The Journey Of Tracksuits From A Fitness Essential To Something More!
To put it simply, tracksuit is a type of garment that is designed for casual or athletic wear, featuring a two-piece set, comprising a jacket and matching pants. To offer the best comfort, breathability, and flexibility to the wearer during physical activities, fitness clothing manufacturers often churn them from materials such as nylon, polyester, cotton, or simply a blend of these fabrics. While the jacket usually displays a front zipper closure, a ribbed collar, hem, and cuffs, the pants are generally designed with an elastic waistband and may also include ribbed cuffs at the ankles.
In the past few years, tracksuits have taken over the fashion world. No longer is their image tied to just the gym or the race tracks but with their modish looks, they have become a staple in both American as well as European fashion.
If you want to know about their evolution and journey so far in detail, keep reading.
A Brief History
It’s said that the tracksuits came into existence in 1939. A noted French sports company was created which was then called the ‘Sunday Suit’. However, tracksuits came to be recognized much later in the 60s when a now-popular sportswear brand introduced its first clothing product, in the form of a tracksuit, in collaboration with a famed German football star, Franz Beckenbaur. It was the first tracksuit endorsement of its kind.
Tracksuits As A Fitness Clothing Item
As a fitness clothing piece, tracksuits are well embraced by athletes, fitness lovers, and people seeking functional and comfortable clothing options for sports and workouts. Fitness lovers rely on tracksuits for practicality as it allows them to exercise with ease and professional athletes across various disciplines love wearing tracksuits for warm-ups and training sessions.
Tracksuits come with several benefits like moisture-wicking properties, freedom of movement, and the ability to regulate body temperature during high-intensity workouts or physical activities. The sweat-wicking fabrics absorb the perspiration away from the skin, keeping the wearer dry and comfortable during high-intensity workouts and breathable materials ensure proper ventilation, therefore preventing overheating. The stretchable fabrics make sure the user can work out freely, offering a full range of motion.
The top users of tracksuits also include sports teams and people who like to engage in outdoor activities.
Over the years, a change can be seen in their image, and they are now a fashion favorite of many, and not simply a fitness clothing piece.
The Difference Between Tracksuits And Sweatsuits
No. Tracksuits and sweatsuits are not synonymous. Most people believe that they are the same, but this is far from the truth.
There are some key differences between the two. Check them out:
- While tracksuits are mainly designed for sports and athletic activities, sweatsuits, on the other hand, are primarily made for casual and leisurewear occasions.
- Tracksuits typically consist of a zip-up jacket or a hooded sweatshirt with track pants, and sweatsuits feature a sweatshirt or a hoodie matched with sweatpants.
- In terms of materials, tracksuits are usually made from breathable, lightweight materials such as nylon or polyester, and sweatsuits are carefully constructed from cozy, soft materials such as terry, fleece, or cotton.
- Finally, when it’s about style and aesthetics, tracksuits are often associated with urban or athletic fashion trends, whereas, sweatsuits come with more laid-back and relaxed aesthetics.
Are Tracksuits Good For…
The slow and steady evolution of tracksuits in fashion is proof of their enduring appeal and adaptability. Designers, celebrities, and influencers have embraced the trend, often pairing them with the coolest and luxurious accessories. All thanks to them, these days, tracksuits are perfectly suitable for casual outings and upscale events. You can get a smart casual look in a tracksuit if you blend them with the classics.
Undoubtedly, tracksuits are simply great for lounging and relaxation. The cozy material and the typical relaxed fit make them ideal for unwinding after a long day or enjoying a lazy weekend at home. When you are in a mood to chill, you don’t need to wear the track jacket and track pants together all the time, you can also replace the jacket with a full-sleeve tee or a lightweight cashmere sweater if you wish.
When running, you need apparel with fabric that can wick moisture away from your body, keeping you dry and cool, and tracksuits being engineered out of materials such as nylon or polyester fits the bill perfectly. As you run in them, they burn additional calories, keep you warm, and offer protection to your skin. They enhance your performance, making sure that you can achieve your fitness goals faster.
You know what? The falling temperature isn’t the most brutal thing about winter. It’s a mixture of precipitation, wind, and cold. When winter hits, the tracksuit materials can lessen the amount of snow and wind seeping through into your clothing and skin, saving you big time from flu and cold. If you want to make a fashion statement when it’s chilly, then all you need to do is combine it with boots or loafers in the same shade.
Popularity Of Tracksuits In Pop Culture
For decades, tracksuits have been a staple in pop culture. Its evolution in pop culture has been influenced by various factors including classic movies and popular TV shows.
The hit TV show of the 80s, ‘’The A-Team’’ featured some cool tracksuits worn by the lead characters and soon enough, they were seen on the streets. Remember the iconic red tracksuits worn by the lifeguards of the 90s TV show, ‘’Baywatch’’?
