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 a 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.
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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.
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 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.