9 Different Types of Sweatpants (And the Fabrics They’re Made of): Do You Know Them All?

There is definitely a reason why sweatpants are one of the hottest trends right now. Aside from them being timeless, sweatpants provide the comfort you need regardless of your activities.

Now that you are in the hype, looking for one might be challenging. Mind you, sweatpants come in a handful of varieties you can choose from. 

In this article, we will delve into the different types of sweatpants that are trending right now. You will also get to know the kinds of fabric material used in creating one.

What are Sweatpants?

Sweatpants are initially made for comfort purposes, giving wearers the same flexibility and mobility needed in athletic activities. Most of the fabrics used in sweatpants are a little thicker and warmer than the usual jogging pants, making them an excellent athleisure outfit in the winter season.

Emile Camuset (founder of Le Coq Sportif) created the first pair of sweatpants in 1920 for athletes. He knitted simple, gray sweatpants that keep wearers warm and snug, offering flexible movements in mind. It was then dubbed by the French as “the Sunday uniform” in the late 1930s.

Materials used in sweatpants are cotton or polyester, but other fabrics are utilized as well. Regardless, pairs of sweatpants are heavily knitted, have an elastic waistband (with drawstring sometimes), and may have pockets. 

Moreover, sweatpants are different from track pants, as the latter is made from lightweight nylon material. Unlike sweatpants, track pants are shinier and not windproof. Track and field players usually wear track pants for ease of movement. Meanwhile, sweatpants give warmth and comfort, especially in cold weather.

Currently, most sweatpants come in a classic gray color that compliments a wearer’s curve. Although other colors are available, most women and men love this neutral color because it brings a more appealing effect.

Fabric Materials of Sweatpants

Photo from: @grailify

Sweatpants can be made with different fabrics, and the most commonly used are the following:

1. Cotton

The best fabric material used for sweatpants is cotton. As such, cottons are soft and breathable, giving the comfort you need when wearing sweatpants all day long. 

Cotton sweatpants are great for wicking moisture away and keeping your legs warm, especially when performing athletic activities. They are less abrasive than polyester, which eliminates too much friction on your skin.

Additionally, cotton sweatpants are best for different skin conditions. You do not need to worry about fabric chemicals since cotton is organic. Yet, a drawback of cotton material is that it tends to lose its resilience and quality over time.

2. Polyester

Sweatpants that are made with polyester last for good. Unlike cotton, polyester are adamant and handy against wear and tear.

What is more, polyester sweatpants are more lightweight and are known to block UV rays. To add, they do not wrinkle like cotton.

However, wearing polyester sweats is not a good idea on hot summer days. They dry off quickly but do not absorb or wick moisture well, which means terrible odor and smell can build-up for longer or extended hours of training.

3. Spandex

Spandex sweatpants are great for active wearers who want to perform activities with more ease and flexibility. Spandex types of sweats are famous for their stretchy attributes that expand the clothing to almost 6 times its original size.

Besides, spandex fabric snaps back your sweatpants’ size and clings conveniently to your legs. They also help absorb moisture, making it easier for your legs to breathe. These sweatpants are great for jogging or running performance because the compression improves your blood circulation.

Spandex sweatpants most come with different prints and colors. Thus, wearing them for a day out or activity is a no-brainer.

4. Fleece

Another recognized fabric for sweatpants is fleece, which is made of a combined polyester and recycled plastics. These elements are turned into fine fibers and are later woven to create fleece-type of cloth.

Plus, the fleece’s structure primarily contains air pockets, serving as your leg’s insulation (which is warmer than other fabrics mentioned). Knowing its characteristics, fleece sweatpants are hydrophobic. Meaning, they are water repellent, which keeps your legs warm even in wet seasons.

A disadvantage of fleece sweatpants is that they are not the best when you want to keep moisture away. Further, it is safe to say that fleece sweats can be worn at home during the winter.

5. Nylon

Nylon pants are referred to as “parachute pants” simply because both are characterized by the same type of material used. Moreover, they are considered best for outdoor athleisure pursuits because of their durability, insulation, and moisture management.

Nylon sweats are flowy enough to give you flexible movements. They are soft enough and can handle different abrasion or extended washing. Additionally, nylons dry faster than cotton, managing sweat better than cotton-made sweatpants.

Also, nylon sweatpants would keep you warmer in cold weather while giving you a relaxed feeling in hot weather.

6. Polypropylene

Polypropylene shares the same quality as polyester, but it is entirely resistant to water. The substance used has lower thermal conductivity than other materials, making it a good material for cold weather. 

Polypropylene sweats are most commonly used in sportswear, cold season, and military clothing. It is one of the lightest synthetic fiber types, making it more resilient to acids and alkalis to date. 

Different Styles of Sweatpants

The best sweatpants should give the comfort, warmth, and coziness you need all day long. Here are the different types of sweatpants you can wear depending on your needs or occasions:

1. Basic Length Sweatpants

Basic Length Sweatpants

As the name suggests, the basic length sweatpants are your typical pants that are neither too short nor too long to wear. This type of sweatpants reach ankle-length and look like other types of trousers. In addition, they mostly come with drawstrings.

Most manufacturers use cotton and polyester when producing this type of sweatpants, so they are comfortable even when worn on hot summer days. These are perfect pants when running a quick errand or shopping at a grocery store.

