Track jackets have come a long way since the 90s. While it’s been a cornerstone in running culture (just pair with windbreaker pants, a whistle and a white tee), the jacket has ebbed and flowed through mainstream culture — even making a prominent appearance in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, as Ben Stiller’s character Chas Tenenbaum and his children all wore matching red tracksuits.
But its storied history goes deeper, and includes the classic Adidas tracksuit in bright primary colors with white stripes, formerly donned by only athletes and shifting more into the casual athletic space in the 80s and 90s. As the early ’00s came around, velour became the coolest way to rock a tracksuit, which is likely why it then dropped off the fashion scene. In 2016, designers like Burberry, Hermes, Issey Miyake and Fendi sent models down the runway in ready-to-wear looks styled with track jackets. While the original version with stripes down the arm and hand stitched letting on the back is slowly making its way back, the newer styles of track jackets aren’t just for before and after workouts.
Whether your style is more track coach, or urbanite, there are plenty of options to choose from. Pick from an old-school Adidas jacket or a New Balance windbreaker designed for specific marathons, or new-school, fashion-focused jackets from Balenciaga, Y-3 and more.
Here are a few of our top picks that will help you (mostly) blend in as you head to do your speed workout at the local 400-meter course, volunteer on the sidelines at your kids’ soccer games or head to the bar after a workout to catch up with friends.