Five Kinds of Jogger Pants for Any Occasion

As anyone with a midsection knows, elastic and drawstring waist pants offer a far superior comfort experience to pants that close via hardware. I could tell you that’s why I’m writing this post, but that would only be a fraction of the truth; mostly, it’s because I keep seeing cute people in slouchy slacks, and I’m still working on that getting you all to dress like Lena Waithe thing. Either way, here are five types of joggers to get you through every event from a lazy Sunday around the house, to the office, to a (pretty casual, but still) wedding.

Basic


1. Plus-Size Joggers 2. Straight-Size Joggers
Only a monster wouldn’t love a solid (well, heathered, that’s a fashion joke) pair of grey sweats. Top them with a bright mesh tank and some visible sporty underthings — or if it’s too nippy out, a perfectly worn-in denim jacket and hair-hiding hat — to pick up your hangover coffee.

Print

1. Straight-Size Joggers 2. Plus-Size Joggers

You may vey well have slept in those last night, but I would never have guessed, because it looks like you’re wearing JEWELS all over your legs! You’re like a walking palace courtyard somewhere, in perhaps a soft black crew neck tee and some super simple slides to balance out all that pattern while you run errands or hang in the park.

Tuxedo Stripe

1. Plus-Size Joggers 2. Straight-Size Joggers

Dinner and a movie? These puppies + a chunky black turtleneck + metallic flat mules will take you from curling up in front of the silver screen to, like, certain three dollar sign establishments on Yelp.

Textural

1. Plus-Size Joggers 2. Straight-Size Joggers

I’m bracing myself to get a certain amount of pushback here, but I know there are plenty of workplaces and weddings where you could absolutely wear these final two pairs of joggers, and I want those kinds of workplaces and weddings for you. Take these linen options, for example; they’d be right at home (if not overly formal, TBH) in every place I’ve ever worked — or else perfect for a vows ceremony on the beach, along with a light-colored Nehru collar top and huaraches or boat shoes.

Edgy

1. Straight-Size Joggers 2. Plus-Size Joggers

Alternatively, if your circle is more into bar weddings than beach ones, create your own soft suiting with these zipper-adorned joggers, a snazzy bomber jacket, some badass brogues, and a button-down shirt in black, white, chambray blue, or even a nice subdued print.

I hope this helps release you from the yoke (both physical and existential) of too-snug pants. Now, go forth and be comfy.

Nora is a writer and shoot producer living in Brooklyn. Send her links to weird clothing and dog videos to nora [at] autostraddle [dot] com.

Nora has written 53 articles for us.

22 Comments

  1. 1. Joggers are my main fashion choice for basically October- March. So this is so timely!

    2. Thank you for including plus size options right at the top!

    3. These are so cute!! I WANT THEM ALL!!

    … Did I say thank you enough yet?? Because, THANK YOUUUUUU

  2. *body image issues incoming*
    I desperately want to wear fashionable elastic waist pants cuz, just as you said, they offer more comfort for those of us with a wider midsection (heck, they are comfier for all body types!). And I know these are in style now and when I look at them on plus size models I marvel at how good they look… yet when I put them on my own body I just look like a fat person who gave up on “real” pants. And it’s not like buying jeans/”real” pants isn’t an anxiety inducing event for me… I guess I am asking for advice/tips from others on how to stop caring and go for comfort until I properly love my body.
    (I do have an awesome girlfriend who encourages me to do just that all the time, which is lovely, but doesn’t silence the negative voices in my head)
    P.s. Fat isn’t a bad word–yet I still use it to berate myself *sighs*

    • It’s okay. Loving yourself is a process, not instantaneous. I’m glad you have a girlfriend who is supportive and loves you. My wardrobe is entirely based on comfort, but it’s also stuff that really makes me happy. So maybe with the joggers, try to find some that has something that you really love: maybe the fabric is super soft, or you love the color or the print. Then wear those, and when your mind starts criticizing you, focus on that silky fabric or your favorite color. Also, your girlfriend can tell you how cute you look in your new joggers, and you’ll smile and accept the compliment and slowly but surely, over time, you’ll start to think about how cute you look, too.

