Brush Up On Your Cotton

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Is it ok to wear sweatpants outside of the house? 

I suppose that question is akin to woman asking if leggings can be pants... the short answer is no... but it's really in how you wear them.

I love a good 'elevated sweatpant' moment, but anytime I see a guy wearing them in public, he never looks evaluated. He looks like he lives in a frat house. It's even worse when his pockets are stuffed with a wallet, cell phone, keys, etc. It's just sloppy.

Sweatpants are crazy comfortable though! And totally justified when running for coffee or doing errands. But is there a way to wear them that looks more stylish?


The Modern Otter | Zappos x Cotton
The Modern Otter | Zappos x Cotton

I knew I wanted to put together a few "athleisure" looks this Spring to help solve this style conundrum and thankfully one of my favorite sites,, made my job easy! They put together an entire collection of cool and stylish activewear to help kick off your athleisure activities (like laying around the house and doing yard work). Bonus? It's all made out of cotton! 

Did you know 77% of consumers say cotton is their favorite fiber to wear?

There's nothing that bothers me more than a poly blend. Tech fabrics have their place in workout clothing, but if I'm looking to elevate my activewear game, I'm going to find fabrics that won't cling to my skin or have a sheen to them. Save your gym clothes for the gym. Plus, cotton pieces are SO much easier to style and wear with more polished pieces. 

Check out the entire Zappos x Cotton Reframe Comfort Collection here! 

The Modern Otter | Zappos x Cotton
The Modern Otter | Zappos x Cotton

Back to the task at hand though: elevating your sweatpants look.

I use this formula all the time: Sweatpants + Button Down + Denim Jacket 

It's casual, but stylish. Simple, but not sloppy. It takes your sweatpants from "It's 5am and I'm walking my dog" to "I could potentially go on a coffee date wearing this". (I haven't been on one of those in almost a decade, so I'll defer to you guys for what is appropriate to wear)

The key is to keep the color palette tight. Grey sweatpants with a blue denim jacket are a classic combo, but don't throw in a bright colored sweatshirt or hoodie underneath. It'll read too sporty. A crisp white or chambray shirt paired with a neutral sweater will look intentional and clean. Avoid sneakers with logos on them, especially if you're wearing sweatpants with branded stripes down the side like this. You're not Cristiano Ronaldo with an endorsement deal.

If you have slim fitting sweatpants, that formula will never do you wrong! But please, please, please bring a backpack with you to carry your things. Stuffed sweatpant pockets are never a cute look.

The Modern Otter | Zappos x Cotton


The Modern Otter | Zappos x Cotton

P.S. This entire look is 100% cotton! 

Well... my sweater has 5% cashmere in it, but that's just to make me feel fancy. It's still machine washable.  ;)

Shop these pieces and more over on Zappos

StyleAaron Wester