Brand Spotlight: Woolrich John Rich & Bros

Featured: Women’s Teton Parka

As a part of the historical Woolrich family stemming back to the early 19th century, the Woolrich John Rich & Bros line presents classic American fashion but with a twist of modern style. The company has come a long way since John Rich II first opened the Woolrich Woolen Mills in Pennsylvania nearly two centuries ago. After decades of catering to the outdoor lifestyle of the average blue-collar citizen, John Rich & Bros (JRB) helps to breathe new life into a remarkable heritage brand where practicality meets style. With a focus on adding a touch of sophistication to the style of daily life, the brand still manages to maintain the defining aspects of the Woolrich identity that was first created for American pioneers.

via Woolrich.

We can’t be the only ones who love Buffalo Check for fall – did you know that Woolrich was the first to release this iconic print? Introduced to the collection in 1850, Buffalo Check has become a worldwide staple for a heritage look. Legend has it that the designer of this fabric owned a herd of buffalo, so he named the fabric after his beloved herd. When worn with the matching printed pant, a “Pennsylvania Tracksuit” is born – this just might rival the denim on denim “Canadian Tuxedo!”

Another quintessential style from JRB is the Arctic Parka, which was designed and produced in the early 1970s. Created to outfit workers constructing the Alaska pipeline, this down-insulated parka remains a staple of the modern collection.

Having recently celebrated their 185th anniversary, Woolrich John Rich & Bros is a brand that seems to be getting better with age. As a true lover of fashion paired with function, Sporting Life is proud to provide a home for heritage pieces that stand the test of time.

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Brand Spotlight: Icebreaker

“A chance meeting with a merino sheep farmer had sparked something inside me, a passion. From that moment on I was hooked on the possibilities of natural solutions to technical apparel.”Jeremy Moon, Founder of Icebreaker

Founded in New Zealand in 1995, Icebreaker immediately emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the outdoor apparel world. While all other performance clothing was manufactured with synthetic fabrics, Icebreaker was a breath of fresh air: the company was (and is) committed to working with nature to develop a new kind of outdoor performance apparel.

It seems so simple. Merino sheep manage to thrive through the coldest winters and the hottest summers; why couldn’t that principle be applied to outdoor clothing?

“Whereas most companies start with the fabric, we start with the fiber.”
Pictured: Vertex Flurry Top, Vertex Flurry Legging

Created from natural, raw, super fine merino wool, Icebreaker apparel is biodegradable, annually renewable, ethically sourced and 100% made from nature. The brand contracts directly from the best wool-growers and shares their commitment to nurture and respect the land and animals. The company only uses what they need; the raw fiber is consciously transformed into fabric in a way that minimizes energy and water usage. Reducing the environmental impact is of the utmost importance!

Icebreaker remains a “merino pioneer” – they were the first to see the potential of this natural material that was capable of outperforming synthetics and plastics. Learn more about why they choose merino here.

Icebreaker only ever designs products that serve a purpose. Whether it’s keeping people warm or making them comfortable, Icebreaker creates products that people actually want and that are made to last.

We don’t know about you, but ethically sourced activewear that lives up to its promise of performance sounds like a dream come true.

We are fans in particular of 3 of Icebreaker’s design innovations: BodyfitZONE, Cool-lite, and MerinoLOFT. Layered up, these make for the perfect storm of performance apparel.

  • BodyfitZONE – an innovative technology that uses fine merino yarns blended with Lycra to bring natural warmth and body fit to enhance muscular performance and recovery. Strategically placed zone mesh panels create natural thermal dumping zones for optimal temperature regulation, breathability and next-to-skin softness.
  • Cool-lite – combines merino with Tencel, a natural fiber sourced from sustainable eucalyptus, that helps heat dumping and wicking to enhance cooling in the heat of the day. The merino component resists odor, breathes and regulates temperature when it turns cooler.
  • MerinoLOFT – a natural, intelligent alternative to synthetic insulation and duck down – MerinoLOFT is a machine-washable, wool blend, that provides highly breathable, super lightweight insulation even when wet.

