The following is a gust post from J Mike Walbert, an athlete whose passion is sports team merchandise. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his employer, Red Raider Outfitter.
Remember the 90’s when sporting apparel was merely cotton T-shirts and sweatpants? Cotton was the most favored material because it absorbed sweat and offered movement flexibility. Through the 21st century, sports technology has grown leaps and bounds and sporting apparel have their own definitive technology and grown beyond mere comfort in movement to allowing us to even breathe through our clothes.
There is specialized sporting apparel being designed for individual sports that are manufactured by the top sporting apparel brands. There are special outfits for running, swimming, cycling, Yoga, to play football, designed for indoor and outdoor set-up of the workout.
Designing the Sporting Gear
The design focus for sporting apparel has shifted to deliver maximum performance. For instance, lightweight padding is integrated into the areas where maximum impact is expected and the Flywire technology is used around the neckline to encourage lockdown fit over shoulder pads. Another interesting development is the four-way stretch fabrication, which offers more range for motion in a shrink-wrap fit that does not compromise on comfort.
Natural Fibers to Man-made Fabrics
We had long ago moved from natural fibers to man-made fabrics such as nylon and spandex, which arrived in the 20th century. The 21st century is witness to such material that absorbs sweat and keeps the athlete dry and well aired such as Nike’s Dri-FIT line. The fabric has been designed to move sweat to the outer layers so that it quickly evaporates, leaving the outfit dry. Polyester, nylon, and spandex are performance fabrics that keep the player cool and also retain their shape and color. The other important factor is that they are durable.
Outfit to Match the Activity
As we said earlier, today sports clothes are designed and worn as per the specific needs of the activity. People opt for different apparel for different activities such as Yoga, golf, running and playing baseball.
For instance, tennis clothing has moved away from heavy serge and wool to lighter fabrics. Even the length of the clothes has varied over the years from full length pants for men to shorts and long skirts for women to any dress or skirt, which reaches just over the knee.
Athletic apparel is also chosen by people for comfort wear while doing their everyday activities such as shopping or even while travelling. It is not unnatural to see someone wearing casual sweats and tees at a supermarket purchasing grocery.
All these innovations and application high comfort technology is bound to come with a hefty price tag and likewise the specialty sporting apparel can cost a tidy sum. However, when one is seeking quality, the price is not very high to pay. Designing sporting apparel is a scientific exercise and a lot of technology is involved in creating the fabrics and designing the apparel to provide maximum comfort and ease.
People look for practical clothing options, especially sports persons who are involved in strenuous, physical activities for long hours. They are keen on blending high fashion with comfort and no compromises are made. Today’s sports clothing focus more on the sport they are made for and do not necessarily reflect the day’s fashion.
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