When most people think of sportswear, they invariably think of discount sports clothing items like trainers, tracksuits and team shirts. The truth is, any apparel which is designed to be used for sporting activity/physical exercise can be classed as being sportswear.
In general,this type of clothing is worn to provide individuals with a degree of comfort, function and/or safety which is appropriate to their task. So, whilst sportswear does indeed refer to familiar items, like football shirts and trainers, found on sale in cheap sports shop outlets, it also includes more specialist wears like wetsuits (for diving, swimming or surfing), leotards (for gymnastics) and even body armour (for combative sports like American football and ice hockey).
Concept and design
Most modern sportswear apparel is conceived and designed to be as light and loose as possible as this will ensure an athlete’s movements remain unhindered. The general rule of thumb these days is that athletic wear should not be overly bulky as this will create drag and impair performance (especially for people participating in sporting activities like sprinting or cycling). It is also a given that sportswear must be able to keep individuals cool in humid environments and warm in cold conditions. To achieve this, most high quality sport clothing nowadays is manufactured with highly breathable materials (to aid ventilation) or thermal insulation (to help retain body heat).
Spandex is one of the best known of these materials. Shirts and vests made from this fabric have become invaluable to competitive athletes as they have the capability to transfer sweat away from the skin and keep an individual dry. Apparel made from Spandex is normally worn as a base layer as this is often the most effective way to soak up sweat which itself can become uncomfortable and off-putting if it is left to its own devices. Wearing a moisture transferring material next to the skin can be of huge benefit to people participating in all kinds of athletic pursuits and sports activities, with tennis, cycling, athletics and skiing being just a few of the more obvious examples.
Function and style
It would be fair to say that the clothing market is now flooded with an extensive variety of men’s, women’s and children’s sportswear products. Moreover, the dynamic and innovative nature of the sportswear industry ensures it is continuously moving in new – and often more refined – directions (this can be seen in the fact some well known clothing brands now launch spring as well as summer high fashion sportswear collections).
It really is quite a fascinating story as it wasn’t that long ago sportswear was regarded as being a solely functional clothing choice that was worn exclusively by athletes, children and celebrities. Today, modern discount sportswear collections meet the demand for both function and fashion by combining contemporary stylish designs with highly practical levels of comfort and performance. Without doubt, these versatile clothing items help consumers to be on-trend AND set the pace with their sleek design lines and innovative construction.
About the author – Bo Heamyan blogs regularly about sports clothing and accessories and has written extensively about the benefits of wearing high quality sports apparel for a number of websites, including LeSports.co.uk.