Style Debate: Can Joggers be Smart?

Written by Marc | 14/10/2014


How To


There is undoubtedly a stigma attached to those who wear joggers on a daily basis and usually it is one that implies very little fashion sense. You’d be forgiven for thinking joggers are exclusive to those who head to the gym or else sit on the sofa with their hands down their pants all day, but 2014 has seen an increase in those wearing the sartorial jogger.

Jeans, trousers and chinos are all fail-safe ways to keep your appearance in check and while many will shy away from “slobby” joggers, here we are assessing a change in trend. Like all styles, the quality is in the details. Joggers can be whatever you want; dress them up or down with shirts or other dapper alternatives and they too can look stylish.

Stylish joggers

There are so many plus points that a pair of sweat pants can offer: they are comfy (arguably the key point), affordable, adaptable (they come in so many cuts and colours) and to top it off they are also one of the rare trans-seasonal items in the menswear clothing industry.

Joggers are a staple of any street-wear or urban style and the key is to make the transition subtle from one item to the next. For example, if you want to make a pair of joggers look smart you should try to keep them understated so that they don’t stand out like a sore thumb when paired with items like brogues and shirts which don’t naturally fit to the same style as a pair of sweat pants.

You could say the prominence of the sport luxe trend in the past year is responsible for the sudden inclusion of sports clothing into further realms of men’s fashion. But despite such advances, it is safe to say that joggers will always remain a casual item, no matter how well suited they become to formal wear- at the end of the day they are designed for athletes.

There are a million and one ways to wear joggers; to help decide if one of those can be classed as a smart ensemble, here is a selection to run the rule over:


A popular way to pull off the notion of smart joggers is to juxtapose them by wearing with an inherently formal piece of clothing like a blazer or shirt. To finish you could revert back to the sport luxe trend and add a pair of retro runners.

Jogger look 1


Seen as though it’s winter now it is only natural to assume a warmer outfit for the coming season, and here it is quite convincing that a pair of joggers can contribute to a relatively elegant outfit for the cold weather. Grab yourself your trusted winter coat and a solid pair of statement boots and you have the perfect opportunity to throw in a subtle pair of cosy joggers to complete a sleek silhouette. If you want to go one step further you can add some fair-isle gloves and tuck your heavy boot socks over the bottom of your sweat pants to channel the popular taste for an outdoor/adventurous look made famous by popular outdoor designer brands.

Joggers look 2


Sweatpants are a casual piece designed for comfort, after all, so they will never become a smart piece of clothing per se, but that doesn’t mean they have to a sloppy style choice or as unfashionable as “baggy trackies” of days gone by. Something simple like a decent t-shirt and some complimentary knitwear will look smart even without making too much effort. The key to making this look work will be finding a pair that is sufficiently tapered or cut to length which complements the footwear. A leather trainer will help dilute the smart/casual divide and will help balance out the outfit.

jogger look 3

The Verdict

A change in attitudes towards historically uncool jogging bottom pants is definitely under way and no longer is this item exclusive to the stereotypical “slobby student”. New designs from some top international designer brands prove that it is entirely feasible to make a pair of deftly cut sweatpants look sartorially proficient. Whilst it isn’t an invitation to wear joggers on any occasion- it can still be done badly wrong- it is certainly a realistic possibility to pull it off this winter.


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