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Rock a vintage Nike shell suit for a party or everyday wear

August 28, 2019

Get yourself a Nike shell suit to rock out your next costume party or add a vintage Nike for uber-cool style that mashes a retro classic with modern wear. 

 

Wear a vintage Nike to stand out from the party crowd at your next fancy dress costume event or get yourself an original Nike shell suit and mix and match it with your current closet pieces for a throwback style that is classic yet modern and fresh.

Burnt sienna Nike shell suit Windrunner

Burnt sienna Nike shell suit Windrunner

Virtually vintage Nike

If you are in the market for an original, one-of-a-kind Nike shell suit, take a virtual tour through the online market places below and you are sure to find that classic shell suit to fit your taste and your pocket book to a tee.

 

Depop
  • Start with Depop and head on over to their vintage Nike section where you are going to see 1980s Nike shell suits in amazing colours, with the classic Nike logo emblazoned across the jacket pocket, with added touches like zips on the trouser hems and shell suit options in 100% polyamide or nylon, perfect for waterproof wear.
90s-Red-Track-Top

90s Red Nike Track Top

 

Etsy
  • Or head on over to Etsy, that global market place where you can find literally hundreds of vintage Nike suits for sale, all original and all authentic.

 

Look for those rare, one-of-a-kind options like a 1990s Nike shell suit windbreaker jacket with retro stripes on the jacket and trousers and in wear-with-everything colours like black or dark grey.

 

True Vintage
  • Another great place to shop for a great selection of your vintage Nike suit is at True Vintage

 

This online market place offers you easy and cheap access to the largest sportswear designer in the world – Nike – who has been creating street wear, sportswear and athleisure wear for decades, and whose shell suit is a classic retro outfit that is timeless in style and use.

Old Nike logo

Old Nike logo

 

Nike online store
  • Don’t forget to visit the Nike online store itself, where you have the best selection of Nike shell suit options to choose from

 

Here, you will find both vintage Nike shell jacket and trouser combinations or current updates on the trend in modern tracksuit styles that go from streetwear to casual Fridays with panache. And when you’re all “browsed out”, take a virtual stroll to 97th Vintage for more.

Blue-Vintage-Nike-Windbreaker

Blue Vintage Nike Windbreaker

Mix and match a Nike shell suit jacket with a classic polo top and chinos for a laid-back look or with a button-down shirt and dark wash jeans for a more dressed-up look.

 

The pair your shell suit trousers with a timeless white T-shirt and white sneakers, and a denim jacket layered over, for modern streetwear style. Or throw a casual sweater over those Nike shell suit pants and add some Doc Martins for a weekend look.

 

eBay
  • Before you make your final selection of a Nike shell suit, do check out what eBay has on offer

 

eBay offers a wide range of shell suit choices, from original 1980s shell suits in nylon and other synthetic fabrics, to modern takes of the classic shell suit at affordable price points to fit any budget.

 

Asos
  • Finally, take a virtual tour of Asos and get inspired by their broad collection of all things Nike.

 

Here, you will find both pre-owned and vintage shell suit options especially curated for high quality and a wide selection of fabrications, colours and styles, as well as a wide range of sizes.

 

Look for Nike shell suit accessories while on the Asos site, perfect for those designer Nike high-top sneakers to go with your vintage Nike shell suit.

 

Backstory of the Nike shell suit

Now that you have seen the best places to source your Nike shell suit from, take a look at the history of this iconic 1980s shell suit fashion trend and how it evolved from the original tracksuit and the role of Nike in this evolution and promotion.

 

The backstory starts in the 1960s and 1970s when the shell suit tracksuit was worn purely for sporting activities and events. These original tracksuits were made of terry cloth, polyester or cotton and were rather drab in colour and style, meant as strictly functional wear, not fashion statements. And, of course, Nike got in on the opportunity and excelled in the creation and selling of tracksuits.

John Carlos,Tommie Smith, Peter Norman at the Mexican olympics receiving awards for 200 metres race in 1968

John Carlos,Tommie Smith, Peter Norman at the Mexican olympics receiving awards for 200 metres race in 1968

 

In the 60s, famous sport stars like John Carlos and Tommie Smith made the vintage Nike tracksuit iconic and fashionable as sportswear. The early versions of the shell suit tracksuit were button-fronted instead of zipped and the materials were great as absorbing moisture.

 

Later in that decade, Adidas joined Nike in creating their own version of shell suit tracksuits and giving their version a fashion-forward spin. By the 1970s, everyone in the know was buying up the Nike and Adidas shell suit options as jogging outfits to be seen in. Fans ranged all the way from Jimmy Carter to soccer mums.

 

The vintage Nike shell suit was also made famous by movies like “Game of Death” with Bruce Lee in his unforgettable yellow version of the shell suit, and in iconic TV shows like “The Six Million Dollar Man” in his red version of this vintage Nike classic.

 

Vintage Nike moves ahead

Moving forward through the decades, we saw Uma Thurman in her wildly popular “Kill Bill” movies sporting a fashionable version of the shell suit tracksuit that made her look casual-cool and stylish all at the same time.

 

Adoption and popularization of the shell suit tracksuit went beyond sports arenas, jogging trails, movies and TV shows and onto the sidewalks and street corners of LA and New York city, where the Nike shell became the style emblem of break dancers, hip-hop and rap music stars in the U.S. of A.

 

From Diddy to Russell Simmons to Jay-Z to Run DMC, you would see bands and artists wearing their vintage Nike shell suit interpretations with lots of embellishment and bling, the perfect fashion statement of rebellion.

 

1980s and 1990s

By the 1980s and 1990s, shell suit reinventions were made of fabrics like nylon and other moisture-resistant waterproof materials that better suited everyone from hardcore sports fans to break dancers on the club floor.

 

In the late 1990s, the shell suit reached the heights of sports and fashion wear when worn by such icons as the USA basketball team at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona.   Sports superstars like Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordon were part of this elite athletic team and set the stage for mass penetration of the vintage Nike shell suit.

 

Across the pond in Liverpool, the Scousers adopted the shell suit in all its bright and colourful variations, making their own fashion-forward style statements. Other Brits like the bands Oasis and Blur rocked the look too, as did famous football stars of the era.

 

Now you know the history of the Nike shell suit and the best places to get yourself your very own choice of shell suit jacket and trousers, so go find that perfect colour, style and fabrication combination to fit your very own shell suit persona.

 

Links  [i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii]

 

[i] https://www.depop.com/products/hollysvintage-vintage-80s-full-nike/

[ii] https://www.etsy.com/ca/market/nike_shell_suit

[iii] https://www.truevintage.com/collections/nike

[iv] https://store.nike.com/gb/en_gb/pw/mens-tracksuits/7puZs9h

[v] https://97thvintage.com/collections/shell-suit-jackets-1

[vi] https://www.ebay.co.uk/b/Nike-Vintage-Sweats-Tracksuits-for-Men/175778/bn_9347553

[vii] https://marketplace.asos.com/men/brand/nike

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