Fashion Victim: Sweatpants
Ok, guys. I have a confession to make—I own a pair of sweatpants. In fact, I own several. One pair are the comfiest and softest pair of worn-in, forest green American Apparel ones that have seen me through many a sick-day, mental-health-day, or lie-on-the-couch-and-surf-the-web-day.
That being said, they’ve never actually been in contact with direct sunlight in the six or so years I’ve been wearing them. I insist on keeping it that way—and for good reason.
I don’t care how many fashion blogs are trying to tell me that it looks chic and smart. They are, in the immortal words of Seinfeld, a very effective way to communicate: “I give up. I can’t compete in normal society. I’m miserable, so I might as well be comfortable.” Jerry’s right. it should seen like a no-brainer: jogging pants wearers so obviously don’t give a shit about their own aesthetic wellbeing that we ought not to acknowledge their crimes against society, even as they are imprinting the image of soggy, sweat-ridden nether parts onto our stylistic memory.
Seriously, guys, thanks.
So for the longest time, it only made sense to think of sweat-pants in public as worn by high school girls (with Uggs), high school boys (with trainers), college kids (with anything they could find), moms who decided not to step into their Mom-Jeans, and old men whose elasticized waistband barely clung to their giant beergut. Or, legitimately, joggers and those who sweat, wearing them to or from a sweaty activity. Dudes in sweatpants can be chalked up to comfort and sloth—they “offered the non-judgmental comfort of flannel pajamas while creating the illusion that aerobic activity was on the horizon,” writes Sean Macaulay over at The Daily Beast. Ditto with high school girls—once emblazoned with words across the droopy, shapeless butts, they acquired instant, lazy, comfort-appeal. Whatever. At least we didn’t have to deal with reeeeeeal people trying to pull these things off.
Alexander Wang S/S 2010 and LAMB S/S 2010
Alexander Wang Resort 2010
So. What gives? What’s with this whole jogging-pants-on-the-runway deal? Wang did it, L.A.M.B. did it, Marc Jacobs did it, Isabel Marant did it, rag & bone did it, Yigal Azrouël did it, etc, etc, etc. How did sweat-pants turn into “the most stylish things you can wear“? Why the hell do people thing they can be worn with heels? I seriously don’t get the irony of a sartorial statement that evokes images of sweaty balls or chafing thighs even on the most female, attractive, and svelte. At best. At worst we’re thinking of the mysteriously stained iterations worn by kid brothers, or the urban deranged. Really.
courtesy of me.
And it’s not just a localized, mini-trend for the fashion elite. (Though, it kind of is.) Check out any major retailer. Alongside the familiar jersey versions we’re used to seeing and can’t get out of our heads, pretty much everyone has jumped on this “athletic-inspired” bandwagon. A cursory search of fashion-forward retailer ASOS will leave you replete with a smorgasbord of options. A different retailer shows this pair, even daring to go so far as to call its cropped, cargo style “absolutely chic”. Fast fashion shops have moved them out of sportswear and put them front and center with the rest of their on-trend items—H&M, Zara, F21 are all guilty. And then there are a plethora of websites and blogs that purport to be your sartorial guides, with step-by-step instructions for the fashion inept, or pictorial aids for the fashion forward.
photos courtesy of www.garancedore.fr/en
I don’t know. I can’t deny the comfort of a well-worn jersey anything—I can even get behind some of the subtler manifestations of the athletic trend. But I don’t give a shit who made the pair of $1000 sweatpants that every was blogging about earlier this year—you can pair them with a pair of superhigh heels and I still think that you look like someone who should be featured on peopleofwalmart.com
Remember these? (courtesy of peopleofwalrmart.com)
I guess I can always chuckle to myself that the non-strategic walking (jogging?) sweatpants disasters are unwittingly taking style cues from a dude called Wang.
I’ll leave you with a parting nugget of wisdom: it’s got to be bad news if even jeggings are a step up.
Words by: Cat