Sports fashion has reached new heights, and it keeps on changing every day
Sports have always demanded a certain type of clothing. In ancient Greece, wrestling was a naked activity. In the Roman Empire, gladiators had their costumes and armor. Knights had everything from helmets to shields – but it didn't stop there. As the world became more advanced, there was a need to include women into the world of sports, and it didn't start off bombastically. It started with an uncomfortable skirt.
Two women on bikes - around 1900. See the dresses?
At the beginning of the 20th century, a woman riding a bike would have been a very different sight than a man – for one thing, she would be wearing a long skirt. For another, she actually had to ride a completely different model of bike in order to actually be able to keep her skirt out of the wheels and chains.
At one point, a rational dress movement began. Women decided to demand clothing more suitable to an active lifestyle, and dresses slowly decreased in size and length.
While there is no exact guarantee of this, we can safely presume that cycling was a huge influence on the creation of sportswear. As women's rights grew and many of them began to get jobs, they needed to rely on cheap methods of transportation, such as bikes, to get them to their place of work. This commute needed to be done in clothing that was respectable, but not difficult to move in.
Sports fashion slowly evolved.
Nowadays, lots of people commute. They do it for the health benefits, the lessened stress of parking – at CLARA, we do it because we enjoy adding a bit of physical activity in our day. However, we still need to take care that our outfit for the day is bike-friendly.
Active wear, or sportswear, is a fairly new concept. Even two decades ago, sportswear was a mark of the gym – apart from some subcultures, it wasn’t worn as a daily apparel. It's a completely different world these days – sports brands are proud to take their place in the fashion world, and the fashion world is happy to have them.
Paris Fashion Week - Puma struts their style
It's not just the clothing that's becoming more acceptable. Various sports accessories are a common sight – smart watches, sneakers – and barely anybody pays attention to them anymore. What would have been rebellious in 2008 has become the norm in 2018.
Functionality is still key. Leggings are the next stage in leotards, allowing freedom of movement in exchange for somewhat uncomfortable levels of tightness. Hoodies combine comfort with utility, but also make you look a bit unprofessional.
At CLARA, we tried to keep the functionality of the product as well as the aesthetic that makes it look good in public. Designed by Giuseppe Buccinnà and conceptualized by cyclists, the CLARA vest is a tribute to style and visibility in difficult-to-see situations.
We’re not saying it’s perfectly fine to walk into a board meeting in yoga pants and a tank top. There’s a time and a place for every piece of clothing, and sometimes we need to compromise. However, it’s a lot easier to adapt comfort into business-casual than it would have been ten years ago, and we have the popularity of active lifestyles to thank for that.
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