What’s The Difference Between Sweatpants And Joggers?

sweatpants vs. joggers | Murston Co.

In the modern fashion world, we’ve got plenty of options for activewear. Sweatpants and joggers both play a central role in keeping us comfy and stylish.

But, while plenty of people classify sweats and joggers as the same style of pants, are they the same thing? Despite both of their trendy styles, the question still stands. What’s the difference between sweatpants and joggers?

Sweatpants and joggers have 2 main differences: their material and overall fit. While sweatpants are made of thicker fabric to keep your legs warm, joggers are typically made of thinner materials to provide breathability. In terms of fit, sweatpants are usually baggy, while joggers are form-fitting.

But, it’s easy to think of them as the same due to their similarly elasticized ankles. You might even be thinking, are their differences even significant enough to matter?

To give you a better idea of how sweatpants and joggers distinguish themselves from the other, let’s dive into their details and explore how to sport each style.

Sweatpants Vs. Joggers: What’s The Difference?

It’s only natural to wonder if sweatpants and joggers differ; they’re designed for basically the same thing. Although sweats and joggers are both considered activewear, we all use them for one purpose: lounging. And, they’re equally as comfortable.

Let’s jump into the history of both sweatpants and joggers to get a better understanding of what makes the two unique.

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Sweatpants were originally thought up and created by a French genius by the name of Émile Camuset.

At first, they were simple jersey knit pants that allowed athletes to run and sport around more comfortably. The pants were given their name due to their ability to absorb sweat and keep dry. But, surprisingly, they weren’t an immediate hit.

It wasn’t until the 80s that sweats began to fly off the shelves while people everywhere joined in on the fitness craze. Oh yeah, it wasn’t all about the tights and bodysuits. Before the world knew it, sweatpants were known as the best comfortable pant to own.

However, they weren’t always for public wear. May we never forget what Jerry Seinfeld said about our beloved companions: “You know the message you’re sending out to the world with these sweatpants? You’re telling the world, ‘I give up.'” Fast forward to current trends, and you’ll find celebrities everywhere pairing their sweatpant sets with stilettos.


It’s not clear when joggers became a widespread and acceptable concept.

But thankfully, a brand full of geniuses coined the term in 2010, when cinched ankles were beginning to make their debut in the fashion world. Publish Brand initially found the idea from a pair of Marc Jacobs pants and realized that the world—which had been pin rolling jeans for quite some time—needed a more fashionable pant with cinched ankles.

Soon enough, after some dedication and persistence to have the style acknowledged by the rest of America, the idea of the jogger pant skyrocketed.

And that’s why we have the wardrobe staple today.

Sweatpants vs. Joggers

Regardless of their histories, it’s necessary to acknowledge that the terms aren’t used interchangeably for the same type of pants.

Believe it or not, they do have a few key elements that set them apart from each other.

So, what exactly are they?

First, as mentioned before, sweatpants and joggers generally feature distinct materials.

Sweatpants generally feature a thick type of cotton that is comfy and soft, ideal for staying warm during the winter.

Joggers, on the other hand, are available in nearly any material you can think up–from cotton-poly blends to twill, silk, satin, or even denim. The athletic joggers are often made from more lightweight fabrics that allow your legs to breathe while exercising.

Second, we have the shape.

Sweatpants are baggy, ill-fitting, and do not taper down the leg in any way. They’re basically shapeless.

Joggers, regardless of material, are usually tapered and give more of a tailored look that is more flattering.

And third, we have style.

Sweatpants and joggers are designed for different fashion statements.

Although they’re worn by even the most fashionable icons these days, including Kanye and Donald Glover, sweatpants send off considerably more “comfortable” vibes.

Joggers, on the other hand, can portray any sort of style, from casual to sophisticated and back to comfy.

How To Wear Sweatpants

Wearing sweatpants in the modern world might seem easy enough, but it’s helpful to have some fashion advice to keep you from looking like you just rolled out of bed to hit the mall before it closes.

That said, we’ve compiled some fundamental dos and don’ts to wearing sweatpants fashionably.

Opt for a pair of sweats that fit at least a little bit.

You want to keep things casual, but you also don’t want to be wearing a parachute around that you’ll need to hang onto to keep from falling down all afternoon.

Try a nice pair of sweatpants that are slightly fitted and avoid anything that will make you look sloppy.

Or, if you’re going for the all-around super-trendy look, opt for some sweatpants that are a bit baggier.

But, ensure that they’re clean and don’t look like you borrowed them from your older brother, who is two sizes bigger than you are—it’s best to make sure the baggier options are cinched at the ankle.

Also, take the time to style the rest of your ensemble.

Take a shower, do your hair, and put on a nice watch. Possibly wear a more refined pair of shoes with your sweats to dress them up a bit. Some white, chunky sneakers with some crew socks are a great way to keep the casual vibe alive, while some loafers or combat boots (when worn correctly) can help elevate your overall look.

Go monochrome with a matching crewneck sweater in colder months, or opt for a well-fitted tee in warmer weather.

Oh, and keep the color in mind. Black sweatpants will look a bit sharper, while grey is on the more casual end of the spectrum.

How to Wear Joggers

It’s tough to wear joggers wrong; they’re typically versatile enough to pair well with nearly anything.

Whether you’re trying out a polished style or keeping things casual for an everyday look, there’s a jogger for that.

Nonetheless, we’ll give you a few tips to help welcome joggers into your wardrobe.

When in doubt, go neutral.

Khaki, grey, black, or denim joggers will give you more bang for your buck, and you can wear them more confidently with your favorite casual t-shirt. Joggers are designed to fit the legs more naturally, so it isn’t tough to find a pair that will look nice on your shape.

However, watch out for those that are super tight around the calves—they might not be your cup of tea. Instead, try to go for a slim-fit pair of joggers that still give your legs a bit of room to breathe.

Keep things laid-back and relaxed with a pair of jogger sweats or athletic joggers and a classic solid or graphic tee-shirt. If you’re heading out, toss on a denim jacket and some coordinating slip-on sneakers.

For more sophisticated energy, ditch the knit material and go for a pair of twill or denim joggers. You can wear them with dressier shirts, like button-ups or well-fitted tees. Toss on a blazer or a classy overcoat and some leather Derby shoes, and you’re ready to roll.

Sweatpants vs. Joggers: Which is Right for You?

Now that we’ve discussed their primary contrasts, hopefully, you’ll have an easier time distinguishing between sweatpants and joggers.

Depending on the occasion and style you’re looking for, one might be better than the other.

If you’re looking to merely lounge around at home or stay warm in cooler climates, sweatpants might do the trick.

But, if you’re looking for a pair of pants that you can wear to the office and then to the gym, joggers will be your best bet.

Nonetheless, it definitely can’t hurt to have both handy, so you’re ready for anything that comes your way.

Bottom Line

When it comes to sweatpants and joggers, there are quite a few differences.

Between material, style, design, and purpose, the two popular pants may as well be separated to entirely different planets. Regardless, although it might have taken a while to make it through history, sweatpants and joggers have, fortunately, come to be some of the most comfortable and versatile statement pieces that everyone deserves to keep in their closets.

Whether you’re keeping it lax at home or heading out for drinks with your friends, sweatpants and joggers each serve an important role in your wardrobe.

If you’ve yet to purchase a cozy pair of sweats or some reliable joggers, here is your sign to drop everything and buy a pair (maybe two).

So, between sweatpants and joggers, which do you prefer?

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