Joggers are everywhere these days. But that doesn’t mean they should be.
The uber-comfy pants are loved by lots of guys who want to look stylish while feeling relaxed. That’s fine in many situations. But there are places where wearing joggers make you look sloppy and slouchy, rather than stylish and sporty.
So are joggers just sweatpants? What are the differences between joggers and sweatpants?
One key difference is material.
“I would say joggers aren't sweats, I think of them more like running pants and athleisure,” says Nicole Gibbons, a fashion stylist with Taelor. “They're probably made from nylon and polyester and performance material, tech material.”
Another difference between joggers and sweats is the need for a good fit. Sweats can be baggy. Joggers cannot.
“I think a lot of guys don't understand this,” says Scott Shapiro, another Taelor stylist. “For a pair of joggers to work, it really does have to be tailored really well. You don't necessarily have to go to the tailor and get them to put it together properly, but I think you really need to know your measurements.”
For example,“I don't think they look great on a short guy unless it's really tapered to his leg,” Shapiro says. “He really has to know his inseam and have the fit properly figured out so he’s not looking like he’s wearing M.C. Hammer pants or something.”
Joanna Medeiros also cautions guys about the need to know their measurements when choosing joggers.
“Joggers have to fit you. The baggy, loose look is 100% out. Don't do it,” she says. “You want to look nice. So you're going to have to find your fit and it's got to be your size. The more fitted, the better.I guarantee you're gonna get noticed if you have a more fitted jogger.”
How to wear joggers to the office?
Depending upon what sort of office you work in, joggers may be appropriate office attire. But generally speaking, joggers look more like workout clothes than clothes to work in.
“If you have a very casual office, like say, you’re a software engineer in San Francisco where they normally wear hoodies, joggers would be appropriate,” says Nicole Gibbons, a fashion stylist with Taelor.
Shapiro is also cautious about joggers in an office.
“I mean, if it's a really laid-back l office, maybe. But I'm just not crazy about that,” he says. “I think they're really hard to make look good. I don't know if it's necessarily a risk that will be pulled off.”
Outside of the office, some guys can get away with joggers. “If you're more of an edgy, athleisure, really fashion-forward guy, I guess go for it,” Gibbons says. "But they are more for a casual day and I don’t think I would ever recommend wearing them on a date.”
Outfit ideas: How to wear joggers? What to pair them with?
So assuming you’re not going to the office, and assuming you know your measurements, what do you need to do to make your joggers look stylish?
“If you're not comfortable with a slim fit, you can kind of do a slim, straight-type jogger. I definitely prefer the cuff bottoms so it's a little bit tighter at the bottom. You're just gonna get a better fit that way,” Medeiros says. “Then you can pair it with a polo to kind of dress it up a little bit. You can do a t- shirt and a shirt jacket in the fall. You can do a nice hoodie with it. There's definitely a way to do it where you don't look sloppy.”
Medeiros also suggests that joggers can look stylish when paired with a t-shirt and a bomber jacket.
Gibbons says wearing joggers with a t-shirt and an open button-up over it, paired with sneakers or some chukka boots, is a good look for a casual outing. But she cautions against trying too hard to dress up joggers. “I wouldn’t wear a nice button-down shirt and button it up with joggers. That would look pretty weird,” she says.
Don’t have a stylist? Want some help finding and choosing clothes that will make you the best possible version of you (without having to do laundry or spend a fortune), let Taelor help. Taelor is a menswear rental subscription service dedicated to helping men look their best when it matters most. Our styling service, powered by a human stylist and assisted by artificial intelligence, finds the clothes that help you win – at work, on a date, at a party, or wherever you spend your time.
By Paul Conley