As time lurches on in our new reality where we’ve been mostly confined to our homes, there’s been less incentive to put on slacks, jeans, or any “hard” pants. Understandably, we’ve gone soft when it comes to our wardrobes, lounging about in hoodies, boxers, and, of course, sweatpants. Now, more than ever, we’re all clinging to comfort in any way, shape, or form.
However, up until recently, sweatpants were considered a faux pas by the fashion cognoscenti. The late Karl Lagerfeld famously called them a “sign of defeat,” and our high priestess of style Anna Wintour once swore that she’d never wear a pair.
But the rise of athleisure and pioneering streetwear designers have streamlined sweatpants’ baggy silhouettes — without sacrificing comfort — into bottoms that are stylish enough for the office, happy hour, and vacations. And in our new work-from-home normal, even the most fashion forward employees, including Wintour herself, sport them during conference calls.
Besides, with all due respect to Lagerfeld, we’d say that sweatpants are a symbol of perseverance, not defeat. They’re what we wear on day-long flights, seemingly unbearable workouts, and bouts of grief. That’s why, during these uncertain times, we rounded up some of the best pairs of sweats to don right now to make quarantine life a little more bearable.
Best for Working From Home: Olivers Transit Sweatpants
These merino fleece pants fit like a glove, and more importantly, the slim cut and black wash make them office-appropriate for your Zoom calls.
Best for Workouts : Lululemon City Sweat Joggers
The unofficial queen of yoga pants, Lululemon also makes equally stretchy sweatpants that are durable enough for any at-home workout.
Best Value: Champion Open Bottom Jersey Pants
For a day of Netflix binging on the couch, you can’t go wrong with a tried-and-true pair of jersey pants from Champion, which has been making some of the softest sweats in the industry for the past century.
Best Splurge: Ron Dorff Cashmere Pants
If you’re down with a bad case of the “splendemic,” we guide you to these top-notch cashmere pants by Ron Dorff, a new French purveyor of elegant sportswear (no, that’s not an oxymoron).
Other Sweatpants We Love
Adidas Essentials 3-Stripes Tapered Cuffed Pants
Adidas’ sweatpants are just as iconic as their tracksuits for good reason — they’re sporty, clean, and look good on just about everyone, and this pair is no exception.
Softwear Men’s Jogger Custom Tie Dye
Tie-dye loungewear has become the de rigueur fit on social media (we’re looking at you, Justin Bieber), and these custom sweatpants from New York-based upstart Softwear will add color and swagger to your Instagram feed.
Aviator Nation Glider Stripe Sweatpants
Aviator Nation is a quintessential LA label specializing in mid-century surfwear. Case in point: these breezy, retro sweatpants look like they were plucked straight out of The Endless Summer.
Cariloha Bamboo Sleep Pants
Sometimes, we just need a pair of sweats to sleep in. Enter Cariloha’s bamboo pants, which are just as cozy as the brand’s super soft bed linens.
Ovadia Coze Sherpa Sweatpants
Style gods like Jay-Z, Chris Paul, and Victor Cruz love streetwear label Ovadia for its eclectic yet tasteful take on menswear staples, and this pair of faux shearling sweatpants does just that.
Naadam Cotton Cashmere Sweatpants
Soft, minimalist, and sustainable, what’s not to love about these cotton-cashmere sweats?
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