Fashion Tips & Reader Questions

Dressy Sweats


There are some things I do not think you should spend more than the bare minimum on. Children’s t-shirts, for example: I recently saw an 8-year-old wearing a Gucci logo tee (plus Gucci leather boots and a Gucci belt – all be-logo-ed – just to make sure the point really hit home), and thought to myself jeez, I should really take her mom over to Target sometime because this is just as cute – a sloth!!! on a t-shirt!!! – and doesn’t scream “I enjoy putting hundred-dollar-bills in garbage disposals.”

Sweatpants, though? Sweatpants are different. “Dressy sweats” have been a thing for awhile now – WOOOOOO – and it’s no longer all that hard to find a really, truly great pair of sweatpants that you can wear out of the house (or even out at night – even with heels!) and have it not look like an accident.


A couple of years ago I wrote about my cashmere sweats that I found on sale while hosting a DKNY event, but they have now had the biscuit thanks to the fact that I can’t be bothered to take them to the dry cleaner (ssh, I know I know I know). It was time for a new, non-holey pair (unless, of course, the holes are on purpose), so I did some scouting around to find sweatpants that were cute enough to wear everywhere, but also not…you know…Gucci.

What I do want:

  • A neutral color
  • Cotton (bye bye cashmere; you are soft but expensive)
  • An elastic waistband
  • An elastic cuff that hits right at the ankle
  • A slim fit

What I don’t want:

  • Sparkles
  • Velour
  • Designer logos and/or names (unless they’re Rodarte; these get a pass)
  • Bells and whistles, generally speaking

The sweatpants I ended up going for: these. (Which happen to be on sale.) I think they’re perfect, and especially enjoy the fact that I don’t have to treat them like delicate flowers in order for them to survive living in my household.



Warm Women's Topstitched Sweatpants

These are the most expensive pair on my list, but the details and fabric make them (maybe, sort of) worth it if you plan to wear them like your favorite pair of jeans.


Monrow Vintage Sweatpants

Monrow sweatpants – the ones I went for – are sort of the gold standard: they’re simple, and fit phenomenally well, and some styles have subtle retro touches if you want a little something extra.


Monrow Vintage Sweatpants (With Drawstring)

Another Monrow style.


Sundry Basic Sweatpants

These have a slightly slimmer fit and are made with a soft terry fabric. Also love the little touch of neon in the waistband.


n:PHILANTHROPY Nikki Distressed Sweatpants

I know, these are ridiculous. I know, if you need a pair of distressed sweatpants you can obviously make them yourself.

But still.



Sol Angeles Essential Sweatpants

If your tastes run a little more sporty and casual, this pair (which comes in a bunch of different colors – and FYI the military green is on sale) is just about perfect.


Wildfox '80s Track Star Sweatpants

Wildfox cracks me up. Of course their model is wearing the full tracksuit, and of course it’s half off of her body. Still, these are pretty great.


Rodarte "Radarte" Sweatpants

They say “Radarte” on them. I don’t know why I like this so much, but I do.

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