WORDS BY JOSEPH FURNESS
What do you get when you cross trending Y2K styles with #lockdownlife2021? The return of velour tracksuits. Yes, the ultimate flee-the-paps fit of the ‘00s glitterati is back, and it’s just as sweet, glittery and garish as we remember.
Recently sported by the likes of Kim K, Saweetie and Irina Shayk, the throwback trend is here to comfort you (both literally and figuratively) as we all get used to spending a little more time indoors.
Below, we take a look at how the likes of Virgil Abloh, Francesco Ragazzi and Olivia von Halle are bringing the trend into the 2020s – with answers to all of your most pressing velour tracksuit questions. Prepare for some glitz, glam and a heavy hit of nostalgia.
Everything You Need to Know about Velour Tracksuits
What is a velour tracksuit?
Tracksuits constructed using velour – a knitted fabric typically made from cotton and polyester – are super soft, cosy and warm. They were the height of fashion during the ‘00s and they’re currently coming back around at a time when we need them most.
What is the difference between velour and velvet?
Essentially, the difference between velour and velvet is that velour is a more accessible alternative to velvet. Pure velvet is created by weaving two layers of silk together, while velour is made with a pile knit structure, typically using cotton and polyester.
Is velour vegan?
Unlike velvet, most velour is vegan – as long as it does not contain silk. Two of the velour products we mention below, namely from Olivia von Halle and Sleeping with Jacques, do contain silk; hence, these velour products are not suitable for vegans.
Genderless LA-based label, Les Tien, creates luxe versions of wardrobe staples: pieces to be worn day in, day out, ad infinitum. The fact that the brand has now designed a velour range signals a long-life expiry date for the trend.
We think there is one standout look when it comes to Les Tien’s velour pieces – the rusty pink tracksuit. Consisting of an oversized hoodie paired with pipe-trimmed bottoms, this velour jogging suit is capable of complementing any and every shape, age and size.
Olivia von Halle
British designer Olivia von Halle is all for the return of velour sets – however, she believes we should be wearing them to bed. At her namesake brand, the designer creates velvet-effect pyjamas that are soft to the touch and look just as magnificent as they feel.
Olivia von Halle’s Coco velvet-effect pyjamas – made from silk and rayon – are available in a deliciously rich teal hue, guaranteed to boost your mood. The shirt is designed with three pockets, a straight hem and an on-trend camp collar; while the bottoms are a straight-leg cut, with a high waist and drawstring fastening (the perfect adjustability to accommodate lavish weekend breakfasts).
Sleeping with Jacques
Also here to push velour sleepwear is Sleeping with Jacques: the Melbourne label known for its velvet-effect robes and pyjamas. We’d argue that these pieces go beyond the bedroom, however, leaning towards the loungewear we've recently been sporting all day long – and to run errands outside the house, too.
Take Sleeping with Jacques’ high-shine, velvet-effect trousers, for example. Made using a silk-viscose blend, the trousers can easily be dressed down with a black velour hoodie and a pair of slippers, or dressed up with a second-skin top and a fresh pair of heels.
When Virgil Abloh – designer, DJ and all-round creative – does nostalgia, he fully commits. Hence, his Off-White velour tracksuits wouldn’t look amiss in a 2006 copy of Hello! magazine. Basically, they’re flashy with a capital F.
Looking to summon your inner diva? (Think Britney Spears or Violet Beauregarde.) Consider Off-White’s bubblegum blue tracksuit, complete with a high neck, elasticated hem and cuffs and embroidery on the rear.
The well-dressed have been opting for Palm Angels tracksuits for a while now; so, it comes as no surprise that the skatewear-inspired label is providing us with its take on velour. Available in an array of sugary colours, each just as delicious as the next, Palm Angels has a velour tracksuit for every personality.
Recently, we’ve developed a penchant for pastels, so we’ll be opting for the baby blue velour version of the tracksuit. It pairs perfectly with other soft, spring-time hues; in fact, we’re preparing to rock this tracksuit all summer long.
Catering to cool mums, Philipp Plein has taken the velour tracksuit right back to its maximalist roots. In a similar mode to Virgil Abloh, the German designer uses jewel-toned materials and diamantes to create a retro feel. It’s a style that’s sure to help the wearer stand out in a crowd – whether at the supermarket or the playground.
Our favourite velour piece by Philipp Plein has got to be the teddy monogram velour track pant in a flamboyant ruby red. The bear motif is fashioned in rhinestones – serving Paris Hilton circa 2000 energy. Obviously, we’re here for it.
Jodhi Meares’ label, The Upside, recently introduced its refined take on the velour tracksuit: one that would fit seamlessly into any modern wardrobe. While the designs take a more sophisticated route, the brand’s velour pieces are just as comfortable, practical and versatile as their more out-there counterparts.
The Florencia sweatshirt in navy (our standout piece) is ideal for a comfortably grown-up look, with its dropped shoulders, ribbed trims and monochromatic embroidery. Styling-wise, it’s the perfect layer to pair with sweatpants, leggings, denim and everything in between.