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Now and then: How women’s uniforms have changed over the years

Since Title IX was signed into law 50 years ago — and even starting before that — the style of women's athletic uniforms has undergone a massive evolution.

La Salle's women's soccer uniforms have changed quite a bit — and that's just over the last 20 years.
La Salle's women's soccer uniforms have changed quite a bit — and that's just over the last 20 years.Read moreLa Salle Athletic Department / Courtesy

Over the last 50 years, women’s sports have changed a lot, and the uniforms female athletes wear have evolved right alongside the strategies themselves. From the pre-Title IX days to today’s high-tech digs, take a look at the different uniforms from various women’s sports across the city (and state) throughout the ages.

Scroll through the images below and use the slider to toggle between the past and present.

Temple Women’s Basketball, 1924 vs. Now

It’s been nearly 100 years since the first Temple women’s basketball team, and a lot has changed since the Owls suited up in sweaters, skirts, and tights. Use the slider below to compare the uniforms worn by the second Temple team, in 1924, with those sported by Mia Davis and the Owls today.

Temple Women’s Basketball, 1966 vs. 1983

Between 1966-83, the Owls ditched the uniform dresses, accessories and all, and pivoted to more modern short shorts and T-shirts.

Villanova Women’s Basketball, 1970s vs. Now

Decades before Maddy Siegrist was starring at Villanova, Kathy Straccia and the Wildcats took the court. Villanova began playing women’s basketball in 1969-70, and Straccia joined the team shortly after Title IX and played from 1975-79.

Penn State Women’s Basketball, 1980s vs. 2010s

Across the state, the “Lady Lions” began play in 1965, and when Cheryl Ellison played in the early 1980s, her team sported a script “Penn State” on the uniforms. Alex Bentley, a Penn State standout from 2010-13, sported a more modern version of the uniform.

Temple Field Hockey, 1944 vs. Now

Uniforms have evolved across other sports as well. The Owls field hockey squad’s modern look is quite different from what the early Temple field hockey teams wore. Pictured below are members of the 1944 squad. Slide to compare their look to that of Claire Thomas (1) and the Owls today.

Temple Field Hockey, 1966 vs. Now

There were changes between 1944 and today, too. While the 1966 squad, pictured below in action, wore collared shirts under belted dresses, Tali Popinko (3) and the Owls now wear tank tops and skorts with protective shin guards.

La Salle Field Hockey, 1980 vs. 2009

La Salle field hockey won an AIAW national title in 1980. A lot has changed since then, from hairstyles to the NCAA adopting women’s sports. Uniforms have changed a lot too, and the 2009 squad’s getup versus that of the national champions is an example of that.

La Salle Field Hockey, 1998 vs. 2001

At the turn of the century, the Explorers’ uniforms underwent subtle changes. The uniforms worn by Cheldin Barlatt’s 1998 squad had collared jerseys, while Amanda Spalding’s uniforms in 2001 didn’t.

Penn State Women’s Soccer, Late 1990s vs. Now

Penn State began a women’s soccer program in 1994. Luanne Strom was a standout from 1997-2000, and her uniform was vastly different from that of Kerry Abello, who played for the Nittany Lions from 2017-21.

La Salle Women’s Soccer, Early 2000s vs. Now

La Salle also began fielding a women’s soccer team around the turn of the century. Since then, the Explorers have won the Atlantic 10 tournament three times and made five NCAA Tournament appearances. Amy Schneider starred at La Salle during the program’s early days from 2000-03, and the uniform sported by Giovanna Castorina in 2021 has undergone significant changes.

Temple Women’s Volleyball, Early 1980s vs. Now

Temple began playing varsity volleyball in 1975 and has a .594 all-time winning percentage. Mary Beth Wilson starred in the early ‘80s and still holds nine program records, including the program marks for single-season and career kills. The uniform Taylor Davenport and the Owls now wear looks quite different than Wilson’s.

La Salle Women’s Rowing, 2005 vs. Now

Over the years, the varsity sports offered by schools evolved. La Salle rowing began in the 1970s and has five total Atlantic 10 championships. Slide to compare the first look sported by the ‘05 squad with the current uniforms.

Correction: This story originally stated that La Salle’s women’s rowing team was formed in 2005 instead of the 1970s.