Because I have worked in the high-end fashion and magazine world for most of my career, people often assume that I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing trackies.
Now that’s not strictly true – I wear them to walk around the park, which I do several times a week.
They are not designer – no P.E. Nation or The Upside – just generic, usually in grey marle or black.
I wear hoodies and T-shirts and puffer jackets. Very nondescript, very comfy.
But goodness me no, I wouldn’t wear them anywhere else, not to the shops, not to the petrol station.
Certainly not on a plane, or in a coffee shop. They’re not exactly clothes.
I understand the modern irony of all the high-priced designer ath-leisure stuff, I really do, thank you Kanye. The white trackies worn with a gold high heel and an oversize hoodie, and a beige crop top etc. – I struggle with them personally.
I’m all for comfort but I also like a bit of formality. Some items are a bridge too far. I can’t ever see myself in polar fleece. It’s not going to happen, even if I find myself somewhere polar. It’s horrible stuff.
And the zip-front sleeveless vest, either fleecy or padded. Uh uh. Never. Apart from the fact that it ages you 30 years, what do you do with your cold, useless, and unprotected arms?
I was packing for a winter weekend away in the Southern Highlands with friends recently, and decided to re-think my stance on active wear.
We were just going to be doing very ‘good friend things’ – drinking wine by the fire, cooking, eating, and making cakes and biscuits, going for hikes.
No one needed to impress anyone.
Did I really need to take specific outfits? Could I wear just my trackies, for the drive, around the house, for the bushwalks?
What a liberating thought! Trackies, sweaters, a parka. Maybe some Ugg boots.
I was really channelling my inner sloth.
I could potentially sleep in the same clothes in which I had breakfast, lunch and dinner, as vaguely disgusting as the thought was.
Why not! I had actually bought some rather fetching designer black trackies the month before, in a nice thick fabric, wide-legged with white stripes down the legs.
They would be my pivotal look.
I packed nothing but stretchy, elasticated stuff, feeling very modern and tres sportif as I hopped into the car with my friend.
He was wearing chinos and a beautiful double-breasted navy wool jacket/cardigan.
And a charcoal grey cashmere long sleeved T-shirt.
“Do you have a tracksuit?” I asked with a note of panic, looking down at my polyester pants.
“No, but I have some Sportscraft cords,” he replied.
“Oh well, we are just hanging around doing winter weekend stuff aren’t we?” I said, as we stopped to buy jam and sausage rolls in Berrima.
“No. We are all meeting up for lunch and a wine tasting at 1pm today” he reminded me.
So. I was going to be in a restaurant. In trackies.
Bring on the polar fleece.