Velour tracksuits were to the mid-noughties what banana bread was to lockdown. You can barely look at a photograph of a celebrity from that time without seeing one of these tactile two-pieces, which came to pretty much define the decade, sartorially speaking. There were repeat offenders, of course, by which I really mean Paris Hilton, who wore her collection on flights, out shopping and even to red carpet events. She must be pleased, then, that they're back – and in a big way.
Irina Shayk has just stepped out in a three-piece velour tracksuit, styling the look with a zebra-print shoulder bag and leather knee-highs.
Lyst is also reporting that, since September, searches for 'velvet' and 'velour' are up by 30%. News that Kim Kardashian was adding a velour range to her SKIMS collection – and had recruited none other than Hilton to help promote it – meant that searches for velour tracksuits then spiked by 54% compared to the previous week (Shayk's was also by SKIMS). Can you guess which brand was the most popular? Oh yes, it's still Juicy Couture.
There was a time when a Juicy tracksuit was more of a status symbol than carrying a Birkin (well, almost). Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and a very fresh-faced Lindsay Lohan were all pictured wearing them around 2003, while they were even immortalised on-screen.
In Desperate Housewives, for example, Gabrielle (played by Eva Longoria) had a wardrobe full of them, much like Summer Roberts in The O.C****__. In Mean Girls, Amy Poehler plays Regina George's over-eager (and wildly inappropriate) mother, dressed in a pale pink Juicy Couture ensemble.
Kim Kardashian was also a fan (possibly why she decided to introduce her own take on velour to SKIMS) and was often photographed alongside Paris Hilton – two peas in a Juicy Couture pod.
Chances are this luxurious take on loungewear is having another day (or month) in the sun due to our current circumstances. This year has seen our lives – and therefore our wardrobes– change dramatically. While stuck at home, we searched for comfort and found it in the form of leggings, knitted trousers and hoodies.
It makes sense that, as we head towards winter and a new set of restrictions on our lives, we're once again yearning for comfortable clothes that make us feel good. Plus, the nostalgic element to a velour tracksuit is unavoidable, thus transporting us all back to a simpler, perhaps happier time.
From Juicy Couture to the British high street, there are velvet sweatpants, velour suits and tactile tops, all waiting to upgrade your 2003 look. If you do want to hop on the celebrity bandwagon and wear yours with UGGS, please do take a moment to remember the noughties trends in all their glory. Then you might just change your mind.