As a result of the persistence and dedication of sportswomen during the 19th century, women today can slip into nylon running shorts or Lycra bathing suits without creating a scandal. The garments of the past may evoke laughter, even derision, but not for the women who wore them. They participated and competed in sports despite physical discomfort and social opposition. To them, the lure of athletic activity was irresistible. As the ranks of women athletes grew, so did an idea that is taken for granted today: What is worn at play is now as compatible with the sport as it is with the prevailing sense of style. Form and function are in balance at last.