajumpers designer Massimo Rossetti has successfully built one of the world’s leading outerwear brands. The first collection from Parajumpers had only 3 garments each for men and women, and the brand continues to succeed with a handful of immaculately designed pieces.

m_masterpiece-3In a taped interview, Rossetti provides a glimpse into his creative mind. This intriguing designer finds inspiration in the seemingly most unlikely of places. The huge pocket found on many PJs styles was inspired by a research trip to Alaska; Rossetti saw a fireman’s jacket that had a pocket large enough to fit a helmet. This new and different design is one of many that sets Parajumpers apart.

The ultimate form of inspiration for Rossetti came from a chance meeting with a Parajumper. Parajumpers are a small group of people who train twice as hard as Navy Seals, however they are trained to save and not to kill. These heroes intervene all over the world and have been on thousands of operations that are unknown to most people. When Rossetti was asked to bring forward new ideas, it is clear that he needed to look no further than the image of a Parajumper. Rossetti’s designs are largely influenced by a backpack with nylon, zips and hooks, and now all PJs styles are full of such hardware. The signature hook on all jackets comes from a quick release parachutist hook, which has contributed to the creation of the Parajumpers image.

The original PJs collection consisted of identical jackets made of one fabric in four colours for men and women. These first styles were the Gobi, Kodiak and Denali. The Gobi features a two way zip that opens at the top and bottom. The bright yellow tab serves as a nod to Parajumpers, as yellow is a signal to find a person in a difficult situation. The jacket also includes an iPod pocket, cell phone pocket, and cargo pocket for whatever the wearer wishes to store. The men’s and women’s styles are nearly identical, with the exception of a removable interior in the men’s jacket.

One of Parajumpers’ newer styles that has become quite popular is the Long Bear. This women’s jacket is a knee length coat with a removable hood and detachable fur. This makes the coat easily machine washable; an incredibly practical feature for a winter coat!

In Rossetti’s own words; “we are a guiding light.” Parajumpers has proven itself to be an innovative and functional brand, and we can’t wait to see what new designs Rossetti has up his sleeve. We highly suggest watching the video clip below in which Rossetti details this brand history in his own words, and keep scrolling to browse the PJs styles that Sporting Life has to offer.

SHOP PARAJUMPERS

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The Perfect Fall Jacket – Arc’teryx Atom LT

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Arc’teryx continues to be a leader in the outerwear market year after year. This fall, the Atom Series provides versatile technical insulation to support any lifestyle.

The Atom Series is designed to perform no matter the elevation, trip length or weather conditions. The fabric is weather resistant, meaning it successfully protects the wearer from precipitation and blocks the wind. This line of jackets is filled with Coreloft™, which retains warmth and resists moisture build-up.

If you’re unfamiliar with Coreloft, it is Arc’teryx’s proprietary insulation. Coreloft is a silicon treated synthetic insulation that is incredibly lightweight and breathable. Not only does it retain loft, it also remains warm when it gets damp; ideal for any outdoor activity in the upcoming colder months. Other features of the Atom Series reflect the superior design offered by Arc’teryx: No-Slip Zip to keep your coat done up all the way, vertical drawcords, and air permeable fabric to regulate your body temperature.

The Atom LT is the most versatile style in the series, and it is the sole Atom style available at Sporting Life. Sporting Life offers the Atom LT with and without a hood and in a range of beautiful colours. The insulation and weight are suitable for a range of temperatures, and this jacket serves as the perfect weather resistant outer layer. The Atom LT can be worn on a weekend trip to the mountains, or as a fashletic option to pair with a casual outfit.

The downside of the Atom LT? Making this tough decision: hood or no hood?

SHOP THE ATOM SERIES

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Tuning Skis in Saas-Fee, Switzerland

Picture of the team's Slalom skis.
Picture of the team’s Slalom skis.

At Sporting Life, we pride ourselves on having the best of the best staff in all departments. This month, our Ottawa service shop manager Alex had the opportunity to go to Switzerland to tune skis and learn from world-class coaches and technicians. We have received quick updates from Alex on our Facebook page, and we now have a full reflection on what he gained from this incredible experience. Take it away, Alex!

Having had the opportunity to spend time in Europe with world-class athletes and techs for two weeks, I’ve gained a unique insight into the amount of equipment preparation and maintenance that goes into making sure the athletes can have a successful day on snow. Every day after training, skis get unstrapped and wiped down in order to get sharpened and waxed for the next day of training. With each athlete using 2 to 3 pairs a day, it equates to about 5-6 hours of work for two technicians each evening. That doesn’t include the time that has gone into getting each pair prepped for tuning during the summer either!