Sporting Life and Icebreaker have teamed up to send you and your family to New Zealand – experience nature at its best! Learn more and sign up here, or visit us in store to fill out a ballot.

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Brand Spotlight: Parajumpers

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.

In 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.

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.

We are pleased to offer exciting new styles for fall – these lightweight, insulated jackets and vests are the ideal pairing of fashion and function. Shop fresh new jackets along with our favourite classic styles below.

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Wax On, Wax Off: The Barbour Wax Jacket

When it comes to heritage and fashion forward brands, there is nothing quite like Barbour. Founded in England in 1894, Barbour continues to produce quality apparel for men and women. One of our favourite pieces from Barbour- and one of their most famed- is the wax jacket. Designed to protect the wearer from the elements, the history of this iconic piece proves that it will last a lifetime.

The wax jacket’s history begins in 1910 with Uncle Harry’s coat. This coat was a double breasted outdoor coat that protected the wearer against foul weather. This coat has been passed down from generation to generation and still resides within the Barbour family. From a completely weatherproof wax cape in the 1920s to a motorcycle all-in-one suit in 1936, wax has made a name for itself in every Barbour collection. With a history in police and motorcycle wear, the wax jacket is designed to perform.

bedale-1980One of Barbour’s signature and most popular jackets, the Bedale, was introduced in 1980. This jacket is lightweight and short in length, and was designed by Chairman Dame Margaret Barbour as an equestrian jacket. This short length was perfect for riding, making it the ideal country coat! This jacket serves as the transition piece between countrywear and city style: this jacket paved the way for Barbour to become a fashion statement in an urban setting.

Barbour’s signature elements can be found in many wax jackets: 100% weatherproof, big bellow pockets, a large pull ring, two way zip and a corduroy collar. Today, waxed jackets are available in a range of styles and finishes from heavy and tough to antique and distressed. The wax jacket is perfectly described by Barbour themselves: “[the] wax jacket…is now as comfortable in the urban jungle as it is in the country.”

Shop all Barbour jackets at Sporting Life, or see some of our waxed favourites below.



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Comparing Canada Goose: Langford vs. Emory

  • Fit: Slim
  • Retail: $925
  • Length: Mid thigh, 35″ centre back
  • Fill: 625 fill power white duck down
  • TEI 4
  • Removable coyote fur ruff
  • Non removable adjustable hood
  • Adjust fit with interior waist drawcord
  • Maximum storage with big front pockets, and extra storage space with interior security pocket
  • Available in Fusion Fit & Black Label
  • Available colours: Black, Navy, Graphite, Military Green, Admiral Blue, Charred Wood (coming soon), Limestone (coming soon)
  • Fit: Slim
  • Retail: $950
  • Length: Hip, 35.5″ centre back
  • Fill: 625 fill power white duck down
  • TEI 4
  • Introduced to Canada Goose line in 2016
  • Removable coyote fur ruff
  • Non removable adjustable hood
  • Maximum storage with big front pockets with top & side access; extra storage space with interior security pocket
  • Available in Black Label
  • Hideaway snow skirt
  • Available colours: Black, Graphite, Admiral Blue, Navy (coming soon)


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Why We Love the Fjallraven Kanken

The Fjallraven Kanken backpack was created in 1978 to spare the backs of school children. Back problems had begun to appear in younger age groups where shoulder bags were popular. The backpack soon became a common sight at pre-schools and nature schools around Sweden! While originally created for kids, this backpack is a staple for all ages that are into the minimalist, Scandinavian style.

Why do we love it?

– Durable Vinylon F material repels moisture better than any other synthetic fabric. Fibers in this material swell in humid weather for superior water-resistance….no wet books while waiting for the bus!
– Two zippered compartments with two side pockets. This simplicity keeps you from losing things in the abyss that is your school bag.
– Simple shoulder straps make this bag easily customized and wearable for long periods of time.
– The logo doubles as a reflector to keep you safe on walks to school at dawn or dusk.

