The activewear Olympics: introducing the 7 gold medal-worthy pieces to try now


Reflective t-shirt, £45, Rapha; Shorts, £90, Rapha; Sky blue helmet, £79, Dashel; Cycling jersey, £145, Lecol

The swimming costume you can actually swim a length in

Why they’re winners: I won’t pretend that I’ve tested Boden’s Corsica swimsuit in the high-stakes context of a 100 metre medley relay. But I can verify that the brand’s one pieces hold their position for an hour of exercise at my local leisure centre. Catering for sizes 6-22, and both regular and long body shapes, it’s also worth noting that the materials are satisfyingly thick. For something more sporty, Lands’ End’s ‘Tugless’ swimsuit also does what it says on the tin – it won’t ride up or shift even during a full-on session. 

What to look for: The features that the pro swimmers tend to favour include a higher neckline, a racer back, and zero embellishments that would slow them down. Depending on how seriously you take your sport, choose something more streamlined accordingly.

Other contenders: Tokyo gold medallist Freya Anderson typically trains in Speedo, her British Swimming colleague Kathleen Dawson wears TYR, and veteran commentator Rebecca Adlington favours Slazenger. These are the best labels for high-performance activewear, but beyond the standard black and blue colours, there are only kaleidoscopic, zany patterns to be found for fun contenders. See Seafolly’s suits for a balance of function and style. Caroline Leaper


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