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With more and more people staying at home these days, switching from slacks to sweats has never been more popular, as the rules around “work-appropriate” outfits start to blur. But even if you’re working from home — and only taking video calls from the waist up — you’ll still want to look put together, if not for your own upkeep and sanity then for those who have to share (tight) space around you.
What Are the Best Sweatpants?
Gone are the days of baggy (and saggy) sweats, replaced by trim, tailored looks you could wear out for errands (or even brunch) if you wanted to. Look for options that eschew splashy logos and graphics for simple, clean colorways and streamlined designs. Here’s what else to consider when buying sweatpants.
Fit: The right pair of sweatpants can actually be part of a smart and polished look, provided that they fit well. Look for sweatpants with a more tailored fit; you don’t want them clinging to you like workout tights or leggings, but you shouldn’t be swimming in them either. Baggy sweats are best left for bed.
Materials: Most sweatpants are made from a cotton fleece material, which is super soft and cozy. But cheap cotton often leads to pilling, and some sweatpants lose shape and elasticity the more they are washed. It’s fine to have that pair of old sweatpants you like to lounge in, but throw on a fresh pair the next time you’re running errands or taking video calls. Look for soft, breathable materials that repel, rather than absorb sweat. Consider cotton blend materials too, which can add structure and shape. Most of the options on our list included a touch of elastane, for a stretchy, comfortable fit that’s as suitable for a yoga session, as it is for work.
Style: These days, brands are making sweatpants in all shapes and styles. We’ve listed some classic sweatpants, as well as jogger-style sweats that are cropped and cuffed at the ankles. We’ve also found sweatpants for women with a flattering flared style, along with some streetwear-inspired looks as well. And, because, you can’t just lounge in pants all the time, we’ve found a cozy T-shirt dress that promises the same ease and comfort of sweats, in a slightly more sophisticated finish.
We’ve rounded up some of our the best sweatpants for men and women below, based on comfort, construction, versatility and fit.
1. Champion Graphic Powerblend Fleece Jogger
Made from a 50/50 cotton and polyester blend, these fleece sweatpants have ribbed cuffs for a more trim fit, plus two side pockets to stash your snacks, earbuds and other “work from home” essentials. We like the old-school Champion logo, though Amazon has more than 20 different colors and styles available.
2. Todd Snyder x Champion Lightweight Slim Jogger
If you want a more premium pair of the classic Champion sweatpants, pick up these joggers, part of Champion’s long-standing collaboration with New York menswear designer, Todd Snyder.
The joggers feature a slimmer fit than your basic sweatpants, and are made in Canada from a super soft French terry material. The material holds up better to repeated washing, and won’t pile or lose its shape. The sweats are garment-dyed for a cozy, lived-in texture, and finished with elasticated cuffs, two slash pockets, and a convenient drawstring closure. More than 12 colors available, in sizes XS to XXL.
3. Athleta Sutton Jogger
Made from a recycled polyester material sourced from plastic bottles, Athleta’s “Sutton” jogger is great for lounging, but put-together enough to wear out for errands or brunch as well. The silky material is light and soft against the skin, with a touch of spandex for comfort. Two front pockets, two cargo pockets and two back pockets give you room for your phone, wallet and accessories.
What we like: the “Recycled Featherweight Stretch” fabric is super breathable and dries easily, making it ideal for a light jog or workout too.
4. Wolven Men’s Onyx Jogger
If you prefer the coziness of joggers (I.e. sweatpants that are looser on top and tailored and cuffed around the ankles), you’ll want to skip the crazy prints and patterns for a more streamlined look, like this pair from Wolven. The eco-minded company makes these joggers from recycled plastic bottles, with just a hint of stretch for easy mobility, whether you’re on a run, at a festival or going for a climb. Further proof of Wolven’s commitment to sustainability: all of the company’s packaging is carbon-neutral and biodegradable, and for every purchase made on its website, Wolven says it removes one pound of waste from the ocean.
5. Mack Weldon Ace Sweatpants
We’ve written about our love for Mack Weldon before, and the online retailer’s best-selling pant is the Ace Pant, a more grown-up take on your classic pair of sweatpants. Unlike the baggy (and saggy) sweats you’ve been lounging in, these ones have a more tailored fit, with ribbed ankle cuffs and a drawstring waist. They’re super comfortable too, sanded down for a smoother, softer finish (read: no annoying pilling or loose threads here). Multiple colors are available online.
6. Zella Getaway Flowy Crop Wide Leg Sweatpants
These wide leg pants are an easy and versatile step up from basic sweats. They’ve got a comfortable elastic waistband and flattering shape. Throw on a sweatshirt or cardigan up top and you’ve got yourself an instant Zoom-ready outfit. Pair it with some cozy slippers while you’re at home, and with a pair of sneakers the next time you head out, for a simple transitional look.
7. Rhone Guru Pants
One of the most popular leisurewear pants for men right now are these “Guru” pants from Rhone. They feel like gym shorts or yoga pants, but are built with a little more structure, to let you wear them post-sweat session as well. The fit is tailored, but won’t hug as tight as some of the other pants on our list. The four-way stretch material gives you plenty of room to move.
8. Nike Sportswear Woven Swoosh Pants
This is a great time to swap out your usual threads for something different, and we like the bold, streetwear-inspired look of these unisex pants from Nike. The “Swoosh” pants have a looser fit with a cropped ankle, buckle-style waistband and a ripstop nylon-type material. Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t show off a little sartorial flair.
9. Goodthreads Slim Fit Jogger
If you want something a little more presentable than sweatpants, consider picking up a pair of joggers, like this cotton-blend pair from Amazon’s in-house brand, Goodthreads. Like a cross between a pair of sweatpants and classic chinos, these joggers come in a slim fit, with tapered, elastic cuffs at the ankle and a drawstring waist. There’s no sacrificing comfort for style here: a touch of stretch lets you easily move around in the pants while still looking like you actually gave a damn when you woke up for work this morning.
10. Western Rise Spectrum Jogger
For a pair of joggers that are slightly more structured (I.e. presentable enough to wear to lunch), pick up these jogger pants from Western Rise, which are halfway between a pair of sweatpants and trousers. The company says its “Warp Knit” material “exists somewhere between knitting and weaving, giving you the soft, stretch feel of a knit fabric, combined with the weight and durability of a woven fabric.”
What you get: a super comfortable, breathable pair of pants that are great as activewear, with water and stain resistance properties if you’re wearing the pants out for slightly more sophisticated occasions too. Multiple colors available.
BONUS: Everlane Cotton Side-Slit Tee Dress
Hear us out: Everlane’s T-shirt dress is just as comfortable as any pair of sweatpants — and just as easy to slip on. If you’ve got an important conference call or interview, the dress adds instant polish for a more put-together, professional look.
The 100% cotton dress features a relaxed fit and cap sleeves that’s flattering for all body types and perfectly embodies Everlane’s philosophy of clean, minimalist basics. Like the brand says, “this sleek staple can easily take you from meetings to margaritas.”