Okay, Now What Do We Do With All These Sweatsuits?


After spending the better part of last year stockpiling comfortable clothing, you're likely finding yourself wondering: What do I do with all these matching sweatsuits? As we step back into the world outside of our homes — whether socially, in a workplace capacity, or for school — there's quite a lot of confusion around what exactly to wear is common. Many are hesitant to ever return to the more restrictive styles of pre-pandemic fashion; some have gone as far as to question the future of the bra entirely. So, in an effort to alleviate any head-scratching over this new age of hybrid style, we put together a few ideas on how to best repurpose your pre-COVID sweatsuit collection for a post-vax world.

We're talking bare minimum effort here. Mix and match as many (or as few) fashion pieces to your sweatsuits. Although our styling suggestions are not totally foolproof — because, even though many things have changed, sweats still don't cut it for every occasion — they are packed with hacks that help give them a more polished and professional edge. (We also recommend considering color choice, bagginess levels, and signs of wear in your chosen lounge pieces.) Scroll on for fuss-free fashion inspiration.

The pandemic is still ongoing, and our understanding of the best safety practices is continuing to evolve. For the latest recommendations and guidelines, we suggest visiting COVID-related resources provided by your local health department, the WHO, and the CDC, and staying up-to-date about your rights in the workplace. For more news about COVID and how it affects our lives, check out Refinery29's reporting on the pandemic here.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

How To Style A Matching Sweatsuit

It was the official pandemic uniform — a classic crewneck sweatshirt with a pair of sweatpants to match. Here's how to step out in this suit, ahead.

Entireworld Loop Back Sweatshirt, $, available at Entireworld

Entireworld Loop Back Sweatpants, $, available at Entireworld

Form-Fitting Bodysuit

A regular T-shirt will likely come off as too relaxed, so wear a form-fitted bodysuit instead. Then, tie your sweatshirt around your shoulders or diagonally across your body.

Everlane The Short-Sleeve Crew Bodysuit, $, available at Everlane

Chain Choker Necklace

Add a piece of shiny jewelry to instantly elevate your athleisure look.

Jenny Bird Stevie Necklace, $, available at Revolve

Slouchy Tote Handbag

If you're headed to work or class, you'll need a handbag that's roomy enough for a laptop, books, and other commuter essentials.

Anthropologie Slouchy Shoulder Bag, $, available at Anthropologie

Comfortable Athletic Sandals

Skip the running shoe and swap in a pair of bouncy athletic sandals.

Adidas Magmur Sandal, $, available at Nordstrom

How To Style A Short-Sleeve Sweatshirt

The short-sleeve sweatshirt is super-comfy on its own, or you can wear a collared shirt underneath if you want to play with textures.

Madewell Short-Sleeve Sweatshirt, $, available at Madewell

High-Waisted Floral Skirt

Contrast the casual sweatshirt with an eye-catching printed skirt.

Veronica Beard Pascoe asymmetric floral-print crepe de chine midi skir, $, available at Net-A-Porter

Gold Metallic Croc Chelsea Booties

A fun pair of statement booties is an easy way to take the whole look up a few notches.

Schutz Tiliane Croc Embossed Metallic Leather Bootie, $, available at Nordstrom Rack

Cat-Eye Tortoiseshell Sunglasses

Don't forget a pair of sleek sunglasses.

Pieces cat eye sunglasses, $, available at ASOS

How To Style Sweatpants

The thing about sweatpants is that no two styles are ever the same. One pair may be ultra-plush and baggy, another may be lightweight and tapered. The best suggestion we have is to balance out your proportions when it comes to adding your pieces. For example, if you've got thick sweatpants, go lighter on top — and vice versa.

Entireworld Loop Back Sweatpants, $, available at Entireworld

Cute Sleeveless Tank Top

A perfect pairing for brightly colored sweatpants is a fluttery tank top in a neutral tone.

Madewell Linen-Blend Ruffle-Strap Button-Up Tank Top, $, available at Madewell

Classic Oversized Black Blazer

Then, throw on a black blazer over your shoulders to bring it all together.

H&M Oversized Jacket, $, available at H&M

Pearl Drop Earrings

Add a pair of drop earrings to fancy things up a tad. Don't have pierced ears? Any piece of jewelry will do.

Mejuri Malachite Pearl Earrings, $, available at Mejuri

Patent Leather Lace-Up Booties

If your sweatpants are full-length, just scrunch and roll them up to accommodate for a pair of lace-up heeled booties.

Schutz New Kika Patent Leather Bootie, $, available at Schutz

How To Style A Sweatshirt

They're not just for outdoorsy activities. We fully encourage you to style your sporty track sweatshirts for everyday wear as well. A little unzip also goes a long way, especially if you've got something interesting layered underneath.

Everlane The Track Half-Zip, $, available at Everlane

Knit Ribbed Crop Tank Top

A ribbed crop tank goes well with the athletic aesthetic.

H&M Crop Tank Top, $, available at H&M

Jewel-Toned Printed Culottes

The pants need to be more formal and presentable here, so grab wide-leg culottes to pair with the neutral sweatshirt and tank.

Zara EMBROIDERED CULOTTES, $, available at Zara

Bright Pair of Heeled Mules

Pick an unexpected shoe color to complement your bright pants. Here's a crash course on color blocking if you want to experiment with mixing palettes.

Schutz Lizah Leather Sandal, $, available at Schutz

Leather Crossbody Fanny Pack

Strap a fanny back across your chest as a final touch.

SheIn Double Zip Front Fanny Pack, $, available at SheIn

How To Style Sweatshorts

Styling a pair of sweatshorts for public wear is a lot more straightforward than you'd think, mostly because they don't attract too much attention and they're easy to add layers to.

Madewell MWL Airyterry Stitched-Pocket Sweatshorts, $, available at Madewell

Oversized Oxford Button-Up

First, throw on an oversized button-up. For a more stylish approach, leave the bottom buttons undone up to where the sweatshort waistband sits, or casually tuck in one side of the shirt into the waistband.

Abercrombie and Fitch 90s Oversized Button-Up Shirt, $, available at Abercrombie and Fitch

Chunky Lugsole Leather Loafers

Put on a pair of preppy loafers for that rolled-out-of-bed collegiate look.

Franco Sarto Balin Platform Loafer, $, available at Nordstrom

Printed Transitional Blazer

When it comes to between-season outerwear, a long-sleeve blazer is a nice contrast to leg-baring shorts. You can also mix and match your jacket according to how well it complements the color of your sweatshorts.

H&M Crinkled Jacket, $, available at H&M

Structured Mini Leather Bag

A color-matched bag immediately adds polish, even to a more laid-back shorts look.

Staud MINI SHIRLEY CROCHET EDGE BAG, $, available at Staud

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

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