Like any good remote worker, I have plenty of what I like to call “indoor clothes.” These are clothes designed to be worn while working on a computer for 10-12 hours a day, they transition smoothly from bed-working to desk-working, and of course, couch-working. They do differ, importantly, from pajamas, in order to give a semblance of order to my day. But for all intents and purposes, these items are as comfortable and loose as PJs, with the one minor difference that they can potential look cute on a video call. But if I need to go outside or venture into the world for whatever reason, they’re not really suitable for that.
I’ve been working primarily from home since the summer of 2016, which means my “work” wardrobe has shifted significantly over the last four years. Due to the pandemic, a much larger majority of my friends now understand this aspect of work-wear, as the move toward remote working means plenty of other people are also prioritizing indoor clothes in a new way. And with the onset of winter, a classic but versatile item that bridges the worlds of indoor and outdoor workwear has begun to pique interest once more — the sweatsuit.
During walk conversations, FaceTimes, and text threads (that span across the nation), the idea of owning an OG Juicy velour tracksuit has been cropping up non-stop. My sample size is small, but my aim is true, and due to the fact that at-home clothes have become all any of us are capable of shopping for — or the only thing some of us can justifiably afford — I predict the sweatsuit is a wardrobe staple that will become indispensable in the next few months. My research also led me to the discovery that Juicy relaunched their e-commerce site as recently as November, so it wasn’t just a vibe: sweatsuits are officially back in style.
Call it what you will — tracksuit, sweatsuit, matching top and bottoms, sweatpants and sweatshirt, leggings and hoodies, these matchy-matchy, ultra-comfy pairings are easily the most logical option for wintry, at-home working and quarantining. It’s an ideal mix of casual and coordinated, and Juicy isn’t the only one in the game anymore, either. As an act of service journalism, I’ve done my internet research to the best options for copping a durable, fashionable work-wear item to carry you through the grueling remote work days this winter.
Velour Hoodie With Back Embellishment — $119
Velour Pant With Back Embellishment – $99
As quickly as they arrived, the classic tracksuit is gone again. Every single color on the Juicy website currently registers as out of stock, and the price point reminds me why I never had one of these in the first place. A whopping $218 plus tax just to have crystals inevitably falling off every time I sit down? There has to be a better option… plus Juicy has done nothing to get with the program when it comes to extended sizing, the largest these go is XL. For smaller brands or newcomers, this might be acceptable, but for a company like Juicy? It’s very surprising they’re still so behind. Given the lack of availability and the high cost, this “classic” might be end up being the least appealing option.
Worth noting: This oldie but goodie will probably be back in stock after the holiday shopping rush.
The Urban Sweatsuit
Apparently Madewell launched a new line while I was too broke to shop, and MWL looks like their answer to quarantine lounging. I respect it! I love the odd colors the brand comes up with, like this Burnt Sienna crayon color (Dried Cedar). This suit will still put you in over $100, coming in at $134.95, but if you buy any two MWL top and bottom together you’ll get 20% off. By my math, that puts it right around $100. I try to keep most clothing purchases around $50 max per item, so it works for my budget. Cons? Not velour, no zipper/hoodie action, and the pants are skinny instead of flare. Still, there’s something to be said for the ease of the pullover and testing out Madewell’s notoriously soft fabrics. Seems like a great suit for a cold city, and gives me Billie Eilish vibes, which is even better.
Worth noting: This makes a great gift at any age, and it’s way more gender neutral than most tracksuits.
The Sporty Spice
Adidas brought back their ’90s tracksuit in velour, specifically because they realized it’s cool again. Much respect to a brand for realizing their vintage pieces are in style again, and just bringing them back to save us all a lot of hassle. I stay out of the streetwear culture wars and will wear both Adidas and Nike with equal impunity — Reebok, too. It does look like you have to sign up for some Adidas “club” to buy these pants, though. Sorry about that. On the plus side, I love the elastic at the bottom of the legs, perfectly-appointed kangaroo pockets on the jacket, and the classic three stripe trim. This one is about the same price as Madewell, $135 all in before taxes.
