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How to Wear Joggers

I'm a writer, traveler, and beauty fanatic. I love writing fashion and beauty reviews and how-tos.

Jogger pants

Jogger pants

What Are Joggers?

Joggers are a very welcome reminder that jeans are not the be-all end-all of women's casual pants. They're not leggings and they're not sweatpants, but comfort-wise, they might as well be. Worn correctly, though, you can wear them anywhere you'd wear a nice pair of khakis, slacks, or a casual dress or skirt.

Joggers can be any material, but what you'll find most often is a thick knit, silk, or leather style. The waistband is usually stretchy, sometimes with a drawstring. They're baggy through the thighs, sometimes with a slightly dropped crotch (but not enough to please M.C. Hammer), and then slim down around the knee to crop snugly above the ankle.

Spice-orange jogger pants (an un-cropped style).

Spice-orange jogger pants (an un-cropped style).

Picking Your Pants

Because they do have a kind of sweatpants vibe, it's important to pick out a pair that doesn't look like you're wearing what you wore to sleep. A bold pattern is a great way to avoid this, as are any colors or details that look deliberate. There are some silk and thin jersey versions that are gorgeous and easier to dress-up.

If you go for a basic color, make sure there's detailing to make them look styled. My favorite pair of joggers is a black pair in a textured fabric with diagonal zipper pockets. The details make them look like pants, not gym-wear black sweatpants.

Maroon jogger pants. Love this color for fall.

Maroon jogger pants. Love this color for fall.

Choosing a Look

There are endless ways to wear them, but here are a few for an easy cheat-sheet.

STYLE GOALPANT IDEASTOP IDEASACCESSORIES AND OUTERWEARHAIR AND MAKEUPSHOE IDEAS

Sporty/classic

Thick jersey joggers, loose or "boyfriend" fitted.

Tank top tucked in, favorite baggy t-shirt, crop top

Letterman's jacket, stacked bracelets, hoodie, statement earrings

Fishtail braid, neutral makeup

Sneakers

Trendy

Detailed or pattern joggers, silk, thinner jersey

Plain white t-shirt or button down, anything glittery, something in a matching pattern,

Moto jacket, simple jewelry

Natural-looking waves, dramatic eye

Flats or your highest heels

Semi-formal

Silk, leather

Button down shirt

Formal coat, pearl earrings, statement bracelet

Polished up-do

Heels, heels, heels

Love this crop top and high-heeled sandals with a sport jogger.

Love this crop top and high-heeled sandals with a sport jogger.

Watch Your Proportions

An oversized or large top with jogger pants can make you look shapeless. Aim for a form-fitting shirt that hits right at the waistline of the pants. If you like a little more coverage, go for long and lean or boxy and short, not big all over.

High heels look amazing with joggers, especially on petite girls.

High heels look amazing with joggers, especially on petite girls.

Shoes Make the Look

The most defining part of a jogger look is the shoes; it determines the kind of look you're going for and changes the look from casual brunch to date night or the other way around. You can use the same pair of joggers for a ton of occasions by subbing in heels, booties, ballerina flats, sneakers, or even sandals. Just keep in mind that the higher the heel, the more deliberate the look. Your mileage may vary on whether that's a good thing.

These leather jogger pants look fantastic with sneakers.

These leather jogger pants look fantastic with sneakers.

Hair and Makeup

It's crucial when wearing a borrowed-from-the-boys casual piece to take extra time to look pulled together. Joggers aren't the time for a messy bun and a swipe of lip balm, unless you're going the gym (in which case, work it, girl). Putting effort into your makeup makes the world know that you know what you're doing; you didn't accidentally wear sweatpants outside. You're doing something here. Red lip? Cat eye? Now's the time.

Comments

Matty Navarro from New Jersey on May 08, 2017:

I will be trying joggers one of these days.

Hannah Moskowitz (author) from New York on October 27, 2014:

@Realystik my 57 year old mother wears them! And looks FIERCE.

Realystik on October 27, 2014:

My daughter loves these and I will definitely show her your article. Don't think I could pull this off though!!!!!