The sweat pant. North Americas obsession with comfort over appearance can be summed up with the ever popular pant for sweating in. In high school my peers wore an array of sweat pants, different colours, labels and styles, as statement pieces. You can see my confusion as I often dreamt of Charlotte Olympia heels + Pucci skirts. “I must join the rest” -my inner grade 10 self proclaimed and I bought a pair.
I was already an outlier in the small school in beautiful Muskoka. So only then could I fit in w my classmates. Well the glove didn’t fit. I assumed the sweat pant bubble was specific to RLC & therefore assumed the rest of the world gave two more shakes of the leg than my peers.
I anticipated that there would be no sweats in university. I have never been more wrong. Laurier culture, in first year, WAS sweat pant.
By wearing sweat pants, people strive to look like they just rolled out of bed & in some cases, they indeed just have. One of the hardest pills to swallow in my privileged little life.
My understanding of the sweat pant appeal is that they’re comfortable and involve little to NO brain activity when choosing to what to wear. Thus, the avid sweat pant wearer finds a quick and easy fix to the wardrobe dilemma that many people struggle with on a daily basis. I met up with a sweat pant enthusiast, the 23 year old where she told me:
“It’s a no brainer. There is little thought that needs to be put in when choosing sweatpants. I used to wear sweatpants more often when I was in school than I do today, however, I still wear them in certain social settings like get togethers with friends and watching movies. I also where them in the public sphere occasionally when running errands ”
The typically cotton garment is put on and paraded through the streets as the wearer tries to act like they are a regular pair of pants. When I see these people out and about in their grey or obnoxiously neon pink sweats I feel a social obligation to a) inquire if they’re sweat glands were training for the Olympics & if this caused so much excessive sweat that no other pant on the planet other than the sweat pant could hid such disgrace – this would some how justify their madness b) demand they go home & change – overall snow pants would be more appropriate.
The issue is that when worn in public, this fashion faux pas reflects poorly on the rest of my beloved society. Its as though North Americans who are so obsessed with the pant, WANT to associate their publics with a sweaty gym that has ZERO pride in aesthetics. It perpetuates an image of laziness in our culture.
Prior to living in Sweden for the better half of a year, I just shrugged Canada’s sweat pant craze off but now I have seen the light. I didn’t once see a European wear sweat pants in public; not in Sweden, not in Finland, not in Germany, not in Italy, not in Spain and not in London. It was like pant heaven! [Regrettably, I did spot a couple onsies in Sweden… but that’s for another post al together] European citizens take 5 more seconds, on average, than the sluggish North American and chooses to pair a sweater with a pair or trousers, leggings, jeans, cords, chinos etc. etc.