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Why does design matter in sportswear?

Hi everyone! I’m Eerika, recent marketing & textiles graduate, emerging print designer and newest addition to the KYMIRA team! I’m currently working for sales and marketing, and hopefully also design a bit later on... I’ll be contributing to this blog every few weeks with design, lifestyle and food related posts. I’m no great athlete nor do I exercise that much, but I love cycling (daily in London and sometimes further!) and am trying to live fairly healthy – well, getting there one step at a time!

For my first blog post I wanted to talk about the importance of good design in sportswear. As everyone has surely seen, behind are the days when people would do sports in a pair of old track pants and t-shirts: Now we see athletes rocking anything from sleek, branded technical sportswear to put-together designer training outfits. They want to look great, feel confident and show off their active lifestyle with cool yet functional athletic apparel. Sportswear indeed is a booming business right now, and there are options for everyone – cheap, premium priced, all-back, neon-coloured, fashionable, minimal… you name it. But what really matters in the design? Here’s my insight.

  • 1. Materials
  • According to my research it’s still quality and practicality before aesthetics in sportswear, and materials are beyond important to consider! We at KYMIRA are proud of our performance boosting & recovery enhancing KYnergy fabrics, so we naturally feel passionate about the subject… Fabrics used in sportswear range from the cheapest thin technical fabrics to supporting and luxurious sportswear fabrics, ideally bearing qualities such as breathable and moisture wicking. Quality materials also help to keep the athlete's temperature ideal and give just a right amount of support and pressure (not too much!), just like KYMIRA’s KYnergy fabrics do. It’s also important to think about the washability of the fabric; sportswear needs to be washed regularly and higher quality fabrics often recover well wash after wash and help the garments to keep their form. Aesthetics-wise no one wants to be rocking leggings that are made out of too thin fabric – the kind that shows everything through!


  • 2. Fit & shape
  • Another very important factor to consider in the design is the fit - the clothes must sit well so that you don’t need to adjust your clothing whilst sporting. The garment designs need to be practical and well tested – nothing is more annoying than having to pull your top down or trousers up as you are training. Well-designed pieces will sit perfectly on the user and remain secure, firm and flattering throughout the exercise. At KYMIRA, we have worked to improve the fit of our garments based on the valuable customer feedback, and will continue to do so in future as well to make sure our design is the best possible!


  • 3. Looks
  • Yes, looks do matter! If you spend a lot of time at the gym or doing sports, you may as well spend those hours every week in somewhat flattering clothing. On top of that, nice looking apparel can inspire to go further, lift confidence and give extra energy & motivation. One of the most visible trends in the sportswear field recently has been the use of extra bright, even neon colours – in fact, a lot of people that only wear neutral colours by day, actually prefer colourful sports clothing. Indeed, bright colour can be seen as bringing extra boost to the performance or work out: even those that prefer plain black training garments may choose to opt for some colourful shoes to add a bit of kick in their outfit. Then there are logos, which are another visible trend in sportswear at the moment: using big, bold logos like KYMIRA has chosen to do. However, neon colours or bold logos aren’t necessarily for everyone. Thus the ones looking for more discreet yet stylish take on sportswear, may be more keen printed panels, mesh detailing, ergonomic seams, reflective strips or sleek zipper details.. To sum up, there surely isn’t shortage of the options style-wise!


  • 4. Versatility
  • In my opinion, thinking “multipurpose” is important when designing sportswear – for customers, it’s handy if the clothes are multifunctional and versatile, so that they can be used for multiple purposes and not only whilst exercising. This is actually a part of the reason why the sportswear industry is currently booming: athletic pieces have recently become increasingly popular as fashionable clothing, and for a lot of people, especially for the ones that live and breathe sports, the athletic gear often doubles up as casual daywear. You can see it all mixed up these days; comfy running shoes and training leggings combined with trendy bomber jackets and designer bags. And I totally get that. If you like the way your training gear looks and feels, why not to also wear it whilst running errands, catching up with a friend or going shopping?

    To sum up, nowadays it’s totally cool to indulge in awesome sportswear! If sports and training are big part of your lifestyle, then definitely spend a bit extra on high quality materials, great fit and designs that please your eye – whether that’s black and minimal or funky and colourful. The most important thing is to feel good when you exercise, as well as being confident about how you look. As a designer I always flag for functional clothing that also looks trendy and quirky, but preferring plain simple outfits is equally fine. Whatever rocks your boat. Remember, that although great looking apparel may not make you run faster or lift heavier weights, having comfy, cool & well-designed sportswear can definitely inspire you to do sports more often. As well as to push harder, go further and in KYMIRA’s case, also to recover quicker!

    Any opinions or comments are the most welcome; What do you most care about in your sportswear? Do the looks matter to you? Comment down below!

    August 22, 2014 by Eerika Leino
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    Comments

    Scarlett Dixon

    Scarlett Dixon said:

    To whom it may concern,

    I’m female, 21, and in my final year of university at Nottingham Trent in the UK – Writing my dissertation.
    My final article is about sports clothing and its place within the fashion industry. Inspired by you’re website, it would be fantastic if I could have the possibility of interviewing someone within your team as part of my primary research. And my final report may even be of use to you, or atleast research you may be interested in reading once complete?

    Let me know if you think this is a possible – It would be such a great help.

    Kind Regards,
    Scarlett Dixon

    Julia Carlson

    Julia Carlson said:

    I choose my sportswear based on looks only. It would probably be smart to choose it based off of practicality. I can see now that the material and design is really important too, not just the way it looks. http://www.zibara.com.au/

    Rhys Rawson

    Rhys Rawson said:

    Thanks for the information on the importance of design in sportswear. Fit really does make a difference in the experience while sporting. There really is nothing more irritating than having to adjust your clothing all day! Great post. http://www.creopromo.com/customer.php?go=Cust-Page&PageId=93

    Fabric UK

    Fabric UK said:

    Some interesting points here and well thought out. I think sportswear is so important, especially the research that goes into the properties of the fabric, creating leaps and bounds in fabric development. Do you guys spend a lot of time working on shape and fit? What do you think is the biggest problem area of fitting?

    sakshi chandrani

    sakshi chandrani said:

    Thanks for the great information it helped a lot. I would like to ask why the designer thought to make sports wear rather than western dresses or formal?

    Tushar Garg

    Tushar Garg said:

    Thanks for sharing useful information with us about sportswear

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