Skip to main content

Jogging Suits

Jogging Suits

When the sport of jogging became a national obsession in the 1970s, bringing with it a fascination with fitness, people were looking for appropriate attire for running along city streets and country lanes, or jogging in place at the gym. Baseball, football, basketball, and hockey players had uniforms that were designed for the specifics of their sport and runners were looking for the same. Casual street clothes such as jeans and a loosely-fitted shirt were impractical. The old T-shirt and shorts or one-piece cotton gym suit was not fashionable. Out of this need came the popularity of the jogging suit: a casual two-piece outfit designed and marketed for men and women that included a zip jacket and elastic-waist pants.

The first jogging suits consisted of clothing that already existed: fleece sweatpants and hooded sweatshirts. As an athletic ensemble, it was an offshoot of the traditional tracksuit, which had been in existence since the early 1950s. The tracksuit was made up of long pants and a long-sleeved jacket and was worn by runners and other athletes. For the style-conscious, however, such attire seemed drab. Realizing that a market was emerging for a stylish jogging wardrobe, designers created what came to be known as the jogging suit. Jogging suits were created for comfort and fabric breathability, which meant that air flowed easily through the fabric, keeping the wearer from getting too hot. They were made of velour, nylon, polar fleece, and polyester and were stitched together so as to withstand wear and the elements.

In 1975 Adidas introduced its top-selling nylon and polyester jogging suit. It consisted of a full-zip jacket with two front pockets and a ribbed neck, hem, and cuffs. The pants featured an internal drawcord, ankle zippers, and elastic side-seam pockets. A three-stripe design was added to the jacket sleeves and pant side seams. The suit had the embroidered company logo on the left hip of the pants and the left breast of the jacket. The women's model was practically identical, except for the tailoring.

Not everyone purchased jogging suits for running. Some wore them as sportswear, because they were sleek and attractive. Jogging suits thus became a fashion trend, with designers such as Russian-born Oleg Cassini (1913) joining the athletic wear companies in marketing them. In the 1980s and 1990s the jogging suit evolved into the contemporary tracksuit: smoother, more fitted, and shinier, and made of state-of-the-art nylon and spandex materials. While many people actually exercised in these outfits, tracksuits were popularized by rap artists and other musicians and dancers as a type of urban street fashion.


Schnurnberger, Lynn. Let There Be Clothes: 40,000 Years of Fashion. New York: Workman Publishing, 1991.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Jogging Suits." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . 19 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Jogging Suits." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . (April 19, 2019).

"Jogging Suits." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved April 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.