These features are all kinds of appealing, and can be found in each of the different variations of the classic backpack:

The classic! Made of durable fabric, the classic will outlast even the toughest of school days. Two side pockets and a zippered pocket in the front make for easy day-to-day storage.

Kanken Mini
The cutest little backpack you ever did see! The Mini is just that – a mini version of the classic. It is perfect for young kids headed back to school, or as a smaller daypack for adults! Doubles as a fashletic purse, which we aren’t mad about.

Kanken Laptop
While you may be able to fit a laptop in the classic, this Kanken features padded shoulder straps and a specially designed area made to house a laptop computer neatly and securely.

Kanken No. 2
Redesigned and better than ever! The Kanken No. 2 is made from a sturdier fabric and has leather straps, making it a new and slightly improved version of the original. This bag also comes in laptop form!

We are all about being eco-friendly, especially with the start of a fresh new year. The Re-Kanken (and the mini!) are sustainable versions of the classic style, as each bag is made entirely from eleven plastic bottles! Dyed with SpinDye® technology that radically reduces the amount of water, energy and chemicals used, this bag is mindful of our environment. Check it out:

Find Your Kanken
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Top 10 Summer Essentials

Bring on barbeques, patio get togethers, after work drinks and weekend adventures because summer is here! Get ready for July and August’s heat wave with our top 10 summer essentials to get you through a relaxing weekend at the cottage, spontaneous trips to the beach or exciting pool days.

The Swimsuit
Summer means swimming and you will definitely need a cute suit to make a splash in the pool, lake or ocean! We have swimwear in tons of prints and colours for everyone in the family. Our wide range of styles will guarantee that you can find a suit for your needs and body type.

The Casual Sandal
Run out the door to your favourite summer outing in a pair of convenient sandals. Sandals are great for any summer occasion and they will keep your feet feeling comfortable and cool all summer long.

Cool Shades
Nobody wants to be squinting in the sunlight! Sunglasses are a very important summer accessory that protects your eyes and give a fashionable, cool look. The right pair of shades can really flatter a person’s face shape. Try universally flattering aviators for effortless appeal.

The Wear Everywhere Jacket
Just because its hot outside doesn’t mean you won’t need a jacket in the summertime. A lightweight jacket is the perfect cover up for cool evenings and breezy summer days.

The Stylish Hat
Warm weather calls for a hat! Protect your face from the sun and look good in the process with a hat to match all your summer outfits. Fit for all summer adventures, a hat can accompany you to the beach, on a hike, to a music festival or on your holiday.

The Graphic Tee
Graphic T-shirts are sure to make a statement and the easy silhouette won’t put pressure on your style! You can never have too many, so stock up on styles with graphics that reflect your personality.

Denim Shorts
The laid-back feel of denim shorts screams summer! Look effortlessly cute and casual for a fun afternoon bike-ride or a walk to the ice cream parlour.

An Insulated Water Bottle
Quench your thirst on the go with H2O in an insulated bottle. The summer heat guarantees cravings for ice cold water so try an insulated bottle that will keep iced drinks cold for up to 24 hours.

The Carry Everything Bag
You will need a roomy bag for all your needs this summer as you embark on trips, adventures and family fun. From the beach to the cottage, a practical bag will take you anywhere in style.

Shield your skin from the sun with a reliable sunscreen that will block harmful UV rays that cause cancer and aging. With water-resistant and kid friendly options available, there is no excuse to get sun burnt this season!

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4 Off the Shoulder Styles You Need For Summer

Shop this look: Hat // Dress // Sandals

We LOVE an off the shoulder look for summer. This breezy, flirty style can be dressed up or down for a day at the beach, patio drinks or a late night date. We are particularly feeling this BB Dakota number right now – the dainty ruffle paired with the softest chambray make it the ideal little summer dress.

Extra credit: Check out how our ambassador Julie Redmond styled her off the shoulder looks in last week’s blog post!

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Summer Outfit Trends: Stop Throwing Shade at Your Bad Tan Lines. It’s Not Your Outfit’s Fault.

Article by guest blogger Julie Redmond.

