Skip to Content

Sweatpants are in fashion!? But, how can they be cute?

Sweatpants are in fashion!? But, how can they be cute?

Ok, I might have some terrifying or exciting news for you… Sweatpants are in fashion. And not just by the majority popular vote, but by the electoral college vote of every fashion influencer and publication out there.

So what does this mean?  Well, it means we are fully allowed to be comfortable and fashionable at the same time.

The fashion Illuminati seems to always allow one* comfortable* trend out there a year, and well for 2020 it is sweatpants. In 2019 dad sneakers were the it-item, but sadly their popularity has fallen. { check out this post for the popular shoe trends for 2020}. 

Ok, so sweatpants are in, joggers are in, sweatsuits are in…. what do we do with this information!?

First, what is the difference between joggers and sweatpants?

** we may earn a commission from you clinking the links in this post at no additional cost to you, for the full affiliate policy, click here

what to wear with joggers female

Well, it is not just our British counterparts’ way of describing the same thing.  While they are both made of casual cotton fabric and have elastic waistbands the difference lies in the overall silhouette.

Joggers tend to taper down the leg and have a hemmed band at the ankle/hemline. (I am wearing joggers in the above photo) Like this:


Sweatpants (although technically have many silhouettes) do not usually have the prominent banded elastic at the bottom.. Instead, traditional sweatpants usually have an uncinched ankle or an elastic scrunched ankle.  They also tend to be less form-fitting. Like this:

Where do I even start with sweatpants?

how to make sweatpants cute

Well, the easiest way to wear sweatpants and look cute is to either invest in a matching, monochromatic sweatsuit or to add a polar opposite item to your outfit.

Monochrome is an easy way to make any outfit chic- especially when done in a more neutral, or staple color. [ check out this post if you need help with monochrome] 

Have you ever heard the phrase opposites attract? Well, that’s an important rule for sartorial combinations as well.  Adding a structured blazer or top to your sweatpants is the other foundation for the sweatpants outfits in 2020. 

My favorite piece to pair with sweatpants is an oversized blazer; here are my picks:


Both of the above options are “cute” but they serve different purposes.

Can I really wear sweatpants out in public?

Absolutely, you just need to do two things.

1. Adjust your mindset: 

I get it, we all see influencers and celebrities wearing sweats and casual outfits looking like they belong on the runway and it can be intimidating.  Moreover, it can inhibit us from tackling a trend because our mind goes into a comparison black hole.

Tackling a trend is about adjusting it to be reflective of you, not someone else.  While it is perfectly normal to look to fashion icons for style influence, it should not be about copying what they have crafted for THEIR bodies and styles.

Instead, accept that you want to try this trend and see how you can make it work within your current style and personality.  Fashion is an untapped voice and it’s so important to make your outfits speak for YOU. 

If you need more help doing this, check out my free style-guide here that gives you actionable steps on how to tackle trends and hone your fashion voice.  

2.  Finish your look completely. 
Want to know why your sweatpants or sweatsuit doesn’t feel as stylish as {insert name here}.   

Well, think about the entire sweatpants look first:

  • Did you add thoughtful accessories?
  • Did you add a structured element to it?
  • And if you like trends, did you add a trendy item to your look?
@gabriellearrudadesignOh and brush your hair 🤦🏻‍♀️ #athleisure #styletips #tiktokfashion♬ original sound – gabriellearrudadesign

Now, you don’t have to “do all the things” to make sweatpants work but you should be adding enough details/pieces to your outfit so that your overall appearance communicates a more sophisticated undertone.

This also includes makeup and hair.  An unbrushed hairstyle that looks legitimately messy and not in that “effortless” style can put your sweatsuit outfit into the frumpy category really quickly. 

My favorite makeup look to pair with a sweatpants outfit is the ‘no-makeup makeup” look– and if done correctly can express an effortless, breezy fashion-goddess style. 

So how to make sweatpants cute:

Here is a list of things you should consider/ check off when crafting a sweatpants based outfit: (you don’t need them all, but you need to at least consider them)

Where am I going?

    1. If it’s to the airport, here are some outfit ideas to inspire you. But, that look can sway more casual and needs less structure and jewelry to define its’ destination.
    2. If I’m going out to brunch or event with friends or anywhere that jeans would be the status quo then further considerations need to be taken.

Have I added structure to my outfit?

An easy way to do that is to add a blouse underneath your crew sweatshirt or add an oversized blazer like in my look here.

how to make sweatpants cute

Have I added a polarizing element?

The more you want to dress up a pair of joggers, sweatpants, or a sweatsuit the more of a polarizing item you need. This can be a pair of heels/heeled boots, it can be statement earrings, dramatic eye makeup, or even an oversized blazer.

Adding a polarizing element (try to limit it to one or two so that the focus is clear) takes the outfit solely out of the “I didn’t try” category and puts it in the “fashionable” world.

Have I thought about the proportions?

Having all oversized pieces or all skin-tight pieces will not be successful or trendy. Try to balance out the oversized pieces or the skin-tight pieces in a 2 to 3 ratio.  As you can see in my outfit I have two semi-fitted pieces (the gray cropped hoodie, and the gray joggers) and they are balanced out by the third item, the oversized blazer. 

Have I treated my makeup, hair, and accessories with the same thought as I would if I were wearing jeans?

Just because you’re wearing sweatpants does not mean that you can phone it in on the rest of your look. Your hair and makeup should be just as though out. It doesn’t mean it has to be complicated or elaborate, but it should “finished”.


And if you want to go really luxurious, try these cashmere sweatsuit options:

I remember in high school I used to wear sweatpants all the time, and boy did I think I looked cute. And even when I peruse tik tok I’m reminded of how much every youth generation relies on sweatpants as a staple to their wardrobe.

Because of this association, we can view sweatpants as solely an item for teens or for when we don’t feel like trying… But, 2020 is here to change that. Bring back your sweatpants in a stylish and cool way by following this post.

14 year old me would be proud.

Pin this for reference, and follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration!

how to make sweatpants cute