A Week Of Wearing Track Pants & All The Sports I Didn't Play In Them

Photographed by Kara Birnbaum
Track! Is! Back! And it's loud and crinkly. My middle school P.E. teacher, Ms. Hobbs, always sported a navy pair and you could hear her before you could see her. I religiously wore my Barbie track pants set until I left the matching jacket at an Arby’s (RIP I still miss you). In the '90s, my dad wore a reflective gray pair everywhere from tennis practice to grocery shopping, and those swishes calmed me because I knew he was nearby.
I retired crinkly-track-pants Michelle in that Arby’s in 2004. Fast forward to today, windbreakers are the go-to jacket for spring and in turn track pants are gaining momentum as well. They’re not as heavy and hot as fleece sweatpants, but they’re just as comfortable. Finding clothing that’s comfortable, but doesn’t look too relaxed is one of life’s greatest hacks.
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My foray into a week of track pants as an adult proved difficult because of my height. I’m 5’3” and since most track pants have elastic ankles, I found it difficult to avoid extra leg fabric bunching up on the bottom (the Filas from Sunday were the perfect length). For the majority of pants, I had to do the classic rolled waistband trick to shorten the legs.
Ahead, my week of wearing windbreaker track pants and all the sports I didn't play in them.
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Photographed by Kara Birnbaum
Monday

There's something about track pants that instinctively inspires me to coordinate colors. I followed my heart and leaned into this matchy-matchy moment. I wore an orange wrap dress as a duster to complement the stripes on these track pants. The result: basketball star meets creamsicle super hero. A slam dunk for day 1.

Ellesse pants.
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Photographed by Kara Birnbaum
Tuesday

Today I wanted to go against the obvious sneakers and track pants combo (very guilty of this for 5/7 days). I tucked them into a pair of high boots and that immediately elevated this look from gym teacher to cool horse equestrian lady. Always the goal.
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Photographed by Kara Birnbaum
Wednesday

I went from cool horse equestrian lady yesterday to just plain lady today. A dress over pants is always a go-to styling tip for me and in this case, it worked out perfectly. This is an outfit that I would wear over and over again. Layered under my fancy dress, these casual track pants created the perfect juxtaposition. This pair was one of my favorites of the week because they’re elastic free at the ankles featuring zips instead.
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Photographed by Kara Birnbaum
Thursday

Here's a #TBT to Barbie-track-pants Michelle. Today, I felt like I was constantly on the verge of missing my non-existent gymnastics class (I can't even do a proper cartwheel). The material is lighter which makes them quick to cling and become parachute-y after a few steps. A good pat is necessary to get all the air out.
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Photographed by Kara Birnbaum
Friday

Is it even a track pants story if I don't wear a matching set? Is it even a matching set if it's not bright neon pink? Is it even a Friday if I don't wear this to karaoke tonight? I'm asking the important questions today. Today was an easy throw on-and-go situation. I doubled up on the dad vibe with my favorite sneakers at the moment: grey New Balances.

Walk Of Shame top and pants.
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Photographed by Kara Birnbaum
Saturday

A bodysuit and track pants are prime music video material, but throw on the chunkiest cardigan you can find and you're ready for spontaneous nap time the whole day. Textures came out to play today and added dimension to this outfit. I loved the terry bodysuit and TBH I wouldn't mind a full set made out of that material.
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Photographed by Kara Birnbaum
Sunday

My inspiration for today: jellybeans. I loved going full-on pastel and wearing an outfit that isn’t too fussy. I’m a sucker for the pants’ vintage 80s stripe details so I wanted to echo them with a rubbery rain coat. Sunday comfort is eating jellybeans (only red and pink ones) while dressed as a jellybean. Wish my legs good luck as I adjust to wearing jeans and other non-comfy bottoms again.
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