How to Pick Sweatpants With All Structure and No Slouch

Sweatpants rock. What other wardrobe item keeps you cozy on Saturday afternoon while you binge-watch Netflix and delight in a party-sized bag of Cool Ranch Doritos? That’s right — nothing. Which is why we’re in full support of you schlumping it out in sweats so you can scratch yourself silly on the weekend. 

But here’s the deal: the sweats story turns sour if you actually leave the house in your sloppy slouchers. Nothing says “I’ve given up” like a grey-colored pair of drop-crotch big-box store sweatpants. 

Which is precisely why designers coined the term “athleisure” and thought to reinvent the one piece of clothing that guys covet the most. Throw a pair of these gym-to-street (in your case couch-to-convenience-store) sweats into the rotation, and your wardrobe will have more functionality – like the ability to go straight from working out to working at a desk. No joke.

Taking these pants public put diaper-ass sweats in their place – namely right back in the closet. Designers simply bagged the sag and then added distinctive detailing like zippers, comfy cuffs and luxe fabrics. 

Related: Pick the Right Pair of Jeans for You

Go for a tapered leg and wide-ribbed cuffs to get a snug fit. Check out Nike Tech Fleece which features lightweight warmth and side pockets to hold all your necessities, like a wallet, cell phone and keys. Club Monaco’s Reigning Champ x CM Logo Pant achieves the look with drawstring adjustments at the ankles – the perfect detailing that keeps the look interesting and tailored. Put on a henley, throw an oxford over it and slip into some simple sneaks. 

J. Crew puts an interesting spin on top-rated sweats by offering a stylish elastic waist and hem. Slanted pockets on the Norse Projects Gustav Pant are reminiscent of real pants and, when worn with a button-down shirt and colored tee underneath, look great when you’re hanging out with buddies or running errands around town. Also try pairing Zumiez’s American Stitch Zipper Jogger Sweatpants with a polo shirt and a denim jacket. The front zippers and collared shirt kick this outfit up about 10 notches and make it office worthy on casual Friday. See how easy that was? 

If you’re feeling particularly inspired, buy a pair of Rock Smith’s Jupiter Slim Sweats in Black. They’re made from vegan leather and feature a fun French terry pattern. Go plain on the top if the fabric has flair, but be sure to add a desert boot or high-top trainer to complete the look. 

Just remember it’s about the fit no matter what brand you’re boasting. Baggy equals sloppy. Peroid. The real key to sweetening up your sweatpants is finding a pair that features the right silhouette for your body. Because even sweatpants sporting a triple-digit price tag can make you look like you’re sporting a man diaper. Dude, you gotta Belieb us.


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