Where does your active life take you… and what do you wear to get there?
If you’re like most active, health conscious women these days, you probably already have your exercise or workout schedule built into your daily or weekly plan. Maybe those plans include workouts at the gym, possibly yoga is your thing, or you are an avid runner, cyclist or… maybe all!
If your life includes kids, then you’re probably actively on the go and all over the place at varying times. Any activity can be far more comfortable, and even healthier, if you’re wearing the right clothes.
Wondering what is the right apparel to wear? Do you need a specific type of sportswear or performance gear? What does “high performance” even mean when you see it on the sportswear tag or in a description from an online retailer?
The sportswear market is highly competitive, so there can be many words used to help sell, as well as define, what can be found in the business and industry for active wear. Here’s a list (in alphabetical order to make it easier to follow) with some helpful words and their descriptions that might assist you as you go on the hunt for the perfect and best outfit to meet your active lifestyle:
Activewear – labelled as such to generally apply to any sport, exercise, or activity that might require comfort, stretch wear.
Affordable Wear – will mean the sportswear reflects a reasonable price point as compared to many brands available. A factor to consider when seeing this description is the quality of the garment and if the cost seems to line up with the integrity of the garment. It may be best to determine for yourself what you consider an “affordable” price depending on whether you prefer long-lasting garments or instead like to replace your workout clothes on a regular basis.
Air-Circulating Technology – allows the air to circulate in and around your workout clothing to help maintain a comfortable body temperature as you exercise. Mesh fabric or adjustable zippers may be strategically placed to allow air to come in and body heat to escape.
Athleisure Wear – describes casual clothing that is considered acceptable and stylish for both fitness activities and daily everyday wear equally.
Athlete-Tested – means the garment has been product tested during exercise by skilled sportspeople in an effort to meet the needs of the intended sport or activity.
Comfort Fit – reflects that the garment should fit without discomfort or irritation and should provide you a secure, well-designed fit.
Compression Sportswear – is a flexible lightweight fabric that is commonly used in form-fitting, encapsulating and molded workout and sportswear clothing and is often designed with a second-skin fit. Depending on the type of compression fabric, there may be other athlete advantages to using compression sportswear, including better circulation to the muscles, decreased recovery time and improved performance. The compression strength and fabrics used for sportswear can differ from the compression graded fabrics used for medical or surgical needs.
Fitness Fashion – activewear aims to reflect current trends and styles. While the clothing may be designed for working out, a contemporary design will also be reflected.
Flexible Design – will ensure the clothing will move with your body and not hold you back or reduce your range of motion.
High-Performance or Performance-Grade Wear – As an industry term, this means performance fabrics are being used. Performance fabrics are used in the making of activewear, sportswear, summer and winter wear, mountain activities, trekking, work wear, as well as urban wear and protective wear.
High-Tech Sportswear – suggests cutting-edge technology is used for some aspect of the garment. Innovative fabrics and design techniques that improve the wearer’s comfort and performance are advances that activewear companies strive for.
Moisture Wicking/Moisture Control – will help keep you dry during activity by allowing moisture to evaporate through the fabric instead of getting trapped underneath. Fabric is often also quick drying, so as moisture is expelled it is quickly released from the surface into the air so your garment isn’t wet and weighted down.
Premium Fabric – generally means that it is the best or highest quality of fabric that is currently found in the market and used by the athletic and sportswear companies for designs.
Pressure Sportswear – is a supportive force that is applied to your body from the sportswear garment. This term may be used to suggest help securing and supporting loose areas on the body that may move during exercise or to help reinforce good posture.
Reflective Components – describes that the garment includes something that will catch the light and alert another that you are there. Great for outdoor athletes.
Second-Skin – fits your body like a glove, form-fitting to your shape. Fabrics used will have elastic stretch to achieve this desired fit.
Sleek Design – is a descriptor that suggests the garment will smooth and sculpt your body into a more stream-lined agile shape.
Sportswear – generally clothing that applies more with a specific sport in mind, like for a runner, cyclist or tennis player… or other individual or team sports. Can be worn as casual wear or for less active sports activities as well.
Stylish Workout Clothes – suggests that a workout item is in-style and fashionable for the times, meeting modern standards as to what is considered currently popular in sportswear. If something is described as “classically stylish” it may mean the look transcends trending fashion changes and will remain stylish over time.
Support & High-Support – will reinforce your body shape and muscles in areas that may need extra bracing during activity for improved comfort and less unwanted jiggle. A high-impact sports bra will mean less bust movement, while tights may offer support to smooth your tummy area, lift your rear and shape your thighs.
Technical Knit – is an advanced method for constructing fabrics used in sportswear which allows the components to be knitted in a single piece, with no cutting or sewing required, and no bulky seams.
Tension Fabric – applies to the stretch of the garment, suggesting a snug fit that is also flexible. Different levels of fabric tension may affect the appearance of the garment off-body, looking smaller than the labeled size, however, the garment may be designed to stretch with a specific amount of controlled tension to best support your body during movement.
UPF 50 Clothing – UPF is a rating system used in athletic apparel and is similar to SPF ratings used in sunscreen products. Thanks to advanced fabric technology you can wear a light-feeling, UPF protective layer of sportswear clothing without added bulk.
Weather-Combative – will protect you from the elements outdoors. Details will be specific to the product, but often will repel external moisture to keep you dry internally.
Workout Clothing – includes a broad range of clothing designed for activity, definition is not dependent on quality, but instead a loose term that includes high-performance wear, sportswear, and activewear.
Evolving with the times, you should expect these words to change or even see new terms pop into the descriptive channels of our sportswear industry.
Presently, at SportPort, we have our own unique words to describe our high-end and unique sportswear lines. Because we are the first and the only ones currently in the sportswear industry to have a patented pocket design that offers protection from cell phone EMF emissions, you will see us using new words like:
EMF Safety Pocket
Cell Phone Safety Pocket
Body Radiation Protection
Electromagnetic (EMF) Shielding
Radio Frequency (RF) Barrier
EMF Protective Clothing
It can be challenging when you are the 1st to develop a new concept, as the consumer may not even know that it exists. We hope to keep enlightening you on new defining terms used to describe your active options, as well as helping you find dependable and useful sportswear products to best suit your individual needs.