Back in March 2019, I hadn’t heard much mention of Formula 1 or race car driving in general. But after the debut of Netflix’s documentary series Drive To Survive, which captures the drama and adrenaline both on the track and behind the scenes of the premier racing league, I began to hear the names of Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton dropped in everyday conversation. Now, with the fifth season of the show ready to debut on February 24, racing has infiltrated popular culture, including fashion.
Trendsetters like Bella Hadid and Hailey Bieber have been photographed wearing vintage racing jackets, and on the runway brands like Prada, Acne and Diesel have incorporated motorcycle boots, skin-tight spandex and paneled leather separates that nod to racetrack uniforms for both drivers and motorcyclists. Hamilton first attended the Met Gala in 2015, so consider him ahead of the trend in bridging the gap between motorsports and the world of fashion. Now, the sport itself isn’t far behind.
Today, with the return of many 2000’s inspired trends, circling back to some of the popular Y2K silhouettes isn’t exactly surprising. But with the return championed both by major international fashion labels and in-the-know indie designers, it’s clear that the need for speed (and the clothes to fit the occasion) will only grow.
Ahead, shop 13 pieces to help you embrace the trend.
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13 Pieces To Pull off the Racing Trend
Frame High Rise Utility Straight Leg in Astray
These ‘90s-inspired jeans draw on the practical side of the trend, with cargo pockets and utilitarian design features that would make them ideal for a ride or even a few hours of mechanical work.
LaQuan Smith Burgundy Moto Miniskirt
Rev up your look with this padded faux-leather mini skirt. The ultra-short hemline may mean it’s not ideal for anything too active, but it’s perfect for channeling the race look on a night out.
Miaou Jinx Tank
Bright! Flashy! Fun! If you’ve ever tuned into a Nascar race, you know that both the cars and uniforms are splashed with advertiser logos and insignias. This lotto-inspired top from Miaou takes on that same attention-grabbing aesthetic.
Diesel L-Fox-A Jacket
In 2022, Diesel’s creative director Glenn Martens helped bring the brand into a buzzy new era by way of moto-inspired, styles like sleek leather jackets and an oversized skirt-belt that kept the internet talking for months.
Bottega Veneta Cone Wraparound Sunglasses
Wrap-around sport sunnies, now also referred to as ‘gas station glasses,’ have become a staple for those wanting to embrace a more subversive look.
Tamara Mellon Perfecto Boots
The chunky moto boot is back. This silhouette dominated the early aughts, but now it’s making a triumphant return as an alternative to the ultra-chunky, lug-sole styles of 2022.
Versace Repeat Bag
A slick leather look needs a bag to match. This zip-detailed style from Versace mirrors the same features that give a moto-jacket its tough feel.
Zara Over-The-Knee Boots
Pull together a full throttle look with the addition of these ultra-tall over-the-knee boots from Zara. The chunky toe and sole fit the trend, while the tall height makes them ideal for pairing back to a micro mini silhouette.
Blumarine Blue Distressed Leather Pants
Blumarine has helped to herald the return of the early aughts, but these bright blue pants are a particularly cool pick. The panels and knee detailing mimic true motorcycle pants, so if you’re fully leaning into the aesthetic, these are a sure bet.
Marine Serre All Over Moon Catsuit
For a futuristic touch, opt for this bodycon catsuit from French label Marine Serre. If you’re particularly daring, it can be worn on its own, but it’s also a versatile layering piece to style under a skirt and tee.
Marques' Almeida Checked Sequined Tulle Midi Skirt
For a quirkier nod to race-day, try something that imitates the checkered finish-line flag, which you’ll see waving as competitors zoom their way down the final stretch. This sequined mini skirt packs a punch.
Eckhaus Latta Black Birch Lapped Baby Turtleneck
This washed tee with exposed seams has a distinctly utilitarian feel to it. The distressed coloring gives it a worn-in vibe that mirrors the wear-and-tear of broken-in leather. Style this top with a racing-inspired jacket to really embrace the aesthetic.
By Malene Birger Beatrisse Leather Biker Jacket
If you prefer a jacket with an oversized fit (ideal for winter layering), then opt for this slouchy silhouette with an asymmetric zip. It still fits the aesthetic of the trend while also skewing minimalist enough to style with more pared-back staples.