Alyson Walsh; That's Not My Age;
Photo: Dvora @Fashionistable

The relaxation of modern dress codes suits me right down to a T by Alexander Wang. I’ve never felt comfortable in formal wear – that’s probably why I chose a career in the fashion/media industry where I’ve never really had to do corporate dressing. That’s not to say I don’t have to look smart, professional and pulled-together. As Kirsty Wark proved on Newsnight, the modern, working woman’s wardrobe can include luxury sportswear. I’ve been holding onto a pair of 1970s Adidas track pants since the nineties, waiting for this moment. Only problem is they’re polyester and not very luxurious and I hadn’t factored in my current aversion to man-made, flush-enhancing fabrics. Fortunately, Me & Em thought it was about time I posted a photograph of me NOT wearing a jumpsuit and very kindly kitted me out in go-faster stripes. The side stripe trouser is a neat alternative to jeans, Me & Em also has a narrower crepe trouser with piping, it was a toss up but I opted for the flared leg shape.

track pant-side

England may no longer be in the European Cup but that’s not going to stop me from getting sporty. The sports luxe blend of relaxed and formal is the er, new normal. And I like the idea of sportswear sneaking into business class. I’m wearing track pants with a silk blouse and navy blazer; (the blazer is Paul Smith, I’ve had it a few years now and it’s a keeper). Go-faster stripes go to work.

Oh and I keep forgetting to mention that, That’s Not My Age and Style Forever made another appearance on Who What Wear, a couple of weeks ago: Meet the Stylish Older Woman Who Refuses to be Invisible. That’s me in case you were wondering, and I’m very pleased about that.

37 thoughts on “Get Sporty: the grown-up way to wear track pants

  1. Love your “sporty”blog,this is so me and has been for years,so comfortable and can look chic and relaxed at the same time.
    Thanks a million Alison.

  2. OK. Here’s my thoughts. You rock that track pant look. But–I think you may have an advantage over many of us since you work and have worked in the fashion industry. You’ve learned how to get the best looks with any article of clothing. That ensemble works for you on so many levels.
    But, and I can only speak for myself on this one–that look would look horrific on me because I’m well-rounded. Not obese–just well rounded. Track pants would look incredibly sloppy on a frame like mine. So would the blouse tuck.
    It all comes down to what you are comfortable in anyway. I’m a fan of skinny jeans. I love the way they hug my curves without making me look weird and I do love a blazer and love it with a fitted Tee.
    Nice post!

  3. Having worked in the City for many years, I decided to change career a couple of years ago and one of the biggest problems was finding suitable clothes to wear every day in N1. Don’t underestimate the advantages of wearing a corporate suit. Wearing a tailored jacket with a skirt, dress or trousers was easy and I had a limited wardrobe of pieces that suited me and worked for the world in which I worked – I think I looked pretty good and had no problems getting dressed in a hurry or packing for business trips.
    They don’t work in the ‘real’ world though. Me and Em with some Uniqlo have pretty much filled the gap and its getting easier to get dressed again. I’m with you on the side striped trousers from Me and Em – They’re a bit different but not bonkers.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Hilary – and I”m sure you looked bloody brilliant! I wasn’t dismissing formal wear, it can look incredibly chic (and I love a tailored jacket as much as the next woman), what I meant was that it’s a bit out of my comfort zone. Agree with you about Me & Em and also Winser London – brands making stylish, relaxed clothes that women want to wear.

      1. Gosh. I’m rather chuffed that you replied to me! I’ll take a look at Winser London too. Can I also say that books and websites such as yours helped my new clothes identity ‘crisis’. I love magazines but the fashion often doesn’t work for real life and I don’t want to look like a teenager or a frump so your columns and websit are very much appreciated. Thank you!

  4. I thank you for the inspiration. Well, I got an age now and skinny trousers, especially the cheap ones, don’t quite fit anymore. But I love beeing good looking and smart so you’re advice is more than welcome! Classy and new, I love it. 🙂

  5. You look amazing, Alyson and so stylish in the striped sports pants. But. Rather like Catherine I have my doubts about the look. Why, because I think it suits the young and slim. I get the look, I really do. But, while I’m slim, I’m also 70 and you have to be really, really careful when you’re my age not to look as though you’re wearing ‘comfortable clothes’. Also, where I live, people wear tracksuit bottoms because they can’t afford anything else. So, the look is great but on certain (slim) people in certain (wealthy) areas.

