Have you ever had a exercise gear that is so comfortable you'd wish you have more of that particular set for every training classes? Most of us feel more comfortable and even more confident when we wear certain sports apparel. Sportswear companies certainly took note of this and has since invested significantly in research and manufacturing sports and exercise clothing that can accentuate the wearer's comfort, compatibility and confidence. Traditional activewear giants like Nike, Adidas and Reebok spent significantly to create lighter, softer and more functional apparels to compete within the sports industry. Much of the work comes with consultation with their endorsed athletes to provide the creators insight on how to improve on their activewears for better performance and comfort at the same time.
The significant rise of Lululemon for women's activewear is another prime example where customizing activewear based on the needs and want of the consumer, coupled with scientific research is crucial. In addition, by promoting its concept of "Engineered Sensations", it portrays the need to "influence how you feel things, and can intentionally create experiences through our garments where you feel more confident, more supported, more free."
Here we look at some of the key factors on the psychology of sportswear: Designs that Make You Tick Much effort has been poured into making a sportswear that is comfortable and promoting better range of motions. Key factors such as sweat absorption, stretchability and even anti-bacterial protection are taken into consideration to design an activewear that provides maximum comfort and performance enhancement. With key elements done right, it removes physiological barriers where people feel restricted on how their clothing are impeding them, which takes out a part of their focus on their sporting experience.
Speaking of sporting experience, we are also looking at the psychological aspects of how quality sportswear can make a difference. Studies have found that design elements such as thermal (in relations to temperature control) and tactile (in relations to touch) can influence the comfort of wearer whilst engaged in their activities (Liao et.al, 2016). Dr. Yi Li, Textile Science and Engineering in the School of Materials, the University of Manchester, describes this as a form of sensory psychology, where a sense of comfort can influence a person in improving their mood, or even a more competitive mindset.
Liberating the Mind
Another key component of high quality sports apparel is to provide a sense of freedom while engaging in activities. In the knowledge that your clothing is not restricting you, you are able to take your mind off worrying about one form of barrier. This, in turn, helps you to focus on other factors in your activity, including your performance. Psychological barriers such as fear of injury and limited movements due to unsuitable apparel designs can cause the wearer to feel out of sync with their own body and thus, impeding their sense of comfort and ultimately decreased performance level.
All in all....
A strike of balance between comfort and performance plays an integral part nowadays in designing a suitable sportswear. Therefore, manufacturers poured much thoughts in getting that correct balance, not only to fulfill the physiological needs but also to enhance the psychological "feel-good" factor when donning a sports or activewear.
Stay tuned to our conversation with our clothing partner, Madventure, on how they use these factors to engage with the sports apparel market.