Quest for the Perfect Track Pant
Quest for the Perfect Track Pant
It all started with Stella Greenspan, Grace Coddington’s trusted assistant. I spotted her on the street outside the Patrik Ervell show during New York Fashion Week and fell in love with her look. I was already mulling over how her menswear-inspired mix was completely chic, yet still managed to maintain a level of femininity, when the track pant–style stripes running up and down the sides of her Balenciaga pants caught my eye. They were subtle but made the entire look even more compelling. “I like the fit of men’s clothes in general. They have an understated, uncomplicated feel, and I’m especially obsessed with the detailing in these pants, the different fabrics, the seams, and of course, the athletic stripes,” explained Greenspan when asked to expound upon a look typically reserved for the weight room.
Later that same week, I photographed Ursina Gysi, French stylist Camille Bidault Waddington’s assistant, when I noticed electric-blue leggings with three white stripes peeking out from underneath her skirt every time she took a step. “I bought them at Topshop years ago as a practicality,” Gysi admitted. “My hotel room was freezing, and I needed something warm to sleep in, but now I wear them underneath everything.”
And because two spottings on the street indicates the beginnings of a trend, the search was officially on for my own pair of track pants. I made the rounds physically, stopping by sports stores and Topshop, and virtually, checking eBay, Net-a-Porter, and doing an image search on Google, but no one had what I was looking for.
Then I had a chance encounter with Fashion Writer Chioma Nnadi while at the Vogue offices for a Vogue.com meeting. Nnadi was wearing a pair of sporty men’s Y-3 men’s striped pants that she’d inherited from a friend. She’d very elegantly paired them with heels and an oversized knit navy sweater. “Track pants are usually far too sloppy of a territory for me. I live in boys’ clothes, but mostly it’s tailored pieces, like Oxford shirts or blazers. These Y-3 pants have just the right amount of slouch. Plus, the stripes have a sixties mod vibe that I absolutely adore.”
Thankful for the Y-3 tip-off, I headed straight to their shop in SoHo post-meeting and finally got lucky. Not only were the pants available exactly what I wanted but the fabric was sturdy and strong, which is great as I’m normally not a big fan of leggings. I purchased pairs in bright red and navy blue on the spot.
So far, they’ve been a fun addition to my wardrobe, and I’ve enjoyed having the chance to experiment with a piece that’s normally so niche. The red Y-3s work well with my vintage YSL shirt, Club Monaco blazer, Acne jacket and boots, and a Mulberry Bayswater satchel. They’re bright and happy, while the neutral-colored coat tones them down a little. I wear the dark-blue pair with a Helmut Lang blazer, a black Hope sweater, Acne “Cypress” boots, and my brand-new bag from the Cambridge Satchel Coompany I’ve learned they need to be paired with pieces that have some structure and cover my bum, or else it just looks like I’m on my way to the gym. Adding heels is cool, too, but definitely not a must.
Regards, Velvet Magazine