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Give Sweatpants a Chance

Komal Basith

You know how every once in a while a trend comes along that you really, really want to make your own but don’t for fear of looking like an idiot? For me, that trend is sweatpants. Not since the 80s have super comfy, elasticated joggers known what the outside of a gym looks like, but now all of a sudden they’re all over the place.

They’re an extension of the whole normcore craze that started a couple of seasons ago when designers started sending models down the runway wearing what they normally wear on their days off  (how convenient); sneakers, large, oversized T shirts, Birkenstocks and jogging pants with those pool slides that were so big in the 90s.



It’s also one of the more annoying trends in recent history because of course you can pull off wearing clothes designed specifically to make you look like you’re not trying when you’re already a supermodel! But if, like me, you’re not a 5’10 gazelle, sweatpants can be a bit iffy to pull off.  Not literally, of course, but the idea of them – the challenge is to make them look like they’re a part your lewk and not, like Karl Lagerfeld once said, like you’ve given up on life. (He ate his words recently when he sent models at Chanel down the runway wearing – you guessed it! – sweatpants. The only rule of fashion is that there are no rules, etc.)

Still, I had a dream, and that dream involved making sweatpants-wearing look like I meant bizness while simultaneously nailing the ‘I woke up like this and threw on one, maximum two key things and now I look fabulous’ maxim that the normcore trend is essentially based on and so, armed with one pair of sweatpants (a recent purchase from Zara), I set about experimenting.

I’ve come up with two looks, variations of which I’ve been wearing on the regular, which sort of-maybe make me look like I know what I’m doing? You decide.

Oh, and if my selfie face annoys you, know that it annoys me too, and that there’s little I can do about it, no matter how hard I try – this is just the face my face makes when confronted by a front-facing camera.




In which I pair sweatpants with my favourite oversized white T shirt by Free People that somehow makes me look cooler than I really am, followed by the one where I wear the sweatpants, which are so comfy that I never want to take them off, with an equally comfortable oversized sweatshirt while keeping the whole thing from looking too slouchy with a snazzy leather clutch from Indelust and a pair of high heels.

The takeaway: The oversized volume of whatever’s happening on top works when it’s balanced out by a sleeker silhouette down below, what with the sweatpants and the heels and the minimalist accessories. Yes? Again, you decide.

Both looks involve high heels, because that’s really what takes them from bed to boardroom (you can have that one for free, fashion mags), but feel free to swap them for plimsolls if you like.  

Go forth in the knowledge that all sweatpant-related sartorial choices will always work with a pair of plimsolls. I’ve taken to carrying some around with me so that I can go from a meeting in town to a movie and dinner after and be comfortable at all times just by switching my shoes around.

I have discovered the secret to happiness, and it is an extra pair of shoes! Who knew?


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