What a long, strange trip it has been for the world’s most polarizing piece of clothing – the sweatpant. Over the past few years, sweatpants have evolved from uniform of the underutilized (looking at you George Costanza) to high fashion fodder. For as strange as it may seem though, the recent rise of the sweatpant makes perfect sense. No other item embodies the dualistic (and often conflicting) nature of menswear in 2015. We want our clothes relaxed, yet refined. We want things to be comfortable, without appearing sloppy. We want both crisp and casual in equal measure. And that brings us to the sweatpant. Or as described by countless buzz-wordy product descriptions, the “tailored,” “tapered,” “slim,” and/or “dress” sweatpant.
Some may see them as little more than trend-happy trickery, but the sweatpant doesn’t seem to be tapping out anytime soon. As brands have worked to off-set the athleticism, the sweatpant has become a Frankensteinean hybrid, armed with the heart of a sweatpant and the shell of a dress slack. An elastically waisted, cinch cuffed trouser made from suiting fabric might sound ridiculous but it certainly looks better than those faded Russell sweatpants that most guys used to wear on weekends, so here’s our list of best sweatpants that you’ll never actually sweat in.