Tailored suits might be my everyday go-to, but a good tracksuit is a life essential.
Sportswear is a category I’ve largely ignored in the past, putting all of my attention into the intricacies of tailored and vintage clothing. However, in spite of the ignorance, it’s something which I – and I’ll wager the rest of my sartorially inclined peers – wear regularly regardless. As such, when it recently came time to replace the couple of tracksuits I’d been wearing for seven years prior, I decided to do some research and find something crafted better than the usual fare from the major brands.
Private White V.C. is a brand that has been on my radar for a couple of years, my attention caught by some stunning outerwear pieces such as the Twin Track. With their own factory located in Manchester, UK, PWVC manufacture to a strong standard, building a strong reputation over the years they’ve been active. Knowing they had sportswear in their range, I decided it’d be a great time to give the brand some patronage and pick up a tracksuit from the brand.
Private White offer a modular range of tracksuit separates with options for a regular sweatshirt (Crew Neck Sweat or Embroidered Crew’s Sweatshirt) or hoodie (Eden Hoodie) at the top, with matching sweatpants (Crew’s Sweatpants goes with all tops). While I like the design considerations put into their sweatshirt – the welted front joey pocket looks excellent – I’ve always preferred a hoodie around the house, so I got the hoodie and sweats in a colour labelled as khaki on the site, though it presents more as an olive green to me (and a strikingly good one at that!).
The cloth is a sturdy midweight Japanese loopback jersey in pure cotton, springy with a good amount of give and surprisingly good drape for jersey. The hand of it occupies a middle ground between softness and durability; less soft than one might expect from an ultra-luxe garment with cashmere in the mix, but certainly at the higher end of softness for cotton fabric. Tonal ribbing is present at the hem and sleeve ends on the hoodie, in addition to the outsides of the front joey pocket. This ribbing is omitted completely on the trouser, which utilises the old-time method of a lightly elasticated waistband primarily tightened using a drawstring; this design choice allows the pant to survive longer than a pant with elastic ribbing at the waist. Any seam that flexes with movement is reinforced with overlocking, which further adds to the garments’ aura of old-time quality and durability. All stitching throughout both garments is precise and flawless in execution.
Considered touches of luxury are found in the stylistic details and particularly in the fit blocking of the garments. Alongside the decidedly expensive-feeling cloth, the garments feature copper ends to the drawstrings – which should develop a lovely patina over time – a decorative copper rivet at the bottom left of the joey pocket and a raised logo at the chest of the hoodie, embroidered in silk. I’m particularly pleased with the interaction between colours of the copper string tips and the cloth colour, which make an excellent combination. The logo embroidered at the left front hip of the trousers is done in cotton, which is good as I’d expect strongly raised lettering to be a minor nuisance on pants, and the pants feature a single rear patch pocket on the right, the execution of which looks quite tasteful.
Both hoodie and pants sport a comfortable fit, with the hoodie scoring highly in particular. The overall silhouette is quite modern – though not excessively so – with the hoodie having a long body length and the pants being quite tapered. Usually I look for the opposite characteristics in clothing, but I think the silhouette works quite well for me in this case, the long length of the hoodie even serving to mask the wideness at my hips from excess abdominal skin.
The sweater’s armhole is medium-high which allows much greater range of motion compared to other sweatshirts I’ve tried, and the body drapes much better in the chest area, rather than being forced to rumple badly from the slope of my shoulders (it still rumples slightly, but far less than sweatshirts from other brands I’ve tried). This suggests that the pattern may have been cut with the intention of accommodating a more sloped shoulder, an idiosyncrasy of fit that many people have yet one that is rarely addressed in ready-to-wear garments. The pant taper grades a little more sharply than I’d prefer, with some distortion at my knees, but I give it a pass since it’s supposed to be an athletic cut garment and I’ve certainly dealt with worse; it’s just one of the things I have to embrace when buying ready-to-wear as an owner of large quads, and I’m not about to buy a bespoke tracksuit just to achieve a perfect pant drape.
Overall, the look, fit and feel of this PWVC tracksuit has me confident I’ll be kicking around the house in it for a good many years to come. It’s sturdily made and comfortable to wear, with a considered design and quality components – a recipe for success.