The days when men had to sacrifice to look smart are gone. After years of squeezing us into constricting suits and spray-on jeans, comfort has come to reclaim its place at the head of the fashion table, with roomier fits, forgiving fabrics and – most surprisingly – sportswear that’s more suited to the office than the gym.
This trend for luxed-up athleisure means that there’s a new breed of smart joggers you can wear wherever, from date night to Netflix and chill. Just follow three key rules: keep them slim-fitting, plain (no patterns) and in a neutral shade – and let your legs breathe. Before designers get bored and we’re back to pin prisons again.
Japanese brand Sacai has been collaborating with Nike for long enough to instil confidence that its sportswear stands up on out the field. But because these joggers are cut slim and in the same shade as your suit, they also pass in the executive box paired with an Oxford shirt and slim-fit bomber.
So your style always wins, even if your team doesn’t.
Sacai Tapered Cotton Trousers, available at Mr Porter, priced £350.
Back when sportswear was still the reserve of grime MCs, the idea of ‘smart joggers’ would have seemed laughable. But since those self-same rappers broke from Tottenham estates to the fashion week front row, even the high street’s doing versions you can wear to work, like these slim-fit, pinstriped joggers from Uniqlo.
Your boss need never know.
Pinstriped Smart Joggers, available at Uniqlo, priced £29.90.
It’s Easy Being Green
Taking their cues from chinos, Topman’s khaki joggers are the closest you’ll get to loungewear you could wear to church.
They’re also a smart way to inject some colour into your cold-weather wardrobe. Just combine with a neutral knit and white sneakers to leave others green-eyed.
Khaki Smart Joggers, available at Topman, priced £38.
On Your Bike
The trick to pulling off sportswear as anywhere-wear is colour and fit. Black is always smarter, whether you’re wearing wool or jersey, and a tapered shape takes your look off the sofa and into a corner booth.
Then, add details – like biker-style accordion panels that work best with anti-fit outerwear. Let Yeezy teach you.
Twill Joggers, available at H&M, priced £29.99.
The style might raise some eyebrows at The Ivy, but the key to Ami’s sportswear is taking high-end fabrics – these are handcrafted from cotton and polyester to give just the right amount of sheen – then coupling it with a perfect tee, and even more perfect jacket, for Parisian styling that’s the sartorial equivalent of a shrug at any side-eyes.
Trackpants, available at Ami, priced £115.
Joggers In Disguise
Are these Valentino trousers actually jogging bottoms? On one hand, they’re crafted from premium wool and mohair, like your tailoring. But instead of button waist you get elastic and a drawstring.
Why decide? Just keep your shirt untucked to cover it and revel in your secret comfort.
Valentino Charcoal Wool-Blend Trousers, available at Oki-Ni, priced £394.