Sportswear And Gender Roles:
Traditionally, men have in the past been more associated than women with sportswear brands such as Nike and Adidas. However, at the moment, there is a closing gender gap between males and females in all areas of life including sport. For example women’s football is now being shown on T.V. in the same way that men’s is. We are indeed living in an era where both genders have equal rights.
Also, more females now wear sports shoes, trainers, t-shirts, accessories than ever before in the past. The reasons for this, I believe, are for comfort, style and to also make a statement about themselves, that they are endeavouring to live a healthy lifestyle for life endurance. In our busy lives, more people (both male and female) than ever, go to the gym to both exercise and to also release feel good endorphins, as we are increasingly becoming aware of how we have to look after our mental health as well as our physical health too. Therefore, sportswear is more unisex at the moment than ever before.
What appeals to males and females is now merging more so than in the past. As Zoi Arvanitidou has stated in her PhD work, ‘Fashion, Gender & Social Identity’ (2019), ‘fashion symbolises the transivity of culture, the phases of which must be captured and displayed thus allowing the fluidity of the definitions of gender identity.’
So, I conclude that in the present era where we are all aware, regardless of our gender, that we must look after our physical and mental health, exercise has many benefits for keeping fit but also relieving stress. As this is a major focus for many people, the sportswear clothing ranges are thriving and are doing incredibly well. Also, people are now seeking comfort with the clothes they are wearing and this is relevant for both males and females.
As a result of my conclusion, this is an area of clothing which I would like to explore in my own design work. My experience has been limited in the past. However, I have started to use the overlocking machines as well as the sewing machines to join pieces of stretchy sportswear fabrics. This provides much more flexibility when the fabrics are being worn, especially for items such as stretchy leggings.
Arvanitidou Z. (2019) ‘Fashion, Gender & Social Identity’, published by University of the Aegean