Stitch In Time... Let's Get Physical

Stitch In Time… Let’s Get Physical

by Amy Newson

Start 2018 with different kind of indulgence – a new set of sportswear to get you fashionably fit. But where did this fashion trend come from?

After the indulgence of Christmas, we look ahead to the New Year with a sense of determination – to balance out the decadence of December with a health focused January. It’s important to feel confident and comfortable at the gym or on your morning jog and nowadays it’s pretty easy to find something not only comfortable to do your workout in but immensely on trend too. Now that the line between active and street-wear has been blurred, it’s time to add fashion to function. Think yoga pants made from cashmere blended with fibres to wick away moisture and oversized t-shirts and sweaters embossed with slogans, patches or logos. Why not invest in some personalised and bespoke activewear too – it’s the season’s must-have in the world of sportswear after all.

Yet, finding women’s clothing to wear for sports hasn’t always been easy. The activewear evolution was triggered back in the 19th century, starting with bathing and cycling costumes that needed shorter skirts and bloomers to ensure enough mobility to take part effectively in these sports. One of the first couturiers to specialise in women’s sportswear was British designer John Redfern, who in the 1870s began making specific clothing for women who rode horses, played tennis and enjoyed other sporting activities. After that, it wasn’t until the 1920s that Parisian designers started to produce activewear with a fashionable twist. These garments became wearable for both daywear fashion and sporting activities. From then on activewear became a sort of fashion statement to be made (except the leotard and leggings combination of the 80s, I’m sure you’ll agree), a trend which continues to this day.