In terms of fit, basic-length sweatpants are not too fight and tight at all. They give your legs enough room to breathe, keeping your movements at ease. You can marry your basic length sweatpants with different types of shoes, such as classic sneakers, boots, and flats.

2. Cropped Sweatpants

Cropped Sweatpants

Compared to basic length, cropped sweatpants are basically shorter. They are called capri pants and run down to your mid-calf. You would not feel too hot when wearing them because of the length.

Cropped sweatpants use either a drawstring or an elastic waistband to secure the fit. You will also find some Capri sweatpants with cuffed or rolled ends, depending on how you want the lots to cling to your legs.

Types of shoes to wear with cropped sweatpants are sandals and rubber shoes (depends on your activity mainly). As for the tops, any solid-colored tee or tank top would do. These are perfect when you want to feel comfortable while working out on hot days.

3. Pocketed Sweatpants

Pocketed Sweatpants

Most sweatpants come with deep side pockets, and there is a reason why wearers find this ideal when buying one. They come with either a loose or snug fit, depending on your preference. Some sweatpants also feature back pockets (bonus added!).

Pocketed sweatpants are popular for their functionality and practicality. Let’s say you are out for a morning jog. You can easily slide your keys or phone into your pocket without losing them. And if you need that extra warmth your hands need, you can put your hands inside the pockets.

This type of sweatpants is typically made out of cotton and come in different styles and designs. Pocketed sweatpants look good when paired with a hoodie or a sweatshirt and sneakers.

4. Drawstring Sweatpants

Drawstring Sweatpants

Another popular feature of sweatpants is their drawstring. People love drawstring sweatpants because they can easily adjust the waist fit according to their needs.

Regardless of your needs, drawstring sweatpants deliver. The drawstring is long enough so you can make your sweatpants looser or tighter than they should be. You can style your sweatpants with this feature and make them a little baggier or dressier but more secure. And, you do not have to worry about falling your butt out when squatting down.

You can wear drawstring sweatpants for a quick lunch out with families or friends. In case you need more room for food, you can loosen the drawstring conveniently. These sweatpants can be married with any shoes of your choice as well.

5. Baggy Sweatpants

Baggy Sweatpants

If you are into roomier sweatpants, baggy sweatpants are a good choice. They are called “baggy sweatpants” because of their loose-fitting appearance. Baggy sweatpants come in large or oversized trousers that are best used when lounging around the house for comfort and warmth. Yet, this should not stop you from wearing one in public.

Most baggy sweatpants are made with fleece fabric, but other varieties and options are available in the market. They are good to style with, provided that you match them with versatile tees and shoes.

Some wearers might look floppy in baggy sweatpants. So, consider wearing them with a tight-fitting or cropped top to amp your look. Shoes that look good on baggy sweatpants are low-top sneakers and flats. Chunky shoes look good on baggy sweats, too.

6. Jogger Sweatpants

Jogger Sweatpants

Some sweatpants feature an element of joggers, which is the cuffed ankles. With jogger sweatpants, you will get a sweatpant that has stretchy, elastic bottoms. They usually come in neutral colors (like black, white, and gray) and are made out of cotton and fleece fabric materials.

Nonetheless, jogger sweatpants are everything you need to keep yourself warm while jogging or running. The attractive style of jogger sweatpants is attributed to its slim and flexible manner that delivers convenience when working out or walking.

Many jogger sweatpants feature pockets, making them among the popular styles of sweatpants today. You can be more stylish by matching them with sneakers, loafers, or chunky shoes. Perfect for active wearers.

7. Relaxed-Fit Sweatpants

Relaxed-Fit Sweatpants

Relaxed-fit sweatpants are your go-to type of trousers when you want extra room for your thighs but do not want to look floppy or baggy. They are usually made with cotton, fleece, or polyester and are machine-wash.

What people love about relaxed-fit sweatpants is that they are practical and functional to wear. For men, this style gives them more room around their legs and crotch area. Meanwhile, heavier people opt for relaxed fit styles to lounge around with more comfort because it provides more space in the thigh and seat areas.

This is the perfect style when you do not want to look slimmer or bulgy. Besides, relaxed-fit sweatpants go along well with sneakers and rubber shoes.

8. Racing Sweatpants

Racing Sweatpants

If you are not a fan of simple, classic-styled sweatpants, racing sweatpants might be for you. They stand out from the rest for their cool and exciting designs that amp your hipster or street style look.

Moreover, most athleisure and automobile companies sport their racing sweatpants in the market. Some have official logos, which are essentially a thing when attending bikes, race, or sports car events.

They are the most fun to style with because racing sweatpants have different prints that match your OOTD’s theme but are more comfortable and snug.

9. Slim Sweatpants

Slim Sweatpants

Finally, slim sweatpants give slimmer and fitted trousers for wearers. Skinny sweatpants come into play when you want to minimize a sweatpants’ natural roomy look. This influences your outfit and minimizes your body size, especially for plus-size wearers.

Since they are slimmer than other sweatpants, you can low-key flex the shoes you are wearing. Slim sweatpants are great when worn with a sexy tank top, loose-fitting tee, or a cropped top. As for the shoes, slim sweats go great with sandals or flats, sneakers, and bulgy shoes.