NEVER SWEAT YOUR HATERS
Up until recently, sweats were for when you would lazily lounge at home, do your laundry, or wear when you were sick. You wouldn’t think of wearing sweats as an outfit, let alone investing money or even MAD money into them. This is seemingly is no longer the case. Like many of you I have spent the season identifying the perfect casual look for my off-duty life, all the while wanting to trick the world into thinking my incredibly comfortable pants are really a stroke of fashion genius. People have now embraced a variety of sweatpants’ outfits, pairing them with cool bomber jackets, oversize sweaters, and boots. I have always loved pushing sartorial boundaries, from wearing a leopard print shirt to my 5th grade graduation to wearing a champagne colored silk AMIRI bomber jacket, a black American Apparel muscle tee, Baja East sparkle velvet harem pants and Saint Laurent velvet boots for NYE.
Just as track pants have made a comeback in the fashion world, classic terry-cloth sweats weren’t as much of a hit until recently. Now it’s not even just terry cloth; its cashmere, velvet, silk. The variety of the new wave of sweats that people and celebrities alike are embracing and wearing as outfits is an amazing thing to behold. There is always that one trend every season that feels totally unexpected, and this past season stylish sweatpants have fallen into that category. The athleisure look is nothing new, but this specific pant silhouette, of which used to be reserved for the sporty lifestyle, is now one of the most forward items you can rock in real life at this moment. Seriously. If you were to turn up to a nice event, run errands, look to your style icons or the runways at fashion week, you’re going to see a variation most likely paired with everything from sneakers, sandals, and boots. These looks are not only insanely on point but comfortable as well, ideal for your off-duty life, especially if like me you are looking to an alternative to jeans while you’re traveling.
Now I am not telling you to go to Costco and pick up any pair of elastic-waist sweats and think that’s going to cut it. Your best bet is to find a seller that’s known for its sartorial curation, my favorites being Mr. Porter, FWRD, Barney’s, SSENSE, or Matches. By looking there you’re pretty much guaranteed that those sweats will be some stylish sweats. I’m partial to the more luxurious cashmere and velvet ones at the moment, but at the same time I am sitting writing in a coffee shop wearing my Adidas’s Stan Smiths, Black Baja East French Terry Harem Pants, and my ARMY sweatshirt from Skrillex’s clothing line OWSLA. Head to toe sweats and from two very distinctively different designers.
A few style icons of mine have embraced the sweats look this year and killed it. Let’s start with the loquacious Scott Disick, who really rocked the sweat look hard even before it became a thing. His introduction to the look started with his almost incessant wearing of his Del Toro x Cotton Citizen collaboration tie-dye sweats (of which quickly sold out), and continues on a quite regular basis wearing John Elliot’s Escobar sweats and nearly every sweatshirt that he designs. I would say 4 days out of 7 Scott is rocking some piece of John Elliot, and I don’t blame him.
Then you have the provocative Justin Bieber, whose style is not only ever-evolving but heavily influences the marketplace. I was reading an interview on Justin Bieber’s style with his stylist Karla Welsch on Elle, in which she discusses why she loves dressing him. When she talks about how big of a trendsetter he is, she states that “for his Believe tour, we were making so many things. Justin was wearing leather tank tops that we were making and leather drop-crotch pants and long T-shirts. A year later we’re shopping in Barneys and that’s what the men’s floor is covered in. He took so much shit during that time—a lot of people didn’t get what we were doing then.” A year later for his Purpose tour he ended up with a Fear of God collaboration only sold at Barney’s that was an instant hit.
She talks about how he loves to put looks together and is very tactile and loves things that are soft, “I can put a rack in his room and then, all of a sudden he’ll come out, and—like that Baja East sweater—He’s quite fearless. He’s really been drawn to more luxurious fabrics,” Welch says of Bieber’s style evolution over the past year. “He started wearing Elder Statesman in the last two years. His look has definitely gotten more refined. He’s gotten into wearing Saint Laurent jeans with a beautiful cashmere sweater on top.” After reading that, it’s no wonder I find his looks so appealing because I am the same way. Especially when it comes to his sweats looks as they are refined and fun. We also share three of my favorite designers, The Elder Statesman and Baja East, both of whom are known for lush and un-paralleled quality cashmere pieces. And Saint Laurent, whose jeans and boots and a cashmere sweater are one of my most frequented go-to looks.
Last, but certainly not least, you have Mr. Hotline Bling, Drake, the most universally loved rapper on the planet right now. He not only has a knack for clever wordplay and a penchant for writing catchy hooks, but also happens to be one of the most stylish men in the world right now according to GQ. He earned a place on their short list for being the undisputed king of cozy dressing, “able to pull off outfits that walk the very fine line between comfortable and cool, and doing so with the kind of confidence only someone with the nickname “6 God” can really achieve. All in all, if ever there were a spokesman for the “dressed-up sweatpants” look, it’s Drake.”
They are clearly right as you slide through the photos, showing him in comfortable sweats in every combination you could imagine. By showing that a hoodie can never fail you and bombers and sweatpants go together like Drake and Feelings (I was onto something on NYE!), he has a clear way of not only making these looks into statement looks, but ones that are simple and easy to replicate. This year a bomber jacket was as much a staple of a man’s wardrobe as a suit. GQ says, “though the blazer-with-sweats look is a super-advanced move, the bomber-with-sweats vibe is perfect for literally anyone, whether you’re a world-famous rapper hitting the club or a guy nursing a hangover on a Sunday.” In his Hotline Bling video alone he dons both Alexander McQueen and OWL sweatpants, as well as an Acne cashmere turtleneck. Talk about being the King of Cozy.
In closing if you’re going to rock a sweats look you need to know your strengths, know where to find the quality and style you want, don’t be afraid to update your look, and never sweat the haters!