Sweatpants out of fashion? As life returns to normal, no one wears them anymore


While sweatpants enjoyed a moment of glory during lockdown, they now seem to be on their way out. Photo: AFP

Sweatpants, that lockdown favourite, are already being banished in favour of more extravagant fashions.

In spite of the various announcements and studies in their favour, and some desperate incursions in recent weeks, sweatpants are on their way to the back of the wardrobe, resurfacing only on rare occasions.Anna Wintour posing in jogging pants, her legendary bob perfectly smoothed, in front of a huge and well-stocked bookcase.

The picture was totally unexpected, and it went viral around the world in a matter of minutes, elevating this piece that was previously the preserve of athletes and gym goers – or possibly sportswear lovers – to the rank of a must-have in this period of social distancing.

Like a kind of collateral damage of the pandemic, sweatpants became a source of comfort – in both senses of the word – and a staple of the sometimes endless days.

Read more: Menswear makes a return with accessories for all types of lifestyles

It didn't take much more than that to boost sales of joggers, sneakers, leggings, hoodies and the likes, and for people to announce that this kind of clothing would last well beyond the pandemic.

But, as soon as life returned to normal, no one – absolutely no one – showed up at the office in sweatpants. Sneakers were in, hoodies were in, leggings made a few forays onto the street, but the sweatpants stayed at home.

We thought that the craze for the Squid Game series might change the game, the Netflix thriller having for a while boosted search interest in retro-inspired tracksuits, but this micro-trend has also fallen flat.

So that's it – joggers have fallen out of favour with the public, which is now turning to a more joyful, more optimistic, even more extravagant kind of fashion, in total contrast to the gloomy times experienced in recent months.

Making way for extravagance

Karl Lagerfeld once said: "Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life, so you bought some sweatpants."

He definitely would not have appreciated the successive lockdowns. But he would also have been reassured to see that normal life is still synonymous with elegance – even at minimal levels – and a touch of folly.

The return to work actually showed everyone's willingness to express their desire for freedom through their wardrobe, making the most of bright colours, patterns of all kinds, and even sequins and other glittery details.

A few months later, this feeling endures, as seen on recent red carpet events held around the world, taking fashion in a sexier direction with cut-out dresses and tops like we haven't seen in a long time.

Read more: Cool yet casual? How menswear is tackling the new reality of formal attire

And in everyday life, while comfort is still present, it is no longer manifested in the form of sweatpants, but in a wardrobe made up of micro-trends, inspired by television series, video games or specific events like the six-month "trip" into orbit made by the French astronaut, Thomas Pesquet.

According to forecasts published by the fashion search platforms Stylight and Lyst, 2022 will be a year filled with micro-skirts, bustiers and cut-outs, for the first, and futuristic and multi-sensory clothes for the second, which foresees neat, polished outfits but in more fluid and soft materials for work.

In any case, sweatpants have disappeared off the radar. – AFP Relaxnews

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fashion , trend , casualwear , Covid-19 , WFH


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