    But you look wonderful in them! Also I looked at the link at the bottom of the post – wow!

  6. Wow, if I looked this good in track pants, I’d wear them everyday. I guess it’s the blazer and white blouse that really give it that casual/corporate vibe which is so clever when you can pull it off. Also love your hair pulled back; it accentuates your cheekbones. Maybe you should cut your hair short?

  7. Fab, Alyson! I find I can wear dark yoga pants in most situations now. Just have to dress it up a little and I have the comfort factor!

  8. I’ve got those Me & Em trousers and I love them! They are really flattering and well cut. I’m a big fan of Me & Em actually – the design and quality are great for the price. Great pic of you!

  9. I’ve been really liking the dressed-up track pant look for a while now, and I think this looks GREAT on you, I love the navy and white; one of my favourite photos of you so far :). I love your hair like this too, but I don’t think it would look the same if it was short, and you would lose the versatility you get with the length you have now. I also really like all the clothes you pinned below, especially that navy silk shirt. Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Fabulous photograph; pose, composition, everything. Love how the vertical lines on the pants are echoed by the railing. Intentional or happy accident – it doesn’t matter. As a habitual wearer of a navy blazer, hats off , Alyson! My favorite outfit posted here.

  11. I agree with Mappinjunkie, this is one of my favourite outfits you’ve worn on here! You look superb, and the photo is gorgeous. Goat did a lovely similar go-faster-striped trouser a year ago, and I missed out, so I think I’ll HAVE to get these Me & Em ones to make up for it.

    I ADORE that you’ve worn these with a blazer, Birks, and a formal earring. I’m crushing on this whole look. xx

  12. Those trousers look great on you, but I think it may help being super tall! Anyway love the look….but I think those of us under 5’5 may need a heel…..

  13. Super chic from head to toe, and one of my absolute favorite looks of yours!

    I’ve been a skinny-jeans-only gals for ages, and have only just this year come around to the wide-legged slouchy/silky look. I took the plunge this spring and splurged on a linen suit with wide legged pants, and it’s become the most versatile outfit in my wardrobe—it works for day with a white T-shirt and flatform sneakers, and it works for evening with a silk camisole, heels, and blingy jewelry.

  14. What a gorgeous picture of you ! I like this brand and buy a lot of their stuff but it’s interesting that they will use you in their blog, because they appeal to older women, but they only use very young ( very thin) women who wouldn’t be seen dead in their stuff in their marketing. I’m starting to find it a bit annoying!

  15. I guess I don’t know your back story, Alyson. Were you a model? You certainly have the height and figure of a model.
    In the picture above, you look like Twiggy’s younger sister; as we used to say, “Fab!”

  16. I love this look, the contrast of smart jacket & chandelier ear-rings just stops it all looking too relaxed. Btw have recently discovered your blog & am trawling through your posts, very inspirational for those of us over 60 who love fashion, thank you!

  17. These are your colours. You look fab! Style and colours look gorgeous. I think cool colours look best on you.

  18. Fashion, like the Palos Verdes Penninsula here in So. Cal., is always shifting. But unlike that penninsula you can build on it. So now sporty mixes well with elegant or even gypset.

  19. One request. My style is similar to yours, casual but thoughtful and put-together. I’m 55 and have a great body – something I would never say in my 20’s when I was hot – but after recent brain surgery, chemo, radiation, steroids, seizures and all that I feel good about how I look and am no longer shy about it. That said, I don’t ever dress “sexy” because I feel awkward doing it but sometimes I want to up my sexy game. Any suggestions on doing that while remaining myself? I’m small, with small boobs (never wanted big ones and at my age really love that they’re small) and maybe I’m about your size (but with a bigger butt – not Nikki Minage big, but I usually have to have the waist taken in on pants. I would love to see your version of sexy.

  20. Dear A.W.,

    As good as you look in those pants, I don’t think I’ll be leaving the house in mine..!

  21. This looks great on you. I’m thinking the track pants might be just a wee bit too sporty for my utterly non-athletic self, but I’ve been enjoying some loose/drapey jogging pants from Uniqlo lately, kind of in the same spirit, with sandals and a sleeveless white linen shirt, jacket on hand for when the air conditioning strikes.

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