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Sweatpants are a casual pant originally intended to be worn for athletic purposes.  They are a soft pant made in a variety of fabrics and silhouettes.  Although they are a type of fitness fashion, these trousers are worn in many different situations outside the world of sports.  Sweatpants have become a casual pant that are very popular among men, women, and children.  They are often worn in situations that have absolute no relevance to fitness activities.

The traditional sweatpant was usually quite "baggy" and loose, making them easy to put on and take off.  They were typically made in various weights of jersey knit fabric.  That style typically provides flexibility and comfort as a result of the loose fit and the stretching properties of knit fabric.  They would generally have an elastic at the bottom of each leg opening. 

Traditional Grey Sweatpant

Sweatpants are usually made from cotton or polyester, often of a heavy knit.  However they can be made in various fiber contents & weights.  Most sweatpants are made of cotton or a cotton blend, but they are also made in polar fleece, and other fabric options.  They often have elastic in the waist and possibly a draw cord to tighten or loosen the waist.  Sweatpants are designed with or without pockets.  Sweatpants are traditionally ash gray in color but are now available in most colors.

Women's Sweatpants

The first pair of sweatpants was introduced in the 1920s by Émile Camuset.  He was the founder of Le Coq Sportif.   The sweatpants were simple knitted gray jersey pants that allowed athletes to stretch and run comfortably. 

This type of pant is also known as tracksuit bottoms, jogging bottoms, warmup pants, trackpants, trackies or tracky daks (trackie-daks are the bottom half of the tracksuit, not the whole. the whole tracksuit is the trackie; the pants are the trackie-daks).  They probably have additional slang names as well.

Women's Tight Sweatpants

This type of pant is available in many fashionable styles and are worn in a variety of public situations. Because of their comfort and fashion, they have become a popular choice of clothing for people of all ages.  They are particular favored by college school age adults in the United States.  They are a staple in many wardrobes similar to the popularity of jeans, sneakers and hoodies.  Many of the modern sweatpants have printing on the leg or rear of the garment.  The printing may state the name or logo of a sports team, university, or some other novelty print. 

In addition to the traditional heavy jersey knit track suit,  many other tracksuits have been developed over the years.  The new versions of track suit have a similar purpose but look much different than the traditional grey, navy, or black track pant.  These may be considered to be more fashion conscious sweatpants.

Trendy Sweatpants

There are many variations on the sweatpant design that have evolved to define their own categories of athletic pants.  These variations include fashion pants, windpants, tearaway pants, and muscle pants.  The sweatpant variations described below are made from many different materials and in many forms. 

Fashion pants typically refers to "fashion conscious" sportswear.  These pants are often made from a variety of materials and in many color combinations or patterns.  One distinguishing characteristic is that fashion pants generally lack the elastic band at the ankles.

Windpants are similar to sweatpants but are lighter and shield the wearer from cold wind rather than insulate. Windpants are typically made of polyester or nylon, with a liner made of cotton or polyester. The nylon material's natural friction against both itself and human legs makes "swooshing" sounds during walking. Windpants often have zippers on each ankle, letting athletes unzip the end of each leg allowing the pants to be pulled over their footwear.

Tearaway pants, also known as breakaway pants, rip-off pants, or (in the UK) popper pants, are closely related to windpants.  Tearaway pants are windpants with snap fasteners running the length of both legs.  The snaps allow athletes to remove or “tear away" the pants in a timely manner to compete in some sports.  For example, basketball and track and field are the two sports commonly associated with the athletes wearing tearaway pants.  This allows an athlete to stay warm and remove the outer pant just prior to entering the game.  This way they can wear the pant as long as possible before wearing only their shorts that are worn under the long pants.

You may want to also learn about sweatshirts, sweatsuits, and yoga pants.

Don't forget to view our fitness pants and fitness fashion pages.

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