How the Tracksuit Became Cool Again

For some time, tracksuits were the uniform of bothersome kids hanging out on street corners; associated the slightly darker side of society. If you saw someone in a tracksuit, you’d be forgiven for judging them instantly based just off their choice of outfit. In the last few years though, something has changed. Tracksuits were out of bounds, until recently.

The explosion of streetwear has meant new trends and styles constantly emerging in the menswear industry, and even into womenswear too. This has paved the way for a new style known as athleisure; allowing the emergence of streetwear tracksuits that were actually deemed fashionable and cool to wear.

Menswear has entered a new phase of dressing. In an era where workplace dress codes are more relaxed than ever, menswear is dominated by sportswear-inspired styles and the idea of being comfortable in your clothes; both mentally and physically.


Designer influence

Streetwear was once confined to subcultures of hip hop and skaters, with clothing that was designed for particular purposes to meet the needs of those groups. For instance, skaters needed loose-fitting clothing often emblazoned with the latest logo of the newest skateboard designer. Hip hop aficionados wanted a unique way of expressing themselves.

As streetwear has continued to creep in from these cultural groups, even luxury designers have jumped on the hype. Designers from all corners have been slowly pushing the boundaries with menswear fashion. This began to include tracksuits, but first beginning with subtler designs like side-stripe track pants or printed drawstring hoodies. Eventually, it moved into head-to-toe, matching tracksuits.


How to wear the streetwear tracksuit

The truth is that tracksuits have been a part of culture for a lot longer than you think. 90s kids in Britain were running around in sportswear apparel long before Gucci started designing modern tracksuits. Sporty Spice was running around in crop tops and tracksuit bottoms like it was completely normal; and it was. Tracksuits across the world represented an urban culture, whether that was block parties in the Bronx in New York, or the gritty suburbs of London.

Despite that, if you’re thinking of investing in a streetwear tracksuit to bring your wardrobe into 2019, it’s very easy to get it wrong. Steer clear of tight-fitting trousers when wearing a tracksuit; we’ll let you figure out why. Slim fit can be a great choice for a flattering fit, but anything tighter and you run the risk of potentially embarrassing yourself.
Tracksuits became easier to wear, which in turn makes them cooler; no one wants to have to struggle or constantly explain their choices when trying to look good. They have become more mainstream, making them instantly more acceptable.

Smarter styles have emerged instead of the baggy pants and oversized hoodies often associated with hip hop generation of the 90s and 00s. Some styles have been given a luxe overhaul; you only have to browse through designer collections for a couple of minutes before stumbling across a printed matching tracksuit.

Stewart Thurlow

Stewart Thurlow

I once shared a lift with Meryl Streep & Julianne Moore. Oh, & Victoria Beckham smiled at me. UK Editor for ADDICTED.
Stewart Thurlow