For the fashion conscious amongst us, the words “joggers” or “sweatpants” usually bring forth a rushing feeling of disgust as our upper lip begins to snarl and grimace at the thought of the type of people who would usually don this attire. The lightweight cotton trousers were originally designed for athletes and sportsman to provide a loose, comfortable trouser that allows their legs to breath during training. However, similarly to the jogger’s elderly predecessor “the nylon tracksuit”, this ‘comfortable’ style has slowly seeped through the boundaries between sport and leisure, and for some of us has become an item of daily-wear. Once upon a time the only occasion you would be seeing the dreadful grey joggers on the street would be attached to some greasy teenager walking out of SportsWorld with his hand down his pants, but unfortunately this “trend” has increased in popularity over time.
The grey joggers have more recently made an impact with their “relaxed” and “effortless” look in the American “prep” trend, and with stores such as Hollister and A&F (there’s that grimace again), the pants seem to be slowly making their way towards social stereotype domination. But after years of the fashion-forward amongst us trying to fight against this invasion of loose, baggy, monotonous cotton in our society, the highest minds in the world’s fashion HQ came up with an ingenious idea – to use the joggers to our advantage and turn them into a fashionable piece even Tom Ford would be proud of. Just in time too, I was beginning to worry we would begin to see teenage “goths” and “emos” roaming the streets in black, metal-studded sweatpants.
Anyway, enough of my social stereotyping and Hollister bashing, and on to the focus of this article – the new generation of joggers! As always the women got there first with this trend (I wonder if we will ever beat them to it) and the fashionable highstreet stores began to stock their stylish, tapered take on the traditional joggers for girls. As is the pattern, men’s style is beginning to follow suit. I first noticed the style in late Spring when ASOS introduced the stone-wash denim jogger to mixed reviews (see below). Unsure of what to make of them at first (and wondering what to pair them with) I cast the image of the unusual item to the back of my mind for a later date and carried about my daily online browse. However, as summer approached, I found myself returning to the allures of that discarded ASOS page and viewing the joggers over and over again. ASOS began to really advertise the joggers, posting tweets asking for reviews, and pairing them with gladiator sandals and boat shoes to emphasise the joggers as an alternative to the traditional jean on those hot summer days.
AllSaints also began to start noticing the approach of this trend as summer moved on; unlike ASOS’s denim take on the traditional jogging pant, they created their trademark stone-wash distressed look on the already established cotton material, and even experimented with turning the traditional trouser length into shorts.
This darker grey, grunge effect brings a new take to the traditional joggers; the tapered legs give a more stylish look, whilst the drop-crotch style emphasises the traditional loose, baggy effect of the sweatpants. However, although AllSaints have made the sweatpants their own, the style is not too dissimilar to that seen in the fore-mentioned “American prep” trend, and the items don’t seem to distinguish a new generation of sweatpants as well as the denim material of ASOS’s trousers. Nonetheless, the evolution of the sporty jogging pants has begun, and surprisingly it is Topman that has seemed to grasp the trend with both hands and really make a feature of it this Autumn/Winter.
Topman’s collection this season features several variations of the jogger trouser; they have developed ASOS’s denim stone-wash style, whilst also experimenting with a chino material, and even a smarter look for “formal” occasions. As seen below the traditional cotton material has been kept across some pieces, but adapted with a carrot top fit to bring the old style bang up to date. I’m sure the triangle pattern displayed below can be considered as a taster of some of the trademark quirky patterns Topman may be bringing out on their future joggers.
The “new generation” is developed further with chino and denim materials as mentioned earlier. This brings the item from indoor “lazy-wear” to casual outdoor attire with a more durable fabric than the traditional cotton. The items mirror the elasticated waist and ankle of the traditional jogger and utilise it in a way that creates this “carrot top” fit.
These pieces are being displayed on mannequins across the Topman stores, and are being paired with desert boots (and “boot socks”), but can also be paired with boat shoes or loafers without a sock – similar to crops or three-quarter lengths.
So what are your thoughts on the new generation of joggers? Have the high-street brands managed to banish the tacky laziness originally associated with this item and create a new image of casual outdoor-wear? Or is the style simply too casual for your personal tastes? Topman have even brought out a “smarter” edition of the jogger (click here to see them) which seems to resemble a work trouser in jogger form – although I think it may be a while before this becomes acceptable work attire!
Let me know your thoughts on this trend in the comments below, and as always you can follow me on twitter over at www.twitter.com/TomBloomfield
As this article is over a year old, the comments are now closed.
If you have a specific question about one of the points raised in the article, why not join our free fashion & style forum and start a thread? The FashionBeans community will always do their best to help you out, and our writers also frequent the forums regularly.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with us on our contact us page.