JOGGERS: HOW SHOULD THEY FIT AND WHEN TO WEAR THEM?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt noticed that there is a new trend in activewear that is increasing in popularity: joggers. Joggers can make you look cool, put together, and on trend when worn properly, or they can make you look seriously frumpy and unkempt if done the wrong way. With so many different options out there and plenty of hits and misses, many people are wondering how joggers should fit and when to wear them.
What are joggers?
Joggers were originally intended to be worn for exercise, but like so many pieces from the athleisure trend, the mainstream has caught on and they can now be worn for many occasions. In general, joggers are traditional sports pants that are lightweight, comfortable, and have an athletic appearance. Joggers are widest at the top and taper down the leg, fitting the ankle closely. Most joggers feature either a drawstring waist or an elastic waist, and the ankles are kept close to the body through the use of elastic as well. While joggers originally began as a form of sweatpants, today, they’re made of many different types of material and come in a variety of fits and styles that are more sophisticated and tailored.
When were joggers invented?
Joggers come by their name honestly. Although running as a sport and form of voluntary exercise dates all the way back to ancient Greece, it largely fell out of favor until the return of the modern Olympic games in 1896. As more and more people took up running for sport, it became apparent that clothing specifically for running was needed. Enter Émile Camuset, a French clothing designer and the founder of the sportswear company Le Coq Sportif. Camuset was a runner himself and had gotten sick of doing his daily runs in clothing that wasn’t intended for sport. He began experimenting with different styles of pants and tried out different fabrics and cuts, ultimately landing on the classic jogger sweatpants that we’ve been wearing ever since. Although the jogger was born exactly 100 years ago, in 1920, it has evolved substantially since then into a variety of styles and shapes for both men and women.
What are the different types of joggers?
If you think there is only one kind of jogger, think again. The recent surge in popularity for joggers means that designers have been experimenting with a number of different styles and shapes for several years, coming up with lots of different options. There are four main types of joggers: sporty joggers, lounge joggers, everyday joggers, and smart joggers.
Sporty joggers are the original, the classic, and the first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of joggers. However, even joggers that are intended for athletic use have changed their appearance quite a bit since the first sweatpants were invented in the 1920s. While the original joggers were typically baggy, often made of a thick material, and added bulk, today’s sporty joggers have a much thinner silhouette and flatter the figure more while still giving you a wide range of movement that’s needed for a serious workout. Today, joggers made for workouts or playing sports are increasingly made from performance and technical fabrics that are moisture-wicking, breathable, and odor-fighting, such as bamboo performance fabric.
If you’re looking for a pair of comfortable pants to hang out in while watching the big game on Sunday, lounge joggers are the best choice. These joggers have a more relaxed fit and are typically loose cut and made of a material that focuses on comfort rather than performance, such as fleece or french terry. You’ll have plenty of room to move around and relax while also looking way more put together than if you simply threw on a pair of pajama pants. Lounge joggers offer maximum comfort.
Everyday joggers are exactly what they sound like - your best option for living your life day to day in comfort and style. Everyday joggers are ideal for doing things like running errands, picking up the kids from school, staying comfortable but chic on a long flight, or heading out to a casual brunch with friends. These versatile pants can easily go from lounging on the couch to a dentist appointment and back without missing a beat, and their comfort and style makes them one of the most versatile articles of clothing on the market.
Hate wearing “real” pants every time you need to look put together? Say hello to smart joggers. Smart joggers have turned the sweatpants trend on its head and shown what a little of tailoring, a material change, and some style can do. Smart joggers will have more tailored and tapered legs than other types of joggers, allowing you to show off your legs and creating a flattering silhouette. The material used to make smart joggers is typically fine-gauge cotton or a similar fabric that would sag and bunch at the knees, creating that disheveled look that so many sweatpants are famous for. Smart joggers allow you to look great and put together without being uncomfortable, and they can even be worn to dinner, parties, and casual meetings without missing a beat, as long as they are styled properly.
How should joggers fit?
How your joggers should fit depends a lot on where you’re planning to go in them and what sort of activities you’re intending to wear them for. As a general rule, the more tailored and tapered the leg of your joggers is, the more formal the pants are. By contrast, joggers that are wider and have a less-tailored appearance, a thicker material, and a less tapered leg are most appropriate for casual wear or lounging around the house. Regardless of what style you’re wearing, you can follow these general tips to make sure your joggers fit properly:
- Your joggers should taper cleanly at the ankle and should have a close fit around your ankle. If the bottom of your joggers doesn’t sit close to the skin and lower leg, they’re too big.
- Joggers should taper at the ankle and end above your shoes rather than over them. Well-fitting joggers will leave a little bit of sock or skin showing.
- Jogger should have a slim fit that clearly outlines the shape of the body, but should not be so tight that they appear fitted or “skinny.”
- You should be able to move freely in your joggers and have a good range of motion. If you feel constricted at all, you won’t be comfortable, and it will look like you’re wearing leggings more than joggers.
- In general, the waistband of your joggers should sit on your hips. Increasingly, more joggers are becoming available in a high-waisted style, so if you purchase joggers designed to be worn higher, they should sit at your natural waist.
- If you’re going for an athleisure look or wearing your joggers to lounge around casually, it’s ok for the crotch of the pants to be slightly dropped. If you’re looking for a more tailored look, there should not be significant drooping in the crotch.
How do you style joggers?
With so many different styles of joggers, there are seemingly endless possibilities in terms of the outfits that you can create with them. Of course, how you style your joggers depends a great deal on where you’re wearing them and what type of pants you’ve purchased (i.e. lounge joggers versus smart joggers). Here are some easy ways to style joggers:
- Pair a sweatshirt with your joggers to keep your look casual and comfortable. Ideally, you want the sweatshirt to be a different color than the pants and be more fitted in appearance so that your overall look doesn’t appear sloppy. To keep your look street-ready, wear boots or stylish sneakers.
- Wearing a casual t-shirt with joggers is an easy and effortless weekend look that adds comfort, but it’s important to make sure your shirt fits well and isn’t oversized. Wearing joggers with a slimmer fit will keep you street-ready.
- If you want to take your style game up a notch, add a denim jacket to your joggers. Denim jackets are casual but add structure and style to your casual look, and the difference in texture adds contrast and interest to your outfit.
- Think you can’t wear a blazer with your joggers? Think again. Take your business meeting in joggers with a less structured blazer that’s made with a more casual material in a dark or neutral color. Ditch the dress shirt and add a casual button-up or knit tee underneath the blazer.
- Want to look country club cool but still feel casual and comfortable? Try pairing a polo shirt with your joggers. The trick here is to pick joggers in a heavier fabric if you want to look more put together, and stick to lighter and softer styles.