Tracksuit bottoms. The preserve of people who prefer not to go to work, students who choose Crunchy Nut Cornflakes over hot meals, and retired footballers. Nothing says “I’m up for doing as little as humanly possible” with more clarity than a pair of slouchy jersey leg tubes – am I right?
As a matter of fact, I’m not. At least not according to the super brands. Over the past few seasons, tracksuit bottoms have started appearing with alarming regularity on the catwalks of London, Paris and Milan.
I’m not talking the big baggy branded things you can snap up for a tenner from Sports Direct; rather elegantly tapered, cuffed sports-style trousers in fabrics such as wool jersey, cashmere and silk.
Giorgio Armani (the master of understated slouch) sent out dense wool versions teamed with cardigan-esque waffle jackets. Kim Jones at Louis Vuitton has produced raw silk versions – as closely akin to tracksuit bottoms as they are to tux trousers. At Korean brand Wooyoungmi the track pants were cut in lustrous midnight blue jersey and could (if you squinted a bit) be mistaken for tapered suit trousers. At Paul Smith the great man cut his from traditional suiting fabrics such as mohair and flannel, the only noticeable difference to suit trousers being elasticated cuffs at the ankles and the drawstrings at the waist.
I can’t quite believe that I’m writing this, but I’ve started wearing them too. Not only that, I’ve got two pairs. One from Lanvin, which feature zips at the cuffs and a pair much like the aforementioned from Wooyoungmi.
Remarkably, it’s far easier to wear these trendy tracksuit bottoms than it seems. Unless you want to start dressing like a gangbanger or Vanilla Ice, the key is to buy a slim cut pair in a neutral shade and start wearing them in place of your regular trousers.
As we speak, for instance, I’m wearing my Wooyoungmi ones with a navy one-and-a-half breasted cotton blazer from Brunello Cucinelli (another master of slouch), a white cotton T-shirt from Cos and a pair of slip-on sneakers (in blue, quelle surprise) from Whistles. The rule? Never wear your tracksuit trousers with socks – especially not white ones. That is unless you want to look like an extra from Football Factory.
To help you avoid the downtime Danny Dyer look, I’ve selected the five best dressy tracksuit bottoms available now. Team with a blazer and some driving shoes for a failsafe off duty look.
1 | The hybrid ones
Tailored track trousers by Kenzo, £230
2 | The weekend ones
Tailored jersey track pants by Bottega Veneta, £530
3 | The deceptively smart ones
Tapered wool-blend jersey sweatpants by Wooyoungmi, £210
4 | The gym-friendly ones
Charcoal grey skinny joggers by Topman, £24
5 | The office ones
Black wool cashmere pant by Gucci, £355