How To Wear a Tracksuit, the 2017 Way

If you're looking to get on board with this throwback trend, we have some easy styling tips to help make it modern.
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If you're looking to get on board with this throwback trend, we have some easy styling tips to help make it modern.
Tinashe for Juicy Couture. Photo: Juicy Couture for Urban Outfitters

Tinashe for Juicy Couture. Photo: Juicy Couture for Urban Outfitters

As we wait (wish, hope and dream) for velour tracksuits to make a triumphant return following Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner's turns in that Vetements x Juicy Couture set — as well as recent release of the Juicy Couture for Urban Outfitters lookbook starring Tinashe — there are plenty of other cozy options that fashion's favorites are flocking to. Seemingly, Jenner didn't wear anything but tracksuits through the first month of 2017: There was the Vetements x Champion one she was spotted in that matched her friend Hailey Baldwin's and coordinated with her sisters Khloe and Kourtney in all-burgundy-everything tracksuits. She even offered a mustard set in her new "Thick!" merch collection.

Topshop and Juicy Couture have recently partnered up on a collection of throwback separates; Juicy also released a capsule collection with Bloomingdales last summer, proving that "the track is back" indeed. There are plenty of other options for those who never fully got into the early 2000s craze, from the classics like Adidas (specifically the new spin, Alexander Wang for Adidas), to Gosha Rubchinskiy's recent FILA and Kappa collabs. Even high-end fashion houses like Chloé, Gucci, Lacoste and DKNY have included the style in their runway shows in recent seasons. If Drake can pull off the orange ESPRIT x Opening Ceremony joint, we could see Baby Phat tracksuits finding a spot back on the market in no time.

While the full tracksuit may be a look typically borrowed from the boys, it's women that have more flexibility in styling, naturally. We've seen Kim Kardashian in her white sweats topped with a floor-length fur, and Bella Hadid regularly wears hers with a variety of statement sneakers. Read on for our tips on how to wear a super-trendy tracksuit the 2017 way; even though we'll always have a place in our hearts for Paris Hilton and Britney Spears's baby pink, belly-baring sets of yore, we'd hate for you to wind up giving off desperate-to-be-cool "Mrs. George" in "Mean Girls" vibes. RIP Kitson.

Footwear

The options are infinite with tracksuits. Every sneaker height — high, mid and low top — can work depending on the pant. Where low classics like Stan Smiths are a no-brainer (Hailey Baldwin's been spotted in this combo), we could easily see Nike's Air Force 1s looking great, too, as seen on Bella Hadid. For some inspiration, model Veneda Budny has the look on lock, wearing everything from Reeboks and ASICS to Converse One Stars and high heels. No one is really touching her effortless tracksuit uniform. Personally, I'm partial to the Air Max 95s; any sneaker in the Air Max family is a good look with your tracksuit.

If you're looking for something a little edgier, combat boots are a cool complement to track pants that are fitted at the ankle, thus easier to tuck in. Model and blogger Aleali May paired her bright orange MISBHV tracksuit with Alexander Wang boots, while Gigi Hadid wore hers with Doc Martens during fashion month.

As seen above on Budny, heels can help make the casual tracksuit evening appropriate; the Kardashians, for instance, have worn theirs with lace-up Yeezy Season 2 boots, snakeskin booties and strappy sandals in the past. And when she doesn't have her own Puma Creepers on, Rihanna opts for sexy footwear, too: she took the New York streets in a baby pink tracksuit with stiletto sandals back in January. 

Layering under the top

The under layer presents so many options for tops and bottoms. To further embrace the '90s revival, crop tops — formerly known as baby tees — are a great, sporty option for underneath a tracksuit jacket or hoodie. To absolutely no one's surprise, Bella Hadid pulled this look off flawlessly with those aforementioned Air Force 1s. Long-sleeve tops, T-shirts and even turtlenecks can be tucked in for a more cleaned-up version of the look, especially if you'd like to try to wear a tracksuit to work. For extra warmth, hoodies can be layered under a zip-up track jacket, too.

For a sexier option that doesn't require baring your midriff, bodysuits are a good way to go. Any length sleeve works here; however, the fun part of wearing a bodysuit beneath your track pants is allowing your hips to be a little exposed. 

Layering under the bottoms

The best reference for inspiration when layering under your tracksuit bottoms is none other than Aaliyah. She was the queen of baggy pants paired with tiny tops and exposed underwear waistbands, and she completely owned this look in the '90s. (Cara Delevingne opted for a more modern twist on this at the Chanel show in Paris, allowing her Supreme for Louis Vuitton underwear band to peek outside of her relaxed trousers.)

Alternatively, fishnets pulled above the waistband and showing at the ankles works well with sneakers. Both Rihanna and Awful Records singer, Abra, have included this styling during their onstage performances, while model Jordyn Woods shows it off on her Instagram page frequently (see above).

Layering over the look

Of course, weather permitting, you can go outerwear-less with a tracksuit, but why would you really want to? Where a bomber or parka can be a great fit with sneakers, it's fun to use layers (like fishnets) or shoes (like heeled booties) to dress up your set. The same concept can be applied to your outerwear. 

Kim Kardashian regularly opts for furs — as does Kendall Jenner — and Rihanna makes a tracksuit luxe by pairing it with a green snakeskin coat. The oversize puffer coats that are seeing a resurgence thanks to Vetements and more are a sporty, trendy option as well.

Accessories

As tracksuits definitely have sportier origins, it's totally cool to go without any major jewelry. But if you're planning to wear one in a more formal setting, we say layer it up with gold chain necklaces, statement earrings or a blingy choker, for example. In line with looks from the '90s, mini backpacks are a great option for accessorizing tracksuits; Fashionista editor Maura loves Madewell's leather one and Rihanna loves her mini Louis Vuitton one, as well. And don't forget: a good ol' dad hat goes with everything.

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