Starting in the 1970s there was a slow encroachment of athletic styles into high fashion as both the concept of exercising and the clothes associated with it started to go mainstream. Prior to then working out (particularly weightlifting and running/jogging) were niche activities and the most common sporting activities joined in by adults were those most commonly associated with country clubs, business meetings, and the wealthy (golf, tennis, skiing, and squash). Classic American sportswear throughout the 1940s through 1960s exemplified a certain sporty (and quite WASPy aesthetic) though rarely patterned itself on actual athletic wear. Until the mid-to-late-1970s garments for playing sports, running, and working out were functional, simple and boring, yet it was that same very minimal simplicity and functionality that acted as spurs of inspiration for a new generation of designers at that time and continuing to today.

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