Worth noting: In thirty years, this remake of a classic might be a collector’s item again if kept in good condition.
The Black-Owned Brand
While tweeting about the task at hand, cataloguing all available velour tracksuits, a rep from the brand Maui By Lolita was savvy enough to reach out to me about their offerings. One, I love a brand that knows how to use social media effectively, and two, I always try to support women- and Black-owned businesses. So I checked out their suits and discovered they’re pretty incredible! The company is run by Maui Kai Malone and her business partner Lolita, hence the name, and their designs are so cute I’d happily wear any of these. My pick is the Royalty Tracksuit in Black, but check out the other, more colorful designs on their website if you’re feeling adventurous. All four styles of their tracksuits are sold as pairs at $129 per, making them a very affordable options.
Worth noting: Shop small! These girls are awesome to be doing what they’re doing at such a young age.
The Crop And Flare
Most of Topshop’s sweatsuit sets are more akin to the Madewell option above, with loose, baggy pants and a pullover crewneck, but nothing was quite as cute as the MWL. Their one velour option is a stunner though, in classic dark blue or periwinkle, and glittery detailing à la Juicy that comes at a less extravagant price point. With a cropped zip hoodie and flare pants, this is a silhouette that will look cute lounging and out and about if necessary. $140 total for this set, and the quality seems worth it.
Worth noting: Even if it’s not going to break the bank, this suit *looks* expensive.
The Budget Option
Who doesn’t love a budget option? Thanks to a Macy’s holiday sale, this suit ends up being the most affordable of them all, coming in right under $80 before taxes. And it’s not like Calvin Klein is some shameful brand, either, so though the logo on the hoodie may be clunky, it works. CK’s options includes a flare pant choice that has the same markdown, or a bomber jacket style hoodie. They’re all on sale, but not all styles come in the same colors, so be careful if you’re mixing and matching.
Worth noting: A further 20% at Macy’s right now makes this set even cheaper than it already was.
Look, I don’t want to give money to the Kardashian clan anymore than you do, but kredit where it’s due, this is exactly the tracksuit I want. And who better to redesign the classic Juicy fit than Kim herself, given how often she’s worn the damn thing? If you want tapered leg, they have a fit for that at the same price, along with robes and tanks and plenty of other signature cozywear. These neutral metallic shades are on point, and the total price of $140 before tax is very much in line with what other brands are offering. Also, this is the only higher-end brand I found offering sizing of this range: XXS-4X. Now that’s 2020 sizing. Guess Kim does have the range after all, at least in select retail ventures.
Worth noting: If you’re looking to get matching sets, the sizing range here makes that easy.
The ASOS Pick
I’ve been doing a lot of shopping at ASOS over the last few years for two reasons: Extended sizing and free returns. This UK-based retailer might not have brick and mortar stores in the US, but their ample selection and seamless return policy make it easy to add-to-cart and see what happens. Whatever might be broken in my brain that makes around $50 per clothing item seem reasonable to me, ASOS is tapped into it. This suit is $90 flat and with cropped hoodie, flared pants, and pink, brown, and blue options, it’s a no-brainer. Like I said, ASOS has plenty of plus size options, too, so if that’s what you’re looking for, look no further.
The Expensive Velvet One
Merida Velvet Sweatshirt — $78
Merida Velvet Joggers — $88
Cheap bitch that I am, there’s still something about Anthropologie that calls out to me. Maybe it’s the allure of one day achieving a level of expendable income that makes their price tags seem normal? Anthro is aspirational, even if I hate myself for wanting that life. But I digress: Though this sweatsuit is expensive, it swaps in actual velvet for velour so that has to count for something, right? Opting for pullover instead of hoodie, the sizing range also includes plus size options here, which is a long time coming for the brand. Even weirder? At $166 this velvet suit is still way cheaper than Juicy.