Sweatpants are a sign of defeat,” the late Karl Lagerfeld famously said. It was a typical Karlism: Arch, provocative, a little judgemental —and one that looks different in light of our current moment. Once considered the domain of gyms and couches, sweatpants became the de facto uniform of 2020, as millions were forced to work from home at the start of the pandemic. Sales soared to reflect our collective embrace of elastic waistbands and soon, gumball-colored and tie-dyed versions turned Instagram algorithms on their head. As Covid-19 stretches past the one-year mark, will sweatpants stick around?
For those who crave getting dressed butare unwilling to forgo flexible waistbands in this new normal, designers are proposing a sleek take on comfort dressing for spring 2021. “Instead of sweatpants, why not a crêpe de Chine bathrobe dress and pyjama pant?” Michael Kors says of his collection’s hero, which is fastened with a belt: “It feels polished and glamorous, but still gives you that ease and sense of comfort.”
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