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It's no secret that womens clothing and outdoor apparel has reached new boundaries in the last 10 years, and by that I mean recognized outdoor apparel companies now make clothing for women. I started working in the outdoor industry 10 years ago and as far as any options for technical women's outerwear there were none. Women would be forced to wear a men's small, where the arms where to long the area in the hips where to tight and if you had a larger chest you where forced to buy a jacket that only fit your chest and was two sizes to big every where else, and pants.. well if you where short you where out a luck!
Now with companies like Patagonia, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, North Face, and Arcteryx offer an outdoor women's clothing line that is equal to that of the men's line and in some cases larger offering more colors for our sophisticated tastes and shorts and longs for our array of body types. Outdoor apparel has jumped into the 21st century and companies are starting to realize women can keep up with men climbing mountains, skiing down steep terrain, and surfing big waves. We can surpass the female stereo types and we can kick it in the harshest elements requiring apparel that we need to stay comfortable, and look good in our "I cant believe you did that" pictures.
A women's body requires a totally different design and cut to outdoor apparel, women like Lynn Hill and Kitty Calhoun work with Patagonia to create products that they want to use, they do hours of the harshest field testing to ensure it wont fail when we invest in our new gear. I used to climb in an old t-shirt and soccer shorts but with the womens sportswear clothing created by these companies I will never go back.. It's so essential to have a supportive top and flexible bottoms with breathable fabric to stay comfortable and in your best form when reaching the top of that 5.12 ridge or just climbing around in your own back yard wilderness. Companies like Prana Womens Clothing, Gramicci, Kavu and Exofficio are making major ground in women's specific sportswear that is functional and stylish so you don't look like a mono khaki tourist when traveling and you wont smell and look dingy and wrinkled if you cant find a washing machine on your action packed vacation.
The sports industry has come a long way now that they have started to pay attention to the other 53% percent of the world... And they are going to have to pay a lot more attention to us now that we have a large team of kick'n chicks constantly competing and surpassing men in our outdoor adventures. It's cause chicks aren't wimpy! and we dont deserve wimpy gear!