Since Formula 1: Drive to Survive premiered on Netflix in 2019, racing has crept into evert corner of our lives, and fashion is no exception. But clearly, while some people had their eyes on the cars, others may have been thinking, “Damn, Lewis Hamilton can rock a racing jacket.” Fall 2023 ready-to-wear proved an especially F1-driven season, and now we’re seeing it come off the runway and into the streets.
Be it pants that resemble a checkered flag, heavy-duty driving gloves, or, of course, the classic racing jacket, designers around the world have taken inspiration from the sport. Last season, we saw Louis Vuitton’s sleek zip-up tops, to Theophilio’s leather moto pants, and David Koma’s sponsor-riddled racing jackets. The spring 2024 shows indicated that our obsession with Formula 1 isn’t dying, but evolving. From Saint Laurent’s baggy jumpsuits and leather balaclavas that could belong on the world’s chicest pit crew to Ferrari’s bulky, utilitarian gloves, racecar fashion is still very much on the table.
But make no mistake, we’ve seen this trend before. The 2000s film Charlie’s Angels featured a racing scene with Cameron Diaz behind the wheel and Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore as her pit crew. The three wore blue cinched-waist jumpsuits—all unzipped to varying levels. And in 2001, Victoria Beckham cheered on her husband David’s Premier League game in look that would be more appropriate for a totally different sport: a black leather jacket with blue and white racing stripes, checkerboard jeans, and aviators.
As Y2K permeates our closets once again, it’s unsurprising that Formula 1-friendly clothes are making their way back into the zeitgeist. They’ve been on the come-up for the last couple years, with stars like Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa, Kendall Jenner, and—the motomami herself—Rosalía have rocked the leather racing jacket. Some, like Hadid, like to use it as a touch of masculinity in a sexy outfit (she paired her black and yellow Balenciaga with a low-cut yellow blouse and black leather pants); others like Jenner use it to spruce up a classic outfit, styling hers with a white tee and blue jeans.
During fashion month, we also got a taste of how people plan to wear the look throughout the fall: Tyga opted for a full Givenchy motorsuit, while DJ Peggy Gou took the more subtle approach, paying homage with checkerboard pants. Cate Blanchett hovered in the middle, wearing Louis Vuitton’s bodycon interpretation of a racing jumpsuit. Others mixed their sporty jacket with more feminine pieces, like maxi dresses and mini skirts. So, whether you want to embrace life on the grid, or just add a little dash of sportiness to your wardrobe, as we head into colder weather, now is the perfect time to make a statement with bold, racing-inspired looks.