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.
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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