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I played soccer for about 10 years, so the current tracksuit comeback is no joke to me. I’m actually celebrating it because I lived in these things for six months out of the year for about a decade. Being part of a full squad of players in identical warm-ups was one of the highlights of my underwhelming tenure in the beautiful game.
Now, both athletic brands and hyped-up fashion houses like Vetements are trying to capitalize on the craze. There are a lot of choices for novices picking out their first full tracksuit, so we surveyed the broad landscape to bring out the best for anyone looking to get deep in the game.
The Old Reliable
Athletic powerhouses like Nike and Adidas have been turning out tracksuits for decades, and their selections are pretty approachable, providing a nice entry point for people across the board.
Typically pricey Nike actually offers a great price on its Academy Warm Up ($50.99). The minimal branding and asymmetrical stripes are simple, but they look sharp. Naturally, Adidas has a classic ‘suit of its own with the Superstar ($135 for jacket and pants), which features the signature Trefoil and three stripes running down the arms and legs. If it worked for Run DMC, it will work for you.
While entry-level tracksuits are fine for newcomers, there are solid options that stand out just a bit more.
French brand Le Coq Sportif’s tri-color scheme ($274 for jacket and pants) and Adidas’s updated Beckenbauer Tracksuit ($300) both feel decidedly European — perfect if you’re trying to cultivate the profile of an off-duty soccer player like I have been for the last five years. Meanwhile, Reebok brings us a big-print alternative ($110 for jacket and pants) that’s made of swishy nylon à la the Starter jacket and features substantial Reebok logos.
Retro But Not Secondhand
Most tracksuits carry at least a whiff of a vintage feel to them regardless of whether they’re actually vintage. While the consignment store is a good place to find discarded treasures, current brands are capitalizing on the retro flavor in their own ways.
Italian sportswear company Kappa has seen a resurgence of late thanks to a collaboration with Russian designer Gosha Rubshinskiy. While some things from the hyped collaboration are still available, Kappa’s mainline tracksuits ($86) are also worth considering and come in a few colors at a reasonable price.
Semi-obscure Northeast brand Boast also has very Royal Tenenbaums-like styles ($207 for a quarter-zip top and sweatpants), and of course iconic tennis brands Fred Perry ($210 for jacket and pants) and Lacoste ($235) have options that throw it back to their sporting roots.
Putting the “Sweat” in “Sweatsuit”
Tracksuit is a vague term without distinct restrictions. So for anyone looking for sweatier selections, there are plenty out there — even it the impending warmer weather means stashing them away until the fall.
Los Angeles-based menswear favorite John Elliott often works with matching hues, so you can use a choose-your-own-adventure approach to select the sweatsuit that’s right for you ($396 for sweatshirt and sweatpants). Stampd, another LA brand, collaborates with Puma to pump out stretchy separates that pair together perfectly ($260 for sweatshirt and sweatpants).
Wait, You Want to Actually Work Out?
While most of this list skews toward everyday wear, it is actually possible to work out while wearing a tracksuit. In fact, a few fashion brands have been blending the influences of running into their designs.
One is Tracksmith, a brand that makes clothing built for running that doesn’t necessarily look like it. The Podium series ($336 for jacket and pants) uses merino wool for warmth and features anti-microbial technology to keep you smelling fresh on or off the track. French running-fashion brand Satisfy goes a bit more upscale with a tracksuit that’s meant to be worn post-run ($650 for hoodie and sweatpants).
Okay, This Is Getting Ridiculous
I told you the high fashion people were trying to cash in on this burgeoning trend. Vetements didn’t just team up with Juicy — it also teamed up with Reebok ($1,850 for jacket and pants) and Champion ($1,570 for sweatshirt and sweatpants) to make separate-yet-equally-expensive versions for the ultra-high-fashion fuccboi who has never actually seen the inside of a gym.
Italian brand Palm Angels put its own West Coast-inspired rendition out there with an emblazened weed leaf on its luxe leisurewear ($975 for jacket and pants). But perhaps the most hyped tracksuit in the menswear world comes from the small Japanese label Needles. Even though the brand has been making them for years, the pants in particular blew up in 2017 and are increasingly hard to find. To track them down, spots like Grailed may be your only option.