Life&Style editor Tara Kergon shares some advice on how to avoid a post-graduation slumpWritten by Tara Kergon on 18th April 2018
Making the Tracksuit Trendy Isn’t a Good Thing
Life&Style writer Gabrielle Taylor-Dawson explains why she thinks tracksuits should not be made trendy
Fashion is always a reflection of its time. In the 1960s, rebellion against a society growing increasingly conformist and repressive resulted in the loose-fitting, tye-dyed garments of Hippies. The popularity of alternative rock music brought the simple, unkempt grunge look into the mainstream in the 1990s. Last year, 2016, saw the coming of age of grime music; it made headlines, swept awards shows and dominated social media conversation. Its long-awaited recognition is a source of pride for many, including myself. I know I am not what some people would see as the target audience for such a genre, but to me, grime brings fond memories of my teenage years back home. Grime is knowing all the words to Devilman’s ‘Drum And Bass Father’, the sound of ‘Too Many Men’ getting everyone excited even if you were getting drunk down the park, being asked if you had heard ‘Lean & Bop’ yet?
“Grime ‘culture’ has leaked into other aspects of the artistic industry - namely fashion.
The Guardian has called the adopters of such grime-related style 'Nu-lads', characterised by their choice in brands such as Lonsdale, Ellesse, Fila, Puma, Reebok, Champion, alongside some higher-priced pieces by Supreme, Palace and Hood by Air. These Nu-lads, according to The Guardian, are the new kind of hipster. Their enjoyment of sportswear doesn’t carry the negativity that the staple two-piece tracksuit of ‘terrace culture’ (a style which grime can be seen to have individualised and revitalised) did in the 1980’s when it was associated with football hooliganism. Two-piece tracksuits have long been vilified as a key signifier of the ‘chav’, of the working class. Not long ago, people credited 'chavs' with single-handedly decreasing the value of the Burberry brand, their apparently anti-social behaviour and uneducated reputation, stemming from their use of slang, putting people off associating themselves with the checked print.
“Nu-lads, according to The Guardian, are the new kind of hipster
Now? Tracksuits are cool. They are a luxe fashion statement popularised by the rise in athleisure. Champion and Nike have collaborations with the over-priced high-street brand Urban Outfitters. The likes of Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid are making sportswear ‘off-duty model’ cool - and you too can achieve this look, so long as you have a pair of hoops and a Chanel bumbag on hand.
And people are copying this look, but they are the kinds of people who are wear an Adidas windbreaker from festival to festival, who sport an Ellesse bucket hat whilst burning their chests on a lads holiday in #Napa. Even, the kinds of people (students) who are struggling to find themselves between the financial stability their middle-class upbringings gave them, and the fear of being seen as a part of a wealthier group - so they try to disguise it by dressing like something they are not.
“You can listen to and enjoy grime, you can adopt its style, but to do so you must also try and recognise its social importance