When people ask me what I do for a living, they are often surprised to hear that I design and market clothing, specifically active wear providing a wide range of coverage for women. For the most part, we are in the market to offer more coverage versus less. You could say we sort of specialize in modesty.
First of all, people are surprised that I’m an everyday kind of person who designs clothes. It’s more of a high-dollar, fashion runway, Paris, Milan, big label occupation in most imaginations. For me, it’s not quite that glamorous. Enjoyable, but not glamorous.
After that, the surprise lingers around the fact that I would work hard on something involving the word “modesty” especially where the word “fashion” is concerned. People are often operating under the usually false misconception that confident women who are proud of their bodies want to show it off and wear revealing “sexy” outfits.
That may be true for some but, when you are engaged in a truly active endeavor like triathlon, surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, etc. the last thing on your mind in the heat of the moment is, “do these shorts make my butt look too big”?
Sure, most of us like to look our best as much as possible but most female athletes are primarily concerned about actively enjoying or competing in their chosen sport comfortably. Performance is the priority, not the “hey, check me out” factor. Let’s face it, a little extra coverage actually keeps things nicely covered during rigorous activity and prevents impromptu peep shows of any, um, feminine assets. Furthermore, even the most gorgeously toned back and shoulders will suffer a scorching burn if unprotected all day in the sun kitesurfing. Not fun. Not pretty. Sun protection is serious stuff and even more so for female athletes who spend a lot of time outdoors. Extra coverage also gives the welcome bonus of skin protection.
The caveat here is we really do still want to look good and all this talk of modesty, serious sun protection and coverage engineered to fight physics starts conjuring up images of boring, utilitarian, “un-fun” fashion. Luckily, being too exposed was the “a-ha” moment for a fashion-loving person like myself.
After a particularly chilly surf session with my business partner Kim, we were changing out of our wetsuits and trying to preserve some modesty as we simultaneously wrangled neoprene and large towels with our stiff, cold fingers. We noticed some perv’ on a bicycle who kept riding back and forth past our vehicle… we’re talking five, maybe six, times obviously trying to catch a glimpse of something should a towel slip. I felt an emotional combo of anger and great amusement. How desperate do you have to be to catch a glimpse of the female form so that you’re compelled to ride your bike repeatedly past two, drenched, rumpled, middle-aged chicks struggling out of wetsuits? I can assure you that we were no visions of sexual loveliness as we were trying to get out of neoprene and into some warm, dry clothes. But I digress…
I decided that bottoms designed to coordinate with rashguards would be so great. That way, I could strip off my wetsuit and be covered. No need to fuss with towels! Just unzip and go about my business. Let’s go one step further and make such an ensemble fun and interesting.
In a nutshell, showing a little less really is more and it’s what we aim to deliver at Girls4Sport. Less revealing garments that provide more for the women wearing them. You get the benefits of sun protection and coverage, and (much to the chagrin of peep-tom cyclists everywhere) you also get the added allure of leaving a little something to the imagination.