What I’ve learned most from my time here in Switzerland is that from the World Cup level right down to the club level, there is only one way to properly prepare and tune skis. While it is true that some technicians might use different tuning techniques and tools, the overall end product should always be the same. This is regardless of who is skiing on the skis and how good they might be. I have been extremely lucky to work under an experienced technician as I’ve been able to see first hand how a world class tech prepares and tunes skis. This has allowed me to compare it against the quality of my own work.  It makes me proud to say that the skis prepped and tuned at Sporting Life by my team and I can be considered nearly world class. It’s also exciting to know that the skills and tricks that I have learned here in Europe will be applied in our shop to further refine our ski preparation and make our service that much better.

View of all the Super G and Giant Slalom skis used by the team.
View of all the Super G and Giant Slalom skis used by the team.

There is a lot of work that goes into making a pair of skis ready for training or race day. All race skis are nowhere near ski or race ready when they are peeled out of the plastic for the first time and need to be prepped prior to tuning. A brand new ski has top sheet material at the tip and tail and a ridge of excess sidewall that needs to shaped/removed. The aim of a ski prep is to expose the edge along the entire length of the ski so that the file can make full contact with the edge. If the top sheet at the tip and tail has not been shaped and the sidewall has not been removed, it will be almost impossible to get the edge set to the desired angle. Once the ski has been prepped, the side edge and base edge can be sharpened using a combination of files, diamond stones and/or ceramic stones. The object is to set the side and base edge to best suit the athlete and discipline the ski is used for while getting the edge to be razor sharp and smooth. Lastly, the base needs to be hydrated by using the appropriate wax determined by looking at snow and weather conditions. It is important to use the correct type of wax, otherwise you might hinder the gliding performance of the skis. In addition, it is imperative to make sure the skis bases still have a visible grind pattern and a lovely shiny finish. After waxing, all that is left is to do is to carefully and thoroughly scrape off the excess wax and use several different types of brushes to clean and polish the base.

Image of a tail after it has been shaped and sanded smooth.
Image of a tail after it has been shaped and sanded smooth.
Image of a tip after it has been shaped and sanded smooth.
Image of a tip after it has been shaped and sanded smooth.

 

The sidewall after its excess has been removed and sanded smooth. Its important to sand the sidewall to be as smooth as possible in order to reduce friction when in contact with the snow.
The sidewall after its excess has been removed and sanded smooth. Its important to sand the sidewall to be as smooth as possible in order to reduce friction when in contact with the snow.
View of the base after it has been waxed and brushed. Notice the visible grind and glossy finish on the base. If the grind is not clear and the base is matte in colour, the base is damaged and needs to be brought in for a grind.
View of the base after it has been waxed and brushed. Notice the visible grind and glossy finish on the base. If the grind is not clear and the base is matte in colour, the base is damaged and needs to be brought in for a grind.

Having skis that are properly prepared and maintained are essential parts of an athlete’s success on the slopes. Sporting Life offers a variety of professional shop services that promises to prepare and tune all types of race skis at the highest possible quality. Our stores offer services that range from sidewall removal to full race tunes using our Wintersteiger base grinding machines. Sporting Life also offers a Pronto Race service which is basically a season’s pass to our shop, where we will prepare and maintain your race skis for the entire season. If you have any questions in regards to proper ski preparation and tuning or our services, we welcome all ski racing enthusiasts to come by the store to speak to a technician.

A former coach and mentor once said to me: “Success is where preparation meets opportunity”. This season, please let Sporting Life take care of the preparation so that your son or daughter can have the best opportunity for success!

 

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Brand Spotlight: Lazypants

lazypants

Get ready to hit comfort level 100 this fall!

Lazypants continue to be one of the most popular sweatpants on the market. Constructed from a seriously soft cotton-poly blend, these elastic-waist pants will make weekends that much better. As described by Lazypants themselves:

“We make comfy clothes for: After a long day at work, After a late night out, After a tough workout, Instead of a tough workout, After school, After the beach, After dinner, Especially after sushi, After yoga, After the game, After a bad date, After a great date (hell, during a great date). After literally anything.”

Lazypants are the perfect addition to your back to school wardrobe. They’ve got you covered for early morning classes, late night study sessions, heading to and from the gym, and movie nights with friends. Available in a variety of fun colours, Lazypants will keep you warm and cozy as winter approaches. What are you waiting for? Get Lazy!

Need some Lazy style inspo? Celebrities love this awesome comfort brand:

SHOP LAZYPANTS

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#MySportingLife Back to School Contest

BTS Blog

When it comes to back to school season, we love to talk about the “perfect outfit” for your first day back. Whether you’re off to your first day of Junior Kindergarten or your senior year of University, your outfit should be stylish, comfortable, and true to you.

We want to see YOUR idea of the perfect back to school outfit from Sporting Life!

Share a photo of your first day of school style using the hashtag #MySportingLife for your chance to win a $1000 Sporting Life gift card!

