Fashion Friday: Long Live the Sweatsuit! And yet…

Tim Gunn is always talking about women needing a sweatsuit alternative.  I beg to differ.  I think there is a place for the sweatsuit.  In fact, I live in sweats when I’m around the house.  I *gasp* even wear them to the grocery store.  I’m not talking about schlumpy sweats dating back to my college days; I’m talking about cute workout gear or trendy sweatpants that I’ve bought within the last couple of years.  I KNOW, I know.  But it’s just so… say it together, ladies, COMFORTABLE!  Let Clinton and Stacy roll their eyes.  Until they’ve been stuck at home with 3 kids for months years on end, they have no room to talk.

However.  We do owe it to ourselves and our families (and to the other grocery store patrons) to make sure that our comfy clothes are not totally offensive.  In fact, I had already begun this post when I got this comment from Stephanie on another fashion post:

You should also write a post about sweats – where you buy yours and why. I lounge around in sweats/yoga pants on most days, but I think I need to invest in a few more fashionable pairs (can sweats be fashionable…?) so that I’m not completely embarrassed when I open the door for the UPS guy.

So if you’re a poster child for What Not To Wear, but you spend most of your days at home and carting your kids to and from preschool and don’t see the need to invest in a collection of kitten heels and fitted jackets, allow me to show you some cute and stylish sweatsuit options, or as I prefer to call it, active wear to consider.

If you’re blessed with the rear view to wear them, yoga pants are always cute.


Photo Credit: Old Navy

Personally, I opt for the wider leg styles.  They help balance the hip area and tend to disguise the unsightly cellulite that plagues 90% of women (in other words, you aren’t alone, my friend.  You are NOT alone.)  These pants from Reebok are really nice.  And Old Navy makes this cropped version.

Photo Credit: Old Navy

Here is another option.  Throw them on with a tank top and a hoodie and you’re good to go!  (To preschool pickup and the grocery store, that is.  This certainly isn’t the proper attire for a lunch date or your child’s school field trip.  NOT that you would DREAM of it.  Just making sure to cover all my bases.)

American Eagle and Aeropostale are two other stores that I check for cute and affordable active wear.  Buy on sale.

Photo Credit: American Eagle

And for summer, oh HELLO new friend.

Photo Credit: Aeropostale

Yes, I’m aware these are very youthful styles, but let me express again.  I’m talking about hanging out at home and walking the neighborhood and perhaps a quick jaunt to Wawa for bread and milk.  I’m not suggesting that we entertain our husband’s boss wearing cut-off sweats from the junior department. JUST TO BE CLEAR.

If money is no object and you want to turn it up a notch, Athleta has GORGEOUS athletic apparel that is also appropriate for running around town.  In fact, they have some stuff that’s so nice you CAN entertain your husband’s boss wearing it and still be as comfy as the girl next door in her schlumpy old college sweats.


Photo Credit: Athleta

So there you go, my best suggestions and favorite places to shop for active wear.

How do you feel about the sweatsuit active wear?  Yay or nay?  Do you have a favorite brand that is comfy as well as stylish?  Do tell!

Join The Conversation

29 Responses

  1. add me to the list – I live in ahhm, “active wear” around the house and sometimes to run to the store. I have some similar to the crop ones you posted that I LOVE. My problem is, I’ve put on a few pounds in the last several months, and it’s harder and harder to look “cute” in sweats with out looking “dumpy”.


  2. I have a pair of cropped yoga pants that I love! They are so comfy and stylish enough that I don’t feel frumpy in them. I consider wearing yoga pants all day even though I am not attending (and have never attended) a yoga class one of the big perks of the stay-at-home mom job!

  3. I wear yoga pants all day every Saturday and after chruch on Sunday – I found some great cropped ones at TJ Maxx a few weeks ago for spring. I have a couple of cute, baggy, chino-type skirts that I wear on the weekends in the summer with tanks or tees. Unfortunately, I have to dress up every day for work so I want nothing but comfort all weekend!

  4. Since I have had my baby I practically live in my sweats. (sorry i know that phrase is a little overdone – it’s all i could come up with). I just wanted to add that Gap has the cutest, most comfortable, active wear ever. My sweat pants from there are perfect 🙂 oh and they even come in “long” sizes which is my biggest problem with sweatpants – they are not usually long enough.

  5. I have some cute activewear pants that I recently picked up at Target. They’re navy blue with white stripes down the sides and wide in the leg. I absolutely love them.

  6. I do hang out at home in my lazy clothes. But it is rare for me to walk out the door in anything less than come khaki shorts and a tee shirt. I guess I just feel like you never know who you might see (not that it matters, but still) or what might come up unexpectedly. Maybe I just really love clothes and getting out of the house. It can be tempting to start wearing the lounge wear more and more often. Or maybe I just need cuter stuff. I also feel like I see lots of teenagers/college students running around in similar clothes and I would feel silly wearing the same look.

  7. I LOVE “active wear”! Not only does 75% of my weekend wear consist of some type of sweats (or comfy clothes, as I call them), but I usually change the minute I get home from work too! I love Target and Old Navy, but Lucy has great comfy clothes too. http://www.lucy.com Their clothes are a little pricey, but they have the best sales! I wait for good deals and then stock up!

  8. Every now and then, Ann Taylor loft has cute active wear. Sometimes, though, it’s all goofy-looking and whatnot. Do I really want ruffles on my hoodie? Noooot really, thanks. But I second Becca’s nomination for GapBody. I practically live in – no, scratch that, I DO live in – their yoga pants all weekend long. I wish I could wear them to work, waaah!

  9. I love track pants, as long as they are wide leg and not the wind-pant material. I have a couple pairs from Target that are great for the ball field, bowling or the store. I also have the cropped Yoga Pant from Old Navy, so very comfy. They are great for the cabin, garage sales and just doing errands.

