Kit: Fashioning the Sporting Body




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Peer reviewed



Sport has had such a profound influence upon the clothing, footwear and accessory industries that the sartorial choices of every reader of Sport in History will inevitably have been affected. This certainty is not based on the rather provocative assumption that those who subscribe to the journal read its contents while wearing their favourite replica shirt, however. The wardrobe of those who do not take the journal will also have been fundamentally shaped by sport too, even if they are part of the majority who do not particularly like, or actively participate in, active leisure. The costume choices of women, men, boys and girls today are bound up with the technological and stylistic innovations of specialist sports clothing but also the broader diffusion of leisure apparel in globalized markets. Sports kit is ubiquitous and a significant marker of identity. Many people who actively pursue sport will have a cupboard or a utility store-room comprised of their beloved ‘kit’. Even those who are no longer (or never have been) enthusiasts may well hoard tokens of sporting paraphernalia as cherished items of childhood memory. This edited collection seeks to provide an overview of some of these processes. The collection highlights the many ways in which the sporting and spectator body has itself been fashioned, in the sense of being worked upon, policed, ornamented and denuded. Each element of adornment is a text that can be read, interpreted and re-inscribed. The bodies of sporting participants and spectators are also sites of cultural and political crafting and part of wider networks of communication.



sports clothing, dress history, fashion, Adidas, Manfield, football, athletics


Willliams, J. ed. (2015) Kit: Fashioning the Sporting Body. Routledge


Research Institute