Spotlight on: Tricot

Words by Ben Perdue

Comfortable, durable and always sharp, we shine a spotlight on the fabric that makes up our signature tracksuit: classic sports tricot.

Tricot has gone from warm-up to main event. In tracksuit form it remains essentially unchanged since its debut courtside in the 70s, only its natural habitat has changed. Today’s track jacket, with its iconic taping and crisp synthetic finish, is an established cornerstone of casual, and not-so-casual fashion. Less pre-match, more after-party. A Fred Perry archive classic that continues to endure while trend-led luxury copies come and go.  

Developed to combine comfort and durability, using a cotton-polyester blend woven with a warp knitted structure, tricot has everything a garment designed for wearing on the way to and from a tennis match needs. But its tonal sheen and sharpness are what powered a transition from training to clubbing and streetwear, emphasising as it does the slim, almost tailored fits and clean lines of vintage sportswear. Time-honoured retro inspiration for the unexpected mix of references that shape the uniforms of our magpie-like subcultures. 

Rooted in the underground dancehall scene of the 70s where its smartness translated perfectly from day to nightlife, the tricot tracksuit’s success reflects its versatility. A West London look from The Clash and Carnival days, and staple of 90s streetwear - notorious for cherry-picking the best pieces from previous decades - tricot’s adaptable simplicity has always appealed to a diverse audience. Its journey through subculture’s wardrobes paralleling musical evolutions, like the southern soulboy scene’s expansion into disco, jazz-funk, acid jazz, and acid house. Emerging on the other side sharper and more democratic than ever.