The 70s were a rock and roll decade. And that culture seeped into everything, even into men’s workout clothes. The clothes were colorful, blocked, and came in sets.
Knit, nylon, polyester, whatever the fabric, they were all well fitted. Interestingly, it was the decade when men wore short shorts too.
The 70s also witnessed the rise of Nike and Adidas, which revolutionized the workout clothing industry. With white canvas shoes, tracksuits, sweatpants, snug polo t-shirts, and white shorts, the whole scene was abundant, with a choice for everyone’s taste.
So, here are 10 interesting 70s workout clothes that men wore back in the day.
70s Workout Clothes For Men:
- Warm-up suit
Warm-up suits were like nylon or really sleek double-knit tracksuits. They all had an open collar that could be converted into a turtleneck. It kinda seems unheard of, but there was such a thing that both men and women wore. They came in neutral, earth, and primary colors. Most had color-blocked designs and stripes on the sleeves or the torso of the shirt. You’d find a lot of co-ord tracksuits back in the 70s, a trend that has circled back today.
- The short shorts
Well, more like why so short shorts. We understand that shorts are great for free movement, but did they have to be that short? We get it when women wear hot pants; they look hot! But men wearing hot pants is not a cool sight. In the 70s men wore these shorts for cycling, skating, running, or playing on the beach. Back in the day, these shorts were worn with a matching polo neck, V-neck, tank t-shirts, or a windbreaker.
- The Tennis shorts
You see Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic wearing shorts and smashing balls on the tennis court. Back in the 70s, the game was as admirable, but the fashion, not so much. Couples were often seen indulging in a game of tennis for athleisure. The tennis shorts of the 70s was a subset of the short shorts. They were pleated white shorts with a striped waist. We cannot help but wonder about the comfort and freedom of the movement in those shorts.
- The comfy sweatpants
This was one outfit that people wore a lot during the 70s. Often worn with a matching t-shirt or a sweatshirt, sweatpants had a casual vibe. Most of them had stripes along the side hem of the pants or a bordered elastic near the waist region. The pants were well fitted, unlike their recent baggy counterparts. For cooler climates, this was probably a go-to workout outfit. It was also the decade when nylon material had gained huge momentum, and that was very obvious in gym wear.
- The Jogging Shorts
The 70s were probably the decade when people finally thought working out was cool. The whole shindig of getting out of the house and going for a jog, investing in some dumbbells, setting up a home gym, or going for a run for fitness became a thing. Especially during summers, jogging or running became synonymous with colorful dolphin shorts. Men, women, and children all wore them. A similar kind of shorts was also designed by Adidas for football players.
- The quintessential tracksuit
Mass manufacturing of workout clothes began in the 70s when gyms opened and working out became a trend. What came first? The clothes or the gyms? The way we see it, it was tracksuit time. And mind you, not the thick ones that drenched you in sweat. These were more stylish, more coordinated, and more workout friendly. Naturally, these solid-colored co-ord sets became the formal dress code for gym clothing. If you didn’t wear it, you looked out of place!
- Tracksuit zipper shirt
Let’s talk a little more about the sweatshirt top of our tracksuit outfit. You either wore them as a piece of tracksuit attire, or you wore them on matching shorts. Most of the sweatshirts had zippers in the front that, when opened, looked stylish. Also, stripes on shoulders and chests were like the 70s stamps of approval. Also, the placing of pockets on the sweatshirts gave a smart look to the whole outfit. Occasionally the pockets would have zippers and were functional.
- The polo shirts
So, what did people wear with short shorts? A lot of times, it was the polo shirts. They could be full-sleeved or short-sleeved, depending on the activity that you indulged in. For rugby, it would be full-sleeved, but for gym or golf, you’d probably wear a short-sleeved polo shirt. Since tennis was a popular choice of workout, polos were also prevalent on the tennis court scene. Just like the rest of the clothes, these too came in all colors and shades.
- The tight t-shirts
Just like the tight shorts, it was the decade when men wore tight t-shirts to the gym. Even outside of the gym, tight tees were a way to show off the beefed body. Solid colored or graphic t-shirts were quite popular. The light-colored round neck tees paired very well with the white shorts aesthetic and were probably enjoyed by women. They were always complemented with white canvas shoes and high socks. Mind you; even the socks were striped!
- The sleeveless tank tops
I know this sounds a bit bizarre, but men did wear sleeveless tanks back in the 70s. And believe us, the more body-hugging the shirt, the more prevalent it was. The material was not mostly polyester but not spandex. It almost reminds us of the 80s unitards look and the whole aerobics boom. Perhaps 70s was an inspiration in some way for that trend. And we are kind of thankful none of these trends are back yet.