Out With The Jeans: The Sweatpant and Yoga Pant-demic

As winter begins to arrive and the cold begins to creep in, getting out of bed seems to become more of an effort every single day. As this happens, people seem to make less of an effort when it comes to getting ready in the morning, causing sweatpants and yoga pants to surge in popularity. Sweatpants and yoga pants are also, of course, far more comfortable than jeans, and in most cases can even feel warmer.

According to Erica Walsh, a freshman social work major, it’s the cold that makes them more popular.

“They’re so comfortable, to start,” she explained. “And it’s getting cold. Shorts are clearly out of the question, and sometimes jeans are a pain. The right pair can make you look good. Plus, in early-morning classes, it’s not like anyone cares. You’re all in the same boat.”

Jenny Lee, a junior biology major, had the same viewpoint. “They’re just so much more comfortable than jeans.”

Even teachers have noticed the rising popularity. Noel Belinski, a lecturer of English, stated that she’s seen more and more students wearing them in recent years.

“I’ve seen a lot of students wearing them on campus. I’ve also read that jeans sales have declined this year, so perhaps this is a new trend emerging.”

As these clothes become staples of every-day life, the companies that make them make countless improvements. Gone are the days of simple black yoga pants, now, they can be bought in a variety of colours and patterns. Improvements have also been made to their functionality, some companies even design them to be thermal, making them perfect for early morning winter classes.

It also helps that these clothes, especially yoga pants, are no longer just meant as athletic wear. The improvements mentioned above, like the bright colours that they can be found in, make them more and more popular in every-day life.

However, this doesn’t mean that pants like jeans are done for. They still seem just as prevalent around campus as yoga pants. Sweatpants, however, sometimes seem more regulated to the inside of dorm rooms and at the gym, as if for some reason they are less acceptable to be worn in public.

According to an article in USA Today called “Five reasons to stop wearing sweatpants to class,” sweatpants may be the easiest outfit to throw on for class, but they might not be the best option. The article states five reasons to pack away the sweats, including the image to professors and peers, the possibility of networking at any time, being able to build a professional wardrobe and boosting classroom confidence. The article states, “Wearing your sweats to class, especially for an exam, is not recommended because it can make you feel lazy and sluggish, thus, influencing your classroom performance.”

Though their definitely comfortable, sweatpants lack the social acceptability of yoga pants, mainly due to the fact that they often appear bulky and oversized, sometimes making the wearer look as if they’ve just gotten out of bed. It’s mainly yoga pants, with their fitted style, that truly seem to have risen in popularity, and even this appears to be temporary, a surge that always occurs in the fall and winter.

This is probably because yoga pants are so versatile. You can wear them with hoodies, sure, but you can also wear them with a cute shirt or sweater. They tuck in boots and rainboots easier than sweats, making them a more convenient option for the chilly months.

Even for all of the pros of yoga pants, their comfort, their warmth, and their relatively low price, there are still some negatives to them. In some cases, the thin material can be too sheer, leading to them being more see-through than intended. Also, because of the same thin material, they’re more prone to tearing, and it’s quite hard to repair the damage. While jeans can tear as well, the material is usually stronger, making them less likely to be damaged.

However, despite these problems, it’s clear that yoga pants have become a staple of the fall and winter wardrobe. They’re comfortable and warm, and in some cases have been specifically designed to be a shield against cold weather. They can also be worn in a variety of styles and colours, ranging anywhere from basic black to brightly patterned.

Even though jeans remain just as popular for the fall and some parts of the spring, it’s clear that yoga pants are becoming more and more popular around campus, and may one day be seen as the most popular pant to wear. So next time you roll out of bed and throw on your favorite pair of sweatpants, think about it. We both know you can take an extra couple seconds to put together an outfit or throw on a pair of jeans instead. Unless it’s freezing out, then sweats are a must.

PHOTO COURTESY of Victoria Keenan