We have all seen over the past few years, many attempts by the fashion industry to persuade us to believe that sportswear, gymwear and other "athleisure" wear is... wait for it... chic! I kid you not.
Yes, many times I have seen these items labelled as chic. Have you noticed it too? 'Tres chic', 'super chic', 'sports chic', 'athleisure chic', and what not. (head shaking).
Sportswear is utilitarian in nature, of course, or should be. Sportswear, gymwear and all other such activity wear need to be practical, comfortable and able to withstand rigorous treatment sustained during these activities. This is why they are either loose or tight fitting, depending on the sport or activity for which it is designed and made.
They are made of strong fabrics, some super shiny, containing large amounts of Lycra®.
They have zips, hoods, elastic.
Some emphasise body parts in super-tight pieces.
None of these attributes are chic in any way, but are all well and good for these activities.
However, where it all goes wrong, for us chic women, is when they are described as 'chic' pieces to be worn when you are out and about. Of course, you can wear what you want. However, in the French Chic/elegant context, and if you follow this blog, you will agree that these clothes cannot be called 'chic'.
So, should tracksuits be considered 'chic' pieces?
Sportswear or gym wear is not Chic in the authentic French Chic meaning of the word and never will be. Truly chic women wear these only when practicing these activities as they were meant to, but not when out and about except on their way to and from the gym. However gyms do have changing rooms so you can enter and leave in normal day wear, reserving your exercise gear for the gym. Personally. I think this is a confusing of 'fashionable' with 'chic'. Many people wear certain brands of sportswear to be fashionable and like to be seen out in it to promote their fashion follower status. However, in my view, their style status suffers accordingly. See more on this below.
In France, you will never be told: "Oh my, don't you look chic in your track pants!"
No, not in my reality. Maybe in another dimension, but not this one. ;0)
Well, "chic" is a French word, originally meaning: stylish, elegant, distinguished.
As I say above, the definition and value of this word have been changed gradually to describe something more akin to 'trendy' or 'something-that-celebrities-wear-so-must-be-chic', than the original definition of stylish, elegant or distinguished. Knowing now the definition of 'Chic', do you agree that sportswear can be described as chic?
The fashion magazines can dress sportswear up as they wish, even with high heels!, but they will not be able to pull the wool over our eyes, to us chic chicks that we are.
What are your thoughts on this? Tracksuits: are they FrenchChicHot or FrenchChicNot?
PS. If you want to know all there is to know about authentic French Chic and think, shop and dress like a chic French woman, join us in The French Chic Academy.
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I'm Marie-Anne Lecoeur. I teach women how to upgrade their style and think, shop & dress like a French woman in my Ecourses and The French Chic Academy
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