Fancy Sweatpants Are The New Birkenstock Sandals Of The High Fashion World

It’s the eve of New York Fashion Week, and things are about to get real high fashion up in this bitch. Which is why, before all the crazy runway show coverage started, we thought we’d pull you aside for a moment to have a little discussion. High-fashion sweatpants are a thing now. Yes, they are. And that is not okay.

Fancy sweatpants are nothing new, but it does seem that we’re reaching the apex of fancy sweatpants. They’re featured in a new ad for shoe brand Etienne Aigner. J. Crew devoted a fair amount of its latest collection to the sweats-with-heels look. Of course, J. Crew sweats aren’t your average $8 Kmart pair — they’re expensive.  Not as expensive as, say, this $842 pair of wool sweatpants from goth fashion maven Rick Owens, but you get the idea. And just like how Birkenstocks began appearing in high-fashion editorials a few months ago, supposedly christened fashionable by Anna Wintour herself, the fancy sweatpant [High-fashion pants are always singular, FYI. PANT. SweatPANT. — Amelia] appears poised to be the latest low-to-high fashion transformation.

But here’s the thing!

You see, fashion sweatpants are not something most of us can get away with wearing. They don’t often look good on non-model types. They are too easily confused with actual sweatpants, and convey a certain kind of slothfulness, a vague disregard for one’s appearance. Fashion sweatpants should not be entered into lightly (or at all, really). But if you must, here are a few rules:

1. Elevate your sweatpant game with a good shoe — we think a three- to four-inch heel works great, or a delicate ballet flat.

2. Pair your fancy sweatpant with a feminine but loose-fitting top, otherwise you might look like some kind of “In Living Color” Fly Girl. Which, you know, if that’s your thing …

3. Accessorize simply — don’t try to fancy-up your sweatpants with too much jewelry. A simple leather bag and a couple of bracelets will do nicely.

Would you wear fancy sweats?