YORKSHIRE WOMEN SWAPPING THE SUMMER SARONGS AND SANGRIA FOR STYLISH ACTIVEWEAR FOR A SUMMER OF SCARBOROUGH, SCUNTHORPE AND SELF-LOVE
A West Yorkshire fashion designer and stylist has seen her unique activewear range, which embraces every woman’s body and style, in huge demand this season. Summer is when she would normally be swamped with bespoke swimwear and party dress orders.
But the Leeds-born, Kirklees based ‘instagram-famous’ fashion house has had a makeover too by creating a special summer wardrobe of workout wear to meet demand!
Swimwear, holiday clothes and packing essentials are normally top of our shopping list at the moment, but as we lunge into a very different style of Summer of staycations, one Yorkshire designer has seen a staggering shift to people instead shopping for her activewear.
West Yorkshire fashion designer Jordan Wake, who specialises in tailor-made styles to suit every woman, would normally be measuring people for holiday outfits and partywear, has instead launched her third activewear line of the last year due to the huge demand in her clients now “wanting summer workout gear instead of Sangria-ready sarongs!”
Leeds-born Jordan, who runs Wake Bespoke from her ‘Pink Palace’ HQ in Cleckheaton town centre, styles every woman from travelling TV stars to traffic wardens, says: “Whilst we would normally be finishing off prom dresses, creating confidence-boosting bespoke bikinis for all bodies, because everybody is a beach body, and party wear, has instead been overwhelmed with demand for her Lockdown love of sourcing the best activewear to suit all of our changing needs... from lounging around at home to more people than ever working out at home.
She said: “It’s wonderful to see women all over Yorkshire and those who travel to me from further afar, seizing this challenging period by shifting their Summer plans to staying active whether that be at home or on holiday in the UK.
“The great thing about my ‘athleisure’ line for my Workout with Wake brand, is that it combines comfort with style, and is suitable to wear at home or to go on those Summer strolls and staycations.”
28-year-old Jordan, who has amassed a following of more than 50,000 online has herself swapped her summer wardrobe in favour of her new line of bright tie dye activewear and summery coloured tracksuits which she wears to the gym, on dog walks or at work.
She is normally known for her extravagant dresses and occassionwear, and whilst she is still fulfilling a steady demand for this, it seems that people are on a mission to use these months to move more at home in the UK instead.
Jordan who began designing clothes from her grandma’s attic in the suburb of Leeds as a shot teen, jokes:
“We may not always get the same sun of Sydney but Scarborough and Scunthorpe will be our replacement for Muscle Beach this year!
“It feels like we are utilising that Australian-style trend of athletic wear being the norm to wear out and about.
“Not to mention your motivation levels when you can work, move and go out in our special collection.”
And whilst it’s a relief to see that business is in booming instead of down turning which I think most independents have feared at some point this past year, I am just ecstatic that our many multi-faceted female customers are staying focused in feeling-good whatever this season will bring.”
Workout with Wake not only caters for more of us working out from home than ever before, or vowing to get fit, but Jordan has proved that workout clothing can help improve positivity and empower peak performance in work, life, home and outdoors. Jordan herself understands this as someone who runs businesses, enjoys socialising, personal development and has a range of interests from Ibiza island-hopping to winding down on family walks in her local park aims to help all women embrace their unique beauty and wear whatever makes them-feel good.
The ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ and ‘Fashion Designer of the Year’ says: “As a family-run business we all wear my ranges from my young niece to my Grandma, the great thing about my designs and off the rack lines is that I create and curate everything for the individual.
“That said we do love my twinning ranges too.”
Wake Bespoke has seen an astronomical growth since it launched 5 years ago, relocating it’s rooftop HQ in Leeds City Centre to a three-storey shop in Cleckheaton town centre will always keep its humble Yorkshire roots whilst also creating a huge online community of women worldwide.
