Every so often a trend comes around that really tests your commitment to fashion. This season sees the return of a trend so divisive we would go as far as calling it the marmite of fashion; the tracksuit.
Love them or hate them, thanks to the likes of Rihanna and Rita Ora, the tracksuit is firmly back on the fashion radar. Given our current love affair with the nineties revival you could say it was only a matter of time. This innocent looking, two piece ensemble has had an interesting history having started life as sportswear before taking a detour along the velour covered behinds of J-Lo and various girl bands of the nineties and early noughties, and finally being blamed for the now notorious stereotype, the Chav.
And yet the fashion world is determined to tell us that the track is back. Well, we are sorry fashion, darling, but this time you are going to have to do better than that. What possible incarnation of the sportswear favourite could you tempt us with to make the social minefield of a tracksuit worthwhile? Banish all thoughts of menacing youths on street corners for the tracksuit has had a stern talking to. This is no longer for leisure wear, this new improved version could become the hardest working piece in your wardrobe.
Yes the casual, dress-down options are still there for all you Rita Ora wannabes but for the rest of us who wouldn’t look “street” if we lay flat out on the pavement, fashion has given us an ultra luxe option this time around. From catwalk to high street you can find “tracksuit” style trousers in delicate silks and pretty pastels, and soft jersey and graphic prints. Whilst pairing with a silky cami and heels will banish all thoughts of sweat stained gym wear, a full tracksuit still has a long way to go before it could be considered chic.
I asked my fellow ladies at Semple what they thought of the tracksuit; “Tolerate it,” says Marni Banks, Social Media Manager & Fashion Writer, “The 90s are back and with it comes the new chav-less, sport luxe tracksuit often donned by the likes of Cara Delevigne and Rihanna. It’s not something you will ever see me in, but I appreciate a good tracksuit when I see one. Just whatever you do, don’t go velour.” Brand Manager Laura Roig Vericat isn’t convinced either, “They are okay for a Sunday brunch in the garden; that is all I can say on that subject!” Editor, Sophie Maguire said “I’m all for the new wave tracksuit, on the right person, but if the words ‘Juicy’ are plastered across the backside it tries my patience. Your saggy velour derrière is quite the contrary”.
Unless you are Rihanna, it’s clear this is a trend to approach with extreme caution. For those of you fully committed to trying out any fashion trend wholeheartedly we salute you, but you won’t find us Semple ladies working a tracksuit. Fashion, you’ve finally beaten us.
By Samantha Vandersteen