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Vintage Adidas tops and jackets are still popular even today

April 9, 2015

Adidas or should I say vintage Adidas – what is it that makes it so special? You might be inclined to raise your hand and immediately say “because it’s vintage!!!! You’d be partly right, vintage anything is special.


But vintage Adidas is in a different league, even for those not overly impressed with sportswear as a rule. So if you want to know a little more about the famous sportswear brand – read on.


The iconic trefoil logo still draws crowds in the thousands as shoppers, both online and in store, look for authentic vintage Adidas pieces as gifts and personal wear.


After nearly four-decades, vintage Adidas tops and jackets are still in vogue. The best thing about owning any one of those Adidas originals is that you can still pair them with contemporary wardrobe pieces, and get away with a perfectly in-style look.

Blue Adidas Shell Jacket

Blue Adidas Shell Jacket

Vintage era Adidas track tops and jackets

Tracksuits, that include variations of tops and trousers, initially evolved in the 1960s as athletic wear. In fact, in decades gone by, they also went by the name of “warm-up-suits” because track and field stars wore their track jackets and tops to loosen-up on the track before the big event. In 1967, the first vintage Adidas tracksuit came about in partnership with Franz Beckenbauer, the famous German soccer player.


However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that track tops and jackets evolved into mainstream fashion-wear, and moved from out of the sports fields and onto the streets. But, by the time vintage Adidas tracksuits and tops went mainstream, they were ubiquitous. Everyone owned one, and all of us loved showing off wearing one.


From busy housewives, getting house chores done, to high-paid business tycoons and young adults at malls and parks – if it had a trefoil logo, they were proud to show it off. It didn’t matter that track and field events weren’t on someone’s mind. Neither did the fact that you were overweight or unathletic. People just wanted to own and wear one of those Adidas originals because everyone else had one.


But those early-day “fashion conscious” suits were nothing compared to what we see today. Back then, as track jackets and tops were coming into their own, fighting to gain shelf space in everyone’s closet, vintage Adidas sports wear looked much different than they did just a few years later.


One likeness of Adidas originals appeared in posters of Hollywood Kung Fu legend Bruce Lees’ movie The Game of Death. Many vintage Adidas tracksuits were like that – plain, round collared and devoid of much fanfare and bling.

How to wear Adidas originals like a pro

Track jackets and tops have come a long way since they first hit the dress scene back in the sixties. But it’s not just the type of materials used to produce them that’s changed. Even the shapes and cuts of those Adidas originals have evolved over time. Yet, despite all those changes, track tops and jackets still fire one’s imagination when it comes to dressing casual or formal.


Today, vintage Adidas tracksuits and jackets are still a dress staple – for both work and leisure wear. To pull it off, there are certain “norms” (not hard and fact rules, mind you!) that need attention:

  • Feel free to mix and match different eras of vintage Adidas pieces


  • Don’t shy away from wearing one of those casual track tops over a formal blouse or shirt


  • If you typically favour trousers (over a dress or skirts), other Adidas originals, like sneakers or runners, make perfect accessories to your ensemble


  • Wear your track tops over a tee and a pair of loose pants, and you’ve got yourself a perfect summer time relaxed ensemble


  • Darker coloured vintage track jackets pair well with light coloured shirts, blouses and tops


  • If it’s a semi-formal occasion, like a chilly night out with office colleagues, consider pairing your vintage Adidas jacket with a similar-coloured or printed Adidas scarf or muffler


  • And if you are indeed a fitness buff who loves to work out every chance you get, why not pair your track tops with an appropriate tracksuit pants or a pair of adidas originals to match your jacket or top

Adidas Telstar football Match Ball for the 1974 FIFA World Cup Germany

Adidas Telstar football Match Ball for the 1974 FIFA World Cup Germany Warren Rohner from Cape Town, South Africa / CC BY-SA (


Sure, track suits had their origins in athletics, but one doesn’t have to be an athlete to wear Adidas originals for work and play.  Whether it’s for a formal event, a casual gathering of friends, or even every-day house wear, Adidas track jackets and tops still make perfect sense. And because they are so versatile, vintage Adidas jackets make perfect accompaniments to jeans as they do with formal office wear.

Buyer beware!

Lovers of Adidas originals sometimes find out that deals quickly turn to ordeals! Just because you see track tops and jackets with the signature company logo, doesn’t mean that it’s the real deal. Sometimes, even the savviest of buyers learn the hard way that if it’s too good to be true – it probably isn’t.


When buying vintage Adidas tops and jackets, make sure you do your diligence when choosing your supplier. Especially for online purchases, aficionados of track jackets and tops do well to follow some basic safety tips before pressing the “place order” button:

  • True Adidas originals are still available at the company’s corporate site. Since these are prized commodities, expect to spend a lot of time before the right item is available


  • If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, research your vintage Adidas purchases extensively first. Only consider reputable sites like Blue17, True Vintage, Beyond Retro


  • The Adidas trefoil logo is what distinguishes the genuine thing from knock-offs and imitations. Check carefully


  • In some cases, the prices of counterfeit items may appear higher than true vintage Adidas It’s a ploy meant to fool unsuspecting buyers – It’s more expensive, so it must be the real thing!


