Streetwear is having a moment. From luxury design houses to your neighborhood retailer, the urban casual aesthetic has invaded every facet of fashion. And the most prominent item in the streetwear canon is the jogger.
Jogger pants were first popular in the late 90s when superstar rappers like LL Cool J started rolling up one leg in music videos. Fast forward to 2014 when popular streetwear brand Publish reintroduced jogger pants to a new generation. Their popularity caught on like wildfire. Now, no menswear collection is complete without them.
Jogger pants are considered a cooler version of your dad’s old sweatpants. But they have a few modern characteristics that easily set them apart from sweats. They’re defined by a drawstring waist, which is usually made of elastic.
They have tapered leg openings and they’re crafted from cotton, polyblends, or some combination of the two. In terms of fit, they’re straight through the hip and thigh, but get increasingly slimmer through the bottom of the leg. Jogger pants have a very distinct look which can relax or elevate your look in any number of scenarios.
If you’re in love with your joggers and hoping to incorporate them in every facet of your life, you absolutely can. You just need to heed a few style rules, and you’ll have no problem building memorable looks.
Wearing Joggers to Work
Believe it or not, you can get away with wearing jogger pants to work if the rest of your look is steeped in sophistication. If you’re naturally stylish, you won’t have to wait for casual Friday to pull it off.
Make sure your joggers are cut slimmer than the average pair. They should fit similarly to any pair of chinos or slacks you would wear to the office. You want them to add an element of casual adventure to your outfit but you don’t want to look too comfortable.
Also, go with darker colors. While joggers are often sold in light gray, you should go with black or navy. These colors are more professional and give you more flexibility in building your look.
Because you’re at work, you should treat the rest of your look as though you’re wearing a suit. Pair your joggers with a woven dress shirt, a nice sweater or even a blazer. And skip the sneakers for a pair of leather loafers or simple oxfords. An important key in making the look successful is paying attention to all the other details.
Wearing Joggers on a Date
Date night is important. Whether it’s your first time together or your weekly commitment, it’s crucial that you put forth effort. One of the ways your effort shows through is in your wardrobe. If you show up poorly dressed, you may not get another date. If you put some thought in your look, you’ll win her over again and again.
For date night, approach your joggers from a smart casual standpoint. Smart casual is a great blend of work and casual pieces. The overall aesthetic is refined but still comfortable and trend-aware. Since joggers are the foundation of your look, you have to make “smart” choices elsewhere.
Like work, go with darker joggers for this occasion. But you don’t need to be as conservative up top. A dress shirt with a lightweight V-neck sweater works great. If you decide to wear a blazer, layer a basic crewneck sweater underneath. The key here is layering. You need multiple items above the waist to indicate some formality. You don’t want to look so casual it seems like you don’t care. But you also don’t want to be stuffy.
For your shoes, try something a bit more rugged like desert boots or suede Chelsea boots. These off-kilter choices will help work in some edge and up your style quotient.
Joggers are truly one of the most versatile pieces in the streetwear category. Whether it’s work, play or both, they add unlimited style to every situation.
Wearing Joggers to School
Luckily, 8 a.m. class isn’t as strict as your job. It’s rare that you’ll need to dress up for your daily lecture. But the lack of a dress code doesn’t mean you should show up like a slob. When you dress for school, you’re still aiming to impress, and your joggers should represent that.
Your joggers can be dark like the professional scenario or light gray. There’s no steadfast rule here. Read the room and know what you can and can’t get away with. To style your full look, opt for a casual long-sleeved woven shirt and layer it under a sweatshirt. The sweatshirt can be solid or have a subtle message. Complete the look with a basic low-top sneaker.
Wearing Joggers Casually
When you slide into your joggers for a weekend coffee run, you have the fewest rules to abide by. You don’t have to pay close attention to colors or pairings but you still want to look good. You never know who you could run into at Starbucks.
Instead of going casual in a nonchalant way, get creative. Break out your favorite flannel shirt, toss a light sweater or sweatshirt over it and pair with some unconventional joggers.
Instead of black, navy or gray, try some khaki jogger pants for a change. They’re a fresh color that’s a little off the beaten path in streetwear and at first glance, they resemble chinos. So, even though you’ll be dressed comfortably, you’ll evoke casual cool. Finish things off with some clean, white sneakers, and you’ll have a winning look.