Discover how the designers of women’s sporting attire navigated the worlds of fashion, function, and propriety, from the beginning of the 19th century to 1960.
This book offers a stunning visual record of the evolution of women’s sporting attire over nearly two centuries. With selections from Jantzen, Pendleton, and Spalding and garments by Coco Chanel, Claire McCardell, and Jean Patou, among many others, it features familiar names in fashion, as well as significant rediscoveries. At the intersection of the history of fashion and feminism, Sporting Fashion highlights the extraordinary impact of new technologies and evolving social mores on women’s clothing for sport. It explores how the basic forms of women’s sportswear we know today—from swimsuits to sneakers—were developed during a time when women were achieving more freedom. Full color illustrations of sport and leisure ensembles are included, along with magazine spreads and archival images. In thematic sections, the authors examine the ways women entered into the sporting world—from traveling to calisthenics, motorcycling to promenading. The book looks at examples of clothing that allowed women to walk freely and compete in sports previously restricted to men. It investigates how designers reacted to and encouraged the growing acceptance of exposed skin at public beaches and pools—and how cold weather fashion made its way onto the slopes and ice. Never before have the garments that defined women’s roles as both spectators and athletes been presented on this scale and in such detail.