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Refinery 29 explores: How running marathons reconnected me with my personal style

This article first appeared on Refinery 29. Authors: Serena Brown, Jessica Morgan.


Growing up, my entire life was about sports. I played on every team at school, from football to tennis, athletics to cross-country — dressing the part in sneakers and gym clothes even outside of practice. As I got older, as my body matured and my style changed, but my love of sports never waned. In my early 20s, I discovered and joined a few running collectives in London where I made loads of friends that I’d arrange to run with every weekend. But there was always something to consider before I laced up and hit the road: my style.


The way I’d style myself before a race would give me the confidence and fearlessness I’d need to complete it (and a reason to bounce out of bed at 8am every Sunday). I’d pair leopard print leggings with a bright pink running jacket and matching sneakers, or wear neon yellow shorts with a purple long-sleeve top and white sneakers. For races, like marathons — of which I’ve completed four, from the Boston Marathon to the Great Wall of China marathon — I’d do the same. My floral headband would sit atop my head, pink glitter on my eyelids and a bold red lip matching my colorful ensemble.



Over time, I've incorporated my running style into my daily personal style, blending my sporty look with more feminine pieces. Wearing bold, bright and colorful clothes makes me feel and look good, and when it comes to dressing myself for my lifestyle, comfort comes above everything. I naturally gravitate towards sneakers for their versatility, functionality, and practicality. The Cloudnova Wrap sneakers from running brand On have been a go-to, thanks to their expert fusing of comfort and style (think: cushioning cloud technology, spring-like sole and minimalist design) – they’re the shoes I reach for no matter the occasion or season.


Most days, my style is dictated by the way I feel when I wake up in the morning, but mostly I look for sartorial choices that will take me effortlessly from brunch to work in style. For my everyday uniform, I keep things practical and minimal: denim jeans, crisp white shirt, grey sweater and a khaki vinyl trench, paired with the On Cloudnova Wrap sneakers in flame.



The purple and orange colorway complements my pared-down, day-to-day look, elevating the minimal-yet-functional outfit. It means that I can do everything I want to without worrying about being uncomfortable — the shoe quite literally molds to your foot. As someone who is always embarking on spontaneous adventures, this combination of functionality and comfort is key.


I challenge the myth that sneakers can’t be styled with feminine fashion pieces. I love pairing the utility style of the flame colorway with a flowing floral dress and denim jacket for spring. The combination of more soft, feminine styles and edgier accessories is something I love to experiment with. This look proves that the Cloudnova Wrap isn't just about comfort and performance: the gradient finish and ribbon closure make it a style statement in itself.



My style does change, however. Wearing color is important to me: it gives me confidence, and it makes me feel powerful and strong, which is why I chose to style the cumin colorway with a bold red suit. If I’m going to go all out on the top, I like to keep it simple on the bottom, which is why this combination works so well — I love the clash of the sweet, minimal design. The red gives off boss vibes and proves that you can multitask when it comes to fashion. This is the kind of outfit that reflects my good mood on a sunny day — wearing bold colors instantly makes me happy.


My relationship with running has undoubtedly strengthened my bond with fashion. I've found empowerment and confidence through the combination of style and comfort, which I carry with me whether I'm walking down the street or powering through a race.


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