Summer trends. Aka, the best way to look stylish without getting bad tan lines or being too sweaty. In my 27 years of experience, the sunburn is way worse than being hella trendy and sitting in the shade. So, with that said, let’s grab some sunscreen and blow this popsicle stand! We’ve got some summer trends to strut.

Summer in Calgary is…difficult to explain. It’s been 30 degrees celsius and in the same day, hailed so much that people had to shovel and make some serious insurance claims on their vehicles. Take from this what you will because I’ve got summer on my mind and there will be bathing suits and cowboy boots. Not particularly together though. If you can’t take the heat, I suggest you move to another city that doesn’t get the most amount of sun in Canada.

Instead of dipping a toe into the daunting “bathing suit season”, I’m diving right in! Ready or not, pale or tanned, I’m making a splash with this gorgeous graphic Trina Turk one piece (similar here). (I’m not actually splashing though because I don’t like getting my hair wet.)


I reference SPF a lot and for good reason. One, I’m extremely fair, as I’m sure you can tell. Two, you probably don’t want a twelve-pack looking sunburn on your chest. Don’t be caught off guard by the beautiful designs and colours of this suit!


If you don’t know that one pieces are making a huge comeback in the bathing suit and summer trends scene, then you need a Pinterest account. This suit is extremely comfortable and it also comes with a removable halter strap for extra security. The style of this can also double as a fashionable strapless top. I’ve already layered it with some fly Levi’s that you’ll see shortly with another ensemble.

Bathing suits and their styles can be quite personal and this might be too much information for some but it’s no secret that I was not born to be well-endowed. I’m not upset by it either. With that said, this Lspace bikini is beyond perfect for my needs and it’s reversible. Who doesn’t love a twofer (two-for-one)?!


Years ago, I got my first Lspace bikini top and I actually remember saying that it was the most comfortable swimsuit I had ever worn. If you ask me, that is a major plus for comfort points when it’s sweltering outside. Nobody likes fidgeting with their ‘kini.

Obviously, this look is more geared towards backyard tanning sessions or the pool deck and I paired it with some retro Ray-Bans and some classic Stan Smith adidas Originals. Why you ask? Because flip flops are what you expected me to wear and this way I can run faster after the ice cream truck.


Sorry folks, berries not included with this suit.


Ok, stay with me now. I’m switching gears so giddy up and grab your boots! Before I get straight into my rocking rodeo duds though, please keep in mind that these pieces can also be worn to and from the pool because as much as bathing suits are summer trends, you may want shoes, shirts and service. Pants too.

This outfit is white hot but also very cool to beat that summer heat. Levi’s have quickly become a staple brand in my closet and it’s no wonder why. They fit very well and have years of customer loyalty to back this up! These high-waisted white denim shorts are a dream and the distressed edge give it that don’t care vibe. (Insert “did you pay extra for those holes?” dad joke here.)


White on white is luxurious and chic but also dangerous around the corndog stand. Keep that in mind but also know, you are hitting a major trend with a white, off-the-should blouse. This one specifically is airy and super lightweight but it covers my arms for when I stay out after the sun goes down (similar here). Like I said earlier, it can be hotter than the underworld and then snow so, sunscreen and contingency plans are crucial. If you didn’t catch on by now, I plan my outfits based on the weather report and my estimated time of outdoor activity. I can feel you judging but I can’t see you because I’m blocking haters and UV rays sitting in the shade in my summer trendy threads.

This is also a great opportunity to get patriotic. (HBD Canada!) All you need to do is add a little red and no, I don’t mean a sunburn. We’ve got a lot to celebrate this summer and #Canada150 is at the top of the list. One week after that, Calgary Stampede. Ten days after that, more summer. One month after that, our final days of summer so make the most of it with your summer trends. Summer, summer, summer, soak it up! Did I mention I love summer?

I switched up the bottom half just to showcase how great this blouse is and to show you that it can be worn the week after Canada’s birthday for what has become my favourite extended-long holiday, Calgary Stampede. Featuring embroidered chambray shorts with cowboy boots, this sounds like a good country song to me.





