Under Armour Kicks It Old School

If you've ever lamented the day you had to give up your stylish 1990s workout gear, the creative minds at Under Armour (NYSE: UA  ) have something awesome for you.

Melancholy athletes, meet the latest Charged Cotton gear from Under Armour, cut-off sweat shorts and all:

Source: Under Armour.

I don't know about you, but I personally had a couple of outfits just like this way back in the day, so this made me smile even as I paused to reflect on how much weight I've gained since then.

Old-school made new
Of course, while Under Armour has been selling clothes made from its Charged Cotton material since last year, the company only began showing off these "old-school" styles on its Facebook page yesterday afternoon.

True to form, they were also quick to remind consumers of their signature touches in the shorts' product description:

They're your old-school gym shorts -- that classic look and total comfort -- redesigned to work like today's cutting edge gear. These're made of ultra-soft Charged Cotton with an inner mesh layer that wicks sweat and speeds dry time.

All of a sudden, I find myself remembering one of the very reasons I hated my old cotton clothes: Every time I stepped out onto the basketball court or a football field, I was usually that guy. You know, the one who was absolutely dripping with sweat and, like everyone else at the time, wearing a cotton outfit that acted more like a disgusting, salty wet towel than anything else.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, that's also why Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank started the company in the first place. As the self-proclaimed "sweatiest guy on the football field" at the University of Maryland, Plank knew there was a better way, so he designed his first synthetic shirts for his teammates to wear.

Cotton is the frienemy
Then again, one of Under Armour's longtime slogans boldly declared "Cotton is the enemy" -- that is, until they realized their synthetic compression wear only represented four of the average 30 shirts in their customers' closets in 2011. That's when Under Armour found a way to interweave their synthetic moisture-wicking material with cotton fabric to form their Charged Cotton brand, a move some analysts said served to quadruple Under Armour's addressable market.

Sure enough, the move certainly hasn't hurt the young business, especially considering Under Armour has grown overall sales by at least 20% year over year for the past 12 consecutive quarters. What's more, apparel revenues have also risen at least 20% year over year for the past 14 quarters. Meanwhile, Under Armour stock has more than doubled over the same period.

Foolish final thoughts
While the introduction of this old-school style may seem relatively insignificant on the surface, these are exactly the kinds of moves Under Armour has proven so good at utilizing to broaden its reach and win the affections of an increasing number of consumers every day.

In the end, it's yet another one of many reasons I plan to hold on to my shares of Under Armour for a very, very long time.

More expert advice from The Motley Fool
In the world of sportswear retail, lululemon athletica is also a strong player, with a solid presence in the yogawear market. Lululemon has the potential to grow its sales by 10 times if it can penetrate its other markets like it has in Canada, but the competitive landscape is starting to increase. Can Lululemon fight off larger retailers and ultimately deliver huge profits for savvy investors? The Motley Fool answers these questions and more in its most in-depth Lululemon research available. Thousands have already claimed their own premium ticker coverage; gain instant access to your own by clicking here now.

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