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Gotta Have It

Want to make your New Year’s fitness resolutions stick? Check out this sportswear – it's so damned nice you’ll want to strut around (er, exercise) in it 24/7!

Who knew leggings, tops and bra tops could be so goddam gorgeous? Stroud Yoga Space owner and hunter-gatherer of lust-worthy gear Rachel Mellish, that’s who. (She’s also a brilliant yoga teacher, check out her Dru Yoga class here.) Her fab studio-cum-shop on Nelson Street is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of funky, offbeat activewear, which makes Lululemon look middle of the road. Yes, I know, a bold claim, but just feast your eyes on the kaleidoscopic joy of this lot.

Get browsing at Stroud Yoga Space’s shop!

So where’s she sourcing it all from? Well, the Yoga Democracy range hails from Cave Creek, Arizona and it makes 95% of its designs from recycled fibres, including fishing nets and water bottles, so as well as being über stylish, these leggings are also helping the environment. The patterns are utterly delicious and whoever names them should get a medal – I mean, Powers of Purr-sausion, how can you resist?

From left: Dragonfly Night, Snowday, Powers of Purr-suasion leggings, £65 each, all by Yoga Democracy

Jilla Active is a London-based brand whose designer personally tests out all the products herself in yoga classes and cycling to work. Made from the softest bamboo, a four-way stretch makes them all super comfy. And they’re super stylish too – just check out these bra tops (cool names too).

While Funky Simplicity is the brainchild of Dutch traveller Sanne who fell in love with a pair of cotton lycra leggings in Bali in 1994 and has grown from selling her own designs in a flea market on Kho Phangan into an international underground dance and yoga wear guru who’s putting animal-print raunch into activewear. Everything is hand-printed in Bali on silk screens and the animal prints actually make you stretchier you know?

From left: leopard, snake and giraffe print leggings, £69 each, all by Funky Simplicity

The shop stocks tons more outré brands, for him indoors, too – check out the Ohmme range – and lots of equipment, including eco yoga mats, blocks, bricks, towels, belts and mat bags, as well as yoga CDs for home practice, but frankly, when you’re decked out this stylishly, who’s gonna stay at home?!

Ohmme gear for men, tops from £30, dharma pants from £55, shorts, £45

The shop is open Fridays and Saturdays (so you can time your visit with a mooch round the utterly brilliant Stroud Farmers’ Market), and also by appointment, and in the run-up to Christmas will be open all week. Rachel is already starting a Christmas wish list book, so if you want anything, drop by, give her a ring and look forward to your new fitness regime!

Stroud Yoga Space Shop, 26 Nelson Street, Stroud, Glos GL5 2HH; tel: 01453 756108; email:

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