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Sweatsuit vs. Tracksuit — What's the Difference?

By Fiza Rafique & Urooj Arif — Updated on April 23, 2024
A sweatsuit is typically made of thick, soft material designed for comfort or exercise warmth, used for casual wear or workouts. A tracksuit, is a more versatile outfit that can be used for athletic activities, casual wear, made from lighter material.
Sweatsuit vs. Tracksuit — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Sweatsuit and Tracksuit


Key Differences

Sweatsuits consist of a sweatshirt and sweatpants, usually made from cotton or a cotton-blend fabric that is soft and designed to absorb sweat and keep the wearer warm. Whereas tracksuits are designed as sportswear, consisting of a lightweight jacket and matching pants, often made from materials like polyester or nylon that are breathable and quick-drying.
Sweatsuits are ideal for cooler environments, lounging, or less intense physical activities due to their heavier and warmer fabric. On the other hand, tracksuits are suitable for a range of temperatures and physical activities, from warming up to participating in sports, thanks to their more breathable and flexible materials.
The design of a sweatsuit emphasizes comfort and warmth, often being plainer and more functional in appearance. Conversely, tracksuits can be highly stylized, often featuring bold colors, patterns, and logos, and are sometimes worn as fashionable streetwear or part of team uniforms.
While sweatsuits are generally considered less formal and more for personal use, tracksuits have a broader range of functions, including use in professional and casual settings, making them a common sight at sporting events and in public spaces.

Comparison Chart


Cotton or cotton-blend, thick and soft
Polyester, nylon, or other synthetics, lightweight

Primary Use

Casual wear, lounging, light workouts
Athletic activities, casual wear, team uniforms

Temperature Suitability

Cooler environments
Various, adaptable to more climates

Design Focus

Comfort and warmth
Versatility, style, and performance

Cultural Perception

Seen as casual or comfort wear
Can be both athletic and fashionable

Compare with Definitions


A set of matching soft, thick clothing consisting of pants and a top.
He wore a gray sweatsuit for his morning jog in the chilly weather.


A lightweight outfit consisting of a jacket and pants, often used by athletes.
The team wore matching tracksuits for the tournament.


Designed for warmth and absorbing sweat.
Her sweatsuit kept her warm while she did yoga on the patio.


Often stylish, featuring designs suitable for sports teams or casual fashion.
He sported a neon green tracksuit, a popular trend this season.


Often worn in casual settings or during light exercises.
They packed sweatsuits for the weekend retreat in the mountains.


Can be part of a professional athletic kit or personal attire.
The soccer players received new tracksuits as part of their team gear.


Generally less stylized and more functional.
The plain blue sweatsuit was her go-to for comfortable travel attire.


Versatile in function, used in sports, leisure, or as streetwear.
Tracksuits have become a staple in urban fashion, worn by many as a stylish outfit.


Typically made from cotton or a blend, providing comfort and breathability.
His cotton sweatsuit was perfect for a lazy day at home.


Made from materials like polyester, suitable for physical activity and casual wear.
Her tracksuit was quick-drying, ideal for her workouts.


A two-piece outfit consisting of a sweatshirt and sweatpants, usually worn for exercise.


A tracksuit is an article of clothing consisting of two parts: trousers and a jacket usually with front zipper. It was originally intended for use in sports, mainly for athletes to wear over competition clothing (such as running shirt and shorts or a swimsuit) and to take off before competition.


A two-piece garment worn during exercise.


A usually zippered jacket and matching pants worn by athletes and exercisers usually before and after workouts.


Garment consisting of sweat pants and a sweatshirt


A garment, usually consisting of a top and trousers (commonly known as tracksuit bottoms) worn as an outer layer by participants in sporting events such as athletics. The tracksuit is usually designed to be easily removed or replaced, before or after competing. Tracksuits have also been adopted in some cultures as leisurewear.

Common Curiosities

Can sweatsuits and tracksuits be used interchangeably?

While both can be used for casual wear and light activities, their material differences make tracksuits more suitable for a wider range of temperatures and more active uses.

Why choose a sweatsuit over a tracksuit?

Choose a sweatsuit for maximum comfort and warmth, especially in cooler conditions or for relaxed settings.

Are tracksuits suitable for all weather conditions?

Tracksuits, especially those made from advanced synthetic materials, are adaptable and can be suitable for various climates, from cool to warm.

What is a tracksuit?

A tracksuit is a versatile outfit made from lightweight materials, used for sports, casual wear, or as part of a team uniform.

Can both sweatsuits and tracksuits be fashionable?

Yes, both can be fashionable depending on the design and context; tracksuits, in particular, are often part of trendy streetwear.

What are the social perceptions of sweatsuits vs. tracksuits?

Sweatsuits are generally perceived as more casual and comfort-focused, while tracksuits can be seen as both sporty and trendy.

How do the materials of sweatsuits and tracksuits differ?

Sweatsuits are generally made from softer, thicker materials like cotton, while tracksuits are typically made from lighter, more breathable synthetics like polyester.

What is a sweatsuit?

A sweatsuit is a comfortable, thick outfit typically made from cotton, designed for warmth and light activities.

Why might an athlete prefer a tracksuit?

An athlete might prefer a tracksuit for its flexibility, lightweight design, and moisture-wicking properties, making it ideal for warm-ups and physical activities.

How should one care for sweatsuits and tracksuits?

Care depends on the materials; generally, sweatsuits require gentle washing to preserve the cotton's softness, while tracksuits made from synthetics might have specific care instructions for maintaining performance qualities.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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