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Forum > Patterns and Notions > What are 'Sportswear' patterns? ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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What are 'Sportswear' patterns?
What about them defines them as Sportswear?
addicted2fabric
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addicted2fabric
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Date: 6/16/13 8:13 PM

Most of the big pattern companies have a section in their pattern books labeled Sportswear, but the patterns in this sections are not at all sporty.
For a long time I never looked in the Sportswear section as I assumed it was patterns for tracksuits, leotards, sports shorts etc. I was very surprised when I discovered that the Sportswear section contains patterns that are not sports-related at all, its all shirts, dresses, tops and pants etc.
Why are these patterns deemed Sportswear? I've noticed many of these patterns are repeated in the more logical categories of Tops, Dresses etc.
Does anyone know the logic behind Sportswear patterns?

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SquishSews
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Date: 6/16/13 8:23 PM

I wondered that too... from dictionary.com, see the second definition...


sports·wear
[spawrts-wair, spohrts-]
noun
1.
clothing designed for wear while playing golf or tennis, hiking, bicycling, jogging, etc.; activewear.
2.
men's or women's clothing consisting of separate pieces, as jackets, trousers, sweaters, skirts, and shirts, that are casually styled and can be worn singly or in various combinations for business and informal activity.
Origin:
1910–15; sports + wear


And there is possibly more info than you want at the wikipedia entry! :-)

tlmck3
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Date: 6/16/13 8:55 PM

Department stores used to always call separates "sportswear" when I was a kid and young adult--1970s and 80s. Probably still do. It's been so long since I've shopped at a department store I have no idea how they market stuff these days.

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Karla Kizer
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Subject: What are Sportswear patterns? Date: 6/16/13 9:11 PM

I think it's a hold-over from years ago, when women wore dresses, hats, gloves and heels just to go to the grocery store. Sportswear suggested clothes suitable for driving the children to summer camp or hosting a pool party. (I lived the Mad Men years.)

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Vireya
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Subject: What are Sportswear patterns? Date: 6/16/13 9:14 PM

I think it is an American term that doesn't mean anything to the rest of us! I've never worked out what it meant even after reading lots of definitions of it.

It seems to just be clothes that you would wear for everyday.

tlmck3
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Date: 6/16/13 9:52 PM

My guess is it probably originated around the time American designer Claire McCardell started designing clothes for the "Suburban" life style, after WWII.

Claire McCardell

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I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

aliann1
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Date: 6/16/13 10:39 PM

Here's some info from Wikipedia: Sportswear has been called America's main contribution to the history of fashion design,[1] developed to cater to the needs of the increasingly fast-paced lifestyle of American women.[2] The term started out as a fashion industry term describing informal and interchangeable separates (i.e., blouses, shirts, skirts and shorts),[2] and in the 1920s became a popular descriptive term for relaxed, casual wear typically worn for spectator sports.[1] Since the 1930s the term has been used to describe both day and evening fashions of varying degrees of formality that demonstrate this relaxed approach while remaining appropriate wear for many business or social occasions.

Here is the link.

Marie367
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In reply to addicted2fabric <<


Date: 6/16/13 10:51 PM

I think they had a meaning that doesn't mean anything to most of us today. I buy alot of the Sportwear. I think they are a good value because I can usually use several of the pieces. I was buying patterns new in the 60's & 70's that are now considered vintage. In those days, the sportswear patterns did seem alot more sporty because they included pants and shorts. Keep in mind that I had to wear dresses to school until I was in 7th grade when they changed the dress code and dresses were the order of the day. That dates me doesn't it?
-- Edited on 6/16/13 11:01 PM --

addicted2fabric
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Subject: What are Sportswear patterns? Date: 6/16/13 11:54 PM

Thanks everyone for your explanations. I understand what it means now.
I do think its a rather archaic term, and I wonder how many others are missing patterns they might otherwise buy due to thinking it actually means sports clothing.

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gabrielle

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Subject: What are Sportswear patterns? Date: 6/17/13 3:18 AM

The concept of sportswear existed for men's clothing too. I remember when a man's blazer was called a "sports coat" or "sports jacket." These jackets were separates, and worn interchangeably with different trousers.

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