It is March, which means the spring equinox is upon us here in the Northern Hemisphere! We are celebrating with a spring cleaning series to help you spring clean for functional design, sustainability, and inclusivity - the AUAU Athletics® core values and guiding principles we turn to for each and every business and design decision we make in our radical value-based design approach. We have prepared three functional design tips for that lean closet that would make Mari Kondo proud.


#1 Fit matters, and tailored fits are possible for every body


Let's debunk a myth: if a piece of clothing doesn't fit you properly, it's not you – it's the garment. The fashion, particularly the fast fashion industry, often falls short in providing proper fitting for all body types - the reasons behind it can be multifaceted.

One reason is that creating a size set that properly fits all sizes is quite labour-intensive. This is all the more true when it comes to clothing for women or gender-diverse people and people who are transitioning. If these people are athletes, the topic becomes even more complex as - depending on their training - athletes can have different muscle development. An easy fallback is offering a reduced size range, only featuring sizes purchased by most of the customer base. A lazy solution is winging the scaling of sizes - letting algorithms or calculation tables scale a prototype down or up without testing the results on actual people. The outcome is ill-fitting products. Find out what goes into a fitting session in the behind the scenes blog post on our AAVA Armoured Sports Bra fit session.

Another reason for ill-fitting clothing can be the difference in bodies depending on geographical regions. According to Wikipedia (, the average human body height differs between 20-30 cm / 0′ 65″-0′ 98″ between the shortest and tallest average of humans. Add varying limb lengths due to individual genetics to the picture, and you get a beautiful bouquet of possible human shapes that - in all its beauty - can be very challenging to design for.

So, you get the picture: we can all look very different. If it does not fit like a glove, it's okay to bid it adieu! If you know the reasons for ill-fitting clothing, that decision can be easy!


#2 Solve all problems, or I keep strolling


This is an important tip, especially when shopping for functional clothing, especially if that item leans towards athletic gear or uniform categories. We’ve all been there: the desired product is unavailable, so you purchase the next best thing. The issue - the next best thing may solve some but not all problems.

Shopping for solutions is very different from shopping for fashion! Investing in pieces that fulfil all your needs ensures longevity and satisfaction. Your needs will not disappear with a product that only solves some problems. The most likely result will be that you will end up purchasing twice. Sometimes, a double purchase might be necessary due to primary needs that need to be met instantly - while other needs might be less urgent. In this case, ensure that the quality of the fallback product is sufficient so you can hand it off or sell it to someone with a different set of needs the product can fully satisfy.

But why do products exist that do not solve all the problems? Once again, the reasons can be very versatile. Products solving diverse needs most likely underwent a thorough development process, which included customer research and feedback. This process can be lengthy and simultaneously can increase costs - an approach not every brand can or wants to afford or which is not within their business strategy.

So, it is up to you to decide what you find essential. If you aim to purchase less but better - you might not be willing to compromise. If you need some tips for your need definition, check out our blog post - Find the perfect sports bra to suit your athletic needs.


#3 Ease of Use is Key


Your clothing should work with you, not against you. If a garment is difficult to use or uncomfortable to wear, it's not worth the hassle. Prioritize pieces that offer seamless functionality. After all, convenience influences how often you reach for an item in your wardrobe. We believe that clothing designed to protect your body requires an even higher standard, as protective athletic wear can only prevent injuries if it is worn.

Functional Design is queen when it comes to ease of use. It influences the general handling of the clothing and comfort and, when referring to functional clothing, performance if your range of motion is affected. The root cause of uncomfortable and restrictive clothing is - once again - multifarious. It can lie in the construction of a clothing item or in the material and fabric selection, which - you guessed it - is often a matter of costs.

While many affordable, high-quality, and skin-safe fabrics exist on the market, the construction and material of functional features, such as impact protection and its design, are the main cost drivers in this area. To learn more about material selection, read our No Pain, More Gain blog post about our impact foam selection for AAVA and why we chose it.

You will have to decide how essential these functional features are for you, which takes us back to tip #2.


Decisions are hard but so is designing

If you are overwhelmed by all the decisions you need to make, you might be happy to hear that this could mean that you have a set of standards and needs you might not have fully verbalised yet. If this were not the case, you would not have the impression that being a consumer or customer can be hard work. So, roll up your sleeves, bid farewell to the clutter, and welcome a leaner, more purposeful closet into your life!

Before you get started, we would like to ask one favour. We hope we shed some light on the immense challenges for brands and designers within the clothing industry. While the textile industry is littered with bad eggs, not all brands whose products do not fit you properly or do not serve your needs are part of this batch. Creating highly functional clothing that solves diverse problems and fits many bodies like a second skin is really, really hard! Many brands are trying their best. Be kind, even if you find they are not for you.


Ready to embark on your spring cleaning journey with the perfect sports bra?

Learn more about the AAVA Armoured Sports Bra features or explore our AAVA Collection. Say hello to a wardrobe that works as hard as you do!