From the Gibson girl in the late 18th century, to the pin-up girls of the 1940s, an hourglass silhouette became a symbol of beauty. The era when women indulged in fitness began, urging them to tuck in corsets or whatever athletic craze of the time. Men were also into getting fit. It is up to the activewear clothing manufacturers to provide the proper attire. Here is a brief history on how far we have gone with activewear as well as its outlook.
In the 1920s, activewear was plain house clothes. Pajama sets and kimono-like robes were staples in early activewear fashion. They were focusing on keeping the wearer comfortable and not hindering movements. Pajamas were loose and thin enough to provide comfort and ventilation. Some used bathing suits with swimming shoes as alternative activewear. The so-called “Middy blouse” was popular since girls wear it in gym classes.
A decade passed in the 1930s the trend was still the same. But, the home exercises focused on being slender and other health benefits. Though pajama sets were the regular attire, most women prefer to work out in their bathing suits. Bathing suits were designed to be wet and soiled, so it was great for home exercise. So designers took this point and made one-piece v-neck gym suits. Sailor blouses became out of fashion and began the era of innovating activewear.
For the past decades, many inspirations and innovations have been seen. Over the decades, activewear of hyper-femininity style appeared in the late 40s, later the leotards and tracksuits of the 60s to the 70s. But there was an innovation that made a big impact in activewear fashion.
Activewear becomes more streamlined and body fit. Nylon and Gore-tex are durable and light, great for tracksuits and for footwear. Apart from being fit and stretchable, activewear is also fast-drying and comfortable, making it appealing to gym lovers. Fabrics like tactel, supplex, dri-fit and meryl give comfort and flexibility.
Designs are more customized for intense activity and to push the limit of human capacity. But the trend also spawned another type of fashion: a trend that has had an influence on activewear for decades.
When style, comfort, and function meet together, there comes athleisure fashion. A combination of athletics and leisure combines fashion sense with comfort and flexibility, from the fad of aerobics in the 80s to the Zumba of the present.
Outdoor activities brought up the need for flexibility and comfort. Not conforming to formalities, it led to a new line of multifunctional clothes. A style that was great for active hobbies from cycling to tennis or going to the gym. It created a sense of style that is both practical and affordable.
The athleisure aesthetics became the norm in activewear fashion to cater to health enthusiasts and people who wanted to look good. From the aerobic class to the dancefloor of the 80s to the streets of the 90s and concert venues of early 2000, some celebrities wore it on awards nights from hip hop to some pop acts to be unique and have fun.
Activewear has now become a highlight in performance and comfort. Gone were the days of pajama sets and plain home clothes. Activewear now is customized to both be stylish and give comfort. To push your own workout agenda, but not omit a sense of fashion.
Many brands are now competing in this niche, designing their own fabric and materials. Product endorsement from athletes and celebrities is now the norm in advertising. The market of activewear becomes constant and continues to evolve.
Even though the pandemic slowed down the market growth, many have gone back to their home exercise roots. Still, people seek the comfort and flexibility of activewear in training.
Where Are We Now
Activewear is continuing to change the way we dress. Both form and function is combined with a sense of style. As celebrities of this generation care less about formalities but more of comfort and style. Activewear will always have a place in any wardrobe across the world.
Now many are looking back to the 90s for fashion when activewear is more of a lounge wear. Everything is loose and baggy and colors are vibrant in theme. Clubs and events are more saturated with people wearing them than cocktail dresses and suits. DJs like Marshmello and artists like Billie Eilish wear activewear as a signature look and a fashion statement.
Am I Able to Fit In?
Activewear is for everyone, and it is not only for the athletic or fit. Many wear it for the comfort and breathable fabric that keeps you cool. Whether you’re big or small, there will always be a tracksuit, a pair of yoga pants or leggings for you.
Now, if you are on the lookout for activewear but can’t decide where to start, FASHIONLINE is here to assist. With a curated selection of activewear designed by fashion experts, it provides you with the latest trend. Reach out and start your boutique with FASHIONLINE today!