When I think of “Making it in America” I imagine a life full of making it rain, throwing drinks in other people’s faces, bling bling, and of course, being able to lounge around in a Juicy Couture tracksuit 24/7.
While The Real Housewives franchise may have seriously influenced my opinions on the American dream, I still believe that success should be measured in expensive loungewear. What else says you’ve made it like a $300 matching, brightly-colored, velour tracksuit with rhinestones that exclaim that your butt is, well, Juicy.
During the years 2001-2006, Juicy Couture tracksuits ran rampant. The economy was doing well and opulence was key. During that era, bling was all the rage and our celebrity icons constantly donned teacup chihuahuas, designer bags, bedazzled Razer flip phones, grillz and naturally, the occasional rhinestone encrusted Jesus around their necks, (I’m talking to you, Kanye). This era was all about butt-floss worn outside your jeans and the sparkly gloss on your lips — two things that were both tacky and amazing.
Still, nothing conveyed that you don’t need a 9 to 5 quite like expensive leisurewear, which really is the quintessence of Champagne wishes and cavier dreams in my book. I remember being thirteen, saving up every dollar I made from baby sitting and gathering all the quarters I could find from the couch cushions to save up for my first big designer purchase ever — a hot pink and lime green Juicy Couture terrycloth bowling bag.
That bag meant I was cool. That I was just like the celebrities I adored, and not in the way that I too pick up my own dry-cleaning, but in the fact that Paris Hilton might own the same thing.
While fashion is a cyclical industry that ebbs and flows and is about as temperamental as Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt’s future love child, if you were to tell me 10 years ago that Juicy Couture would be filing for bankruptcy, I would’ve laughed in your face.
While NYMag’s article, “RIP, Juicy Tracksuits, Famewhore Uniform of the 2000’s,” argues that the downfall of the tracksuit is simply that they became “uncool,” I’d like to pose a different idea. I don’t think it was the tracksuits themselves, but rather that opulence became uncool when we all lost our jobs during the recession. Thrifting, going green and up-cycling became hip, and with the latest 90’s revival, “dumpster chic” is now as cool as monogrammed bowling bags were in 2004.
To this day, I still rock my bubblegum pink tracksuit that perfectly accentuates my hard nipples when it’s cold, just like Amy Poehler’s character in Mean Girls, because tracksuits will always be a classic to me.
And as someone who lost her job because a fashion label went under (Betsey Johnson Bankruptcy in 2012), I just wanna say that my heart goes out to all those who lost their jobs as well. I wish you luck finding a new one and I hope that at least your tracksuit collection will one day be worth a lot, especially in the Boca Raton retirement community.
Also check out this cool pug. Straight rockin’ it.