Ask dapperQ: Can Sweats Be Dapper?

Reader asks:

I work a 9 to 5 in suits all week. I can’t wait to get out of my monkey suit and get into sweats. I live in sweats! My friend said he was intervening and said I should never be caught dead in public in sweats. Is there any way I can dress up my sweats? I can’t live without them!

While I disagree with your friend’s assertion that you should never, ever, e-v-e-r wear sweats in public, I worry that you might not have enough comfy-casual-cool attire in your closet; you know, a few ensembles that are somewhere between formal and pajamas!? In any event, I probably am in a very small minority of bloggers that would recommend wearing sweatpants in public. But, let’s get real. We all wear sweats from time to time. The paparazzi catches even those oh-so-perfect Hollywood stars in sweats. Just pick up any U.S. Weekly and you’ll see. Actually, don’t – it’ll rot your brain.

There are indeed ways to dress up sweats…

Image via Tucked

Yes, these are sweatpants! Image via Tucked

Image via Posh

Image via Closet Freaks

Image via GQ

Here’s where I think it could be appropriate to wear a NICE sweatpant ensemble (use sparingly):

  • It’s the holidays. You’re staying over at your new in-laws’ house. They’ll all be opening presents in the morning and eating coffee and cake after a long night of drinking and noshing. Everyone will be wearing their PJs because they’re tired and need a little “eating” room in their pants. But, you don’t want to spring your favorite pair of 10-year-old holy and stained PJ bottoms on them quite yet…
  • You’re a student and pulled an all-nigther studying…
  • You’re in Brooklyn. You’re friend invited you to his/her/their Manhattan apartment to watch movies. Your “aunt Flow” is in town and you have an hour subway ride to your friend’s apartment and back…
  • You’re on vacation, staying in a nice cabin/cottage. In the morning, you plan on taking a nature walk or going fruit picking…
  • You’re going to or returning from the gym…

In cases such as these, then “yes” to sweats in public. Here are some ideas on how to dress them up for public consumption. But, again, I hold firm that you should go shopping for some additional sweat-free casual outfits.


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