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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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