What is sportswear?
To be honest, sportswear is a bit
tricky. Sometimes it refers simply to casual clothing and at other times
it describes clothing designed specifically for sports. The quick
definition is that sportswear is clothes worn for casual outdoor use or for such
sports activities as jogging, cycling, tennis, sailing, etc. However,
doesn’t that sound a great deal like
fashion. Some people categorize activewear & sportswear differently, but
sometimes the words are interchangable.
Here are the two primary ways of describing sportswear:
Sportswear (activewear / sports clothing), clothing made
specifically for sporting and athletic pursuits.
Sportswear (fashion), clothing appropriate for a wide
range of social situations.
Sportswear is said to be one of
America's primary contributions to the history of fashion design. It was
developed to cater to the needs of the increasingly fast-paced lifestyle of
American men & women. The term started out as a
fashion industry term describing informal and interchangeable separates
(i.e., blouses, shirts, skirts and shorts), and in the
1920s became a
popular descriptive term for relaxed, casual wear typically worn for spectator
sports. Since the 1930s
the term has been used to describe both day and evening fashions of varying
degrees of formality that demonstrate this relaxed approach while remaining
appropriate wear for many business or social occasions.
The term has also been used to reference apparel used for
sports. Sportwear is often referred to as activewear but their may be
slight differences depending on who you ask.
For those of you that hope that there is a distinct
difference between activewear and sportswear, you can consider the following.
Sportswear is apparel, footwear, or accessories that are
designed with the specific purpose of playing sports. For example, racing
swimwear such as Speedos are developed with swim racing in mind. Wrestling
shoes are made specifically for the sport of wrestling. Similarly ballet
shoes, gymnastics outfits, sweat bands, etc., are designed for sports relevant
activities. Sportswear does not have to be designed for a single sport.
For example, running shorts can be used for the sport of running, basketball,
Clothes, shoes, and accessories which are specifically
designed for sports purposes would fall under the category of sportswear.
Sportswear is made in various fabrications depending on
the nature of the sport. Some fabrics are made to keep the athletes warm &
others to help keep the athlete cool. Other factors that are important are
range of stretch, wicking, anti-microbial, padding for protection, etc.
Some clothes used for winter sports or boating may have water resistant
qualities. Some have spandex to make them stretch with the body; some have
thermal qualities as they need to keep the body of the sports person warm in
cold situations and cool in warm situations. The style and materials used are
Sportswear may include leotards, wet suits,
sports bras, etc. The sports gear such as
helmets, baseball catcher’s mask, body armor, jock straps, etc., can also be
included in the sportswear category. Sportswear can serve as a uniform for
particular sports. For example, a karate gi is sportswear that can be worn as a
uniform during a martial arts event.
You may also want to learn about activewear &
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