As sportswear continues to infiltrate everyday wardrobes, the humble sweatpant is becoming something of a modern essential. Whether you’re working out, relaxing or just looking to adopt a bit more of the athleisure look, you’re going to need a pair in your legwear arsenal.
It used to be that “sweatpants” was a byword for sloppy. To don a pair was to admit sartorial defeat and resign oneself to the sidelines. Not anymore. Today, sweatpants’ popularity represents a seismic shift in the world of men’s style. They epitomise the concept of high-low dressing when worn with a little flair and you won’t find a high-fashion house or high-street clothing store that isn’t making its own version.
Speaking of which, if you’re thinking about investing in a pair, it pays to know who’s making the best ones. Here we round up the best sweatpants brands for everything from sofa-day staples to high-performance sportswear.
Best Loungewear Sweatpants
Sweatpants may originate from sporting stock but they’re equally well suited to the exact opposite. When it comes to lounging around the house, nothing quite beats a pair of simple jersey joggers.
CDLP transformed the men’s underwear industry back in 2016 with its high-end briefs and boxers made using the finest fabrics on the planet. No longer was underwear all about the (CK) logo on the label, it was about comfort and quality above all else.
Since then, the Scandinavian brand has expanded into premium home- and loungewear, of which its collection of sweats is a highlight. Available in classic black or grey, CDLP’s sweatpants are cut slightly big in a heavyweight organic and recycled cotton blend, ensuring supreme comfort whether you’re loungeing at home or out running errands at the weekend.
Wax London is a firm favourite of ours when it comes to stocking up on stylish basics. Take the brand’s sweatpants, for example: they’re simple, well put together and don’t feature any unnecessary branding or detail. Just what you need for lounging around in style.
British brand Sunspel is known for its refined take on the basics. Simple garments, perfected. Sweatpants are no different, making this label a solid option for anyone who favours quality and a clean cut over excessive detail and heavy branding.
Derek Rose takes the same care and attention that most high-end designers pay to clothing, jewellery or footwear and applies it to garments made to unwind in. Simple yet refined, the brand’s sweatpants are perfect for anyone looking for loungewear with a touch of luxury.
Best Luxury Sweatpants
Only a couple of decades ago, the idea of sweatpants as a luxury item would have been laughable. Today, they’re a staple in the ready-to-wear collections of luxury brands from Gucci to Louis Vuitton. Boasting high-end tweaks like cashmere-blend construction, flattering cuts and beyond, this much more than just your standard gym gear.
Luca Faloni has built its reputation off the back of its exceptional knitwear, in particular its cashmere sweaters. The Italian brand only uses 100% two-ply pure cashmere sourced from the exclusive Cariaggi Fine Yarns Collection, before it’s spun in the mill of Cagli, sitting in the world-famous Marche region of Italy.
It’s cashmere joggers, then, are as comfortable and luxurious as you’d imagine, coming in a tapered fit with concealed integral pockets and a drawstring waist. But best of all, the company’s direct-to-consumer model means you get all of this for much less than comparable options on the market.
The definition of affordable luxury.
One of the hottest streetwear labels on the planet right now, Represent is different to many other brands in the sector due to its almost maniacal focus on producing the highest quality garments possible. And its range of sweatpants are no exception.
Cut from a thick, heavyweight 480GSM cotton, these joggers look and feel substantial, making them the ideal substitute for your selvedge jeans on those days where comfort is a priority. Coming in a slightly oversized fit and a wealth of contemporary colourways, they feature a variety of graphic prints and logo treatments that show exactly where your brand loyalties lie.
Italian label Brunello Cucinelli is known for its upscale casualwear and soft tailoring. The brand has a knack for taking simple garments and making them indulgent – with sweatpants no exception. From luxurious cashmere to French terry fabric, Brunello Cucinelli has transformed the humble sweatpant into something truly special with its use of premium fabrics and artisanal craftsmanship.
Loro Piana is known the world over for its luxurious cashmere and wool garments. The Italian label has been producing some of the finest clothing in the world for close to a century. And over the last decade or so, sweatpants have become a staple of its seasonal collections. Expect silky soft knits, Italian craftsmanship and stylish design quirks like pleated waists and cropped legs.
Best Athleisure Sweatpants
Styling athletic garb as part of casual outfits is one of the defining characteristics of 21st-Century style. It’s commonly referred to now as ‘athleisure’, and there’s a whole genre of brands devoted to it. Generally, sweatpants that come under this umbrella will still be designed with sports in mind, but with an added focus on aesthetics and the implementation high-end fabrics and craftsmanship.
Independent label WAHTS marries luxury menswear with contemporary sportswear to create comfortable garments that look good and perform. Sticking to a muted monochrome palette, each of the label’s pieces is minimal in design with a laser focus on craftsmanship and premium fabrications. WAHTS only uses Portuguese factories and manufactures in limited production runs, which ensures quality standards don’t slip.
The Amsterdam-based brand’s sweatpants are cut slim and cuffed for a streamline silhouette that can be dressed up or down for the occasion. Materials are second to none, ranging from luxury 100% organic cotton to moisture-wicking merino wool to advanced bonded jersey, while the attention to detail is also striking, with secure zipper pockets and concealed drawstring waistbands coming as standard.
Hailing from Liverpool, this young label creates upscale kit that delivers high performance and stylish looks in equal measures. Quality-wise, every garment is put through its paces by elite athletes and must be tested for 100 days before being approved for construction. And that includes the sweatpants.
Founded in 2007, Reigning Champ bridges the gap between high-end athletic garb and streetwear. In fact, CEO Craig Atkinson was the main manufacturer for some of the most hyped labels on the planet, including Supreme, before starting the brand. Expect rugged, well-made gear with plenty of street cred to boot.
Lululemon’s stylish take on yoga apparel has played a huge part in the transition of activewear into our everyday wardrobes. This is particularly true in womenswear and the rise of athleisure, but the label’s men’s offerings shouldn’t be overlooked either.
Incorporating essentials like hoodies, leggings, running jackets and, of course, joggers, the men’s range from Lululemon is packed with gear that looks just as at home in the gym as it does around the city.
Best Sports Sweatpants
If you’re working out in cooler weather, some sporty sweatpants are a must. What sets them apart from their more casual counterparts is the use of technical fabrics, streamlined cuts and a general focus of performance above all else.
Unsurprisingly, when it comes to sport-specific sweatpants, global-dominating athletics label Nike is making some of the best. Where other sportswear brands rely heavily on the strength of their archives, Nike is always looking to the future for inspiration. Therefore, if you want modern fits and innovative fabric technology, the Swoosh should be your first port of call.
German label Adidas is one of the most successful and well-respected sportswear labels on earth. Over the years, its sweatpants have been worn by stars of track and field as well as icons of music and film. The hip-hop scene of the early 1980s saw the brand’s tracksuits surge in popularity thanks to their adoption by now-legendary New York group Run DMC.
Yet despite its fashion crossover appeal, at its core Adidas is an athletics brand, delivering hard-working apparel for people who push it to its limits.
Under Armour made its name off the back of its compression garments and base layers. Today, it still produces some of the best but has also evolved into a sportswear brand in its own right. Under Armour’s sweatpants are built for performance and feature clever fabric technologies, ergonomic cuts and moisture-wicking materials, making them the first choice for clued-up gym goers.
British brand Gymshark is known for designing high-performance apparel specifically for gym training. Its sweatpant range covers everything from functional fitness and bodybuilding to running and rest days, so no matter what type of gym goer you are, there’s something to cater for your needs.