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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 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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