Nowadays everyone has a pair of comfortable sneakers in their closet, as well as a few T-shirts for everyday wear. However, these clothes had to go a long way to migrate from gyms to everyday closets and fashion podiums. In this article, you will learn how sportswear became high fashion.

XIX century. The origin of the sports style

In the 19th century, the bicycle was invented, beach recreation, polo, cricket, badminton, skiing, and other sports gained popularity. Comfortable clothing was required not only for those who directly took part in sports competitions but also for spectators who also wanted to feel more comfortable.

The first manufacturers specialized in sewing such clothes began to appear. Of course, then the criteria for fashion were completely different, but the first attempts to create sportswear, distinguishing it from the general stream, led to big changes in small steps.

At the end of the 19th century, such a subject as physical education was introduced in educational institutions. And already at the beginning of the 20th century, society is overwhelmed by a new hobby, which would now be called fitness.

The beginning of the XX century. Coco Chanel, Rene Lacoste, and the first brands

Rene Lacoste

At the beginning of the 20th century, couturiers, whose names are associated with the concept of โ€œhaute coutureโ€, began to create clothing for sports and leisure. So, Coco Chanel sewed ladiesโ€™ suits of knitwear. Beach fashion flourished.

Former athletes also contributed to the history of fashion. One of them was Rene Lacoste, the French tennis champion who created the Lacoste brand in 1933. It started with a polo shirt for tennis and golfers and has grown into a huge company that creates clothing and footwear for leisure.

At this time, sports began to gain more and more fans due to the development of the world sports movement (the Olympic Games, various world championships were held), sports journalism, as well as the introduction of various national programs, the purpose of which was to popularize a healthy lifestyle. Fashion magazines wrote about clothing for sports and leisure, sports style flashed on movie screens.

After the world wars, women were allowed to participate in sports and were able to wear more comfortable clothing. The limits of what was allowed in menโ€™s fashion were widened as well.

1950-1970s. Sports style begins to find its place in everyday fashion

1950-1970s. Sports style begins to find its place in everyday fashion

In the 1950s and 1960s, sports and leisure topics in fashion faded a little to the background, but sports style remained an eternal theme that was further developed in the following decades.

In the 1970s, in the wake of the jeans craze that gripped the world, jeans became an integral part of the sportswear style.

1980-1990s. The boom of sports fashion

Sports fashion of the 80s and 90s

In the 1980s, the sports lifestyle was spread from the cinema screens and the pages of fashion magazines, aerobics gained popularity. Leggings, sneakers, T-shirts, baseball caps have become super fashionable – everything that for many years was only clothing for athletes and was not perceived as a fashionable segment.

More and more fashion designers in the 1980s and 1990s began to turn to the topic of sports, borrowing elements from sportswear, transforming it, and combining it with other styles. Many people preferred to wear hoodies, sneakers, and similar items as their daily wear.

XXI Century. Sport chic

In the 2000s, the scope of sport style expanded even further. The term โ€œsport-chicโ€ has come into vogue. This direction opened up endless possibilities for the creators of sports and household mixes. Sporty elements began to permeate even evening and business fashion.

Things from completely different style niches now quietly coexist in one set, fabrics that were traditionally associated with clothes for evening outings and high-status events began to coexist with denim and knitwear. Many leading modern designers continue to work in this direction, creating the fashionable look of the new time. And that’s how sportswear became high fashion. You can find other interesting articles on various topics on

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