This article was created by Eliza in partnership with M&S Goodmove.
A small disclaimer, if I may: I’m not a gym-loving gal. Swimming is great and you might catch me at a boxing or spin class in January, and again a few weeks before a summer holiday (I know, I’m a walking cliché), but otherwise, it’s not my hobby of choice.
It means then that for me to stay motivated or get excited about a workout, it’s all in the clothes. Nothing will get me booking a class quite like a new pair of leggings I feel great in will, so when I hear of a brand that promises a great fit, modern design and colourways I’ll love, I’m all in.
Alongside that, since I don’t go very often, I’m reluctant to spend a lot on my gym wardrobe (read: drawer). I can justify investing in a great blazer or a chic work bag, but a sports bra that I’ll wear five times a year? It just doesn’t make sense for my lifestyle. Not to mention throwing my tiny budget into the mix which narrows my options down.
M&S launched its Goodmove range just before the pandemic hit in 2020, and I bought a lovely padded black coat to see me through my hour-long lockdown walks. Since, Goodmove has completely taken off. It’s the brands biggest in-house label, so it’s safe to say isn’t just a sports section corner in store. In fact, M&S sells 1.6 billion Goodmove pieces each year and it’s now stocked on premium activewear site, The Sports Edit, alongside PE Nation, Girlfriend Collective and Varley.
With the whole range rated at 4.5-5 stars in its customer reviews, I had to see what the hype was about, so I put Goodmove through its paces (and my own!) to try it for three completely different workouts.
What’s worth buying from the M&S Goodmove range?
For a hike
I feel like this parka was made for me. A sleek silhouette, expensive-looking cream shade and wipe-clean, I’ve worn it more on normal days than I’ve been on walks and hikes. On first glance, I wasn’t sure it’d be sufficient for a hike in the windy Sussex countryside. It’s super lightweight which is great as it stops you feeling weighed down, but would I actually be warm? I packed some M&S cashmere just in case, but I needn’t have bothered.
I layered a Goodmove running top over my yoga crop top (more on that later) then threw this parka on over the top. Thanks to windproof and waterproof tech (I’d recommend sizing up to fit all your layers underneath), I was surprisingly warm and dry. I really tried to keep it pristine, but with puddles, mud and overflown marshes, the inevitable happened, but it was easily wiped clean later.
I hadn’t read the description for these leggings properly, so when I put them on and felt a chunk of padding in the gusset, I thought they were geared at cyclers and horse-riders. Turns out they’re leakproof with high absorbency. Genius. Even if you don’t need that element, it makes them really comfortable and they’d be perfect for spinning so you don’t end up with a sore bum. I also loved that they had a tie waistband – ideal if you’re wearing lots of layers on a walk and can’t get to the waistband to pull them up.
This cute little crossbody fitted my phone, a bag of crisps, a can of coke, a lipbalm and a mini umbrella, too – hiking essentials if you ask me.
This neon-trim swimsuit was without doubt my highlight from the range. M&S gets underwear so right, so of course its swimming costumes have the same design and support. I can think of nothing worse than an uncomfortable swimsuit or one I don’t feel confident in, am constantly readjusting the bottoms or having to check I’m not flashing anyone.
But with a discreet, supportive bra inside that kept my bust in place, and stretchy, soft hems on the pants that mean you didn’t end up with four bum cheeks, I haven’t loved a ‘proper swimming’ swimsuit as much as this one. I also really appreciated the back coverage: typically swimsuits have a criss-cross back that leaves your sides unsupported and digs in an unflattering way.
I got four compliments on it, which was lovely, and I’m hoping the brand bring it out in black with a fuchsia trim – how nice would that be?!
For morning yoga
Of all of the exercises, this was the one I was dreading most. I’ve tried yoga a handful of times and left feeling like it wasn’t right for me. In downward-facing dog, I’d be reminded that my bust was unsupported, and I’d be pulling up my leggings through all the warrior poses while everyone else looked statuesque and relaxed. It turns out I was wearing the wrong outfit all along.
I chose a matchy black and white printed set from GoodMove for my class, a set specifically designed with yoga in mind and that was apparent. Both pieces were super-soft and stretchy and I was pleasantly surprised that the print didn’t distort or go transparent over my bum and thighs.
I wouldn’t normally do a class in just a sports bra, so I wore a loose-fit GoodMove T-shirt which was lovely, but I didn’t need it. The yoga top had great coverage: I’ll wear it for other workouts too by removing the cups and wearing a light sports bra underneath.