Keeping it Real: the health retreat outfits

Nikki ParkinsonEveryday Style, Fashion 39 Comments

Just more than a week ago I was experiencing all levels of bliss at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat (if you missed it, you can read all about it here).  It was the kickstart to stage two of my personal health assault that I needed.

I’m pleased to report that I’ve continued my early nights and early mornings all week (well except for that one night I was up working past midnight. Oops); I’ve signed up to weekly yoga classes (I’m a lapsed yogi and was really missing those downward dogs); and I’ve walked to the beach and back every other day (alternate days I’m doing the “5 essentials” strengthening exercises I learned at while away).

Am I feeling a little virtuous. Just a little. There’s a long way to go to return this old body to some form of acceptable fitness levels but at least I’m doing something.

Call me shallow but helping me stay motivated are some new activewear pieces. These two outfits below were what I spent most of my weekend in at Gwinganna … when I wasn’t in a soft, fluffy robe at the spa or “dressed up” for dinner in jeans.

The flow of a Gwinganna day means that your clothes need to flow with you. For me, I needed my health retreat outfits to flow from qi gong through to a bushwalk, a dance or hybrid stretch/yoga class – all the while keeping me feeling comfortable and looking acceptable.

If I’d been doing more of the hard core classes or in summer I may have needed to change throughout the day but the most I needed to do was take my shoes and scarves on and off. Yes, just my kind of costume change.

Let’s just pause a minute to discuss the location of these outfit photos, shall we? This was my villa’s private balcony, suspended over a billabong and fringed by trees.

Now, normally Mr or Miss SY is around to take these photos for me. This time I had to take matters into my own hands, so to speak, purchasing a tripod and remote control to make it happen … the ultimate selfie tools, if you like.

All was going very well. I actually had it all working. And in focus.

And then I positioned myself for the outfit shown in the photo below. Remote control in my right hand, I thought I’d hang on to the glass railing, a move that started a chain reaction that began with me flinging said remote over railing and into the water and ending with me scrambling around the side of the billabong, through the scrub and to the water’s edge … to retrieve it.

True story. The remote still worked (nice one Hahnel). I dusted myself off and lived to take another selfie …

The health retreat outfit | Female for Life loungewear pants | Female for Life pilates top | Seed scarf | Karen Walker sunglasses

Female for Life loungewear pants $115.99 |  Female for Life pilates style top $83.99 | Seed scarf | Karen Walker sunglasses

I’m more than a little in love with these two pieces. Can you see why? The pants are like streamlined fancy trackies. There’s a little bit of harem going on but not so much that my hips take on a Google map position of their own. The top works as it has a drawstring at the bottom that you can tie as tight or as loose as you want. Winning. I love the range available at Female for Life – sizing is described as anything from “petite” through to “bella” (I’m wearing “curvy”), a breath of fresh air really for anyone above a size 14 who’s ever wanted to buy and wear good looking exercise gear.

My Day 2 outfit comes from relatively new site, Fire and Shine. I love the leggings. I’ve never been known to shy away from animal print and when you combine it with a little leg ruching, you’ve got a whole lot of leg flattery going on (I’m wearing the 14). The fabric of the top is amazing – long-sleeve but so breathable. Sizing is generous. I’m in the L but could probably have gone the M. There’s a definite yoga/pilates feel to the range at Fire and Shine (its creators met at yoga teacher training) but what I like is the dose of fashion-forwardness that gets served up with the site’s curated range.

The lifestyle retreat outfit | Fire and Shine L'Urve pants | Fire and Shine Cosmopolitan top | FrankiE4 shoes | BabyG watch | Verily scarf

Cosmopolitan eco top* $149.95 @ Fire and Shine | L’Urve gym legging* $69 @ Fire and Shine | FRANKiE4 shoes $215 | BabyG watch | Verily scarf

Does new activewear help you re-discover your exercise mojo? What styles and brands do you like wearing?

PS. In case you missed the excitement over the weekend, yes you’re still on Styling You … it’s just that we’ve had a little bit of a makeover. Details here PLUS enter to win a $500 gift voucher from Freedom.

Items marked with * were given to me for editorial consideration

Comments 39

  1. Oh You Look Beautiful and so does the Health Retreat. I hope you got to eat some of their Delicious Muesli that I won in your Dettol Mission for Health Prize. They are Amazing.

  2. Love your outfits. You make a health retreat look good! Mind you, I was just thinking in your last post, how good your skin looks. Well, perhaps I can credit this fabulous time away???

  3. Perfect serenity look! I also loved the harem pant/google map comment – very funny!! I think the Female for Life site is genius how you can show the styles on different shapes. Shallow or not, I think the right workout clothes really boost the motivation. If you wear daggy, sloppy and uncomfortable clothes – you will feel daggy, sloppy and uncomfortable when you work out and then blame it on the exercise.

  4. Love the Female for Life pants! I am nowhere as tall as the model on the website would they still be ok? Could you wear them with Converse for weekend wear? Love the post as always

  5. I love both your outfits on you Nikki and yes I do think the right sort of clothes will help you get motivated to do whatever exercise you want to do.Good on you for starting up yoga again ,that is one thing I have always wanted to try but cannot get on the floor so Tai Chi and stretching are it for me.I can do Tai chi in any comfy clothing which is good and just have to pop on my shoes and I have 2 dvds to follow,I just did one now.
    Lucky your remote still works that sounds like something I would do,as my balance is a bit off!
    That place looks amazing and You do look very serene.

      1. I hope you can,hold on to the serenity add some meditation to your day that might help and I can’t recommend smiling minds app for I phone enough xx

  6. I wear Lorna Jane for the sweaty workout stuff, but your Female For Life Outfit looks perfect for travel and weekend wear.

  7. Thanks for the morning inspiration and giggle. I was sipping my coffee when I read the line about the harem pant look and google map, classic! Nothing like a good healthy giggle on the morning. As for work out gear, I have been just going to big w and using the Michelle bridges range at tr moment.

  8. Rockin’ the relaxed retreat look on all fronts.
    New smart fitness gear = motivation for sure
    Thanks for the links.

  9. The black pants, top and scarf – LOVE at first sight for me.
    My get healthy for summer starts today…Going dry and {attempting} to cut out sugar {this could be a work in progress though} for 28 days, in preparation for showing a bit more flesh in the summer months!

  10. You’re right: those trackies are *perfection*. You look gorgeous Nikki, thanks for the inspiration! I’ve been desperately trying to summon some motivation to get healthy again, and at last, I think I’ve found the solution… cute work-out gear!

  11. Both those outfits are gorgeous Nikki. Thank you for your blog post, it gives me an idea what to pack when I go there in January for their 7 Day Detox. It’s just what I need post-breast cancer to help with my recovery and rehabilitation.

    And congrats on getting back into a health & fitness routine.

    Lia xxx

    1. Oh Lia, it will be the perfect help for you. In January, I’d just have a couple of changes of exercise outfits a day because of it being hotter and more likely to sweat. I also did the gentle exercise options. Others had more traditional gym gear. x

      1. I figured as much, lots and lots of yucky humidity in January. Were you in the Signature Villa on the lagoon? I’m booked into The Villa, the one with the plunge pool on the deck over looking the coastline.

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