Jordan herself is looking forward to Summer thanks to a positive mindset and a love of living her life her way, like a lot of the women she styles inside out.
She says in her Leeds accent: “I have been using the Pandemic for making the most of working online and giving myself plenty of time for personal development coaching so that I can be in the best shape mentally and physically to support as many women from all walks of life to dress, work, live and love themselves inside out.”
Jordan’s own diary this year she says also reflects her own transformation as well that she sees in a lot of women who love her holistic approach to design clothes for them inside out, will be participating outdoor pursuits such as Tough Mudder as well preparing to make her first appearance and compete at a beauty pageant.
“Life is more than what you wear, it’s how you feel inside, which is why we try to coach, consult and care for each customer not just to style for her body but for her mind too.
“Our clothes, life journey and frame of mind, is so important. Focusing on my holistic style has helped me too from going from a shy and unconfident young woman who battled to ‘fit in’ to today where I feel so good in embracing who I am and I see all of me as assets. Flaws and all.
I am just a real woman. And we are all wonder women, I just want you to feel it too and move with confidence and power within!”
Wake Bespoke offers a range of consultations in store and online as well as off the hanger designer wear to tailor-made Bridal wear and loungewear.
Jordan is also busy preparing for the annual Leeds-based Simply Ladies Fashion Show which celebrates real women loving themselves and lavish designs as they are welcome to walk down the catwalk and attend a lavish ceremony in September. She adds: Here at Wake and all of our sisterhood want you to feel empowered, strong and comfortable whilst looking and feeling fabulous. “Bossing your own personality which can come from wearing the right clothes to suit you because you are unique and perfect as you are! It is about you feeling empowered to live your life your way with passion, power and to achieve peak performance in all of your loves... starts with believing in yourself and we can be your community who will love you inside out!”
Independent Fashion house Wake Bespoke designs tailor-made clothing for special occasions from weddings to proms, from parties to events. Whether you’re strutting down a red carpet in a ball gown or you’re active around the house... all women deserve to feel the best, wear the best and most of all be their best selves.
You can shop now for Wake Bespoke’s latest collections via the boutique section on their website, by going to:
https://www.wakebespoke.co.uk/ or you can opt for made to measure services, all done online for the time being.
You can also follow Wake Bespoke on instagram, facebook and twitter @wakebespoke.
Wake Bespoke’s new premise is located at 51 Northgate, Cleckheaton, BD19 3HS.
Walking in dizzying circles inside Leeds Train Station as my dyslexic brain attempts to navigate my dyspraxic body around the arrows on the floor. My anxious attempt at public transport was fortunately and literally ‘masked’ and, for a moment, I swapped my nerves of being in crowded places containing lots of bodies, with the ‘stress’ of trying to social distance.
I had mentally rehearsed this moment, because whilst I work in the media in public facing roles, I am naturally introverted and feel more at ease presenting in front of a camera, speaking on a global stage or my younger self could be found dancing live on TV in front of 10 million viewers.
But that doesn’t give me as many feelings of anxiety as this part of my journey…Leeds Train Station thoroughfare… which has transformed into my public transport version of Leeds Ring Road!
That’s just one of the bizarre parallels about me and in many of us. What might be a challenge to me, is relative to how I perceive it and whilst my personal fears may have developed into memories in the cells of my brain and body, I do have the learned power of mindfulness techniques I develop daily to retrain my own neural pathways, connecting our mind and bodies.
Ironically, to the ‘outside world,’ I look like a confident multi-platform journalist on her way to model in her friend’s photoshoot. Yet as I try to get out of dancing in a circle which I had trapped myself in by focusing too much on quickly trying to pass through the ticket barriers, this ‘stresses my brain and body’ rather than the shoot but for many people it’d be the opposite because we are all unique complex organisms, made up of a range of factors.
