Plenty of men are happy to wear tracksuits in non-sporting situations but for women there needs to be a style angle to make sportswear work. It’s a strange thing, really, as both sexes take part in sport and watch sport even, so there shouldn’t be any reason for them to be different in this respect. Is it perhaps because women tend to have a fewer items to select from, whereas men can opt from shirts, shorts, tops, footwear and headgear? Or is it simply because sporty clothes just don’t suit the female form as well?

Perhaps both reasons hold, but it has led to something of a black hole in the world of style, and there could be a simple way of fixing it for women how want to look sporty: retro sportswear. You don’t have to go through the mystifying aisles of high street sports megastores to find these garments; and if you did you’ll rarely find anything flattering unless you are a teenager still After all, modern sportswear is characterised by a flashy garishness that seldom evokes the subtle needs of a well put together ensemble. You’ll be bombarded by “scientific” claims about the properties of the material. And more often than not, the brand itself will be shouting out from the design.

If all that jazzy new sportswear leaves you cold then perhaps the best place to assemble your sporty look is at your local vintage clothing shop They are found in many towns and cities now (usually just off the high street in the trendy districts), and there are some great internet retailers stocking vintage wear, too. You will find sportswear collections that relate to a time when the clothing was less important than the players wearing it, when branding and product manufacturers were a quiet add-on whisper rather than a loud shout. But that’s not to say styling wasn’t important and looking good was a key consideration. Performing in public still comes with a desire to look good, just as much then as it is today.

It’s odd though, so why do they treat sports wear differently now? Perhaps the reason is that men don’t worry too much about variety in their wardrobe, while women like to wear different styles more regularly. Or is it a body shape thing, because unless the woman has a perfect figure, sports wear can simply highlight the areas they don’t want highlighting.

This is where vintage fashion stores come to the rescue. Most of these stores stock a varied range of t-shirts, but also complementing jackets, footwear of various styles and accessories too, such as sports bags. Who doesn’t remember the classic three strip shoulder bag, seen carrying the books of almost every teenage male in the 1970s. Retro sports wear invokes memories of the era and the stars of the day rather than just the brand. The Borgs and McEnroes of the tennis courts not to mention Virginia Wade, the Greg Normans of the golf course, the Kevin Keegans of the football pitch, they were all used by sports clothing brands to boost the popularity of their products. Female sports icons came along in greater numbers in the 1980s and that’s when the women of the world began to sit up and notice that sports wear could find a place in their wardrobes.

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