The thought of men's velour suits can send a certain kind of feeling down your spine. Velour track suits aren't known as the most stylish of things for a man to wear, but that is beginning to change thanks to certain subcultures of our own society.
History of the Track Suit
Men's velour suits were originally created to wear over athletic apparel. They were also known as "warm-up suits". These suits were worn to keep the body warm just prior to the athletic event. The thinking here is that if the muscles are cold, the athletes will not perform to the best of their ability. Track suits always consist of two things:
- A warm-up top that was either a pull over or, more commonly, a zip up
- A pair of pants which could vary by style and could be regular pull-up pants, button on the side for fast removal or even zip up
The first track suit was seen in the 1921 Olympics and was worn by Dr. Oliver Johnson Schofield. Since the 1921 Olympics, the track suit has been seen in films such as Chariots of Fire, which depicted the 1924 U.S. Olympic Team wearing velour track suits.
In the mid 60's, Adidas began manufacturing the track suit as leisure wear. They only really caught on at that time with high schools and universities to use them for their intended purpose. They were able to purchase matching uniform track suits to round out their school colors.
It wasn't until the early 80's and the beginning of the hip hop craze where track suits began to catch on as a fashion statement. Breakdancing dance groups were matching track suits while they performed on the street as well as on stages. The fabric was slick, loose fitting and breathable against the skin. These facts made track suits ideal for the high demands needed to perform their routines.
The track suit is making a comeback thanks to popular hip hop fashion pioneer Sean Combs.
Today's Popularity of Men's Velour Suits
There has been a growing trend in "going old school". Pop culture and nostalgia have been on the rise. We have seen the return of popular toys like the Care Bears, Transformers and Strawberry Shortcake. Popular television shows are currently being remade, like The Bionic Woman, Beverly Hills 90210; the sci-fi classic V movies from "back in the day" are being remade on a regular basis. With this in mind, it should not be a surprise that the track suit as a fashion would return despite the fact that breakdancing has all but disappeared. The hip hop culture is making a stand to retrace its roots in musical history. The matching track suit has long since been a part of that history and a standing trend.
With stars being seen out in public wearing track suits, it adds to the validity of the style as an acceptable fashion choice. Britney Spears had her wedding party decked out in matching velour track suits as the chosen clothing for her wedding party. Madonna often wears track suits when out and about as do many male stars including Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs.
Popular Sources for Velour Track Suits
With track suits becoming more popular as a fashion statement (and people also becoming more health conscious and physically active), you can find them in nearly every clothing store you come across. Forman Mills, JCPenney, Wal-Mart, Kohl's and Target are some of the more mainstream outlets where you can purchase velour track suits.
There are hundreds of sources on the Internet where you can purchase your track suit. Quality varies from store to store and from brand to brand. Store brands are often cheaper but less desirable. Good sources on the Internet can include high end stores like Neiman Marcus.
There are some very popular manufacturers of velour track suits that may interest you. The prices can vary greatly between these companies and you can expect to spend over $100.00 for a brand name track suit.
The velour track suit is not meant for every occasion. The purpose is for warming up prior to an athletic event. They are comfortable enough to be worn hanging around the house or out for a quick drink.