Growing up, however, as a non-Twiggy nor Kate Moss look-a-like, the thought of being surrounded by beautiful models and cameras today with a “curvy common clueless me,” would have been a greater source of nerves. But that’s the power of our mind because we can rewire it the more we see ourselves as whole rather than ‘just a body.’ And here I am with an inflamed stomach due to my physical ailments (which have been neglected throughout Lockdown and, the lack of treatment over the years, which a lot of women experience due to their complex holistic health needs from hormonal imbalances to gynaecological issues).
Yet, it depends what ‘fragment’ of my day you stumble across - I only alluded to two elements of my much longer day more intricate day already - and narrowing that down further you may only stumble across a glossy photo finish online, or bump into me with my head down now walking in zig zags…or watch my raw behind-the-scenes vlog. Hopefully, you’re reading this! Either way, as much as I am more candid than most, and I try to be balanced thanks to a decade of journalism, at the end of the day you will still have your own perception of one of my unintentionally curated versions from a brief segment of my story that morning alone. That’s the problem of judging ourselves or others off one ‘data point’ alone and the most common is body size.
So is it a wonder that those of us ‘fortunate’ enough to have access to the digital world during Lockdown, which in many ways has enabled us to evolve our work, attempting communication and even connecting socially, that with us all only seeing snapshots of each other’s lives, some versions we have selected, some not. Plus, with the added disadvantage of those in charge of profit-generating social media sites and the human fuelled bias of Artificial Intelligence, has led people to overly scrutinise their superficial appearance or those of others even more?
Whilst it’s been a transformational time for many, these self-reflections and judgements aren’t helpful to our souls.
I am one of the lucky ones who initially fell on to the addictive bandwagon of the ‘noise’ of social media in times of need, but after a long history across platforms and life experience, I knew I could only tear myself off the messy mass of information and eventually use this time to start living in the present no matter how painful or joyous it has been at times! This has really helped me to connect my mind and body rather than focus on external appearance.
Sadly, those still less well versed into the pros and cons of our professional-personal blurred world of online, it has been a place of depletion along with the relative impact of the Pandemic on individuals. It is important to not only join together to evolve but also to start viewing our own minds and bodies as one and just accept ourselves.
I have noticed an increasing appetite to fragment our minds and bodies into ‘parts’ where we have become increasingly fragmented about ‘hang ups.’ From a need for more people embracing their bodies and going from the previously status quo of ‘size zero’ models to a ‘strong is the new skinny’ vibe for women specifically. I myself at times have been swept up by this ‘anti-institution’ vibe, which had been needed for a shift in presentation of ‘body types’ in the media. But now we are in danger of demonising a range of body types. Whatever you class as a ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy figure.’
Whilst we cannot completely control Covid or our bodies… what is in our power is learning to connect with our whole selves. Photos, body types and our own perceptions need not focus on showcasing an array of purely aesthetic stories because our minds and bodies are already beautifully made-up of internal memories, sketches of maps for our lives and our present state evolves like nature. Let’s move to a world of wellbeing, optimal health and, ‘Mind and Body Neutrality.’ It may not sound as ‘sexy’ as other fads… but even if I have to change the name each time to make it sound more appealing!
None of us get the balance right all of the time but ignore everyone else and begin within. Only then can we be the true masters of our own lives rather than letting society, culture and our world of excess take control, making us feel in a deprived state of not ‘being enough.’
Read more from Sophie at https://womensworldofwellbeing.com https://mamamei.co.uk
BACK TO OUR VALUES: Let’s give our local businesses a feel-good real revival and shop independent… the ultimate retail therapy!
Like most my moral compass and core values have been challenged somewhat in Lockdown. I have gone from instagramming my surprise ‘charity shop finds’ to fast fashion that is delivered in the post.
I have gone from a love of discovering plant-based food (often at bargain shops or past its sell by date grub) to being at home, shopping on Amazon when I needed everything from groceries to cleaning products.
