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Your Stylist: Can sweat pants be stylish? Think sexy and slouchy, not 'Juicy'

October 18, 2010 |  8:00 am

In this installment of Your Stylist, we dissect the sweat pant trend. Does this trend have legs, or does it just look like you were too lazy to put on real pants?Lambfw2010
The sporty-chic sweat pants that women are wearing with drapey tops and peep toe booties may seem like a trend out of left field, but versions of this same style have been lingering for years. Who can forget Openingceremony276 the era of bedazzled track suits that made housewives and college students everywhere look like an athletic army of terry cloth soldiers? Then the boot-cut track pants (often emblazoned with something across the back side) phased out, and drop-crotch harem pants, which were reminiscent of MC Hammer’s on-stage costume, came into fashion. Now lithe and loose sweat pants are a ubiquitous item, not meant to be worn to yoga but, rather, in the same way you would a pair of sophisticated menswear inspired trousers.

These sweat pants, which are everywhere from Zara to Opening Ceremony, generally have a drawstring and are made from a cotton fleece, which have a more casual, almost athletic look. That, juxtaposed with how celebs like Gwen Stefani are wearing them (with a body skimming-cotton jersey top and a pair of peep toe booties or sky-high stilettos), makes for a very edgy and sporty look.

In fact, Stefani included a pair of Trompe l’oiel sweat pants in her fall 2010 L.A.M.B. runway show that were styled very much the way she would wear Wilt132 them.

When wearing these pants, which are roomy through the seat and have a tapered leg opening that’s pulled up and scrunched around the shin, make sure to pair them with something smaller on top that will define your shape. Otherwise, the whole silhouette will look dumpy. Remember, these aren’t stay-home-with-a-tub-of-ice-cream sweats. These are meant to be worn to the office or dinner, as you would a pair of trousers.

What do you think? Would you wear dressy sweat pants to dinner, or are they better left for spinning class?

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos (from top): A look from the L.A.M.B. fall 2010 runway show. Credit: Marcio Madeira

Photo: Charcoal sweat pants from Opening Ceremony, $276. Credit: Opening Ceremony

Photo: Wink sweat pants, $132. Credit: