The Journal is an online collection of articles and essays written and curated by Thomas W Coombs, published bi-annually.

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Issue 5; The Luxury Tracksuit - The Line is Drawn

By T W Coombs

This is the time when me and the fashion industry do not see eye to eye and I do not get the dedication and love for what they are showing at the big fashion house shows.  As you can probably guess by the title I am talking of the high fashion tracksuit that has hit this year.  I just don’t get it.

I am not old fashioned, I am not 100% dressed in tweed at my country manor smoking a pipe moaning about the fashions of the youth these days.  Or am I? No, definitely not, but I do disagree with the tracksuit.  I feel maybe the tracksuit has had a bad rap recently which is linked to the hoodie style gangs of kids (youth these days) they have hit headlines in the last decade.  Not that it needs to be banned from existence, it is a vital part of gym kit and health fanatics across the globe.  Also as a child I lived in tracksuits, it was the 80’s but I did spend a lot of time running around and being active (causing trouble).  But I am now in my 30’s, well and truly, and believe it should be jean, chino or trouser when not at the gym.  I don’t even wear a tracksuit of any kind at the gym, I have joggers for winter to-ing and fro-ing but not whilst working out.  I am not the only one with these views amongst bloggers and fashion people I’d like to add.

But the fashion world has changed its tune, and the expensive high quality, high end tracksuit is now how to dress when out on the town, WHAT!  This to me goes inline with t-shirts that look like a family of moths have moved in (yes, I’m looking at you Kanye).  They are coming down the cat walks in all shapes, sizes, colours and i do not like any of them.  And what is worst for me is they are selling them as ‘luxury tracksuit for the modern man’, i mentioned i’m not old fashioned so what is modern, 20 something’s? Because I haven’t seen them styling the tracksuit at the weekends either, maybe I just haven’t seen the most modern ones.

This all came onto my horizon when Palace, the street wear brand the “kids” love (kids is the quoted term used) are collaborating with Addidas to release some 90’s inspired tracksuits.  Now I was there in the 90’s and we all dressed really badly, from the grunger to the suit, we all had oversized, bad fitting rubbish, and the tracksuits were, well, tracksuits, just think Oasis and they were the tops they were wearing, all very Tony Soprano.  And I loved the Sopranos but their dress code had, let’s just say, some work could have been done (mafia hit now on my head).

If you wear a tracksuit when out and about then that is up to you, but I will not be joining you in a Versace tracksuit (pictured), no matter who tells me it is stylish for the mysterious Modern Man.  And I will still ask if you are “off to the gym?”