Five years ago, if you would’ve said “Jogger pants will be a menswear staple,” most would have laughed. They looked like retro activewear, had an awkward pegged silhouette, and their wider, occasionally drop-crotched style didn’t quite pair well with anything. In short, they epitomized a single-season novelty item.
Yet, the jogger pant has evolved into its own category. On the active end, they’re now a classic, in line with that heathered Champion logo sweatshirt. On the fashion end, moto details, paneling, and materials ranging from traditional poly/cotton blends to nylon add clear streetwear appeal. And, in between all that, they became the harbinger of athleisure – clothing that feels comfy and looks stylish in and outside of the gym.
So, the question then becomes, “How do you style fashion joggers?” Away from the strictly athletic silhouette, its skinnier, tapered fit flatters more body shapes, paneled details bridge active and style features, and side pockets and a faux fly seem reminiscent of a pair of jeans. For an initial impression, they’re the ultimate hybrid garment that has shed its gimmicky origins.
Strictly Athleisure Track Pants
The trick to pulling off any athleisure look is to not seem like you’ve just come from the gym. What to stay away from? Track pants, moisture-wicking tees, and anything originally designed for a cross-training session.
The fashion jogger, while based on these origins, strays in a few key ways. One, its construction is less stretchy and, therefore, less conspicuous on the street. Secondly, it borrows from denim and chinos, enhancing its casual, everyday character. And, three, it appears less modern: Perhaps you’d spot them in an ‘80s activewear advertisement, but, today, streamline’s the name of the game.
As such, keep the quarter-zips and anything with reflective strips at home. Instead, look through the vintage lens at any pullover hoodie – if it’s heathered, the better – or full-zip style with a contrasting T-shirt underneath. For footwear, think about high-tops inspired by basketball styles or even a dad shoe, based on something runners would have worn 30 years ago.
Completely Casual Joggers
Outside of athleisure, the fashion jogger is the epitome of casual – neither restrictive nor slouchy, more comfortable than denim, but less business-oriented than chinos and khakis.
The Smart Style Gym Joggers Sweatpant, in this case, shines by creating a contrast with tees and tanks. As you can see from Instagram and street fashion shoots, a short-sleeve tee plus matching joggers and a snapback equals effortless monochrome. For warmer weather, matching it with a tank turns into prime festival style. And, with fall approaching, pairing it with a long-sleeve, solid-color tee transitions the piece into cooler weather.
Polished Jogger Pants
Even as the streetwear world quickly adopted jogger pants, menswear held them at a distance. Amongst blazers and button-downs, the tapered-and-cuffed shape seemed oddly informal and generally out of place.
As high-fashion brands collaborate with streetwear designers – or, in the case of Louis Vuitton, make them creative director – those divisions are now ever the muddier and intentionally so. Supreme sees nothing of selling button-downs and blazers, while it’s not rare to spot hooded silhouettes, slouchier fits, anoraks, and camouflage prints on the runway. Thus, with joggers shedding their “nothing but casual” reputation, it’s only fitting to polish them up a bit.
Using the Smart Style Gym Jogger Sweatpants as your foundation, begin with your top: A fitted tee or relaxed button-down, in a contrasting shade, gets you started. From here, a jacket’s a necessity: Although blazers tend to be too formal (but you shouldn’t entirely count them out), a darker-colored bomber or even a structured denim jacket has you ready to head into the city.
For footwear, stay toward classic sneakers, like a canvas skate shoe, high-tops, or even Stan Smiths. As an alternative, go for a workwear accent with a pair of thicker-soled lace-up boots. Beyond this, however, chukkas, Chelsea boots, and oxfords seem too upscale and incongruous.
Nothing But Streetwear Vibes
Streetwear, to a certain extent, pulls from everything above – the athleisure silhouettes, the casual pieces, and even the menswear-leaning styles. Yet, as the step taking it all beyond, patterns and graphics make the outfit, in this case.
Although you can find joggers in plenty of patterns – from space-dye to geometric – stay with the example’s solid shades. Rather, for that streetwear edge, match them with a camouflage print or an all-over graphic. Metallic shades or quilted materials can give it a textural contrast, while, with workwear being one popular influence, consider playing your joggers off a shirt jacket. Or, to give your athleisure combination a bit of an edge, seek out box graphics – they don’t have to be Supreme – or even parody designs for an old-school, rave-influenced hint.