Comfort in sportswear top concern for Frenchwomen

French women unanimously agree that sports clothing should, above all, be comfortable (it is important to 99 per cent and very important to 73 per cent). Price is the second most important factor (important to 92 per cent of women, very important to 40 per cent), particularly for young women, who have a lower budget to spend on sports clothing, according to an Ipsos and Eurovet study on French women, sport and underwear.


Anita Active - Mode City

For the latest edition of Mode City, the Salon International de la Lingerie et du Swimwear and Interfiliere, the leading fabrics and accessories trade show for intimates, beachwear and activewear to be held between July 9 1nd 11 2016 at Eurexpo Lyon, Eurovet was keen to find out about women’s preferences and expectations with regard to underwear and exercise.

The study surveyed 1,000 women who take part in sports activities at least once a week, constituting a representative sample of France’s female population aged between 20 and 55, living in cities with populations of over 300,000.

According to the study, it would be rash to assume that French women care less about their look when exercising. The cut of garments is important to 86 per cent of them (very important to 36 per cent) and the look is important to 73 per cent (very important to 19 per cent). Finally, a key element of comfort and look, the material used is the third most important element for sports fans (important to 88 per cent of women, very important to 30 per cent).

As for “technical” terms relating to sports underwear, French women are familiar with quick-drying (96 per cent), breathable (93 per cent), antibacterial (91 per cent), heat regulating (83 per cent) and insulating fabrics (69 per cent). On the other hand, they know less about functionalities and specific features such as anti-abrasion (56 per cent), compression (54 per cent), micro-encapsulated (31 per cent) and bio-sourced fabrics (21 per cent).

All in all, French women’s expectations of their sports underwear are high: which is why they mainly buy this category of underwear in sports shops (83 per cent). With comfort as their top priority, trying on sports bras is crucial. This explains why few women order sports bras online (12 per cent), even in the youngest age bracket.

The study found that French women are divided in their understanding of sizes when purchasing sports underwear: 40 per cent of them look for universal sizing (S, M, L, etc.), 36 per cent lingerie sizing (chest and cup-size) and 24 per cent European sizing (36, 38, 40, etc.) and, although nearly two thirds of them (63 per cent) are sure of their bra-size, 35 per cent admit to a degree of hesitation when making their choice and 2 per cent have no idea which size they should be wearing! This is surprising since statistics show that 75 per cent of French women don’t wear the right bra size.

When purchasing lingerie or swimwear, French women place considerable importance on comfort, 99 per cent rate it as important in lingerie and 96 per cent in swimwear.

Women make practical choices when it comes to lingerie: 92 per cent of them look carefully at the price (very important to 43 per cent of them) and the fabric they are buying (very important to 37 per cent). Although still important to 7 in 10 women, the look of garments is less crucial, with the exception of young women, who pay more attention to this factor than other age groups. 82 per cent of French women aged between 20 and 24 agree that the style of lingerie is one of the most important criteria in their purchasing decisions. This is 5 points more than average for all the women surveyed and 9 points more than those aged between 45 and 55.

By contrast, French women favour aesthetics over practical concerns when purchasing swimwear: the cut and look of a swimsuit are ranked higher than the price and fabric used in the garment. Over half of women even view them as very important: 57 per cent of French women state that the fit of swimwear is very important, 51 per cent say the same about the look. Although price and fabric only make it to the 4th and 5th positions, they are still seen as very important by 42 per cent and 35 per cent of women.

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