  10. What a timely post! I was just thinking today that with warmer weather on the way (hopefully to stay…), I need to make an Old Navy run for something other than my fleece yoga-style pants that I’ve been living in around the house lately! I heart ‘activewear’…bring on the sweats, hoodies and tanktops!

  11. Last fall I bought a pair of yoga pants at the Nike outlet–$30 for a beautiful pair of really comfy pants. And they look great! I wish I had bought another pair when I was there.

    And most recently I bought a pair of capri yoga pants and Costco of all places. They’re cute! But just for around the house, mind you. 🙂

  12. I really wish I could wear my yoga pants to work! I am actually in the process of investing in some new workout clothes because my old ones are so bad I really should not leave the house in them.

  13. Oh yes, yes indeed. I tend a little more towards a pair of jeans than athletic wear, but summer does change that. I recently found really comfy and very cute cargo capris (a nice twist on a frequently boring classic) in the Junior section at Target.

    I love that Athleta outfit. Hmm…today IS payday…

  14. By the way, as I just posted today on my own Fashion Friday, I found really cute casual and ECO-FRIENDLY stuff at http://www.soul-flower.com that is easily within the affordable price range, including some awesome hoodies and tanks. Also adorable skirts. I haven’t had the time to check out the bottoms thoroughly, but I did see some very cute yoga pants there.

  15. I found some really cute sweatpants from Gap Outlet last winter. They were long (nice for tall girls), drawstring with a slightly flaired leg. They were really cute and really comfortable. I wore them all winter long.

  16. Staci and Clinton are insane – they always throw out the comfy clothes. You’ve got to be able to veg out in nasty clothes sometime! I would cry if they dumped my stuff LOL

    I want to get me some cute “active wear”. Especially those yoga pants!

  17. So, I’m wondering – what do you think about faded black yoga pants that I bought in the middle of my pregnancy? Particularly if I wore them last night to choir practice at church. And then to bed.

    I’m just kidding. You don’t have to answer. I’m well aware that even if cute yoga pants are acceptable, mine are not.

    But here’s the thing: you cannot make me give them up. Keep them out of the public eye, yes. But give them up completely? No way!

    All that to say – I guess I’d better get me some new, nicer yoga pants!

  18. I am not a fan of wearing that stuff in public, unless it’s TO and FROM the gym! But I definitely have days when I just want something comfy, other than jeans. I know there are plenty of you who don’t agree with me, but I don’t think anyone over the age of 21 should be buying Aero! Maybe it’s partly because I have an 11 year old who shops there, but if I were to buy Aero, I may as well wear something that says “Justice” or “Limited Too!” (Sorry ladies!!!) 🙂

  19. I have to admit, when BigMama posted on her blog a few weeks ago the mere idea of wearing workout gear in public, even when you’re not working out, I thought to myself, “GENIUS!!” I have so many cute little workout clothes that are oh so comfy…why not?? It seems I play that card a lot now and no one is any the wiser. I prefer TekGear from Kohl’s because it goes on sale a lot and I can usually pay $12-$14 for a nice pair of workout capris. TJMaxx is a great source for tops. I’m glad I’m not the only non-gym member running around town in this stuff! 🙂

  20. Apparently I never got in on the sweats craze. Then again, I don’t have kids yet either. So my sweats are for workouts and hanging out in until I get dressed (or yes maybe for walking the dogs). I do havee a great knee-length skirt from sweat material that I love (from Land’s End I believe) – very comfy!

  21. I’ve taken to wearing my workout gear – always looking for “found” time to sneak in a little cardio. (It’s working!) My workout gear consists of compression shorts under Nike running shorts, sports bra and a sleeveless, v-neck black shirt (I own 11 of these shirts – on clearance at Walmart for $2-3 each. I go through 2 a day.)

    My “mom” gear is currently capris, sleeveless v-neck shirts and my, ever ready to power walk, New Balance training shoes.

    I’ve lost enough weight that all but three of my capris are FALLING off my hips, but I refuse to buy anything till after my surgery and recovery.

    These are all great ideas, but here in Florida, I’m partial to shorts. I don’t know what they are called – Bermuda shorts? Skimmers? I’m even more partial to anything moisture wicking in the summer. It’s HOT.

  22. I love my sweats – I have an RL suit I have worn to death and had to burry it this winter – I also love my sweats from VS – The Pink line – LOVE EM! I also live in hoodys (zip up only) as I spend my summers FREEZING in my home and as soon as the sun goes down – many of my hoodies are also from VS but I am shopping tonight I want to check out the ones you mentioned and those sweat shorts LOOK perfect for throwing on at home this summer! Thanks for the tips

  23. HAVING a grand time figuring out my size at aeropostale – never shopped there…any hints? I am a solid 6 in petites and a 4 in regulars – would I be small or extra large at aeropostale? Because you should know this right? (sarcasm) but any hints would help! I have my cart loaded with 2 sizes of each thing I want and can’t pick my size, measured my waste and all…still stuck

  24. Hear! Hear! Long Live the Sweatsuit!

    I LOVE this post and I am going to head over to the AE and Aeropostale sites pronto. Are they paying you big bucks to advertise their products yet…? Because they totally should be.

    Anyway, I’m the “Stephanie” that you mentioned in your post. I love lounging around in athletic wear, but the UPS guy comes to my door A LOT and I hate it when I open the door and I’m all “a mess” (hair in pony tail, no make-up, etc.). I want to be at least semi-cute…even if I am wearing “active wear.”

    P.S. I’ve been wearing running skirts around my house a lot lately. From SkirtSports and Beckons Organics. They’re stretchy and they have an elastic waistband…and they’re really cute too!

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