Hey SB, absolutely love the site. Quick question: do you ever wear sweats anymore? As a former college athlete there must be times when you say “f*ck it, I just want to be comfortable”. Any tips on wearing sweats as a grown-up and not looking like a total slob or fraternity brother?
Thanks, and please keep it coming!
Thanks for the compliments, and good question. You are certainly not the first to inquire about sweats. We’ve been meaning to do a post on the topic.
For the most part, after college I updated my casual wardrobe by trading in most of my team-issued Nike sweats (which were always at least two sizes too big) for some soft denim and chunky sweaters.
From time to time, however, yes there are days when I just want the soft comfort and stretch of fleece – but that doesn’t mean I’m rolling out of bed in head-to-toe Columbia gear.
The trick to not looking sloppy is to invest in proper-fitting sweats with an updated silhouette and mixing them with other pieces from your wardrobe.
Here, some comfortable but not sloppy looks incorporating fleece pieces.
1. “Tailored” Sweat Pants
Same sweat pants, different shape. Slim, tapered, trouser waistband with fly, hemmed, 2″ cuff.
These look similar to flannel trousers, but feel more like pajamas. With a pima cotton t-shirt, cashmere sweater and unlined cotton jacket it doesn’t get much more comfortable than this – while still looking stylish and presentable.
Bonus Tip: These are the same pants that I throw on when I roll out of bed Sunday morning, but because of their fit they can be repurposed for a number of occasions.
…For those long-time followers, you might remember these pants from the very first time that I published a photo of myself on the site (which I used to write anonymously). See the old post on the original version of thestyleblogger.com HERE.
Bonus Tip II: Mixing very casual pieces (like these pants) with sharper ones (like this unstructured jacket) can make for a unique and visually interesting look.
Bonus Tip III: If the inseam is hemmed and the leg is tapered properly you can pair your sweats with more than just sneakers or sandals. Try boots, loafers, or even lace-ups as shown here.
Fleece trousers by Woolrich (size 34). Cotton unlined blazer by Theory (size 40). Plaid cashmere cardigan by Brooks Brothers Black Fleece (size 2). T-Shirt by Ralph Lauren Polo (size M). White suede brogue captoe shoes by Moreschi.
2. The Hoody’s Sexier Cousin
A fleece shawl collar cardigan is more flattering, better for layering, and just as comfortable as the typical fleece hoody that every man owns.
In fact, I find it even more comfortable since you can open or close the front to regulate your body temperature and you don’t have to pull it over your head to take it off.
Bonus Tip: transition your boat shoes to Fall by wearing them with socks…and as we spoke about last post, you don’t have to be shy about it. If you’re looking for more inspiration, take a look at this example of badass hosiery.
Bonus Tip II: In a perfectly edited wardrobe (which I do not have), just about every piece can be interchanged with one another – this includes the waistcoat from a three-piece business suit, boat shoes, and your “Sunday sweats”.
Fleece shawl cardigan by Canterbury of New Zealand (size M). Jeans ad plaid shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren (size 34 and size M custom fit, respectively). Navy waistcoat (part of 3-piece suit) by MAB (bespoke, my own design). Navy/Grey/White striped socks by Paul Smith. Canvas boat shoes by Sperry. Watch by Montblanc.
3. The Knit Blazer
Another great combination of casual and dress: the knit blazer.
Again, it feels no different than a typical hoody, but looks a hell of a lot sharper.
This is a simple t-shirt, jeans and sneakers look – but now you don’t have to go home and change before you meet up with that girl. And if all goes well, she’ll love keeping warm and cozy in it while you cook breakfast ;)
Bonus Tip: It’s not quite heavy outerwear season yet. It’s moderate outerwear + scarf + gloves season.
Piped knit jacket by Rugby (size M). T-shirt by Fruit of the Loom (size M). Scarf by Kennth Cole. Jeans by Polo Ralph Lauren (size 34). Sneakers by Nike. Watch by Montblanc. Grey suede gloves (in jacket pocket) by Thom Browne. Shades (in breast pocket) by Persol.
4. Okay – If You Must Go Full-Sweats
If the situations calls for supreme comfort, you can go full sweats - once in a while.
Again, just keep the items fitted, the silhouette classic, the color palette neutral and the accessories light – as well as the mood.
Bonus Tip: Aside from looking much better, slim sweats have other advantages over looser, baggier ones. They are sleeker to the body so there’s less chance of excess fabric getting in your way or getting snagged on things. Also, the heavy contents of your pockets (wallet, phone, keys, etc) won’t cause them to sag off the body as much.
Bonus Tip II: I keep this outfit on the back of my bedroom door, for those quick 3am runs to the deli.
Piped knit jacket by Rugby (size M). T-shirt by Fruit of the Loom (size M). Fleece trousers by Woolrich (size 34). Tweed cap by Rugby. Sneakers by Converse.
Thanks, as always, for reading.
Yours in style,
Photography by Jenilee Thorton (yes, we shot this over a year ago – just never got around to posting it)