During my junior year of college, I was completely immersed in upping my GPA to correct my pretty unsuccessful sophomore year. And when I say, “completely immersed,” I mean that I was literally all about school. I was so all about school that I abandoned my sense of fashion and my sense of style, and I ended up wearing sweatpants to class every day. Every. Day. Really. I was brutally cognizant of how uncool (and unkempt…) I probably (like, 99.9% probably…) looked wearing sweatpants to all of my classes, but I didn’t worry about how I dressed. I worried about that one assignment or that one paper or that one professor I needed to talk to. But, I digress.
The point: I was shamelessly wearing sweatpants in public way, way too much. Sweatpants are supposed to be the go-to, “comfort” clothing you wear when you’re not feeling well or you’re going to the gym or you’re going to sleep and etc. – I was wearing sweatpants casually – the baggy, wide-legged, terribly unflattering type of sweatpants I wore in gym class in the 6th grade. Of course, now I see my error. But the sweatpants suffering appeared as a good memory for me when I reviewed many designers’ Fall/Winter 2014 collections at NYFW. Sweatpants are happening in a really good and really effortless way – for men and for women – and though these sweatpants aren’t at all nostalgic of the ones I wore during my junior year of college (or during 6th grade gym class), I like to believe that I was far, far ahead of the trend – and maybe I’m actually a trendsetter.
Menswear has been teeming with sweatpants, and womenswear is borrowing the effortless style from the boys. My favorite, favorite looks for womenswear sweatpants come from Rebecca Minkoff’s F/W 2014 collection. She turns the volume up higher and higher by offering sweatpants in metallic silver, metallic gold, and vertical stripes. The silhouette for the metallic colors is a little baggy, but tapered through the leg and fitted at the ankle with (elastic, I assume) cuffs. The boldness of the metallic colors and the shape of the sweatpants is, I believe, a flawless marriage. And the vertical stripes? Slimming, and a smooth way of mixing prints into a wardrobe. I’m the biggest fan of Minkoff’s collection, and I believe that these sweatpants will be massively successful off of the runway.
My next favorite look comes from J. Crew’s F/W 2014 collection. Black, tapered sweatpants with a type of sateen, silk finish are paired with a dark charcoal, menswear-inspired car coat, white button-down, and black bow tie. The look is finished with a feminine, gold-detailed heel, stunning red lips, and effortlessly and elegantly styled hair. All of the neutral colors work wonderfully together – the black, the charcoal, and the white – and they work seamlessly with the pop of gold to the feet and the pop of red to the lips. The style is completely smooth, and the menswear-inspired details really affirm how “borrowed from the boys” is actually borrowing from the boys – these designers are borrowing menswear looks and pulling them into womenswear with classic and feminine silhouettes and fits. It’s spirited, and it’s winning my heart more and more.
If I wore metallic silver sweatpants to gym class in the 6th grade, I would have attracted a little attention (and a little attention is always good, right?). And if I wore J. Crew’s sweatpants to class all during my junior year of college, I have a feeling that I would have been anonymously deemed the most casually comfortable and the most successfully and intelligently dressed boy on campus. What I love about these styles is that you can dress them up and you can dress them down – they’re loud enough to make a statement, but the volume of the statement depends on how they’re worn – what they’re worn with. Metallic silver sweatpants can be completely casual if worn with a black, crewneck sweater and running sneakers (how about black and white Nike Flyknit sneakers?) or a neutral- and solid-colored oxford shoe. (But, let’s be brutally honest – metallic anything is always going to attract eyes, but that’s not a disadvantage – standing out is always an advantage!) And metallic silver sweatpants can be dressed up with a printed, cropped t-shirt and the highest heels in your wardrobe. There are countless ways to style these sweatpants, and I know I’ll be wearing them endlessly – dressing them up and dressing them down – next Fall and Winter.