Not just for athletes anymore, the 80s tracksuit became trendier and more stylish than ever.
They looked awesome, and because they always matched, they took all the guesswork out of putting an outfit together.
Some people just love to be comfortable and need a really good reason to sacrifice that comfort for style. An 80s tracksuit could give them both.
They were normally made from polyester or nylon, but soon cotton was used to absorb sweat, making it easier to stay cool. Some tracksuit styles had an inner cotton lining with a nylon outer lining to keep you warm and dry in rainy or cold weather.
You could stay cool and look cool at the same time, and as tracksuits soared in popularity, they were made in a variety of colors and patterns.
Tracksuits were, and still are, often worn as warm-up gear for competitive sports. Both the tops and bottoms were cut loose enough to wear them over shorts and a tank top. The ankles of the pants usually had zippers up the sides of the ankles or snaps all the way up the outside of the leg, making it easy to put them on or take them off with sneakers on.
With or without a hood, the roomy zip-up top could also be used as a light jacket. The loose cut and elastic waist of the pants made them super easy to move around and stretch, making them perfect for workouts – but also as a 80s fashion statement.
Adidas had the most recognizable tracksuits around. They naturally had the Adidas trefoil logo on the jacket. Three stripes in a contrasting color ran down the outsides of the arms. These stripes were also found down the outside of the pant legs.
The background color could be any color in any shade, from black with red stripes to white with black stripes. Red, yellow, and green – pretty much any color – looked awesome with white or another contrasting color for the stripes.
Sergio Tacchini made designer Italian tracksuits; they were pricey, but popular. Some suits had one thick stripe with a thinner stripe right below it; these stripes ran horizontally across the chest and flowed around the arms, making one continuous line. They also had matching horizontal stripes on the pant legs right below the knees.
Others had big blocks of colors on various parts of the suit. They could be vertical, horizontal, or diagonal. They used a lot popular colors like red, white, blue, and black, but they could also be found in a variety of colors and styles.
With the boom in popularity, it was only a matter of time until the women’s version of a tracksuit came out.
These were brighter than the rest, and used every hot color and pattern of the 80s – sometimes all in one suit. Abstract geometrical patterns on a bright background were the most popular.
If you look hard enough, you may even spot a mall walker tearing around the mall in one of these 80s tracksuits.
Helping the 80s tracksuit gain even more exposure, the group RUN-DMC were frequently seen wearing the Adidas brand tracksuits. They were comfortable, functional, and everywhere throughout the decade, and are another hot trend of the 80s that seem to be making a comeback today.