There’s no denying that the lines between sportswear and fashion are somewhat blurred of late. From women choosing to wear activewear just to meet a friend for coffee to men slinging on a sports cap for work when they’re having bad hair day, sportswear in the high fashion world has become the norm.
Why I hear you ask?
Sportswear is so comfortable and practical. It’s not too try-hard. It requires less effort to wear – and yet still looks just as good.
Influenced by some of the most-loved sports in the USA, American sportswear fashion is undoubtedly becoming more mainstream in the UK. Being your average English girl who regularly visits her boyfriend in the US, I’ve massively picked up on this massively in the last couple of seasons.
Read on for 5 of the best American sportswear fashion trends.
American sportswear fashion 101: Do you remember when Converse first came out and everybody went crazy? Well, no you wouldn’t, because you weren’t born back then.
Famous American basketball player Chuck Taylor might have started wearing and selling the shoes in the 1920s, but the hype still remains strong two decades after the sneakers retro-ed in the 1980s.
Basketball trainers have always been a “thing”, but they really became more of a “thing” when Chuck Taylor released them in dozens of colours in the 1980s. Originally designed to be a high-performance athletic shoe for basketball games, their rubber sole and upper canvas makes them seriously comfy.
I have one trusty white pair at the moment that I wear with everything. They’re so easy to fall in love with that I’m considering going out and buying like five more pairs. Seriously obsessed.
More popular with men than women, but still worn by both sexes, American sportswear fashion is epitomised by baseball caps – and they show no signs of going out of style.
Dating back to 1860, the baseball cap was first designed to keep the sun out of players’ eyes whilst they were playing a game. The baseball cap was also an important means of identifying a team.
Fast forward 157 years, the baseball cap has become a cool way to show off your dedication to your sports team, yet practical to wear in the warm weather. And sales of baseball caps continue to grow, even in the UK.
(My boyfriend practically lives in his!)
One of my favourite elements of American sportswear fashion is varsity jackets, baseball jackets, letterman jackets, or whatever you’d like to call them. Either way, varsity jackets are still very much forefront in the fashion world.
The inspiration for them initially came from baseball attire in the US, with the premise being to wear the jacket to represent your favourite baseball team. This then expanded to American football, high school and college sports teams – and now the jacket has been given a contemporary, fashion twist.
From their initial showing on designer catwalks back in 2015, varsity jackets have not only stuck around ever since, but they have developed globally each season.
You can now buy these jackets in a variety of colours, textures and fabrics including polyester, leather, and cotton. However, the most successful version still remains the traditional wool jacket with one colour for the body, another colour for the sleeves, and banded stripe detailing on both the collar and hems.
I’m massively crushing over them.
When basketball jersey vests first came on the scene in the US, like with varsity jackets, the idea behind them was to show up to games wearing the one that represented your team. However, as time has gone on, people have chosen to wear their basketball jerseys outside of games for other occasions, like visiting the “mall”, bar-hopping on a Saturday night, or to their partner’s cousin’s birthday dinner to name a few.
It’s not just the official basketball team jerseys either; there are currently several variations of them on the style sphere internationally. Not too long ago, they reigned supreme in some of my favourite UK fashion-forward stores like Topshop.
In other words, basketball jerseys are vastly becoming a fashion phenomenon worldwide.
Basketball jersey vests might be great for summer when it’s warm outside, but what about those colder months? Goodbye, basketball jerseys. Hello, American football jerseys.
With the longer sleeve length and hem length, these jerseys make for a perfect autumnal alternative. Then you can simply layer them up over a long sleeved shirt for wintry weather.
Perhaps not quite as popular internationally as basketball jerseys, I’ve still spotted a fair few American football jerseys on the UK high street. Primark – I’m looking at you, kid.
Varsity Jacket – modalist.com (similar)
American Football Jersey – popmap.com (similar)
Baseball Cap – boohoo.com (similar)
American Flag Converse – gilt.com (similar)
Basketball Jersey – modalist.com (similar)
Whether you’ve already bought into it or you’re an American sportswear fashion newbie, you might as well embrace this trend pronto! Why? Well, it’s fun, it’s easy to wear and, most importantly, it looks like it’s here to stay.
What are your favourite elements of American sportswear fashion? Let me know in the comments below!
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