HOW TO ENTER:
– Between August 29 – September 18, 2016, post your photo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MySportingLife
– Follow and tag our account on the social platform used:
Facebook – @sportinglife
Twitter – @sportinglifecan
Instagram – @sportinglifecan
– One entry per account.
– Make sure your Twitter/Instagram account is public so that we can see the photo!

To give you some inspiration, our Buyers are sharing some of their favourite back to school looks from when they were kids. Want to gain an extra entry into the contest? Leave us a comment below telling us which buyer’s picture is your favourite! Don’t forget to include your social media username so that we can find you.

ANDREA
Andrea, Outerwear

HANNAH
Hannah, Menswear

JILL
Jill, Allocations

NAT
Natalie, Menswear

ROBYN
Robyn, All Softgoods

SHAWNA
Shawna, Branding

TAYLOR
Taylor, Menswear

VANESSA

Vanessa, Childrenswear

JENN
Jenn, Ladieswear

TERMS & CONDITIONS
– You must be following Sporting Life to be eligible.

– This contest is open to Canadian residents.
– Winners will be contacted via the social platform they used to enter.
– If our team does not hear from you within 24 hours, a new winner will be selected in your place.
– This contest ends at midnight on Sunday September 18th.
– This is not a sponsored giveaway in any way.

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How Do You Hydrate? The Best Water Bottles for Back to School

klean kanteen hydrate
Photo via Klean Kanteen.

Staying hydrated is always important, especially for long days spent at school and extracurricular activities. This fall, we recommend reusable water bottles; they are not only sustainable, but are also unique and offer a touch of individuality. Water bottle brands have taken their designs to the next level and offer a wide selection of sizes, colours, and functions. Below we are sharing key features of some of Sporting Life’s top hydration brands. Take a look at more of the diverse styles that Sporting Life has to offer, and choose the right water bottle for you. How will you hydrate for back to school?

Camelbak may be known for their hands-free systems, however they also offer a variety of easy-drinking bottles that make hydration a breeze. This brand is especially useful when shopping for a younger child- designs are clean, simple, & functional and come in an array of kids sizes & patterns. Camelbak offers insulated and non-insulated options, making this brand suitable for any age group.

S’well bottles are quickly gaining popularity in the world of hydration. This trendy bottle is not only beautiful, but it is designed to keep your drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. With a sleek design and two sizes available- 17oz and 25oz- S’well bottles will fit in almost any purse or backpack. With so many finishes, patterns and colours to choose from, S’well allows you to express your personality while getting your 8-glasses-a-day.

Klean Kanteen is a high-quality and durable hydration brand. The best thing about this brand is the variety of sizes and functions that they have to offer. For kids, there are small sized bottles and sippy caps to prevent spills; for long, active days, a 40oz bottle may be the right fit; and for the over-caffeinated university student, Klean Kanteen offers an insulated cup with a café cap. Klean Kanteen bottles come in every colour of the rainbow and- as seen in the image above- are easily clipped onto a backpack. Perfect for the active student!

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Sporting Life Announced as Alberta Alpine’s Official Retailer Through 2020

Alberta Alpine HorizontalSee original article here.

(Canmore, AB) – Alberta Alpine is pleased to introduce Sporting Life as our newest sponsor and supporter of alpine ski racing development in our province. For the past 35 years, Sporting Life is a place where customers in Ontario could find the best quality, brand name fashion and sports equipment that supports the active and energetic lifestyle. Sporting Life is now opening its first out-of-Ontario store this upcoming October 2016 at Southcentre Mall in Calgary, as a first step in its Western expansion plans.

As Alberta Alpine’s “Official Retailer”, Sporting Life’s initial sponsorship is for 5 years through the 2019-2020 season and focuses on providing access, service and support for all levels of ski racers and their families.

Alberta Alpine President Nigel Loring sees the new relationship as a “natural fit”, going onto explain: “Our members represent a large and active segment of the outdoor sport enthusiast market with a broad and impactful presence across Alberta and beyond. Sporting Life’s commitment to providing the highest quality of products and service will provide positive and lasting value for all members and the community.”

John Roe, Sporting Life’s Director of Marketing & Advertising noted: “Ski racing has been a pillar to our business since our inception. For 36 years we have provided funding, services and a support network via our staff and their unique service ability, travelling around the globe, all year round working with athletes at the National Level and supporting the kids at the entry level. Our services are current, our team’s talents are learned from the best, and most of all, we take care and pride to help athletes be the best they can be. Our new service center will have the second of only 2 base grinding machines in the country, The Wintersteiger NC – if you want fast, this thing will get you there.”

“We look forward for you to see what we have built. We would consider our new 43,000 square foot home to be your home for all things sport/outerwear/athletic wear and fashion.”

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