Sportsmen for day-to-day activities (Ko et al., 2012). The

Sportsmen and women when wearing
and selecting specific clothing look for a variety of purposes which include
physical protection of the body, freedom of movement, individual
identification, comfort and style as well as performance enhancing attributes
(Barton, 2015). Sportswear is defined
primarily as apparel made for sports participation, however there now seems to
be growing trend of consumers purchasing these garments as casual clothes worn
for day-to-day activities (Ko et al., 2012). The connection
between sportswear and fashion is progressively obscuring the difference
between leisure and active sports apparel. The purpose of this review is to assess
the factors that have driven the vast growth of the sports apparel market and
study the key attributes influencing such an imperative desire to wear
sportswear as fashion and everyday casual clothing.

 

2.2 A need for sports apparel

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Sportswear was a practical solution that has evolved through significant
social changes due to increased time for leisure and higher disposable incomes
and saw a dramatic transition in
cultural attitude from the late nineteenth century onward (Holt, 1990). This
lead to popular participation in outdoor leisure activities and sports games which
saw 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 until
the First World War climbing in skirts was perpetuated in a small amount of
advertising material most notably that of Burberry (Parsons and
Rose, 2003). This
was hardly practical however middle class values demanded women’s dress code should
be climbing in skirts and not trousers otherwise it was deemed as immoral. Of
all sports that women engaged in, cycling has had the greatest attention and
signified metaphorical physical freedom across a wide social spectrum. According
to (Parsons and Rose, 2003) ‘sport itself impacted on the design of
sportswear and none more so than the bicycle’

‘The
bicycle liberated women from their actual and symbolic encumbrances of long
skirts and tight lacing. The new forms of dress designed for the bicycle –
shortened skirts, divided skirts, knickerbockers, skirts with elastic insets
and bloomers of rational dress allowed women a new physical independence and
symbolised their revolt against restrictions. With the bicycle, women
appropriated two unprecedented forms of freedom – bodily and spatial mobility.’
(Hargreaves, 2003)

Modifications or improvisations adapted clothing for a specified
activity towards a more relaxed appearance in which voiced individual
expression and creativity (Pashigian, 1988). Nevertheless sportswear
is now subjected to unique demands, problems and concerns. It is often engaged
in extreme physical and environmental performance conditions with requirements
for covering and “assisting” the active body (Bruun and Langkjær, 2016) besides
this there
is also the need to satisfy the “desire for a heightened aesthetics of sports
and sports-recreational activity” (Bruun and Langkjær, 2016). Consumers’ need
to be covered has been fulfilled for many years as ready-to-wear has become
widespread, however, due to the advances in technology various benefits besides
covering function is expected from clothes and different wardrobes for
different parts of life such as work, sports and daily wear are required (Öndo?an et al.,
2016). It
is also known that lately, an active lifestyle provides status and contributes
to one’s public image, which is an important element in social life (Öndo?an et al.,
2016). Likewise
(Arnold, 2008) states historically sportswear was a
form of clothing that developed in England, in the early twentieth century with
French couturiers such as Chanel and Patou adapting these garments for the need
of modern clients’ more active lifestyles which embraced experimentation with
sportswear design and promotion. However for many women (Parsons and
Rose, 2003) oppose emphasizing for most early active females such as climbers
their functional clothing was just that – ‘a practical rather than a political
matter’ (Parsons and Rose, 2003).

2.3 The emergence
of sportswear

 

“The Depression
era was central to sportswear’s emergence as a key form of affordable,
mass-produced clothing, which comprised simple, interchangeable garments that
could be worn in a variety of settings”

(Arnold, 2007)

 

Breathable clothing’s origins stretch back thousands of
years ago and were gradually adapted and improved by modern sportsmen for their
particular needs (Parsons and Rose,
2003). (Arnold, 2007) explains that due
to the economic pressures of the 1930s, this made cheaper mass-produced
clothing more appealing initiating a significant shift within the fashion
industry, which saw more co-ordinated efforts to promote indigenous design. Up until World War II,
without either preconception or reflection, dress was sharply divided into
menswear on the one hand and women’s on the other (Warner 2006). Women’s
sport before the First World War focused mainly on the so-called ‘rationalized
sports perused by middle class women’ (Parsons
and Rose, 2003). According to (Parsons and Rose, 2003) in the 1920s
bifurcated garments may have been accepted for sports and leisure and became
increasingly fashionable for evening wear in the 1930s, but they were not
normal everyday dress for women before World War II. Until the 1960’s clothing was how people were categorized
and how you would judge their position in society and their respectability. Few
women saw any need to wear special clothing or even adapt their everyday dress (Parsons and Rose, 2003). According to (Warner 2006) all of the restrictions
that had existed before the war appeared to disappear in the face of new
demand, usage, and attitudes about dress began to
change. After the First World War the relaxed dress that women had worn during
the war including trousers were becoming a permanent part of their apparel (Warner 2006). Dress
codes had changed forever creating a need for more functional clothing for
women and for those working in factories. Consequently (Parsons and Rose, 2003) state from a
purely practical point of view the development of women’s sport became
inseparable from dress reform, which in turn accelerated female involvement in
physical recreation.
For all these women, it offered the veneer of fashionable modern
lifestyles, with design references to an active lifestyle. As leisure and work
became a part of the wider range of women’s lives, sportswear progressively
became an appropriate form of dressing to merge varied activities (Arnold, 2007). In
contrast (Warner, 2006) depicts that the burgeoning interest in sports of all kinds and the allure of
life at elite schools brought it all to the public’s eye, and provided the
atmosphere needed to accept the new attitudes evident in the clothing designed
for various sporting activities. Similarly (Parsons and Rose, 2003) state public school
education 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, almost
unwittingly, accomplished what no amount of dress reform had been able to
achieve in the previous century. With mass manufacturing allowing cheaper and
less contrived clothing for the masses, this ushered in a whole new concept in
casual dress. Likewise (Arnold 2007) suggests
although sportswear and to and extent menswear had been adapted for women in
the workplace at the end of the nineteenth century it was to take the impact of
the Depression, and later the absence of Parisian influence from 1940, to
consolidate sportswear’s position as a multi-purpose form of dressing and
encompass clothing that was adaptable for a whole range of occasions and
lifestyles.