Sportsmen and women when wearingand selecting specific clothing look for a variety of purposes which includephysical protection of the body, freedom of movement, individualidentification, comfort and style as well as performance enhancing attributes(Barton, 2015). Sportswear is definedprimarily as apparel made for sports participation, however there now seems tobe growing trend of consumers purchasing these garments as casual clothes wornfor day-to-day activities (Ko et al., 2012). The connectionbetween sportswear and fashion is progressively obscuring the differencebetween leisure and active sports apparel.
The purpose of this review is to assessthe factors that have driven the vast growth of the sports apparel market andstudy the key attributes influencing such an imperative desire to wearsportswear as fashion and everyday casual clothing. 2.2 A need for sports apparelSportswear was a practical solution that has evolved through significantsocial changes due to increased time for leisure and higher disposable incomesand saw a dramatic transition incultural attitude from the late nineteenth century onward (Holt, 1990).
Thislead to popular participation in outdoor leisure activities and sports games whichsaw an increase in outfits worn for a variety of pastimes, such as cycling,golf, soccer, tennis, mountaineering and winter sports (Barton, 2015). For mountaineering up untilthe First World War climbing in skirts was perpetuated in a small amount ofadvertising material most notably that of Burberry (Parsons andRose, 2003). Thiswas hardly practical however middle class values demanded women’s dress code shouldbe climbing in skirts and not trousers otherwise it was deemed as immoral. Ofall sports that women engaged in, cycling has had the greatest attention andsignified metaphorical physical freedom across a wide social spectrum. Accordingto (Parsons and Rose, 2003) ‘sport itself impacted on the design ofsportswear and none more so than the bicycle’ ‘Thebicycle liberated women from their actual and symbolic encumbrances of longskirts and tight lacing. The new forms of dress designed for the bicycle –shortened skirts, divided skirts, knickerbockers, skirts with elastic insetsand bloomers of rational dress allowed women a new physical independence andsymbolised their revolt against restrictions. With the bicycle, womenappropriated two unprecedented forms of freedom – bodily and spatial mobility.'(Hargreaves, 2003)Modifications or improvisations adapted clothing for a specifiedactivity towards a more relaxed appearance in which voiced individualexpression and creativity (Pashigian, 1988).
Nevertheless sportswearis now subjected to unique demands, problems and concerns. It is often engagedin extreme physical and environmental performance conditions with requirementsfor covering and “assisting” the active body (Bruun and Langkjær, 2016) besidesthis thereis also the need to satisfy the “desire for a heightened aesthetics of sportsand sports-recreational activity” (Bruun and Langkjær, 2016). Consumers’ needto be covered has been fulfilled for many years as ready-to-wear has becomewidespread, however, due to the advances in technology various benefits besidescovering function is expected from clothes and different wardrobes fordifferent parts of life such as work, sports and daily wear are required (Öndo?an et al.,2016).
Itis also known that lately, an active lifestyle provides status and contributesto one’s public image, which is an important element in social life (Öndo?an et al.,2016). Likewise(Arnold, 2008) states historically sportswear was aform of clothing that developed in England, in the early twentieth century withFrench couturiers such as Chanel and Patou adapting these garments for the needof modern clients’ more active lifestyles which embraced experimentation withsportswear design and promotion. However for many women (Parsons andRose, 2003) oppose emphasizing for most early active females such as climberstheir functional clothing was just that – ‘a practical rather than a politicalmatter’ (Parsons and Rose, 2003).
2.3 The emergenceof sportswear “The Depressionera was central to sportswear’s emergence as a key form of affordable,mass-produced clothing, which comprised simple, interchangeable garments thatcould be worn in a variety of settings” (Arnold, 2007) Breathable clothing’s origins stretch back thousands ofyears ago and were gradually adapted and improved by modern sportsmen for theirparticular needs (Parsons and Rose,2003). (Arnold, 2007) explains that dueto the economic pressures of the 1930s, this made cheaper mass-producedclothing more appealing initiating a significant shift within the fashionindustry, which saw more co-ordinated efforts to promote indigenous design. Up until World War II,without either preconception or reflection, dress was sharply divided intomenswear on the one hand and women’s on the other (Warner 2006). Women’ssport before the First World War focused mainly on the so-called ‘rationalizedsports perused by middle class women’ (Parsonsand Rose, 2003). According to (Parsons and Rose, 2003) in the 1920sbifurcated garments may have been accepted for sports and leisure and becameincreasingly fashionable for evening wear in the 1930s, but they were notnormal everyday dress for women before World War II.
Until the 1960’s clothing was how people were categorizedand how you would judge their position in society and their respectability. Fewwomen saw any need to wear special clothing or even adapt their everyday dress (Parsons and Rose, 2003). According to (Warner 2006) all of the restrictionsthat had existed before the war appeared to disappear in the face of newdemand, usage, and attitudes about dress began tochange. After the First World War the relaxed dress that women had worn duringthe war including trousers were becoming a permanent part of their apparel (Warner 2006). Dresscodes had changed forever creating a need for more functional clothing forwomen and for those working in factories. Consequently (Parsons and Rose, 2003) state from apurely practical point of view the development of women’s sport becameinseparable from dress reform, which in turn accelerated female involvement inphysical recreation.For all these women, it offered the veneer of fashionable modernlifestyles, with design references to an active lifestyle.
As leisure and workbecame a part of the wider range of women’s lives, sportswear progressivelybecame an appropriate form of dressing to merge varied activities (Arnold, 2007). Incontrast (Warner, 2006) depicts that the burgeoning interest in sports of all kinds and the allure oflife at elite schools brought it all to the public’s eye, and provided theatmosphere needed to accept the new attitudes evident in the clothing designedfor various sporting activities. Similarly (Parsons and Rose, 2003) state public schooleducation brought a growing emphasis on physical exercise and games.
This had a liberating effect with an enthusiasm for sports such as tennis,cricket, swimming and golf that linked to an expanding formalized education. According to Warner (2006) sports then, almostunwittingly, accomplished what no amount of dress reform had been able toachieve in the previous century. With mass manufacturing allowing cheaper andless contrived clothing for the masses, this ushered in a whole new concept incasual dress. Likewise (Arnold 2007) suggestsalthough sportswear and to and extent menswear had been adapted for women inthe workplace at the end of the nineteenth century it was to take the impact ofthe Depression, and later the absence of Parisian influence from 1940, toconsolidate sportswear’s position as a multi-purpose form of dressing andencompass clothing that was adaptable for a whole range of occasions andlifestyles.