Sweatpants: Leaving the gym as a fashion staple

Sweats are a major garment in sportswear Photo credit: Chester Chan

Sweatpants have long been a staple in the wardrobe of college students. But in recent years, they have become a significant player in streetwear — transforming from humble loungewear to a statement piece and status symbol.

Athleisure, the trend of wearing athletic clothing outside the gym, has contributed to the rise of sweatpants in streetwear. Sweatpants provide comfort and functionality and are perfect for running errands, hitting the gym or even dressing up for a night out.

Social media has also played a role in the popularity of sweatpants. Instagram influencers and streetwear bloggers have shown off their favorite sweatpants looks, inspiring others to experiment with the trend.

In addition to expressing individuality, sweatpants have become a way to show support for social causes. As the streetwear trend continues to evolve, sweatpants will undoubtedly remain significant. Whether worn for comfort or to make a statement, college students and streetwear enthusiasts continue to embrace versatility in the new era of streetwear.

Sweatpants can be styled with most things. Rapper Drake, Ye (Kayne West), Justin Bieber and most fashion icons have sweatpants in their wardrobe.

Sweatpants have a lazy look, as they are loose-fitting, absorbent pants often made of cotton jersey, with elastic or tight cuffs at the ankles and a drawstring at the waist. Moreover, they are frequently worn during sporting demonstrations.

The first pair of sweatpants were made in 1920 by Émile Camuset, the founder of Le Coq Sportif, a sports store in France.

When sweatpants were first invented, Émile Camuset recognized them as the kind of comfortable clothing that athletes at the time sorely needed. The practical yet incredibly effective sweatpants overtook the tight-fitting trousers that had dominated men’s fashion since the French Revolution. They were a plain gray and were named for their capacity to absorb sweat.

It was the defining year for sweatpants until 1976 when Rocky featured an iconic moment in movie history.

Sweatpants in athleisure
Sweatpants in athleisure Photo credit: Chester Chan

According to Mel Magazine.com, Shaun Cole, a culture and fashion historian at the London College of Fashion, said “the surge in gym use and the new waves of health and fitness in the 1980s saw the transfer of sweatpants from the sports-specific context to a more general leisurewear one.”

Many fast fashion companies like H&M, Aeropostale, Urban Outfitters, American Eagle and others started featuring athleisure clothing lines.

In Mel Magazine Cole cites cashmere sweatpants as the leading example of unsuitable sports apparel, arguing that the movement has gotten so mainstream that functionality has been put on the back burner in favor of style.

Sweatpants could be people’s new best friend if they are too lazy to think about what to wear to class and work. So wearing sweatpants, which many exclusively wore to reduce bloating, makes people stylish and in style.

A pair of sweatpants is the most effective clothing to wear if people want to increase sweating, raise body temperature and speed up muscle warming.

As BYU-Idaho’s gym requires either wearing authorized shorts that cost less than $20 or trousers that cover your legs, sweatpants are a good option.

Tights and shorts conduct heat away from the skin, whereas sweatpants do not.

Often, 100% cotton or a cotton and polyester combination creates sweatpants. Gray is the most iconic color since the first pairs of sweatpants were this color.

What are the more affordable options for quality sweatpants?

Nike Sportswear Club fleece sweatpants are a good choice since Nike is a top brand. It looks stylish, and it is at a reasonable price, $55. H&M and Uniqlo also have excellent sweatpants options.

Sweatpants are the main clothing piece I had growing up. They are the best warm-up pants you can get. As a fashion lover, I have at least three sweatpants in my wardrobe in different colors.

Sweatpants can be your new best friend for college; we don’t have time to deal with styling since college life is constant. For the gym, basketball court, class or even work, the best clothing piece to own in the Rexburg weather is sweatpants.