Is It Ever Acceptable To Wear Sweatpants In Public?

Amelia McDonell-Parry | January 19, 2010 - 4:10 pm

Writer Sean Macaulay at the Daily Beast calls sweatpants “the universal wardrobe shorthand for sloth and lassitude” in “Our Sweatpants Nightmare.” He says the wearing of sweats in public is a result of young people’s lack of social responsibility and too-casual office dress codes. Well, this is basically how I feel about flannel pajama bottoms in public. Nothing conveys a lack of hygiene and laziness better than walking around in your PJs. While I can agree that sweatpants are inappropriate at the office, religious events, and most affairs, there are some places, I think, where it’s totally appropriate to wear a pair of sweats without looking as if you “gave up.” Read the guidelines for wearing sweats after the jump.Guidelines for wearing sweatpants in public:

  • The sweats must not have holes or stains.
  • They must not sag in unflattering places like the crotch or behind.
  • There shouldn’t be any writing across the bum.
  • The sweatpants have to be paired with gym or fashion-forward sneakers. Never Uggs, which is a young look.
  • Straight legs that aren’t gathered at the bottoms are universally flattering.

Instances when sweats are appropriate:

  • Clothing shopping: Feeling comfortable is necessary for having a pleasant shopping experience, but tread lightly here because sales people treat you based on how you look.
  • Grocery shopping: Walking up and down aisles is exercise, so there’s no need to dress up.
  • Medical procedures: Fastening a button or pushing your foot through a skinny leg opening are the last things you want to think about when feeling the effects of anesthesia.
  • Spa day: The best way to ruin the after effects of a massage or other body treatment is by putting on binding clothes.
  • Casual brunch: An expandable waistband will stop you from feeling guilty about that extra piece of turkey bacon or biscuit.
  • Sporting event: OK, so you’re not playing, but do you really want to look as if your sole purpose for attending was to attract a mate?