Sweatpants originated in the 1920s when Le Coq Sportif founder Émile Camuset created the simple gray sweatpants to replace the tight-fitting trousers for athletes. By 1936, it became commonplace for athletes to be seen wearing sweatpants.
The trend towards health and fitness, the increasing number of gym-goers, and the film “Rocky” featuring the main character wearing sweatpants as well as Jane Fonda’s iconic workout video all culminated to the acceptance of sweatpants as leisurewear.
Athleisure became popular in 2013 with premium-priced activewear from Lululemon, Aeropostale, Urban Outfitters, American Eagle, and H&M, just to cite a few.
Table of Contents
- Materials Used in Sweatpants
Basic Length Sweatpants
As the name implies, these sweatpants are made in a standard length – not too short, not too long, and the cuffs at the bottom of the pants look like most other types of sweatpants. They are also neither too tight, nor too loose, so you can wear them with sneakers, flats, or even boots, depending on what they are made of.
Sweatpants that come in a basic length are good to wear around town when you’re shopping or having brunch, and they can be a little dressier if you find the right brand and design. They make a great go-to type of pants when you need to throw something on before heading out the door because they are both attractive and comfortable.
Also called capri pants, these are sweatpants that only come down to mid-calf, and they are comfortable both for workouts and for casual wear. They can be made of many different types of materials, and they often come in basic colors so that you can mix and match the tops that go with them. They usually have either a drawstring or elastic waistband, making them easy to put on and take off, and they look great with sneakers or even flats. Cropped sweatpants are also good in certain seasons and can be worn when it’s warm or even a little cool outside, so they are a very versatile pair of pants.
These are some of the most common types of sweatpants, and if you prefer sweatpants with a little uniqueness and convenience, this is one type of pants to consider. The drawstring is long and easy to use, and the biggest advantage it offers is that you can make the pants as tight or as loose as you want them to be. This means that if you have too much to eat at lunch, you can easily loosen up the waistband some and immediately be more comfortable. The drawstring can also produce a look that is a little dressier than a regular elastic waistband, and they are among some of the most comfortable pants you can buy.
Elastic Cuff Sweatpants
Instead of having a regular loose cuff at the end of them, these sweatpants have elastic cuffs that make them a little tighter on that part of your body. One of the biggest advantages of these types of sweatpants is that they keep out the cold a little better than other types of sweatpants because they are tighter around the ankle area. They can also give the pants a look that is a little dressier, yet they are not so constrictive that you are uncomfortable while you’re working out at the gym. Sweatpants with elastic cuffs give your pants a nice look, and they are very comfortable as well.
Elastic Waist Sweatpants
These are your basic types of sweatpants, and they have comfortable and accommodating waistbands that nearly everyone finds comfortable. They are meant for a casual look, especially if you’re heading out the door to an exercise class or for a jog. Sweatpants with elastic waistbands come in many different sizes and are made for both men and women, so not only can anyone wear them, but most stores that carry clothing will have them in stock. They come in a wide variety of styles and colors, and if you purchase a casual jacket that matches them, it will make the perfect exercise outfit.
Not all sweatpants have pockets, but the ones that do are extra comfortable. In fact, these types of sweatpants usually have pockets that are very large and deep, meaning if you’re out for your morning jog you can easily keep your keys in these pockets without worrying about them falling out while you’re running. They are also great for keeping your hands warm, and a lot of fun to wear. In fact, many people will not buy any type of pants unless they have pockets in them, which is why sweatpants with pockets in them are so popular. You can find these types of pants almost anywhere because they are so commonplace and popular.
Relaxed Fit Sweatpants
Essentially, relaxed fit sweatpants have a little extra room in certain areas, including the thigh and seat areas. They are made for people who have a little extra weight to carry around, and the relaxed fit allows the wearer to be a lot more comfortable. Many apparel stores offer relaxed fit sweatpants, and they are available for both men and women, and sometimes even children. If you are in between sizes, relaxed fit sweatpants can be a perfect choice, because they allow you to get just a little extra looseness without having to go up to the next size, which may be too large for you.
Large, oversized sweatpants are always the best option to wear to bed or lounge around the house. If you are planning to wear them outside, they may be challenging to style up as they aren’t as fitted as joggers or leggings. That being said, you shouldn’t give up on the idea of wearing baggy sweatpants outdoors. Thanks to the street style celebrities – Kylie Jenner and Gigi Hadid, it’s become a lot easier to dress sweats up, and that too, stylishly.
Instead of going for a sweatshirt, team up your cozy sweatpants with a blazer, jacket, or coat. This pairing will instantly amp up your look, making everything look more put together. Most people commonly get sweatpants in fleece fabric, but they don’t realize that there are so many other types of baggy sweatpants which are just as good. You can get them in fabrics like denim, faux leather, silk, satin, and suede.
While sneakers are a go-to shoe option to pair up with these loose pants, sandals are a much cooler alternative. Stilettos or heels are perfect for fancier outings like a date night or a girl’s night out.
Popularly known as Escobar sweatpants, tailored sweatpants swank a fitted style. Designed by the luxury men’s garment designer – John Elliott, these ready-to-wear sweatpants became an overnight star for their ultra-sleek and slim design. Like a suit pant, tailored sweatpants have a sharp and neat look, something you won’t be ashamed to wear in social gatherings.
