‘70s track pants with wide hems have been on the fringes of fashion for several seasons. They came back as part of the Sporty Luxe and Athleisure trends, and are going strong, although very, very fringe. It’s fascinating to me how looks and silhouettes that were completely mainstream decades ago come back as a fringe trend, and stay that way. Some silhouettes become mainstream and hang around for decades — like skinnies — and others never regain their prior popularity.

This was THE look of track pant in the ‘70s. Adidas was the most popular brand, in colours like red, cobalt, green and black. They were made of some type of nylon-polyester blend that looked flammable. This time round, the silhouettes are similar but the fabrics have greatly evolved.

Leg silhouettes are straight, wide or very wide. Waistbands are usually elasticated with a drawstring, but in some rare cases the waistbands are structured with fly and zipper. Lengths range from floor-skimming perfect pant lengths to the new shorter full lengths. Some lengths are cropped. Tuxedo striping, side seam vents, and side seam buttons are common. Fabrics are anything from regular woven and knitted polyester-rich track pant fabric blends, to lace, crêpe, wool, sequins, silk, satin and velvet. Solid, pattern, neutral, non-neutral, mixed media, dressy and casual, it’s all there.

This collection showcases some examples:

Side Striped Trousers
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The idea, much like joggers with tapered legs, is to wear the wide leg track pant casually and in a dressier way. With sneakers, dressy pumps or sandals, pointy-toe boots, slides, chunky Dr. Martens, or whatever else tickles your fancy. The more hectic the juxtaposition of the items, the more fashion-forward the outfit.

I’ve tried these on several times, but don’t like the elasticated waist. I find it uncomfortable because it rides up, and the lack of structure makes me feel unpolished. I’d entertain a pair of wide leg track pants with a structured waistband though, because I like the vibe with white sneakers and a smart casual or dressier support act like first example below. I like the casual rendition of the second outfit too. I prefer Sporty Luxe to Athleisure, so the very casual athletic outfits worn with sweatshirts and track tops are not my cup of tea. But they might be yours.

Over to you. What do you think of the wide leg track pant? Would you wear them as regular casual pants?

Benetton Coat with Belt

MIU MIU Striped Wool and Mohair-blend Track Pants