Sweatpants have come a long way since their conception over a century ago. Originally introduced by sportswear brand, Le Coq Sportif, they have gone from being a purely athletic piece, worn primarily just for running, stretching and warming up to being a casual streetwear staple.
The History of Sweatpants
But how did this transition take place? As stated, sweatpants were originally created in the ‘20s by Le Coq Sportif in a simple knitted grey jersey design, for the purpose of providing athletes with a legwear piece to warm up, stretch and run comfortably. By the 1930s, sweatpants had become the go-to trackside pant style at the Olympics, and athletes have never looked back.
With regards to the adjustment from sportswear to streetwear, this happened over time with rising popularity of being fitness conscious (think Rocky’s iconic run through the streets of Philly), as well as the beginnings of hip-hop culture throughout the 1980s. Through the ‘70s and ‘80s, designers had began to rethink jersey, previously only really used for gymwear, and started to incorporate it into more general mainline collections, which only bolstered the hold that sweatpants had on casual dressers around the world.
Alongside their rise in popular culture, throughout the ‘90s and 2000s, sweatpants became victim of criticism from mainstream media, often creating negative correlations between the sweatpant style, and the ‘type’ of person to wear them. Thankfully, the media moved past this, and following the rise of remote working around the world, sweatpants have never been produced, bought and worn more than now. So without further ado, here are 4 sweatpants outfits for men.
Colour matching with a hoodie
Once the primary fashion victim of media scrutiny, matching up your sweatpants and hoodies is now seen as a bold yet widely accepted cool move on the styling front. It is easy to look past the minimal effort of the look when your whole outfit follows a single colour palette. If you’re wearing a flashier pair of trainers, try a more muted colour outfit such as black, brown or grey, and save the more out-there fits for when you’ve got some more conservative footwear.
Sweatpants with an Oversized Tee
The king of current streetwear trends is the oversized t-shirt, possibly due to its versatility across pretty much any outfit. You can style them well with jeans, cargos, tailored styles, trackpants, and yes of course, sweatpants. Despite it being an effortlessly cool outfit combination, I’d still suggest you keep this outfit for more casual settings.
Tank Top with Sweatpants
Hear me out, there is just something about a tank top and sweatpant outfit. Whether it is the minimal effort, or just the plain look of being undecided on what weather you’re dressing for. Either way, it is a sweatpants outfit that just works. If you’re rocking this though, try to stick to a more neutral colour palette or only have one piece as a more out there colour. In most cases, the tank will do all the work in providing the flair to the outfit. If you're looking for a layered outfit, then try pairing with a luxury varsity jacket.
The Sweatfit (Sweater and Sweatpants outfit)
The sweatfit, not yet an officially coined term, but one I’m using to describe this outfit choice of a combination of sweater and sweatpants. An equally low effort and effective outfit as pairing sweatpants with a hoodie, this outfit is slightly less common than that aforementioned. A crewneck sweater is again a piece which goes with pretty much anything, but most of all a pair of sweatpants.
Sweatpants have not only become a widely acceptable, but also now an acceptably fashionable choice for when putting together a streetwear outfit. While you’re here, why not check out our full collection of sweatpants? As we go into the colder months, you may be looking to upgrade your full winter wardrobe. Have a look at our article on winter outfits for men for inspiration.