A track jacket is a lightweight jacket with ribbed cuffs and waistband. The front zipper runs the length of the stand-up collar, allowing it to be closed over the throat. With a lowered zipper, the collar can lie flat. This type of jacket commonly features two front slanted pockets that may be zippered, and often has contrasting piping.
The traditional track jacket is a windbreaker intended for jogging or exercising that was often purchased as part of a two-piece tracksuit. These jackets are oversized to be as comfortable as possible, allowing free movement for maximum mobility. They were commonly solid in color aside from piping or emblems, and some featured open eyelets under the arms for cooling.
Though embraced by sporting communities including track and field, golf, and sailing, to name just a few, the style became popularized throughout the 1990s by the rapping and hip-hop community who embraced high-end track suits as every day fashion wear. Over the years, the track jacket's simplicity and versatility have made it adaptable to a number of styles. Today's versions are more varied than ever. It might be a windbreaker, exercise jacket, emblem jacket, or even a pullover with classic track lines and collar. It might have contrasting panels, striped ribbing, or special pockets for personal mobile electronics, such as an MP3 player or cell phone.
A track jacket can be made of weatherproof nylon, casual cotton, comfy fleece, silk or satin. In addition to roomier cuts, contemporary jackets are often tailored for a slimmer, more flattering fit. A track jacket might be sold singly or with matching pants. It can be dressed down or dressed up to fit nearly any informal occasion, and the style remains as popular today as ever.