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The Evolution of Women‘s Sportswear

The Evolution of Women‘s Sportswear

There is probably nothing more unstable than fashion. It seems that it changes with each new season’s wind and it might be hard to keep up with the newest trends if you are a real fashionista. On the other hand, fashion changes because of new technologies, or economic and even social and political reasons.

Sportswear, as one branch of fashion, was also influenced by many aspects of society living. In the beginning, it was designed only to cover yourself and feel comfortable, but as time passed by, clothing became a way to show off your sense of style and personality too.

Let’s take a brief look at the history of women’s sportswear. It is probably one of the most problematic fashion industries since sportswear in many cases, throughout history, was used even as a method of rebellion and political activism! However, at the same time, it had always been an integral part of our lives, and now, we can see a giant leap in the future of sportswear as well.

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The Birth of Women’s Sportswear

At the early ages of sportswear, there are a few main factors which influenced the way people dressed up for sports. At that time, the most popular games included horses, hunting, and shooting. Therefore, clothing was made directly for such types of sports. Other kinds of sports, like tennis and golf, were also pretty popular too. However, the central aspect of this era is that it wasn’t important for a woman to win. Hence, clothing wasn’t designed to make movements easier and freer.

In fact, long and heavy skirts, tight sleeved jackets to cover the whole body and hats were worn, for instance, to play tennis. There were even more over-the-top outfits from that era too. This sounds absolutely ridiculous for us today, but at that time it was considered as “appropriate” attire for such an active leisure time.

Thankfully, women realized that such attires are neither helpful or healthful, as so in 1922, Suzanne Lenglen was the first lady tennis player who showed up to the court wearing a short and comfortable skirt without a hat. After that, a noticeable shift in women’s sportswear (at least on tennis courts anyway) began. On the other hand, during both World Wars, women’s fight for gender equality and rights and invention of new materials were hugely influential in women’s sportswear fashion too.

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From 1930’s, skiing became one of the most popular sports at that time. Clothing was made with slopes in mind, and there were a lot of long and slender silhouettes coming around. Surely, trousers were worn, instead of skirts, due to practical and functioning reasons. Also, it is important to note that trousers were not acceptable to wear for other sports until the mid-thirties.

However, as mentioned, one of the most influential factors in women’s sportswear was war. After 1945, after the end of the Second World War, a whole new range of synthetic fibers gained their popularity in a wide range of fashion industries, including sportswear. Nylon, in particular, was the one which shook things up and introduced a brand new philosophy and style of active leisure time. Functionalism, comfort, and good looks became strongly associated with sports clothes in the 1950s, and since then, we can enjoy a whole new point of view to clothing.

Sports Fashion Today

Right now, it is all about practicality, functionality, and health. Stylishness is also important, but if the materials and fabrics are not that great, it might do more harm than help you. Therefore, the sports fashion industry now focuses on introducing innovations like wicking fabrics, which are also called ‘performance fabrics’ or ‘technical fabrics’ that help women to work out as much as they want without getting all sweaty, and also prevents injuries while looking great all at the same time.

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Athletes are turning to compression sportswear as well since it helps to deal with blood pleasure, encourages healing and prevents muscle soreness. Anti-microbial treatments to reduce or prevent bad odor of clothing are also now a pretty standard feature. Lycra/Spandex (Elastane) has been around for a while, and it is slowly gaining popularity.

On the other hand, there are many great new sportswear brands which manage to balance fashion, functionality, and performance all in one. So nowadays, when being fashionable and stylish is important for people even at the gym, there is no need to make compromises with yourself – you can have it all!

Future Trends

In the end, it always pays off to keep an eye on where sportswear fashion is heading as well. The near-future of sportswear seems pretty promising, especially when it comes to textiles, functionality, and performance endurance. Smart textiles and wearable technologies are two terms most talked about in the future of sportswear. These are divided into two different categories: aesthetic (color changing or illuminant textile) and performance enhancing (regulate body temperature, reduce wind resistance, and control muscle vibration), and now they are appearing more and more frequently in the world of fashion wear.

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There are some new trends of custom-made sportswear as well. However, retailing giants like Nike, Puma, Reebok or New Balance always try to introduce something new and make it accessible for bigger masses. Reebok, Puma, and Nike coupons also allow you to keep up with the latest trends without overspending.

In the End

Some people say that sportswear fashion was probably one of the main contributors to the history of fashion design, not only in the United States but also the whole world. This industry was the first one to introduce new styles, to open discussions on gender rights and empowered women in many different ways.

Today, sportswear might not be carrying such strong messages and might not be making such a huge influence, but it is still a very important part of the society. After all, we are not wearing hoodies only in the gym anymore. More and more of us choose this type of clothing for everyday wear because it is comfortable and it just looks good.

The future of sportswear seems promising as well since there are many people who are working to make it the best it can be. We can only sit, observe and, mostly wait for another huge leap in the fashion, because it seems that sportswear fashion was, is, and will be, one of the main reasons why fashion moves forward in general.

Featured photo credit: https://picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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