I came across an interesting article about the history of polyester, and particularly its rise to dominance with the popularity of sports- and outdoors-wear:
With that technology in hand, Patagonia developed a line of base layers that Smith dubbed Capilene to suggest capillary action. In fall 1985, the same season Synchilla hit the market, Capilene completely replaced the company’s polypropylene underwear. ‘Those two innovations – base layer and fleece – completely changed the world’s opinion of polyester, not just the outdoor industry’, says Harward. ‘It became seen as the high-end performance comfort fiber. Over time, polyester’s success as a performance fiber allowed it to reclaim its fashion luster.
The article is a bit hard on wool, which is better than anything for what it is best at including outer socks, but it’s interesting to read the description about how synthetic fabrics have been adapted for human requirements.