“Sporting Life,” a new exhibition examining the influence of sports on fashion and vice versa, has opened at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. Running through November 5, 2011, the show, which was curated by Fred Dennis, Jennifer Farley and Colleen Hill, features more than 100 garments, accessories and textiles from the museum’s permanent collection and shows how activewear and ready-to-wear have inspired and influenced each another since the mid 19th century.

Juxtaposing athletic items with ready-to-wear pieces, the show is thematically arranged by the following sports: exercise and dance, bicycling, tennis, sailing, hunting, swimming, skiing, surfing, golf, skating, horseback riding, motoring, football and baseball.

In addition to showing how active clothing has evolved over the centuries—a two-piece wool women’s bathing suit from the 1850s that covers every part of the wearer’s skin is in stark contrast to the display of revealing bikinis by 1960s designer Rudi Gernreich, for example—the exhibition visually highlights the cross-pollination of fashion and sports. A technical neoprene wetsuit is placed next to a neoprene dress made by Donna Karan in 1994, for instance.

Like all shows at the Museum at FIT, “Sporting Life” is free and open to the public. It is open Tuesday through Friday at noon to 8pm. and Saturday from 10am to 5pm. The museum is closed on Sunday, Mondays and legal holidays.