In movies, ‘’Rocky’’ and ‘’Pulp Fiction’’ are the names. While the lead character sported a trendy grey tracksuit in the former, the hitman character made the black tracksuit crazy popular among people by showcasing it in the latter.
Starting from pop culture, they made their way into street culture, and now they are included in high fashion apparel.
The New Kid On The Block After Denim Jeans
Denim jeans weigh heavy on Americanness. They have been associated with the cowboys, American West, and dude ranches for a long time, and now they symbolize youth. Ever wondered why they are so loved? It’s because they make a person feel relaxed, casual, and ‘leisured’. And, if any clothing piece qualifies after denim jeans, then it’s the tracksuits. Today, it’s the go-to clothing item for one and all. Doesn’t matter where you go, you will find people sporting them in different shades, prints, styles, and designs. Such is the craze! Also, just like denim jeans, the tracksuit is durable, affordable, and comfortable and this is another reason why they have achieved an equal status in the eyes of one and all.
UK’s Lad Culture Popularized Tracksuits
In the UK, the lad culture has been crazy popular. So, if we peep into lad culture that was prevalent, a quintessential lad was a sports fanatic who thrived on burgers, fries and chips, needed his dog by his side and was often characterized by aimlessness, rebellious nature, hedonistic behavior and known mainly to drown themselves in tracksuits and all forms of casual things that were associated with laidback attitude. The essence of this culture is still prevalent and the tracksuits has just elevated itself a clothing piece from time to time, becoming mainstream hands down!
Blending With Hip-hop Culture
A huge credit goes to the hip-hop artists for popularizing tracksuits. Designer sunglasses and funky jewelry (especially chains) went hand-in-hand with the tracksuits. Famed names such as Missy Elliott and Run-D.M.C made tracksuits an integral part of the hip-hop culture. The cool visual representations not only celebrated the comfort of the tracksuits but also their ability to embody an attitude of style and self-assuredness. For over 30 years, Sean Combs a.k.a Diddy has been there in the music industry, and one thing that has certainly never changed about him is his love for the tracksuits.
The New Cool Fabrics Used For Making Tracksuits
As you know, tracksuits are traditionally made with materials such as cotton, nylon, and polyester. However, in recent years, celebs have made shiny, shimmery, glittering tracksuits more popular, which are made with unusual fabrics like velvet and satin. So, if you wish to look all hip and happening, it’s time to think differently. Think tracksuits in satirical urban motifs, wild color blocking, crazy adornments, and of course, shiny or luxe fabrics. Not confident? Well, take fashion cues from Carmen Electra and Mariah Carey!
How To Wear Tracksuits On Different Occasions
A Casual Look
If you want to achieve an effortlessly casual look, take the help of the neutral-colored tracksuits. Go for hues of navy blue, black, and gray as they can be easily combined with other clothing items in your wardrobe. To maintain a clean and sleek aesthetic, avoid bold patterns and big logos.
For Hitting The Gym
The primary use of tracksuits was, is, and will be in the area of gym. So, to rock one at a gym session, go for a fitted track jacket and slim-fit track pants. It will give you a streamlined look. To finish the athletic ensemble, reach out for your favorite workout sneakers.
A Night Out With Friends
For a night out with friends, it’s high time to ditch that sexy dress or cool tee and denim jeans combination, and put on a tracksuit! Yes! Opt for a tracksuit in rich, luxurious fabric and partner it with a classic tee and high-top sneakers. Complete the look with a bracelet for a subtle touch of grace.
Dressing It Up Or Down
Depending on the occasion, you can dress up or down a tracksuit. For a more relaxed vibe, go for a basic tee underneath and top it off with trendy slip-ons, and for a more elevated look, partner it with a crisp white button-down shirt and leather shoes.
Footwear That Works Butter-Smooth With Tracksuits
Any outfit isn’t complete without shoes and when it comes to a tracksuit, you can rely on these three styles:
- A fresh pair of sneakers is what you are going to need to complete a tracksuit. Whether it’s the minimalist white low-tops, retro basketball sneakers, or chunky dad shoes, they are just perfect. They keep your look athleisure-inspired and casual.
- For the ultimate comfy look, consider putting on a pair of slide sandals. Sporty as well as fuzzy slides, both are popular. If you wish to dress up your tracksuit, try embellished slides with chains, jewels, or metallic accents.
- Do you want to take your tracksuit from daytime casual to nighttime chic instantly? Consider boots. Over-the-knee boots, knee-high boots, and ankle boots— all work beautifully with the tracksuits. To add a classy touch, rely on suede or leather boots.
Tracksuits have come a long way from being mere functional fitness clothing items to a vital clothing piece for making a chic fashion statement. Their journey has been quite interesting, don’t you think so?