What Women Wore: A Look Back at Sports Fashion

Female athletes have come a long way in the last hundred years, and so has their clothing.

The immobilizing corsets and endless layers of heavy wool skirts (some weighing up to 14 lbs.!) that characterized women's fashion in the Victorian Era made mobility so difficult, it's impressive these women could even walk, let alone play sports. Women's "athletic" gear was itchy, heavy, restrictive, and sometimes just plain silly-looking — a far cry from the small, lightweight, breathable fashions of today's female athletes.

Check out the gallery above to see how how far we've come. You're guaranteed to make you appreciate your baggy yoga sweatpants and stretchy sports bras in a whole new way.

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Gallery

Women's Bicycle Suit, circa 1890. Photo Credit: angelasancartier.net

Women's Golfing Dress, circa 1900. Photo Credit: www.vintag.es

Two women skiing, 1922. Photo Credit: ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Edythe Perlick, batter for the Racine Belles in the AAGBL, takes a swing during a night game in 1947. Photo Credit: Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

Women's tennis outfit.