Sweatsuits are making a comeback

Thanks, Tom Brady

February 18, 2016

By Max Fawcett / Photo: Wings + Horns

The sweatpant used to be the calling card of the lazy and underemployed. No more. And if you don’t believe that the lowly jersey cotton pant has become an object of high—or, at least, higher—fashion, well, think back to the December issue of GQ magazine. It featured a photo spread of their man of the year, New England Patriots quarterback and walking dimple Tom Brady, and in one of them he’s slouched on a sofa wearing grey sweatpants, a white sweatshirt (Tom Ford, natch), and a Tommy Hilfiger grey cotton sports jacket. He was, in other words, wearing a sweatsuit—albeit one that cost a bit more than the ones we used to wear as kids.

It didn’t take long for the Internet to pick up on what Brady was putting down, with the Atlantic’s Megan Garber declaring that his “fancy sweats” heralded the “Era of Conspicuous Comfort.” But in fairness to Brady, that era has been underway for a while now. Formal menswear has been heading in this decidedly informal direction for a few seasons now, according to Natsumi Akatsuka, the buyer and store manager at Roden Gray in Gastown. “It’s been happening for at least the last two or three seasons—we’ve been seeing this trend growing more and more,” she says. “Guys are very comfortable wearing dress pants with a sweatshirt on top, or sweatpants with a blazer on top. They like to mix and match.”

So, is the casual revolution played out? Not here, Akatsuka says. “If we were in Paris or London, the scene could be a little different. But I feel like at least in Vancouver people are still very excited about this trend.”

Get the look


John Elliott Baseline Sweatpant ($285)
Roden Gray
8 Water St., 604-689-7302

Wings + Horns Washed Linen Utility Blazer ($645)
Wings + Horns
133 W. 5th Ave., 604-568-0140;

Kit + Ace Klein Button Up ($198)
Kit + Ace
Stores everywhere, including 2235 W. 4th Ave. and 151 Water St. in Vancouver

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