Confession: A few years ago, I saw a photo of some French woman wearing a black boyfriend blazer with gray sweatpants and pointy-toe lace-up boots on a street-fashion blog, and she looked so cool, I had to replicate the outfit. At least, I tried. The end result was that I looked like I had a one-night stand and borrowed a blazer and a pair of sweatpants for the walk home. Sweatpants were back on the runway for fall, and unlike my earlier American Apparel foray, these styles were much more elevated and luxurious looking. Fancy pants, if you will. (SG, that one's for you.) Maybe now that I'm a Californian, my style is literally going soft, but I'm willing to give luxe sweatpants a try.
What immediately makes sweatpants seem more luxe than actual sweatpants? Leather! In theory, leather sweatpants seem like a hard sell--in pant form, leather is, more often than not, tight. But in practice, these Alice + Olivia sweatpants are perfectly logical. Think about it: Those snug leather pants you usually buy tend to stretch out after a couple wearings, so why not try an already relaxed style? (These are nearly sold out, but here's a similar style by Elizabeth and James, on sale too.)
Fancy in a more girly way, these 3.1 Phillip Lim crystal-encrusted sweatpants are for women who live in neighborhoods with "Upper" or "Heights" in the name. They are lovely, but I would worry about spilling on them, and those crystals are certainly not machine washable.
Rick Owens has been making luxe sweatpants for years, so one can assume he knows what he's doing when it comes to this slouchy merino wool pair. The shape is certainly a man repeller, but it's not like you were planning on picking anyone up in sweatpants anyway, were you?
These Haute Hippie embellished sweatpants have an intricate beaded and chain design, which reminds me of those little belts you wear when you take a belly-dancing class. (Um, ok, am I the only one who's ever taken a belly-dancing class?) Of all the styles featured here, I think these would look not totally out of place in, say, a bar.
BCBG's Neta Sweatpants are so intricately designed, they almost don't qualify as sweatpants, but lo and behold, there's an elastic waistband and banded ankle cuffs. Still, their look is so haute, you can probably get away with wearing them to work--even if your office is like a fashion show.
I don't know why these Rag & Bone sweatpants are $350, other than the fact that they're made by Rag & Bone, which makes me immediately want them anyway. I'm going to assume that, like everything else R&B makes, the fit is immaculate, and that's reason enough for me.
What's even better than Current/Elliott's leopard-print skinny jeans? Current/Elliott's leopard-print sweatpants! Think about it: Same supercool print, but in a much more forgiving silhouette. I am going to buy a pair, put them on Saturday morning, and not take them off all weekend.
I tend to be a bit wary of faux leather because, like all synthetic fabrics, it makes me sweat like a mother effer. So I would approach these BlankNYC faux leather sweatpants with caution, however I really like the just-slouchy-enough silhouette and nicely tapered leg. BYO baby powder.
These Zara velour sweatpants are a tenth of the price of the Rag & Bone style above and look a lot like them, so do you even need to think twice? (I don't; I already ordered a pair.)