Before they were ‘tracksuits’ in the 1980s, they were ‘jogging suits’ in the 1970s. The first traditional jogging suit, the sweatsuit, was nothing more than a fleece pair of sweatpants and a hooded fleece sweatshirt.
But the need for a flashier jog wardrobe evolved into the two-piece jog suit that featured a zip-fronted jacket and an elastic-waist pant, for the ultimate in ease and comfort.
The super-soft feel of velour mixed luxury with leisure and was a preferred fabric for the early jogging suits of the 70s. The cushy velour jogging suits evolved into the sleek nylon tracksuit of the 80s. Rap trio Run DMC and the rise of breakdancing popularised the return of the tracksuit as part of street style.
The new suit became sleeker with technologically advanced materials, more streamlined in style, and one company, Adidas, led the pack.
Tracksuits of the 80s were synonymous with the three-stripe trim down the sleeves and legs that marked Adidas wear. Ladies embraced their own bold, coloured-blocked style tracksuit, produced in bright and noisy nylon and silk.
By the mid-90s the tracksuit had been adopted by a more nefarious demographic: organised crime. This loose-fitting, elastic-waisted sporting gear proved seemingly irresistible to soft-bellied mobsters such as Mr John Angelo “Junior” Gotti.