Women’s sports suits between emancipation and sporty chic


The borderline that connects sportswear to out-of-home looks is becoming thinner and more invisible. Functionality and practicality come first, and this fashion has already been intuited for some seasons by bringing the sportswear and athleisure trend from gyms to catwalks.

In recent years the women’s sports suit has in fact landed on first position of all wish lists: forget the fluo and flashy shades of the 90s because the latest trends want a coordinated monochrome, also suitable for going out (who would have thought that?).

Celebrities, fashion bloggers and street stylers twist the cards on the table e they interpret it by combining it with more elegant garments, such as coat and blazer, thus giving new life to the suit.

The history of sports suits

women's sports suitsThe history of sports suits starting from Thayaht. Source: pinterest

It is 1919 and Italy crosses the futurist current that discovers an interest in fashion. We owe the invention of the suit, an innovative and avant-garde garment for that period Ernesto Michaelles, aka “Thayaht”, an artist capable of entering into multiple artistic disciplines such as sculpture, photography and fashion.

Quickly sketched on a sheet, together with his brother Ram he created the “tu-ta”, the first unisex garment in contemporary history which wanted to assert itself as a protest against the codes dictated by the bourgeoisie in that period. The first model was a single piece in the shape of a T and the same for everyone (in French tout-de-même, a term that is then reduced to “overalls”): a simple and synthetic combination that mixed shirt, jacket and trousers, the fastening was buttons on the front, the pockets were four and it was devoid of any decoration.

Thayaht also made a female version and this for women it was a real achievement. A new image (finally) took shape in front of them and that broke with the stereotypes fed up to that moment, where in the wardrobes and in the way of dressing there were only bodices, laces, tulle and crinolines, all uncomfortable and very impractical elements.

But with the beginning of the 20th century the voice of women takes center stage: they take charge of everyday life, both domestic and work, while the men are busy at the front. The number of girls and women employed in factories in each sector is increasing, as well as that of those who carry out tasks until then considered exclusively male, like the porter or the driver.

Also thanks to the fact that the bicycle became widespread as the main means of transport, women claim their role within society starting from clothing: they want to be independent, free to choose what to wear, how to wear it and when to wear it. They soon forget skirts, dresses and bulky details in favor of overalls and trousers, easy to wear and suitable for easily carrying out any task.

So in 1923 in the Soviet Union Rodchenko and his wife Stepanova revisit the concept of overalls bringing to light “Varst”, nicknamed as the habit of the post-war proletariat.

women's sports suitsFrom hip-hop to Juicy Couture to move on to 2020 trends, like Balenciaga. Source: pinterest

The tracksuit remained relegated to the sporting environment of gyms and training fields until the 70s when, thanks to the new and nascent passion for fitness, the path of the tracksuit was paved, even if we will have to wait to see it as protagonist the 80s and the culture of American hip-hop.

The Run DMC group made Adidas’s “three stripes” uniform, crowning it as an icon of urban culture and a status symbol that quickly spread to other subcultures. The incredible success of the rap scene of those years and in the following decades, thanks also to the arrival of music videos and photo shoots, gave even more importance to diffusion of the sports suit in free time: in fact it became an integral (and fundamental) part of everyone’s wardrobe.

The new decade is inaugurated with the appearance on the scene of the Juicy Couture brand and the symbol of fashion that will pave the way for athleisure: the slim fit chenille jumpsuit in seductive colors inspired by the concept of casual luxury. Mariah Carey, Madonna, J-Lo, Britney Spears are spotted in the supermarket or in the streets of the great American cities, but it is Paris Hilton who turns the tables on the table by wearing a women’s tracksuit for the first time on the red carpet.

In the 2000s this clothing was considered too “sloppy” and sporty, so it returned to the gym and sports activities. In 2017 it returns under the spotlight and for all designers the women’s tracksuit becomes an obsession enough to appear on all catwalks and in all collections.

Types and models of women’s sports suits

In 2020 the theme of athleisure and comfort resurfaced. During the rapid development of the Covid-19 emergency and the months of lockdown in March and April where we were forced to stay at home, physical activity at home never stopped.

In fact, according to the worldwide report of the Lyst platform, in the first and second quarter of 2020 shopping needs have changed significantly: during these months the online sportswear category was the most sought after and purchased, thanks to a newfound comfort and practicality in what you wear.

