Not Just for Slobs Anymore.


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.






Wallace & Barnes


J. Crew


Band of Outsiders




Blue Blue Japan


Journal Standard


Thom Browne




Engineered Garments




Todd Snyder


Club Monaco


John Elliott

Comments on “Not Just for Slobs Anymore.

    PJ on March 18, 2015 11:05 AM:

    Really? and u bitch about pleads??

    JW on March 18, 2015 4:17 PM:

    Wear sweatpants to/from the gym (or to make people somehow think you are going to the gym)…or to bed in the winter…or to tell the world you have given up. Do not spend $100-plus on sweat pants.

    Really on March 18, 2015 7:15 PM:

    Pleats and then sweatpants? Come on now.

    It was once this was about how to dress, reflect your style. Homer Simpson has no style.

    Get back on track.

    Andrew Bentley on March 19, 2015 7:45 AM:

    Dropped crotch ones are especially snappy ……..

    Vic Delta on March 19, 2015 10:46 AM:

    Shark jump alert!
    It does appear that sweats aren’t just for slobs anymore. Now they make them for fools as well. Please. Somebody grab the reins.

    jordan on March 19, 2015 5:51 PM:

    Remember when clothes were event-appropriate? Tuxes for formals, jeans for work or weekends, khakis for passover or some jobs, (as a teacher, or at Best Buy) suits for other jobs, (in offices, finance, law)…. Madras pants or bright green wide-wales to say F.U. to someone or everyone..
    Hate to sound like a grouch, and sweats really can look good.
    When you are sweating.
    None of those dudes pictured look good.
    Rule of thumb: never wear a garment that contains a stretch-bandy thing.

    N Elliott on March 20, 2015 7:51 AM:

    I agree only to be warn to the gym, but not in gym. Wear shorts and train hard.

    D Spel on March 20, 2015 4:30 PM:

    where is that top left pic from? great jacket.

    Bebe on March 20, 2015 5:44 PM:

    “At a time when even sweatpants have become stylish, nothing says, “I’ve given up” quite like a pair of pleated SWEAT pants.”

    There…enabled the conjoining of this and the prior post. Both of which have been especially amusing.

    Cal on March 20, 2015 10:58 PM:

    Wow, some very salty commenters about this post. These commenters obviously have no clue about current fashion, sweatpants and joggers are huge, a byproduct of the increasing relevance of sneaker culture and streetwear in fashion. Not to mention COZY BOYZ. Good post.

    Axel on March 21, 2015 10:07 AM:

    “Sneaker culture”??? Do you know how pathetic that sounds?
    Of course you don’t.

    RCN on March 23, 2015 10:53 AM:

    Just because its “fashionable” doesnt make it right. I’m quite comfortable in all the clothes I wear and I dont own a single pair of sweat pants. Whats so uncomfortable about wearing proper fitting jackets, shirts and pants. God forbid we throw on a tie… “why are you so dressed up.” I guess if I wore stylish sweatpants I’d be accepted… to bad I’m not even slightly interested in whats “fashionable” I’m interested in looking my best.

    Cal on March 23, 2015 8:57 PM:

    Some people have a different opinion of what “looking your best” is, heaven forbid. And @Axel you dismiss sneaker culture as a joke, when it is one of the biggest driving forces behind fashion design today in tandem with hip hop. Too many “#menswear” “classy not swag” commenters. Keep up with the reality of current fashion or don’t comment at all.

    Patrick on March 25, 2015 9:55 AM:

    Completely agree with Really’s post. Dress sweat pants?! For foolish slobs. ACL needs to get back on track.

    Ian Douglas on March 25, 2015 2:42 PM:

    What, no American Giant sweatpants?! I have three pairs of them and they are the toughest, most comfortable ones I have ever worn in my five decades!

    I look forward to reading more of your blog after learning about it in a recent Harry’s Razors email.


    Nate on March 26, 2015 9:34 AM:

    This is horrible. They may not say that you’ve given up, but it does seem really misdirected. I’m starting to worry about the fashion presented on this blog.

    pat hobby on March 26, 2015 3:36 PM:

    No, they are still for slobs but now they have added dupes willing to pay $400 for sweatpants to the list.

    iblamesummers on March 30, 2015 5:36 AM:

    wish Ralph would bring back Polo Sport: a Polo, baggy sweats & a clean pair of white tennis shoes…an old 90’s look…reconstituted via aughties streetstyle and co-opted & drop-crotched by luxury brands & then watered down vis a vis Eugene Tong, J Crew, & trendy weekender business causal types…

    Jon on March 31, 2015 11:44 AM:

    @ Cal says – ” Keep up with the reality of current fashion or don’t comment at all.”

    Where I live, the ‘reality of current fashion’ for a sizeable segment of the young male population is to wear their pants in such a way that one’s buttocks protrude above the waistline of the pants, requiring the wearer to pull them up on a regular basis, or even to hold them up with one hand while walking or running. When those young men checked themselves out in the mirror in the morning, they thought they were looking good. When I see them walking down the street, I think they look like buffoons. Who is right?

    Cal on March 31, 2015 5:19 PM:

    @ Jon

    I’m speaking more about what you would see reported on other blogs, on the runway, or in new collections/look-books. Not about an individual person’s style or the male population in your example. If you researched other current fashion publications you would find a prevalence of “dressed up sweatpants” or more fitted varieties of casual wear.

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