My Repeat Buy: Polly Sayer On Tracksuits
My Repeat Buy: Polly Sayer On Tracksuits

My Repeat Buy: Polly Sayer On Tracksuits

In this series, we ask stylish women to tell us more about their most purchased item. In this instalment, SL fashion broadcaster Polly Sayer talks us through her love of tracksuits…

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When it started…

My love of tracksuits started in lockdown. There was no point buying any tailoring, boxy jackets or jeans – we weren’t going anywhere and sitting in my pyjamas all day quickly grew tiresome. As someone who loves getting dressed, I wanted something to bridge that gap. With a tracksuit, you still have the comfort factor but when it’s matching, it feels a bit more intentional than just chucking on your comfies. Post-pandemic, I’m still living in them on the evenings and weekends. I wear them for dog walks, weekend brunches, and have even been known to wear them to meetings (smartened up, of course). There are plenty of affordable ones out there, though I think it’s worth investing a little more in something higher quality.

With a tracksuit, you still have THE COMFORT FACTOR but WHEN IT'S MATCHING, it feels a bit MORE INTENTIONAL than just chucking on your comfies.

The early adopters…

I remember buying a light marl grey tracksuit set from Topshop (RIP) in the first lockdown. I still have the bottoms and, although they’re incredibly bobbled and show the signs of a few too many muddy dog walks, I still love them. Around the same time, I got my first Anine Bing sweatshirt for my birthday, which was charcoal black and had a graphic tiger design on the front… I’m sort of embarrassed by how much I wore it. I’ve since invested in a couple more Anine Bing sweatshirts and find them so easy to throw on with jeans and leather trousers. Around the same time, I also fell for a brand called Bikind, which tie-dyes sweat sets by hand in bright colours. 

Life of Ease is now my favourite brand for tracksuit sets. The British brand started life during the pandemic, and was founded by Hermione, who has since become a friend of mine. She couldn’t find the fit and quality she was looking for from other brands so decided to launch her own. Everything is ethically and sustainably made in a small factory in Portugal using organic cotton. I can’t explain how great the quality is. I got my first set almost a year ago and it’s shown barely any signs of wear, despite having been in and out of the washing machine. The fit is also spot on, with just the right amount of slouch and a straight fit through the leg that’s roomy but not baggy. I have a jade green set, one in pastel yellow, and I was lucky enough to collaborate with the brand in the summer on a baby pink colourway. 

Recently, I’ve been living in my Life of Ease red tracksuit set. It was just released as part of the brand’s autumn/winter collection. I love the varsity-inspired logo across the front of the jumper – it’s something a little different. I’ve also got my eye on the olive-green set; the colour looks so chic and versatile.

Styling tips…

Look for tracksuits with as high a cotton percentage as possible. In my experience, ones that are 100% cotton tend to last far longer than the ones that are mixed with polyester. If you want to go one better, organic cotton feels great and has a much smaller impact on the environment during the production process – always check the label for the relevant info. 

The more oversized the better. I’ll generally size up once or twice in sweatshirts and, depending on the fit of the joggers, I might also size up in them too. The slouchy look is far cooler than anything too form-fitting. 

Teaming a tracksuit with something a bit smarter is a good idea. It means you won’t look too slovenly. Typically, I’ll wear them with a long wool coat or an oversized blazer. Then, I’ll add some jewellery for extra polish – a gold necklace and some hoops really elevate the look. Footwear-wise, I don’t think you can beat a pair of trainers. My favourites are Nike Jordans or Dunks, but I’ve been enjoying styling my tracksuits with some New Balance 550s and sporty socks recently. To complete the look, add a baseball cap or sunglasses.

Look for tracksuits with AS HIGH A COTTON PERCENTAGE AS POSSIBLE. In my experience, these tend to LAST FAR LONGER than the ones that are mixed with polyester.

Where to shop…

My favourite place for affordable sets has to be ARKET– I have a really lovely navy sweatshirt from there that I’ve worn to death. I think it cost about £55, which is not bad for 100% organic cotton. UN:IK is one of my favourites for vintage-inspired sweatshirts – they’re pretty inexpensive and often have sales, which means you can snap something up for £30-40. At the slightly pricier end, I like American Vintage – I have its cream Zutabay joggers and am obsessed with the fit.

Conscious Citizen is another small, ethically produced tracksuit brand whose pieces I’ve loved wearing. They’re a little stiffer than some of the others I’ve tried, but I quite enjoy the added structure – it makes the look feel smarter. I’ve also had my eye on its gorgeous lilac set. Adanola is also brilliant for tracksuits in a variety of colours – you’ve probably already heard of it as the collections always sell out quickly, but I’m obsessed with a marl grey varsity sweatshirt and shorts set I bought over the summer. I might have to snap up the joggers now it’s getting colder. Finally, PANGAIA deserves a special mention. No other brand has a colour offering quite as extensive, and the sustainability credentials are highly commendable. 

Follow @PollyVSayer on Instagram.


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