High performance sportswear - cool phrase - but what does it mean?
These days you can see performance apparel everywhere, from low cost brands like H&M to luxury labels like Valentino. They are designed and inspired by high performance sportswear. This means that athletic wear is not just for the elite athlete but also for the everyday consumer.
But what does ‘high performance sportswear’ actually mean? And how can a fabric help you during your athletic activities?
This is what we believe high performance sportswear means. You should be looking for fabrics and features that can help you boost your capacities, you want what you are wearing to help you and not hold you back.
The brand offering you this kind of sportswear would always be looking for new ways to improve the fabrics, silhouettes and constructions. Using the latest developments and techniques available to them, constantly on the look-out for new trends and functions to add to the garments.
Performance brands often have their garments thoroughly tested, for instance testing a time trial cycling skinsuit's aerodynamic abilities in a wind-tunnel, or stretching a fabric weeks in a row to see if it maintains its flexibility.
When shopping for your high-performance sportswear, look for the right fit and very important, the right fabric! These are some characteristics a sportswear fabric require:
- Stretch: a good fabric will stretch in all directions, offering muscle control, a perfect fit and shape retention.
- Dry: when you work-out, you’ll sweat. You want your clothes to be moisture wicking and quick drying.
- Sun: when working out outdoors you want to make sure you don’t get a sunburn through your clothes. Watch out for strategically placed mesh panels. On the garments hang tag, check if the fabric has sun- and UV protection
- Environment: a lot of sportswear brands offer sustainable fabric. You can check if the athletic clothing is made from a recycled yarn, like recycled polyamide, or fabrics made partially from recycled fishnets or other plastic waste.
- Comfort: performance apparel should also feel good on your skin. Lots of fabrics can have all of the above described characteristics, and still be light, pilling resistant and with a perfect fit for extra comfort.
Image featuring personal trainer Sita Willemse, photo by Nuri Golightly
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