Appropriate sportswear was once seen as an accessory to be worn when taking part in a sporting event; white shorts and shirt, and white sneakers for tennis, etc. Nowadays sportswear manufacturers have brought such clothing into the world of fashion. Utilitarian clothing for taking part in sport is now firmly a thing of the past.
A new trend
But when did this fashion trend begin? Recently is the answer. At least, it is only recently that celebrities and well known fashionistas began wearing sportswear as ‘going out’ wear, while ordinary folks have probably been wearing sports gear as a casual option for years, albeit one they were not especially proud of. Moms would throw on a pair of sports leggings and a sports top, slip their feet into running shoes and take their kids to school, changing out of their clothes when they got home and had the time to dress nicely. So, it is nice to know that it is now ‘fashionable’ to keep those sports leggings on, huh?
The origin of this fashion trend can be pinpointed to a declaration made by the CEO of Nike at the Women’s Innovation summit held in New York City in 2015. He claimed that sport leggings were all set to be worn in the same way most people wear jeans, that is every day. And he was right. This trend even has its own name: athleisure and its followers include Elle Macpherson, Miranda Kerr, and Jessica Alba.
But why is high-end sportswear so trendy? Possibly because it says something about the wearer. Sportswear tells the observer that the wearer is body-conscious, not in a superficial, made up way, but in a way that comes from their core. High-end sportswear implies that the wearer cares about their body, that they are healthy and they engage in activities to keep themselves fit and well. The ironic thing here is that some of the people who do wear sportswear are not actually sporty at all. The important thing is that you look as if you are about to hit the gym.
The types of sport clothing being worn on the streets and in coffee shops and shopping malls vary, although leggings appear to be a must-have. Black leggings especially are definite favorites among consumers, and some designers have spent years ensuring leggings flatter every body shape. Some of the more high-end leggings will elongate plump thighs and gently lift sagging buttocks to give the wearer a more sculpted and attractive figure. It could be such leggings are a bestseller because they are so darned comfortable. And perhaps the most attractive feature of wearing sportswear is that a plain-colored pair of leggings are great for movement and can be teamed with practically anything. This desire for comfort is borne out in the significant drop in sales of traditional bras, which have a reputation for pinching and restricting movement. Just like women ditched the girdle back in the sixties, women are ditching these uncomfortable contraptions for sports bras and crop tops instead.
But there are some people who are active and do wear sportswear for its functionality as well as its good looks. Take compression wear as an example. What is compression wear and what is it about compression that makes this kind of clothing beneficial? Well, this type of clothing is best explained as supportive clothing, because it is worn tight around a part of the body to do several things, such as increase blood circulation, provide support for tendons, muscles and joints and reduce swelling. It also helps to delay the onset of muscle soreness after exercise, reduce the fatigue felt during exercise so longer sessions are achievable, and finally, deliver faster recovery times for bodily injuries. And compression wear does all this without looking out of place as part of your everyday wardrobe. Compression wear looks the same as ordinary sportswear but comes with benefits. Compression wear is available for both men and women and includes items such as socks to give all day relief, lower body wear such as leggings, Capri pants and shorts, and sleeves that target specific areas of the body, such as the elbow or knee.
The advent of the fashion sportswear trend should be very welcome if you value comfort but do not want to compromise on style. Now you can wear those black leggings and baggy T-shirt, and team them with a pair of running shoes without being in danger of committing a fashion faux pas.