On the 21st of January, every year is International Sweatpants Day!
Yes, these thoroughly comfy and laidback clothing items have a day dedicated to them. We can thank Monsieur Émile Camuset, the founder of Le Coq Sportif sporting brand, for bringing sweatpants to the market way back in the 1920s.
But many of you might be asking how to wear sweatpants in a modern context.
Well, sweatpants have become an integral part of our everyday clothing. People wear them in all sorts of settings, whether lounging at home, heading out shopping, or on smart-casual occasions. We’ve even seen sweatpants filling up catwalks and red carpets these days!
This extensive guide will explore the world of sweatpants and how you can make the best use of them with various outfits. If you love sweatpants and want to keep wearing them while staying stylish, read on!
More About the History of Sweatpants
Émile Camuset began his Le Coq Sportif sporting brand in 1882. The English translation of the brand name is “The Athletic Rooster.”
The first sweatpants that the company introduced were gray jersey pants that were knitted. The idea was to allow athletes to run and stretch comfortably. Then, in the 1930s, sweatpants became prominent in the Olympics.
We then saw the introduction of the tracksuit in the 60s. You can see Japan’s women’s volleyball team wearing their famous Nippon tracksuit in 1964 when they won gold in the Olympics, for example.
So from the late 60s onward, fitness fashion became a thing. Now you could say it has evolved into “athleisure fashion.”
How to Style Sweatpants
Now let’s run through several tips on how to dress with sweatpants. The idea is to get the most out of your look while retaining that all-important comfort factor.
You should see these style tips as not set in stone but as guidelines or inspiration for how you want to wear your sweatpants:
Opt for Fitted Sweatpants
If you want an adaptable pair of sweatpants that will work in many contexts, you should look for a pair that’s fitted. Fitted sweatpants are the way to go if you are in a dress-up mood but still want a softer pair of bottoms.
However, fitted sweatpants will also be loose enough to use as lounge pants around the house or if you’re out and about during the day. They will even serve you well for any sporting activities you’re involved in if needs be.
Add a Trendy Blazer or Coat into the Mix
You can pair your sweatpants with a trendy blazer or coat to create a semi-formal or smarter casual look. We’ve seen celebs like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley pull off this look effortlessly.
To make things a little more formal, you can opt for a darker pair of sweatpants to add a neutral base. Then, you can offset this with a jacket with a bolder and brighter color. Or you could keep things classy, as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley did on one occasion when she combined her black sweatpants with a gold-tinged laidback robe-style jacket.
Put Effort into Other Aspects of Your Look
If you are intent on wearing a laidback-looking pair of sweatpants, try refining and formalizing other parts of your look to create balance. This is a concept that men do with beards. For example, a man may have a long scraggy beard, but to balance this out, they could have a slick and tightly faded haircut up top to balance things out.
When wearing sweatpants, you might also want to focus on getting your hair looking its best. You could also go more glammy with your shoe choice by wearing stilettos, black leather boots, or a tasteful pair of wedges.
Men could go for a pair of boat shoes for a more preppy look, or they might try a pair of loafers with no socks for a more casual style.
Rock the Monochrome Look
If you are in doubt about how to wear your sweatpants, then try out a monochrome look. What we mean by this is to wear one or slightly different tones of one color to match your sweatpants.
Black is the go-to option for elegance and style. For a more laid-back and sporty look, you can go with grays. You could opt for red or white monochromatic palettes to stand out from the crowd.
Make Use of Accessories
Accessorizing when wearing sweatpants is a surefire way to elevate your outfit. For women, think designer handbags, shiny or quirky-looking bangles, and various other forms of jewelry.
Men can accessorize when wearing sweatpants with a neck scarf, a classy-looking watch, and some tasteful jewelry. Sunglasses are an excellent accessory for anyone to have also when wearing sweatpants.
Consider Sandals and Flips-Flops
For anyone that wants to rock a casual fashion image in the hotter months, they can match a pair of sweatpants with some flip-flops or sandals. This combo can work great if you are traveling by plane to a hot destination and don’t want to wear shorts throughout the traveling process.
Wear sweatpants instead of shorts with sandals gives off a more formal look. So if you’re on vacation in a hot country, wearing this combo while eating out or hitting the bars in the evening might be an excellent option. You’ll also find that students often rock this look on various campuses throughout the states and Europe.
Experiment with Fabrics
Sweatpants come in all sorts of beautiful and interesting textures and fabrics. For instance, you could splash out on some luxurious sweatpants made from cashmere or even silk for a soft and airy feel.
If you want sweatpants for the colder seasons, why not add some faux velvet ones to your collection? The possibilities are vast now if you quickly search online for sweatpants in different fabrics.