  • Counterfeit Adidas track jackets typically find their way on public sites like Kijiji and EBay. Its difficult, in some cases, to tell from looking at the trefoil logo whether the item is genuine or a knock-off. The best advice therefore is: Only buy from reputable online sellers on those platforms – once that your friends and family or work colleagues recommend

Online reviews

Finally, many vintage Adidas aficionados use online reviews as their gauge to assess whether a seller is genuine or fake. Well, here’s the bad news: In this era of fake news, nefarious traders in fake Adidas originals typically fake their reviews too. But there’s some good news too. When researching sellers of Adidas track tops and jackets, check the reviews carefully as part of your due diligence. You may:

  • …notice the same “satisfied customer” posting repeatedly


  • …see the same (or similar) words and sentences used to describe the vintage Adidas products they purchased


  • …observe heavy positive review traffic over a short period of time. While this might not be a red flag in and of itself, it’s worth questioning why people would buy dozens (and maybe even hundreds!) of Adidas originals over a week or two, and then nothing for a year or more!


The bottom line: Since online vintage Adidas purchasers don’t have the luxury of touch and feel to confirm if what they are buying are, in fact, Adidas originals, an extra degree of diligence is essential. A realistic-looking trefoil logo doesn’t guarantee that your track jackets and tops are the real deal!

What makes vintage Adidas special?

Predator Soccer shoe

Predator Soccer shoe László Szalai (Beyond silence) / Public domain


Vintage Adidas style – beyond sportswear

Even I love Adidas, and although I love keeping fit, I would never dream of wearing it as part of everyday wear – unless it was vintage Adidas. So what is it about Adidas that makes it so special, regardless of whether it’s vintage or brand new?


Adidas has a long history and we have Adi Dassler to thank for the Adidas brand. At the age of 49 and in 1949 (funnily enough), he registered “Adi Dassler Adidas Sportschuhfabrik” with just under 50 employees in the small town of Herzogenaurach, where at the same time, the familiar 3 stripe pattern was registered also.


It would be the symbol of world-class football with the 1954 world cup with Germany v Hungary. Germany won by 3 – 2 and many would credit the clever invention of Adidas’ lightweight boots with screw in studs.


And so the Adidas brand became synonymous with good sportswear, the choice of champions, the garment and shoe of those determined to win.However, Adidas has become so much more than that, and that has much to do with the Dassler 3 stripe and the combination of good, simple designs. If it’s not broken why change it? And Adidas has stuck to the logo and stripe design that is known the world over.

Run DMC shoe

Run DMC shoe eric molina from San Francisco, United States / CC BY (

Why is Adidas so stylish?

Adidas has much in common with Apple and not just because they share the same first letter. They’re simple, straightforward, and exclusive and they’ve both created a brand that is associated with style and class.


You want to wear Adidas and you want an apple mac simply because of the name, the style, the knowledge that you’re wearing something that’s associated with ground-breaking style and technology.


Apple has always appealed to the masses by creating an aura of exclusivity that if you are a member of this special group then you too are special, all because you buy into the Apple brand. It’s the same with Adidas, you buy into ground-breaking style, classy cuts and simple yet effective logos and colours. If you wear Adidas – you’re part of a special tribe.

Stan Smith shoes

Stan Smith shoes Tohlsson / CC BY-SA (

Vintage Adidas

So what’s special about Adidas? Although the designs have changed, the quality and workmanship haven’t and although a pair from 20 years ago may be different, they still carry the same familiar branding and stripe, you’re still part of the club. Whether it’s a pair of 1980s ankle length trainers, a classic vintage Adidas hold all, you know that you’re wearing something special, classic and eternal.

Classic Adidas Windbreaker style 90s Black Adidas Track Jacket

Classic Adidas Windbreaker style 90s Black Adidas Track Jacket

Craving the Adidas stripe

I still crave the zip up hoodless tracksuit jacket, a navy blue number with the white stripes down the length of the sleeves and that small, yet distinctive logo. Or the Adidas hold all, is there a greater bag than this? The ergonomics are as stunning as the shape and overall feel of it.


Perhaps it’s the simplicity of it. And let’s face it, when you buy vintage Adidas, everything feels more special than it would normally. It’s like you’ve bought something exclusive, except with Adidas you get a double whammy, the specialness of vintage and the splendour of the Adidas brand.


If you’re looking for the exclusive feel of some vintage Adidas, make sure you check it’s not fake, check its authenticity, and shop for it in person if you can, you’ll be able to sniff out a fake quicker than you can online. Unless of course you know that the shop in question is a reliable retailer and you know it’ll be a genuine item. Let’s say Blue17 for instance – just putting it out there. Happy vintage Adidas shopping.


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