Children of the '90s, here'sÂ something that'll make you feel old: 20 years ago this summer, the Spice GirlsÂ released "Wannabe" in the U.K. For meâand millions of other fansâthe rest of the '90s were a blur of platform shoes, Union Jack flags, glittery eyeshadow, and repeat viewings of Spice World. And I've been Viva Forever in love with the Spice GirlsÂ ever since.
Every '90s girl had a favorite Spice, and mine was (and still is) Sporty. Her fun and fearless styleâcolorful pants, sports bras as tops, statement sneakers, and a sleek high ponytailâwas close to two decades ahead of the "athleisure" trend that's taking over the fashion world today. (Baby Spice's sky-high platforms and Ginger Spice's chunky highlights? Not so much.) Looking at my gym outfits, it's clear I've stolen quite a few style secrets from my favorite Spice Girlâand now you can too. Whether you're actually headed to gym or just hanging out with friends, spice up your lifeÂ (or at least your wardrobe) with these Sporty-inspired pieces. We've rounded up the most iconic Mel C looksÂ and given themÂ their more modern counterparts. Girl power forever!
Photo: Getty Images
Anybody who lived through the '90s remembersÂ adidas 3-stripe track bottoms, which were everywhereâincluding on the red carpet, when it came to Mel C (hey, at least she was comfortable). For a fresh new update, we love the adidas Originals 3-Stripes Leggings ($35;Â nordstrom.com). They still rockÂ the three stripes down the sides and classic logo on the hip, but with a more modern body-con silhouette.Â You've got to show off the results of yourÂ squats, right?
Belly-BaringÂ Crop Top
It was rare that Sporty SpiceÂ didn't wear a crop top or sports bra. If you want to test out the look without being fully committed. this Old Navy Light Support Long-Line Sports Bra ($23;Â oldnavy.com) does the trick. The longer length is great if you want more coverage, and the adjustable straps mean you can customize for the support you need. Paired with high-waisted leggings like these basic black ones from ASOS ($14, asos.com), you can show some skin without feeling overexposed.
Planning on being a Saturday Night Diva with your girlfriends? If you're more of a go-big-or-go-home kind of girl, the Michi Reigne Bra ($148;Â bandier.com) could easily double as a going-out top that still provides the liftÂ you'd want from your usual go-to bra.
One of my favorite Mel CÂ outfits was a neon-orange top and matching pants.Â Would I wear this exact outfit myself? Noâbut I'd rock that bright color on my shoes. These Nike Roshe Run sneaks ($75;Â zappos.com) add a pop of fun color to any outfit, and are comfy to boot. (Here are 10 more ideas for sneakers you can wear with anything.)
Yes, even the Spice Girls loved a good hoodie. For a more pulled-together look, ditch your oversized sweatshirt and swap it out for a more form-fitting one that shows off your shape. The Athleta Techie Sweat HoodieÂ ($89;Â athleta.com) is just as comfortable (really!) and pairs well with jeans or leggings.
Arm Band Tattoo
Sporty Spice's arm band tat highlighted her strong biceps and toned shoulders. If you're not interested in long-term ink, try out one of these Flash Tattoos ($22;Â sephora.com) on your arm instead to show off all the work you've been putting in at the gym.
Instead of bringing a purse to the gym, a sophisticated two-strapperÂ can take you from hatha yoga to happy hour without looking out of place. TheÂ MZ Wallace Metro BackpackÂ ($245;Â bloomingdales.com) is made of quilted nylon for extra durability (we're already obsessed with the tote version). It even comes with a removable pouch where you can store your locker room essentials all in one place.
Back in the day, Mel C would rock Ralph Lauren Â underwear under her track pants (withÂ the logo waistband exposed, of course). If you don't want the world to know your underwear brandâwe can't blame youâbut still want a comfy undie set, opt instead for the simple and sleek Calvin Klein Bra Top ($28;Â urbanoutfitters.com) or Brief ($20;Â urbanoutfitters.com). See, Victoria's not the only one who can keep a secret.