'Sporting' apparel has never looked so good
Published: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2013 16:09
“Dressing-up” holds a new meaning on college campuses.
Walking through campus, girls are seen sporting a workout look, and not all of them are heading to the gym. From messy buns with headbands to neon Nike tennis shoes and matching running shorts to large T-shirts cut into tank tops that show off a sports bra, girls are making a fashion statement that is a bit on the athletic side. Students have even claimed the term “norts” for the Nike shorts they sport around campus.
Many find it liberating one can look great and feel comfortable all day.
“I think that is popular around sororities because it is a way for girls to not dress up and be comfortable, but it is still stylish to wear Nike shorts,” said ZTA member Haley Townsend, a junior communication disorders major of Greenwood.
According the Fashionising.com, this fashion statement has been evolving since spring 2012. As stated by the website, the sport aesthetic continued its enthusiastic progress for the fall 2013 fashion, morphing into an entirely new embodiment of casual chic.
The sport style has been trendy as far back as the 90s with the popular British pop group the Spice Girls. Their very own Sporty Spice, also known as Melanie Chisholm, wore her sporty recognizable look chosen for comfort rather than style. The “athlete-look” was always in the shadows of fashion and has finally come up for air.
While many athletes take pride in their daily uniform, volleyball player Sarah Kemp, junior IDS major of Bellevue, Neb., finds it flattering when non-atheletes are wearing athletic gear.
“I take the look as a compliment,” Kemp said. “It means people saw athletes in it and thought that our look was stylish enough to wear on a daily basis.”
Female students aren’t the only ones sporting the trend. Most males around campus have taken notice of the running shorts and think it is quite appealing.
“I like the look,” Ryan Eustace, sophomore criminology major from Kennesaw, Ga. and football player, said. “Especially if the girl is athletic and works out.”
The true origin of the trend is relatively unknown, but most trendsetters and athletes believe it is a combination of marketing and athletes getting creative with their style.
“I just think a lot of athletes are so well known and hang out with so many regular students that everyone just kind of caught onto it,” Hannah Qedan, a senior basketball player and athletic training major of Fayetteville, said. “I feel like it’s a simple and comfortable look. I like it because I’m really busy and I don’t see any point in putting a lot of extra time into what I wear to class.”
The sports merchandise industry is no longer a fashion venue to scoff. Athletes have become models, stylists have become sportswear designers, and Nike hosts fashion shoots filled with high quality, fashionable clothing that is meant to be worn on and off the court. Not just Nike, but brands like Adidas and Puma have been taking steps to create athletic clothing that is simple yet stylish.
“Nike and other athletes did a great job promoting it because you can still look cute, but comfortable,” Kemp said.
Other students, however, find the trend confusing and quite unflattering. Erica Ouellette, a freshman of Winthrowe, Maine with an undecided major, said she had no idea this was a trend when she walked to class on her first day. Left and right she could see the sport shorts and the neon bras peeking out of the oversized, hand-cut T-shirts.
“I was kind of confused,” she said. “I didn’t understand why no one cared how they looked.”
Ouellete was under the impression that her peers were going to travel through campus on heels because of the South’s fashion-conscious reputation. It went against how she lived at home and the way she was brought up. “I was raised to take pride in one’s self and appearance,” she said. “In Maine, if you wear a small T-shirt, you buy a small T-shirt.”
Jane Morrill, a senior basketball player and athletic training major of Scott City, Mo., has no shame wearing athletic clothes to class and thinks of the trend as a compliment. “I take pride in the fact that I’m an athlete,” she said. “I use the fact that I’m an athlete as an excuse to wear sports shorts and T-shirts all the time. It’s what I’m comfortable in.”
Whether it be for comfort or for fashion, as an athlete or trendsetter, the sporty movement will continue on, at least until the weather cools. For now, everyone relax and get comfortable. “I guess I never figured it would become a trend,” Ouellette said. “I thought I was underdressed.”