My workout wardrobe has been feeling distinctly lacklustre recently. One notable low was when I was in an abs class, doing a flutter kick set, when I realised that there was a hole in the crotch of my leggings. Yep. Luckily I had knickers on.
So when Contrado got in touch and asked if I’d like to design some clothing, I thought a pair of leggings would be a sensible choice. That is, after I’d scrolled like a wild-eyed magpie through the various product options that you can design from scratch. Basically, Contrado provide the fabric or base material, and you can do everything else. Not just clothes – they have a huge textiles and home furnishing line, as well as accessories such as bags, purses and even sunglasses. They have a kids range too, but frankly my kids want for nothing so this was all about ME.
Now, when I did Photography A-Level (yep, that Instagram hasn’t come from nowhere! Lols), we had to put together a portfolio folder for our final assignment. The brief was to channel our creative energy on each page, using card relief and props within the folder to “sell” our photos. The bigger the better, apparently. So, we all produced folders that literally spanned 90 degrees from cover to cover, if they were laid down – so rammed were they with superglued bits of tat. My teacher took one look at mine, teeming with tissue paper and shards of smashed CDs and sticks of rock (it was near Brighton, after all). “Sam, I think you get overwhelmed by choice. It looks much better when you stick to something simple – two colours rather than 60. Your photos are lost in all this…………padding.”
ANYWAY my point is, you could really go to town on design here. I opted to play it slightly safe and I chose a print to cover the whole of the legging design. The website is super easy to use – you select your product, choose your options such as size, length, material and so on, then begin the design process. You can save your design at any time and chop and change until you’re happy with it.
So, I opted for Capri leggings in 3/4 length, with black stitching, in sparkle lycra. I also added a personalised label into the waistband, for extra pizzaz. I’m a member of a running community called Run Mummy Run, whose colours are purple and black. I wanted something to compliment my RMR vest, so I chose a purple camouflage print.
You can add text and images to your design and I spent a good hour playing around with fonts and layouts – it was brilliant! In the end, I opted for the slogan “she who sweats wins” running the full length of the right leg.
You’re advised to check the preview screen before you place your order, obviously. Imagine a glaring typo spread over your thigh?! Gah. After my order was confirmed, it arrived in two days which I was really impressed with. All designs are made in London, so it didn’t have to travel far, but I was pleased with the quick turnaround given that it was a customised item and I’m used to longer lead times.
The leggings I chose were £34.99 including the personalised label in the waistband, and they’re very good quality leggings. A care leaflet is sent with the garment, and they’ve survived the first wash with no problems at all.
The possibilities with Contrado are limitless. It’s a perfect site for designing merch for hen parties, stag dos, children’s parties, baby announcements, team events etc, and the design process is self-intuitive and not in the least bit faffy. If I could make one criticism it would be in the sizing – a small is UK 6-8 and a medium is UK 10-12. I’m normally an 8 on my bottom half, but definitely not a 6, so an 8-10 would have been preferable and more in line with standard shop sizing. No matter, they fit pretty well, aside from a teeeeeeeny bit of muffin top spillage. But that could be my age. Not as supple as I was in that Photography A-Level phase.
Oh, also – if you’re really into design, you can actually submit your work to them to form part of their standard portfolio. How cool would that be?!
Contrado have kindly offered my readers a 10% discount on their designs, for orders placed up to 12th August. Just enter code ‘SUMMER2017’ at the checkout. Happy designing!
-SJW July 2017
Disclaimer: I was gifted one pair of leggings priced at £34.99 and free delivery in exchange for this review. All views and opinions are my own. For more detail about my work with brands, please read my Disclosure Statement.