Whether you want to infuse a bit of urban cool into your favourite pastel shades , or you love your sportswear with a side of femininity, the juxtaposition of laid-back, athletic-inspired silhouettes to delicious fairyfloss pink and baby blues allows you do to just that for spring Cited by Arnold, p.
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There are fashions and accessories for men, women, children, and babies so start shopping now. Skip to main content. You are here eBay Fashion Skip to page navigation. Sportswear is an American fashion term originally used to describe separates, but which, since the s, has come to be applied to day and evening fashions of varying degrees of formality that demonstrate a specific relaxed approach to their design, while remaining appropriate for a wide range of social occasions. The term is not necessarily synonymous with activewear , clothing designed specifically for participants in sporting pursuits.
Although sports clothing was available from European haute couture houses and "sporty" garments were increasingly worn as everyday or informal wear, the early American sportswear designers were associated with ready-to-wear manufacturers.
While most fashions in America in the early 20th century were directly copied from, or influenced heavily by Paris, American sportswear became a home-grown exception to this rule, and could be described as the American Look. Sportswear was designed to be easy to look after, with accessible fastenings that enabled a modern emancipated woman to dress herself without a maid 's assistance.
Sportswear has been called America's main contribution to the history of fashion design ,  developed to cater to the needs of the increasingly fast-paced lifestyle of American women. The curator Richard Martin put on an exhibition on sportswear in at the Fashion Institute of Technology , in which he described sportswear as "an American invention, an American industry, and an American expression of style.
Sportswear originally described activewear - clothing made specifically for sport. Part of the evolution of sportswear was triggered by 19th-century developments in female activewear, such as early bathing or cycling costumes, which demanded shorter skirts, bloomers , and other specific garments to enable mobility, whilst sports such as tennis or croquet could be played in barely-modified conventional dress.
Redfern's clothes, although intended for specific sporting pursuits, were adopted as everyday wear by his clients, making him probably the first sportswear designer. Martin has observed that in America, prior to increasing worker freedoms from the mid-late 19th century onwards, leisure had been a luxury available only to the leisured classes during the Industrial Revolution c.
He cites the Georges Seurat painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte as an immobile, "static and stratified" depiction of leisure in "direct antithesis" of the relaxed, casual American equivalent. Clarke notes how La Grande Jatte illustrates people from the breadth of Paris society taking advantage of their free time by going to the riverside to show off new clothes, but that the act of removing one's jacket or otherwise loosening garments as a signifier of actually being at leisure was almost never done.
While s Paris designers offered haute couture designs that could be considered sportswear, it was typically not their design focus. As more generic, versatile sportswear became more prominent in the Paris collections, the press increasingly promoted the wearing of such garments in an everyday context. Despite the acceptance of fashionable sportswear as a form of casual dressing in French fashion in the s, the American garment industry went on to become the most prominent producers of such clothing.
Where Paris fashion was traditionally imposed onto the customer regardless of her wishes, American sportswear was democratic, widely available, and encouraged self-expression. A common argument was that female designers projected their personal values into this new style. In the s and '40s, it was rare for clothing to be justified through its practicality. It was traditionally thought that Paris fashion exemplified beauty, and therefore, sportswear required different criteria for assessment.
The stock, however, ended up selling swiftly to adult women as well as to the students. Among the key designs produced by this new generation of American designers were capsule wardrobes such as McCardell's group of five wool jersey pieces from , comprising two tops, long and short skirts, and a pair of culottes; and Maxwell's "weekend wardrobe" of five tweed and flannel garments.
Both were designed to accommodate formal and informal occasions depending on how they were assembled and accessorised. Rebecca Arnold and Emily S.
Rosenberg have noted how the American look, demonstrated through healthy teeth and the use of affordable, good-quality fashionable clothing to present a neat and practical appearance, despite claims of egalitarianism , was ultimately held up against white standards of beauty.
After the Second World War, the emergence in Paris of the luxurious "New Look" popularised by Christian Dior , with its emphasis on accessorising and femininity, was in direct contrast to the relaxed, easy-wear American look. In the s and s, designers continued to develop the theme of affordable, practical and innovative sportswear, producing clothing that focused on wearability rather than fashion fads, including Anne Fogarty 's coat-and-dress sets and dresses made with removable waistcoats to alter their look.
