The Evolution of Loungewear

I’m home from work. The first thing I did when I walked in the door was to march straight to my room and change out of my comfortable scrubs into my even more comfortable sweatpants. And as I sit here, now post-meal, in these oh so comfortable sweatpants, I am indeed thankful for their invention. I’ve even been known to run errands in these. But it wasn’t always socially acceptable attire for outings.

Sweatpants were never something I wore out on a regular basis. When I was in college, for example, I didn’t dare go to class in sweats. It was just something I never did. I guess running has changed my perspective, because I certainly go to an after run brunch in my running gear. And now there’s been an interesting development during the pandemic, one that I don’t think we will devolve from anytime soon. I’m actually grateful for this, though. It’s the elevation and evolution of loungewear!

Sure, I used to think less of people who showed up to Walmart in pajamas and slippers, but I’m practically one of them now. I wear things out that I never would have considered appropriate pre-pandemic. I even went out to dinner in my much loved sweatpants the other night. I’ve reached a level where even leggings and a sweater seem like too much effort. 

This phenomenon, this evolution, if you will, was insidious. It simply came to be without even thinking about it, and I’m not alone in this observation. 

Loungewear has degrees of casualness now. There are straight up pajamas that you only wear at home. There are mid-level lounge pants, like sweatpants, that are now socially acceptable for basic errand running and even casual dinners. And then there are dressy lounge pants, like more traditional athleisure wear. Think joggers and yoga pants. Workout clothes can fall in here, too. These are completely acceptable for shopping at the mall or meeting girlfriends for coffee.

I knew we had reached a new level in the pandemic when yoga pants suddenly feel restrictive, and when you get home, you find yourself changing into more comfortable pajama pants. 

How did we get here? 

I look at jeans now and think, why did I ever choose to wear these instead of my beloved joggers? If it weren’t for the adoration for my Doc Martens that overrides my love for comfort, I may never wear jeans again. Because I would never wear my Docs with loungewear. I still have some standards, after all! 

Is the shift toward increasingly casual attire simply because we have outgrown our pants in the midst of this ongoing pandemic? Or is it just that we have all realized that life is too short to be uncomfortable? Maybe it’s both. 


Have you noticed this phenomenon as well? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy. 

Published by annecreates

I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness, speaking about the human experience, and in fighting for social justice. Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Boco Gear, SaltStick, SPIbelt, Goodr, Noxgear, and Switch4Good.

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