This year the sportier models alternate with proposals with fashion and trendy details, suitable both for playing sports and for showing off during the kitchen-living room journey!

Sports suit in acetate and Freddy side bands

Sports suit in acetate and Freddy side bands

A back to ’90s look

Freddy’s women’s acetate tracksuit is perfect for those looking for the most loved model of the 90s. With side bands and available in 7 different colors, this model has a sweatshirt with central zip, hood and ribbed cuffs also on the bottom of the trousers. Perfect with a down jacket or with your leather jacket!

€ 79 on Amazon


  • Available in 7 different colors
  • The sweatshirt has a zip closure, hood and cuffs are applied to the bottom of the sleeves
  • The trousers have a soft elasticated waist, on the bottom ends with a ribbed cuff
  • The interior is plush: this makes it particularly suitable for the colder seasons


  • The bottom of the sweatshirt remains slightly wide: it is advisable to purchase your own size
  • The model is made of acetate: it is not particularly elastic

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Champion, in collaboration with Chiara Ferragni, has launched a special collection consisting of trousers and shorts, sweatshirts and crop tops in sugary shades of pink and blue. The capsule, launched during the quarantine period, reinterprets the concept of sport by offering a hyper feminine but gritty line.

CHAMPION X CHIARA FERRAGNI sports crewneck sweatshirt

CHAMPION X CHIARA FERRAGNI sports crewneck sweatshirt

All the nostalgic of the 80s and sports tracksuits with all over logo will fall in love with the crewneck sweatshirt by CHAMPION X CHIARA FERRAGNI. Light blue and pastel pink are the dominant shades: you can easily combine this sweatshirt with both the trousers of the same line and your favorite pair of jeans!

Buy on Amazon


  • Ribbed cuffs, waist and collar are elasticated
  • Made of cotton


  • Available only in size L

women's sports suitsTypes and models of women’s sports suit. Source: asos

In its new autumn / winter 2020/2021 catalog, ASOS offers many models of women’s sports tracksuits. The trend this year favors the solid color and the coordinated, where oversized volumes alternate with drier ones.

If you are looking for a touch of color to add to your wardrobe you will love the model in blackberry shades and over version: ASOS Design combines the most classic hooded sweatshirt with large central pocket with soft trousers with ankle elastic.

If oversized cuts are not for you but prefer a tighter fit ASOS Design proposes the lilac tracksuit with a high-neck crop sweatshirt and jogger.

The big news this year are women’s sports suits with a more elegant fit and perfect to be worn even on the go: the straight trousers with central welt of the light blue model by ASOS Design are combined with a classic hooded sweatshirt, slightly short.

Beloved this year too the variants that reflect the patterns of warm and soft winter sweaters. Like “Kenton”, the model proposed by Brave Soul in the biscuit version and perfect to wear at home!

Not just at home: how to create a sporty chic style

women's sports suitThe new interpretation of the women’s sports suit: sporty chic. Source: pinterest

No one would have ever imagined that the world of fashion would have converted to comfort and practicality. The women’s sports suit, always referred to as “sloppy”, is now revisited and re-proposed in a modern and contemporary way.

Street style, models and fashion bloggers teach us that the tracksuit is perfect to wear even outside the walls of the home and the gym. If you want to show it off in your daily looks, the advice is to focus on minimal but refined versions and in neutral and calm shades such as cream, beige, gray and black.

If, on the other hand, you like to experiment and play with combinations, opt for vitamin and energetic colors like fuchsia, orange and the whole range of fluorescent colors.

The blazer, coat and trench coat are all you need to build an elegant look: play with volumes and contrasting shades, always preferring refined and sophisticated shapes and cuts. For more formal occasions, dwell on the fabric of the women’s sports suit, always preferring quality materials.

As for shoes, however, the choices are multiple: if the sweatpants follow the line of the leg and fall soft, you can combine them with a pair of ankle boots or, why not, even a pair of heels. If, on the other hand, your motto is “down to earth” your favorite pair of sneakers will be perfect.

The final touch will then be played by the accessories that must never be too exaggerated and showy volumes: prefer unique and original pieces (vintage is perfect) and show them off with ease!

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