Sergio Tacchini ‘Dallas’ tracksuit, bought 1984

There are many signposts along the road to manhood. For me, one of the earliest, and most significant, was the purchase of a Sergio Tacchini tracksuit top, bought for me on my 13th birthday in October, 1984, by my ever-generous mum.

I’d been into clobber for a couple of years, and had been lucky enough to get an Adidas padded anorak the year before, but the Tacchini (pronounced ”Tashini” by me and my mates) was a real step up. So when I got my hands on it, I was properly chuffed. And no wonder, Tacchini, aside from the almost-mythical ‘Australian’ brand, was the ultimate in European super-rich sportswear. For two years, like John McEnroe, I wore little else.

When the label thing did eventually ‘go out’ in early 1986 – to be replaced by Ocean Pacific sweatshirts and elephant cords – I folded the top reverently and put it away, even then aware that one day I’d want to examine it again some time in the future.

A few years later it was lent to a female mate of mine, who kept hold of it for the best part of a decade. Every time we met thereafter I would ask after its health. It was, she assured me, being looked after very well.

Finally, last year, the tracksuit was given back to me, about five sizes too small, but still recognisably the garment I’d treasured all those years ago. Today, it hangs in my wardrobe, waiting for the moment when it is given the respect it deserves and framed and hung upon the wall of my already-planned ‘Dad room’, so that I can gaze at it for eternity, a treasure from a different age, resplendent in blue nylon and white piping.


  1. Hayley2:59 pm

    Very interesting! I had seen these tracksuits featuring in "This is England (86)"and wanted to check for myself where they originated from etc and find they are a true part of our social history. I was born in 1985 and so my 'Kappa jacket' of the 90s has a similar tale, given for my 13th Birthday making me feel truly fashionable!

  2. Only just discovered this entry Tony but it is exactly the type of recognition Tacchini's true designs should be given.

    Society's undesirables might have tarnished the mere mention of its name by stockpiling the current tennis tracksuits from Sports Direct but ST's international range carries on where it left off in the 80's.

    Brilliant piece.


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