And ironically whilst it’s appeared initially cheaper at first, the accidental subscriptions, the long term impact of my not-so eco-friendly foot print will be long lasting and those instance hits of dopamine in Lockdown challenges from the mind dulling nature of social media escapism to the quick hits of desperate next day deliveries… and who would blame us for resorting to hedonistic ways when we are facing huge challenges in life, it is by human nature that we can and need to go into survival mode. Granted in our modern life of excess means that this so-called ‘survival mode’ is sometimes panic over possessions and clutter rather than the threat of being killed by a tiger… but we can still experience feelings of constant trauma from work stresses relative to some of my own personal experiences of more acute situations, but I understand it’s all relative and often how we perceive situations levels our response. Either way we experience trauma or fight or flight feelings and no longer always have the communities and warrior rituals to shake and heal it off. We have natural instincts but without the natural coping mechanisms often our bodies need.
And as I felt my soul dwindle and started to get on a new track I am determined to be more eco-friendly, less cluttered, busy and most of all, to focus on supporting issues close to my heart such as soulful enterprise, independents and community spirit which combines a lot of my passion.
Ironically as a child growing up in a beautiful community there were just three places that brought some of the community together which I attended such as the church hall for dancing and fundraising, the local charity shop and our local shopping centre!
Now I live in Wakefield the shopping centre I frequent is much larger, less supermarket style and more community based and accessible.
The Ridings Centre is my favourite place connecting the community with independent stores, coffee shops, entertainment and arts! More on them below.
And if you need a friendly reminder to shop local and independent now most places are opening back up, that this Independents' Day UK which is a campaign that exists to support and promote independent retail businesses which takes place this 3rd-4th July Independents account for 65% of the approximately 290,000 retail outlets in the UK.
CELEBRATE INDEPENDENT RETAILERS PLUS A SPECIAL OFFER FOR INDEPENDENTS’ DAY
From bespoke clothing and one-off antique finds to eco-friendly cleaning products, hand-made ‘gifts for life,’ to affordable arts and crafts, interesting groceries, ethical clothes and hand-crafted coffee and freshly made smoothies… and that’s just my favourite array of a few things on offer at The Ridings Shopping Centre-come-community hub… Whether you enjoy a self-care trim at the barbers, or your eyebrows threaded like I do!
After losing access to some of our favourite independent retailers in Lockdown, I for one am vowing to return and support more than ever our independents old and new. From craft markets to records, if there’s something you love… Please shop local and independent.
Whilst corner shops and independent grocery stores have reported a 63% surge in trade as shoppers turned to local outlets during the coronavirus crisis, we all know how much internet giants have thrived even more (online groceries for example, leaping up by 75%). Not to mention the fact that most of our favourite indies have been forced to temporarily close completely with no replacement online for the personal touch and customer service like no other.
Plus, The Ridings Shopping Centre have a special offer for customers.
To grab a FREE, quality canvas shopping bag when you spend just £20 in one of their independent stores over the weekend of the 3rd & 4th July. The stores involved are: Created in Yorkshire, Made and Found - Yorkshire, Morgana Clothing, Hellraiser Records, Niche Handbags, Wakefield Antique & Collectables The Ridings Centre Wakefield, Transform Images, Future Links, Hidden Extras, Home and More, More Value Everyday and Art Originals.
Just take your receipt along to the customer services lounge on the upper mall adjacent to Boot on Saturday or Sunday between 10.30am and 4pm, to claim your free bag.
Full details and the list of stores that qualify can be found here:
The rise of independent retail is reviving our high streets with its dynamic colourful creative offerings from our sometimes hardest hit yet strongest community bonds that independent businesses can offer. Not only when we shop local and independent are we supporting more ethical trading and sometimes supporting families as a result, but I can promise you, you tend to get better quality produce, a wider variety of interesting clobber, groceries and hand-crafted goods… but genuine feel-good retail therapy.
To support The Ridings’ independent retailers, you can find them here: