The world of fashion is constantly changing and new and more innovative products are added each day. In terms of clothing, we already have so many brands and types of wear for every occasion, mood, activity and/or season.
Fashion for men is not too far behind in that respect. Once considered plain and minimal, mens fashion has grown leaps and bounds adding formal wear, casual wear, sportswear/activewear such as trekk wear, cycling wear, scuba diving wear, skiing wear, yoga wear such as yoga tunics and yoga short for men and various different kinds of lounge wear.
Active wear and its significance
A whole new segment of fashion for men is the active wear line of clothing. Activewear is more commonly known as sportswear, although activewear is more appropriate to cover a wide variety of activities that may not be considered sports such as trekking, yoga and martial arts.
Activewear is clothing that best suits the kind activity that a person would be doing. For example, for an athlete, his clothes need to be body tight and the fabric needs to be light and absorbent.
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For a trekker, tights and tops with lots of support and provision for attachments need to be present, for those involved in aerobics or yoga, a good pair of tunic top and a pair of yoga short for men that is light and airy and aids in stretching is imperative.
Activewear is made specific to the activity that one would be involved in. Therefore the movement in the activity, the type of fabric that supports this movement and the ease of usage are the key parameters that go into the making and selling of active wear.
Guide to choosing the right activewear
As pointed out above, the right activewear is based on the kind of activity and there are 3 parameters to consider before buying yourself a pair.
1. Ease of movement
The most important point before buying your activewear is evaluating the type of movement that you expect from this activity. Such as an athlete will have a lot of running and stretching. A cyclist needs to have stretchability that aids pedalling and must not drag or be too bulky, for yoga, flexibility and breathability is important.
Based on how free and how restricted the movement is, the active wear is designed. Most companies do well researched product development before they make these activewear.
2. The Fabric and its usage
Another most important parameter is the fabric that is involved in these activewear. Activities that require running, sprinting and jumping need extra stretch soft fabric that is very light weight so that it does not hinder the movement. Such activewear is developed from nylon and poly-elastane.
For more relaxed activity such as yoga, meditation, pilates etc, the fabric needs to be airy, light, loose and breathable. This enhances the calm and relaxed nature of these activities. Such activewear is developed from cotton or organic cotton or sometimes from a mix of cotton and linen. Yoga fabrics are mostly knitted in nature with fast-dry texture and ultra light material.
For extreme sports such as skiing and ice hockey, the active wear is made from protective material that insulates the user as well as shields vital parts such as shoulders and knees. This kind of wear is termed as fencing and is part of the activewear.
For activities such as swimming, diving, wrestling and skating, tight or form fitting clothing is preferred which is made from spandex. Spandex has a unique quality to absorb heat and moisture and keep the user feeling light and airy. Spandex is also used as a base for activewear in mountaineering and trekking.
3. Accessories for Activewear
Each sport requires a different kind of accessory that aids them in the sport they are involved with. These accessories are often sold along with the active wear or as an add-on to the activewear.
For example Skiing apparel has many components such as an insulating jacket which needs to keep the user warm without the added weight, gloves that protect the hands from frost and boots that are rubberised that aid grip and protection.
Similarly for sports such as soccer, boxing, hockey and cycling, one requires a proper headgear that has a fence to cover the face, rubberised gloves, eye shields for glaring sun or white out effect of snow. In some cases mouth guards are also required to reduce dental injuries.
These are some of the parameters and key guidelines to look out for when buying activewear for various sports activities. Activewear is a fast catching up market with huge players and brands showcasing their products with signature looks and features.