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The tracksuit can give off a look that’s effortlessly cool, but it can also paint you as an early retiree, living their best Florida life. Here’s how to stay in the sweet spot and rock a tracksuit with the best of them.
Why risk it ?
When fashion and comfort collide, it’s worth the risk to test it out, but it pays to do a little homework first. Keeping yourself on your fashion toes requires some effort, and the tracksuit is a great way to practice this skill. Plus, once you get it right, you’ll have an entirely new style category to pull from.
Every guy has athletic wear in their closet. But, it’s pairing that jacket and pants together where most people fall short. So, you may be asking yourself, how do I do this in a way that’s less Jersey Shore and more LA street? It’s all in the technique, my friend.
Don’t reinvent the tracksuit wheel
If you want to emulate any distinctive style, especially one with a throw-back feel, it’s best to start with the classics. And when it comes to tracksuits, classic equals the Adidas Superstar. After all, one can’t begin to rift off a retro style without first paying homage to it.
The Superstar is legendary, making it easily recognizable and accepted, and comes in enough color options to suit your personal taste. The standard white “three-stripe” design is enough of an accent to make a statement without being too in-your-face. First made popular in the days of Run-DMC, hip-hop stars of yesterday and today have continued to keep this tracksuit relevant.
If you’re looking for even more of an athletic look, the T7 tracksuit from PUMA is one popularized by celebrity athletes everywhere.
Similar to the Adidas Superstar, it comes in several different colors to choose from, and is neutral enough that you can blend in with the cool kids with little fanfare. What differentiates the two is the T7’s higher collar, which, when zipped up, gives a nod to European street wear.
Now for the “how”
Now that we’ve got the style of tracksuit best to dive in with, it’s important to cover a few do’s and don’t’s. First—if you find yourself reaching for a plain, white tank top to wear under the jacket, step away—I repeat, STEP AWAY—from that shirt.
The tracksuit is already speaking loud enough on your behalf that any part of your visible chest does not need to be part of the conversation. Instead, any old T-shirt is a much, MUCH, better choice.
Next, pay attention to the fit of the tracksuit. Too loose or too tight belies its original intent—to be a garment of athletic purpose. You want it to be roomy enough to allow for maximum mobility without completely obfuscating the shape of your body.
Lastly, keep in mind that a tracksuit is above all else, a casual look. Therefore, fight the urge to wear any kind of footwear outside the realm of sneakers. Remember, the tracksuit itself is the fashion statement—competing focal points attract the wrong kind of attention.
A final word on all things tracksuit—once you’ve developed enough confidence in the basics, there are a few areas you can branch out into.
Patterned tracksuits run the risk of being too flashy, but if paired with subtle T shirts and footwear, and a healthy dose of swagger, they can pulled off successfully. Who knows, you may find your fashion nirvana in this category, you just have to be bold enough to attempt it.