Plus, we should mention that many brands now make their sweatpants with an eco-friendly mindset. For instance, many eco brands now make bamboo sweatpants, and they are often super-comfortable and very popular with the yoga fraternity.
Try Out New Brands
Many prominent brands out there create sweatpants that we won’t mention. But there are plenty of new and exciting makers of sweatpants to check out.
For instance, you could look at Static Sportswear as an option for your sweatpants. This brand has a unique and elegant-looking logo that won’t look tacky when you pair your sweatpants with other clothing items and accessories.
Treat Your Sweatpants Like Jeans
For casual day-to-day wear, and even for the office, you can consider wearing sweatpants as you would jeans. Think a nice crop top and button-down shirt up top, then a pair of fitting sweatpants down below, and away you go!
For guys, you might wear sweatpants with some canvas sneakers and a classy branded polo with a knitted cardigan for a smart-casual look. Avoid looking too plain and underdressed with a basic crew neck t-shirt unless it’s well-fitted.
Layer Up in the Colder Months
Sweatpants work well when you layer up.
In the colder months, instead of wearing a single oversized winter jacket, consider layering up with shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, and casual jackets to create a unique vibe. And don’t forget to experiment with loads of hats and scarves!
If your sweatpants aren’t thick and insulating, consider adding some thermal underwear to keep you snug and warm below. You can tuck your sweatpants into a chunky pair of winter boots to finalize your layered efforts.
Black Joggers Are a Necessity
If you are only going to buy one pair of sweatpants, you should consider getting them in black. This way, you can pair them up with any other clothing item, give or take.
They don’t have to be pure black. You can have some branding on them, including a small logo on the left pocket area or some lines and motifs running down the sides.
Wear Specialized Breathable Sweatpants for Sports
if you do sports or exercise regularly, check out the specialist options available on the market nowadays. The technology that some top sports manufacturers put into modern-day sweatpants is staggering.
There may be some instances where you don’t feel like you are wearing sweatpants. With a well-designed pair of joggers, you’ll have all the flexibility, freedom, and breathability to carry out any physical activity you want in comfort.
Famous Celebrities Who Wear Sweatpants
So we’ve gone through many tips and advice regarding wearing sweatpants. Follow the above advice, and you shouldn’t go wrong.
Now let’s look at some instances when celebrities wore sweatpants and did it well. See this section as a bit of inspiration for your sweatpant-wearing outfit choices:
Jennifer Lopez was captured not too long ago walking out of Barneys in New York wearing a creamy monochrome outfit. She had a classy pair of sweatpants and a fun fluffy sweater.
She pulled off this look with a pair of stylish sunglasses, a small purse, and the usual jewelry additions, including several rings and earrings.
In 2018, Megan fox was snapshotted wearing ripped black sweatpants combined with a simple black and retro-looking branded sweater. She also wore a classic pair of aviator sunglasses to add to the dynamic.
She had a large Burberry purse in her arm. Plus, she wore a nice pair of modern-style running sneakers with pink and gray tones to finish her look.
Angela once got snapped wearing an emerald green tracksuit with colored stripes down the sides when heading to the Jimmy Kimmel Show. The top revealed a little bit of skin around the waistline, and she’d knotted her sweatpants in a relaxed fashion.
She had red shoes to match the red in the stripey sections of her tracksuit. Plus, she was entirely made up with her long hair down.
Yes, even The Royal Family likes to pull on a pair of sweatpants from time to time. For example, Kate Middleton was on tour at the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative when she wore a very classy pair of sweatpants.
The joggers were black with substantial white stripes running down the outer edges. There was also a funky logo on her left pocket. On top, she wore a simple white zip-up sports top and plain white sneakers with cut-off socks below.
With her gray baggy Free City sweatpants, Lisa Rinna was spotted cruising around in a very relaxed but calm look. She also wore an easy-going sloganed baseball cap, black aviators, and Adidas slip-on sandals.
What completed her look that day was her Louis Vuitton fanny pack. Plus, she had a simple black crop top on.
Sarah Jessica Parker
If you want style inspiration, look no further than Sarah Jessica Parker! She wore a sweatpants combo outfit on set on her HBO show “Divorce.”
She went for a gray monochrome outfit which was all soft fabrics. Her top was loose and stylish, and her knitted cardigan added some authority and shape to her figure.
Her drawstrings were hanging loose, and she had her sweatpants pulled up to her lower shins. The reason for the pulled-up sweatpants, you may have guessed, was to show off her fabulous gray stilettos, most likely made by one of her favorite shoe creators.
How to Wear Sweatpants the Right Way
When someone says, “this is how to wear sweatpants,” and comes up with one particular way, don’t believe them. There are many ways to wear sweatpants and look stylish and appropriate for the time or occasion. And when in doubt, opt for a pair of black joggers for a quick go-to on the move.
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