Along with many other designers, Gernreich took advantage of the development in the mids of upgraded machine-knitting techniques to produce his work. Towards the end of the s, many sportswear designers such as Anne Klein and Halston began to enter business independently, rather than relying on the backing of their manufacturers, or working in association with firms and companies. In a essay titled "Recession Dressing," the writer Kennedy Fraser noted how Halston's work, particularly his success with making basic garments in luxurious fabrics, was that of an "anti-designer" who liberated American women of fashion from needlessly elaborate, conventional high fashion from high-end establishment American designers.
She also singled out Clovis Ruffin and Stephen Burrows. During the s, Lauren, Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis became particularly known for their sportswear designs, made in all-natural fibres such as wool, combed cotton, and linen, which placed them at the top tier of American fashion design alongside the Anne Klein label designed by Donna Karan and Louis Dell'Olio.
In the s Geoffrey Beene , one of the first significant male sportswear designers, incorporated relaxed layering and elements of menswear into his women's clothing - details that continue to widely influence early 21st century industry designers. Think loose silhouettes, rich earth tones, bold graphic prints and luxurious fabrics, melted into silhouettes that are both casual and chic. Printed tank tops to track suits and mesh tees allow you to channel the trend, styled with natural waves, flat sandals and versatile sneakers.
Whether you want to infuse a bit of urban cool into your favourite pastel shades , or you love your sportswear with a side of femininity, the juxtaposition of laid-back, athletic-inspired silhouettes to delicious fairyfloss pink and baby blues allows you do to just that for spring Marking its return on the runway, orange makes for one of the most prominent spring fashion trends, the bold, citrusy hue painting sports luxe in a bright, cheerful disposition.
To play along the lines choose:. If you aim for the kind of laid-back gym-ready sports looks that allow you to play it casually cool throughout the day, do invest in a luxe tracksuit.
Keep an eye out for:. If you plan on adding a sporty tank top to your closet this season, invest in:. Updated with floral embroideries and lace trimmings, style your bomber with:. Mesh, sporty brallettes, fashionable leggings and an entire selection of directional sneakers: Rocked by the street-style darlings and off-duty models with the same aplomb, the sporstwear fashion continues to mix high and low, formal and active, but where one ends and the others begin is no longer clear.
But now that spring is almost here, you can easily use a cool leather biker, a luxurious coat or a colourful statement bomber to polish off your high-end workout clothes and build upon luxe layers. This season, sports fashion finally moves from being influenced by particular sports, to being more about generic sporty twists and sleek athletic lines. Spring was the first season to mark a subtle return to femininity, with the lines becoming cleaner and the silhouettes going minimal. In , the sporty aesthetic continued to slowly but surely morph into an entirely new embodiment of casual-chicness.
Here are the main elements to build the new take on sports fashion, as seen on the spring runways. Silk organza, washed satin, leather, wool crêpe, neoprene, it all goes as far as experimenting with texture. The more luxurious the fabric, the higher the contrast set for the sporty silhouette, which is pretty much all you will be needing in order to capture the modern-sports spirit of the season. The netted fabric never looked quite as luxurious as it did on the spring runways.
Look out for loose tops, bomber jackets, sporty tanks and long sleeved sweatshirts cut in black or white mesh, and pair them to perforated leather or metallic boxer shorts, and satin track pants. Of course, you could also be layering a sporty mesh blouson over a fitted dresses featuring a bold print, or on top of a laid-back pair of dungarees , and trust the impact to be even higher. One of the other novelties of the season, lies in a fresh sports interpretation that fuses the best of two worlds: Sleek, clean, but bearing recognizable athletic influences, the sporty minimalism is defined by relaxed silhouettes, clean shapes, little embellishments, all veiled by an overall sophisticated feel.
We could be talking about perforated crop-tops and tennis whites alike, about boxy silhouettes and skirt-lengths hitting casually below the knee, about easy dresses worn underneath sheer bombers. In a nutshell, keep an eye out for sporty clothing that looks both relaxed and ultra-simple.
The early sportswear designers proved that the creation of original ready-to-wear fashion could be a legitimate design art which responded stylishly to utilitarian requirements. Many of the first sportswear designers were women, including McCardell, Potter, Elizabeth . The Fashion spring/summer Kanye West collaborator Virgil Abloh: 'My brand started in the alleys of the internet' His label, Off-White, has the kind of millennial fanbase that more established fashion houses can only dream of. A versatile suit is worth investing in. Fabric and cut are key for the perfect fit. Break the trousers and jacket up and it becomes even more versatile.