Sweatpants Pandemic

Emma Stokic, Staff Writer

     You wake up on a cold winter morning at 8:15 am and dash through the door to reach your 8:30 am class. What do you choose to wear in this rushed moment? Probably a piece of clothing that’s comfortable and easy, like sweatpants. 

     The casual nature of this loose-fitting, warm attire is usually thought to be worn for bed or laying around the house. Sweatpants used to be seen as a symbol of laziness, which some think should not be how students present themselves in a school environment. However, recently sweatpants have become a growing trend for class clothing in high schools and colleges around the country.

     “Sweatpants are comfortable and easy to wear,” Sophomore Emma Brown said. “I’d rather not be uncomfortable at a place that I already do not want to be at.”

     Teachers and faculty are expected to dress fairly professionally at work, and some believe students should meet the same expectations. As this trend is rapidly gaining momentum, the question of how this clothing affects students’ motivation has entered the conversation. 

    “I do also have an old-fashioned sense that wearing this kind of clothing shows disrespect to the work being done in the classroom,” SA Alumni and History Teacher Emily Jones said. “However, I also strongly believe that good teaching and learning shouldn’t be determined by clothing, just like I know my classroom is no different if I have on jeans versus more formal clothing.”

      Students should not be worried about what they need to wear to school. We should focus on the purpose of school, working and learning. After all, school isn’t a fashion show. So why should wearing comfortable and leisurely clothing be considered lazy or inappropriate in such circumstances? Many students find that sweatpants are the best clothing option for testing in school. 

     “I like wearing sweatpants because they are comfortable and good for days when I know I am going to be stressed with schoolwork or tests,” Junior Ellie Peterson said.

     Recently, the way society views sweatpants has changed from the past years. 

        “We certainly were not allowed to wear sweatpants to school,” Jones said. “Even on game days, teams dressed up rather than wearing team athletic pants/jackets (which no teams even had here in the 90s!).  But teenagers will always find a way to push fashion boundaries, so this athleisure trend is just your version of something I’m sure we did 20 years ago.”