Since these track pants are tailored to fit any body size, they create a remarkable slimming effect, ideal for those who want to achieve a slim-and-smart look. These classic sweatpants come in two types – high-waisted and low-waisted. Choose the one that matches your personal style and pair them up with a cool hoodie or tee; you will effortlessly achieve a runaway style without having to break the bank.
Sometimes known as jogger pants, jogger sweatpants are more like a sweatshirt for your legs. How is that so? Just as the cuffs of a sweatshirt are stretchy, but fitting, the bottoms of your sweatpants are the same. In simpler words, jogger pants boast stretchy elastic bottoms.
This comfortable sportswear is primarily designed for athletic use. For example, most people sport these athletic pants when jogging or running. They typically come in three standard colors – black, white, gray.
Since they are considered warm-up pants, they are generally produced using lightweight fabrics like polyester and cotton. These loose pants that fall just above the ankle boast a flexible belt and two side pockets. Their adaptability level is high due to their free and loose style, making them super easy to put on and take off.
The bottoms are the most attractive feature as their slim yet flexible style instantly grabs the attention. This is also your chance to show off your expensive joggers or sneakers; there’s no way anyone will be able to miss them when you’re wearing this particular style of sweatpants.
As the name suggests, slim sweatpants are designed to have a slim fit, ideal for all body sizes. The best thing about this type of sweatpants is that they don’t look like those typical sweatpants – loose and baggy.
As stated above, slim sweatpants go well with all body shapes, but they are ideal for plus size women, as they help them appear slimmer and smarter. These track pants are best friends with your high-tops, so make sure to team up with a sexy high-top.
Some slim sweatpants come in skinny fit styles as well. They are more like skinny jeans, well-fitted to your body. The best advantage of skinny fit sweatpants is that they are available in a wide range of colors, from dark, moody shades of brown, red, gray, etc. to bright, vivid colors of purple, pink, red, blue, etc.
Racing sweatpants are different from the rest in the sense that they are adorned with designs. While typical sweatpants are plain and simple, usually having a single color, racing sweatpants feature some cool designs. There are a number of racing sweatpants that have officially licensed logos of a sporting goods brand or an automobile company. You can easily find these cozy pants with logos such as FIDA, NIKE, or YAMAHA.
If you are a sports car fanatic, professional biker/racer, or simply have a thing for bikes or cars, racing sweatpants are a wardrobe must-have for you. Even if you don’t fall into any of these categories, it is totally fine. You can still rock fashionable racing sweatpants. Many of them come with the prints of cool numbers and shapes which you can consider for yourself – just for the sake of some fun!
In recent times, stripes have become a design staple for most men’s and women’s fashion. They are versatile and timeless, to say the least. Whether you go for a striped shirt or pant, you will stand out from the crowd.
The most admirable quality of stripes is that they come in many styles – bold or classic, slim or wide, horizontal or vertical, etc. There is no clothing piece that hasn’t featured stripes; the key to rocking them is by choosing a style of stripes that is age-appropriate and suitable to your body shape.
Needless to say, in the past couple of years, striped sweatpants have taken the world by storm. Their influence continues to spread each passing day. You can find striped sweatpants in a multitude of styles – the most popular ones are vertical and horizontal stripes.
Sweatpants with vertical stripes are flattering on all body shapes, especially on people with a short height. These striped pants help elongate the physique. For more height, you can consider pairing them up with your favorite heels.
Sweatpants also come with horizontal stripes which help make the wearer appear slimmer. The most common misconception that people have about clothes with horizontal stripes is that they make you look larger. But the opposite holds true. You can also find sweatpants in diagonal patterns, but they aren’t as common as horizontal and vertical striped pants.
Materials Used in Sweatpants
Everyone knows that cotton allows your skin to breathe while you’re exercising and that it is a very comfortable material to wear, but recent studies have also proven that if you wear pants or tops made of cotton while you’re working out, your post-workout stench might be a lot lighter as well. Still, most people prefer a cotton blend of some type, because including cotton in your exercise apparel is never a dumb idea.
One of the biggest advantages of nylon workout pants is the fact that they move with you, allowing for a flexible material that lets you work out as hard as you wish to and still be comfortable. Nylon is also soft and very comfortable, and it whisks away sweat from your skin so that you stay cooler while you’re exercising. It is stretchy and comes in a variety of colors, meaning you can also look trendy while you exercise.
Polyester makes great workout wear because it doesn’t wrinkle and it is both lightweight and breathable. It also repels UV rays and can insulate you even if the material is wet. Polyester is essentially plastic cloth, and it is very durable when combined with other types of fabrics for even more advantages. The only disadvantage seems to be that it doesn’t dry as quickly as other fabrics and it can produce a bad smell if you work out long enough or hard enough.
Like polyester, this type of material is made from plastic, yet it is completely water-resistant. This is why polypropylene makes a great base layer because even if the outside of the shirt gets sweaty, the part that is touching you usually stays dry. It is also versatile when it comes to designs and colors, so you can feel trendy as you exercise when you choose a clothing made of this material.
This is the material that puts the stretch in a piece of workout clothing. It is a synthetic material that expands to almost 600% of its size, snapping back into place when it needs to. It offers a great range of motion, whisks away moisture, dries very quickly, and is very breathable and comfortable. You can wear Spandex clothing whether you wish to take a casual walk or you’re running a marathon, and it comes in a variety of designs, styles, and colors as well.