In the past few years, menswear has made a tremendous leap over a once stubbornly rigid and unbreakable boundary. Moving away from man’s comfort zone of the chino and shirt combo, men are now exploring their options more than ever. The holy tracksuit, famed for its practicality on the side of a sports field, in the gym and just for lounging in at home, has become a menswear staple on the street. Yes that’s right, the tracksuit is now regarded as something you can wear out and about as a fully-fledged go-to outfit.
This is thanks in part to a resurgence in the tracksuit’s popularity on the catwalk. Athleisure has been a recurring trend over the past few years, with everyone from Stella McCartney and Christopher Shannon to Gosha Rubchinskiy, Cottweiler and Neil Barrett putting their models in full tracksuits. Yet these aren’t the tracksuits, you’d get down at your local Sports Direct. This new wave of popularity has a certain urban luxe vibe to it, with tailored tracksuit bottoms becoming a hit for the Autumn/Winter 2016 season.
Why though has the mighty tracksuit become so popular again? Since when was it ok to go shopping in one and not get labeled as a hooligan? We can largely say thank you to the celebrity crowd for this. Millennials have been influenced by tracksuit-loving youngsters such as Kylie Jenner, Jayden Smith and ASAP Rocky and let’s remember that for many, what they say goes. On the streets the likes of Supreme and Palace have paved the way for the tracksuit to become an acceptable look – Palace recently collaborated with Adidas and their full-length tracksuit sold out in seconds.
While some may scoff at the idea of wearing a tracksuit you have to face up things – who is actually wearing a suit? Unless you’re heading to an office, the suit is pretty much stored away at the back of your wardrobe for formal occasions. Even then, tracksuit inspired suiting has become the norm – think elasticated waists and cuffed ankles. Back in 2016 Parisian brand Vetements revealed a collaboration with Juicy Couture (yes the Juicy Couture of Noughties velour fame). Immediately the hashtag #TrackIsBack was trending across social media, which basically signaled that the tracksuit was well and truly here to stay and had bid farewell to its outdated connotations of hooliganism and being a slob.
Yet it’s still a hard task to actually pull one off with success, so here are our four sure-fire ways to look good in one.
If you’re going to wear one, you might as well select a tracksuit in the brightest colour possible and absolutely rock it, just as ASAP Rocky has been doing recently. If you wear one with confidence, who’s going to knock you down? No one.
Get Your Top Layer Right
A good jacket is the easiest way to distract from the fact you actually are wearing a full tracksuit (some people still won’t be quite so open to the fact that you are). Do as Zayn Malik did and slip on a bomber jacket over yours in a matching colour – a fail-safe way to look good and bring your whole outfit together, promoting the idea that this is a well-thought out menswear masterpiece.
Aforementioned, the way to do the tracksuit is to get in touch with your urban luxe side, otherwise you might end up looking like you should be picking up a McDonalds breakfast. We know that, Snoop Dogg knows that and so should you. Give your tracksuit a touch of luxury by chucking on a faux-fur coat over it (short or long, it doesn’t matter).
Split It Up
Still not completely sold on rocking a full tracksuit? Then subdue the statement by splitting it up and making it subtle by combining it with your tailoring for a sports luxe aesthetic, such as zipping one all the way up underneath a blazer.