      • Thank you for the sweet comment! It is truly a process– I have good days and bad. I did just clean out my closet and donate old stuff so new items with soft/happy making fabrics would be an excellent choice!

    • Hey maybe to ‘trick’ your brain you could try undressing them with some stuff? Like if you like heels and wear them, try cute print joggers with heels, or a more dressy shirt and jewellery. If you’re more MOC, pair them with dressy shoes or something ?

      That way you can’t feel like you “gave up on dressing nice”. You’re on purpose being fashionable?

      • Adding dressier shoes and accessories is a good idea! That is how I imagined wearing the joggers when I allowed myself to think about it. who wouldn’t want to be fashionable and comfy all at once?

    • Me, to myself, 2 years ago: Just don’t look at them on plus size models!

      I used to have a really hard time with similar feelings. Seeing things look great on a “plus size model” and then not feeling good wearing them was crushing. For me, it was because it wasn’t any different than looking at straight-size models: they were flat-bellied, ‘curvy in the right places’, taller, etc. etc. Getting critical of ~plus size fashion~ and spending time in fat spaces helped me clue into this and get away from the same toxic shit of trying to be a body other than me!

      If models aren’t representative of your body/style, start seeking out bloggers on any medium that are closer to the things that impact how you buy and wear clothes. For me, I started seeking people closer in age/class/income, gender presentation, and ~body shape~. Bloggers who were unapologetically fat, were transparent about the money they had access to to spend on clothes, and provided the size of the garments they were trying/wearing helped immensely with me feeling less like a constant failure and more like a real human. Centre things that are useful in your life, if you can.

      To give a specific example, this year I started following Maggie McGill on YouTube. She’s queer, has sort of a tomboy-femme style, and doesn’t shy from visible belly outlines or shorts or crop tops. But most usefully to me, she does the cost and size things I mentioned above, and she does dressing room videos: you can see how clothes move and look without fancy photography (a lot of really posed, fancy plus size fashion blogs weren’t great for my self esteem either), and you can see her talk, neutrally, about clothes that don’t work for her (style, fit, or otherwise). She’s also smaller-sized and smaller-bellied than I am, but I’ve gotten to a place where that’s a neutral thing for me and I can way more happily and accurately adjust for that from her videos than from a regular plus size model or from a more fancy plus size fashion blogger. There are also a lot of things I don’t like or find useful in her blogging, and I just skip them! The internet is great!

      It took me a long time to start to find bloggers that helped rather than hindered my body / clothing feelings. In the meantime, I went cold turkey and even that helped a lot with getting more neutral about myself.

      Anyway, sorry for the essay. I hope this is useful and wish you all the best <3

      • Thank you so much for the thoughtful response! After reading ‘things no one tells a fat girl’ I tried switching my fashion related media to bloggers more my size/shape but am still looking for active people I connect with. I will def look into the blogger you mention! It’s also nice to hear from others who have gone through similar process on their path to body love and acceptance.

  3. I…have never heard of joggers before? It sounds like a British word…????
    Like, when I opened this post I thought it would just be about sweats. But now I’m not sure what they are. Are they pants or sweats? Or are they somehow both? I’m so confused.

    • It has more to do with the shape than the fabric! (Though usually they are made out of sweats-style material, or some other performance fabric.) They are tapered pants with an elastic waist and elastic hems. Usually they are full-length and hit at the ankle, but sometimes they are shortish and hit just below the knee. In the case of the latter, they cery much look like breaches, which is even more of a British, so we can be thankful that at least we ended up with “joggers”. Also, bonus, they’ll always have pockets (functional ones, even!)

  4. This comes at like the perfect time for me? I just had abdominal surgery (i read this and sat on it for two days while desperately trying to sleep between CNA visits) and am not at all relishing the thought of putting on my skinny jeans again when the doctor lets me go back to work. I must learn the way of the joggers.

  5. I bought a pair of orange joggers this summer and I love them. Have very much been wanting to get some huaraches to wear with them, yes.

    I also have to say that Stuzo (awesome queer-owned streetwear store in LA) has some mesh joggers, very much in the edgy category, that I want so much.

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