Next Stampede/summer staple; jortalls. Jean short denim overalls. (I just made that up.) The only thing that would make this even more Stampede-ish is putting on a plaid shirt, a cowboy hat and a piece of hay in my mouth. I’m not doing the latter but I’m not against it. I went a different route with the footwear because not everyone in Calgary owns cowboy boots so there needs to be multiple alternatives. These Toms are beyond comfortable and I know I can two-step the night away or cruise the midway for worldly treats.



Overalls have a juvenile reputation but let me know tell you, trends repeat themselves. I wear all the same styles I did when I was 6. Kidding, sort of. I think I actually cut off a pair of overalls into shorts when I was a youngster. So it’s probably not surprising that I’m not a fashion designer and stick to putting outfits together as a fashion stylist but this is still a charming and enjoyable summer trend.


Versatility is my favourite word to use in my closet because not only is it key to have pieces that will last you through the summer months but it’s important to be able to wear these pieces when the leaves fall and our tans fade. Brrr. I just got cold thinking of that. Anyways, I don’t believe in overhauling my wardrobe from fall/winter to spring/summer because ain’t nobody got time for that. I think it’s important to be able to wear what you buy. No, this isn’t always going to be appropriate from minus 30 to 30 above but versatility within your wardrobe pays off. My point is, when I was planning these outfits, I was able to pair everything together and switch their combinations. Summer is roughly 12 days long here so make the most of it with your threads and don’t forget your sunscreen.


style by jr

C81HVCAUQAAPnDYJulie is a Calgary-based fashion stylist with a background in event management and administration. She is a sparkle-loving, gold enthusiast who had a vision of styling more than just herself. While working for a leading boutique public relations agency in Calgary, she was recognized by top-tier clients to assist with their styling needs. Balancing current trends with classic pieces, Julie will ensure your wardrobe is a genuine reflection of your unique personality while helping you radiate an inner self confidence. Regardless of age or body type, Julie will help you feel your absolute best through a relaxed and comfortable process.

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Throwback Style: Our Fave Retro Brands

The 90s (and beyond) are back! Whether it’s a revamp of classic styles or the resurgence of favourite retro brands, we are loving the vintage feel that has made its way into modern fashion. Keep scrolling to see some of the exciting retro pieces available at Sporting Life, and check out our stores for even more retro vibes (FILA and Kappa may or may not make an appearance…) Shop all retro sport style here!


What is more iconic and inherently retro than the three stripes of adidas? Founded in the 1940s and popular for decades, adidas is one of the world’s leading athleisure brands. Check out this ad we found from 1979 – upon first glance it is SO retro, but when you look closer, you realize that many of the pieces featured are back in style in 2017! Trefoil branding, zip up track jackets, sporty short shorts and tri striped sneakers are bigger than ever in today’s fashion under the brand of adidas Originals. Talk about timeless!

Is there a better known, more classic denim brand than Levi’s? Each decade has seen its favourite pair of jeans, and Levi’s has dominated the market each and every time. Sassy white denim shorts like the ones seen here on Kate Moss are still around, and the Wedgie fit jeans are this year’s best fitting pair of Levi’s – they make everyone look phenomenal!

via Pinterest

We are SO glad that the colourful windbreaker is back in action! We love the look of a bright outer layer paired with jeans for a cool summer day. K-Way jackets are back in style and while you can still get your hands on a neon pink version, we like the updated colourblock available in men’s and the fun solids available in women’s for every day wear.

#MyCalvins. Enough said. Calvin Klein is back and bigger than ever with branded bras and undies – what celebrity hasn’t been seen rocking jeans, crop tops and sweaters with their Calvins peeking out from underneath? Sporty, chic and just enough retro.

via Popsugar

Coca-Cola never goes out of style. The brand has dominated the beverage market since the beginning of the 20th century, and theirs is still one of the most recognizable logos around! While you may have dropped Coke as your beverage of choice due to your healthy active lifestyle, you can still rep the classic retro look with an Enjoy Coke tee by Junk Food.

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