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Style Advice

Style SOS: Is it ever okay to wear sweatpants to work?

Style SOS: Is it ever okay to wear sweatpants to work?

"I've noticed guys wearing sweatpants off the couch and outside the gym in a way that actually looks good, and I was wodnering whether it'd be alright to wear them to work?" - Adeo via email

We’ve all become pretty comfortable with bending the rules of formal dressing – and no item has perhaps been quite as comfortable or rule-bending in recent years as a pair of sweatpants. Updated silhouettes and materials have made them appropriate for all kinds of settings and, yes, that includes some offices too (dress code-permitting). So if yours is fairly chilled out, we see no reason why you can’t wear sweatpants – with a few considerations, of course.

First, you should remember that the sweatpants you wear when binge-watching “Breaking Bad” just won’t do. “The trick is to avoid slouchy, baggy fits,” says Thread stylist Freddie Kemp. “Go for something slimmer through the leg, potentially also with a cuff at the ankle. We usually love a wider fit, but in this case a slimmer fit will counter the informal fabric.” Once you’ve got a more tailored fit pair, you can then build on the look and make it more office-appropriate.

“Another big ‘no’ is wearing a sweatshirt with it,” Freddie warns. As much as sweatpants are fine to wear, going down the full Rocky Balboa route isn’t. “Instead, go for a t-shirt with an overshirt on top, or a simple crew-neck knit,” he adds. Whichever colour sweatpants you go for (we’d advise black, navy, or charcoal), ensure your top half is in a contrasting shade so you’re not giving off sloppy PJ vibes. 

Then, finish things off with a pair of minimal trainers and a cool bomber or Harrington jacket. “Anything with a hood will be too casual, and the short silhouette of a jacket will give off a cool Scandinavian vibe when paired with the sweatpants,” Freddie says. 

With the right considerations, we promise you won't be uncomfortable wearing something so comfy to work. Trust us, Adeo, your colleagues will thank you for leading the way on this one.

Words: Ashiana Pradhan
Illustration: Ryan Gillett