What is the difference between Joggers and Sweatpants?

Athletic pants, lounge pants, joggers, jogging pants, sweatpants, the list goes on. When did it all become so confusing? Shouldn’t finding relaxing pants be an easy and effortless task? It should be! We’ve composed a brief guide to help you sort out all the particularities of joggers and sweatpants, starting with the difference between them! 

What are joggers? 

Joggers are a more fashionable take on the extremely comfortable sweatpants style. Typically, they have an elasticized or draw-string waist for a personalized close fit. They have a loose feel and look around the glutes, thighs, and knees, yet they still closely follow your natural silhouette. From there, they taper or become more fitted through till the ankle.

The ankle is usually a cinched cuff, and this can be thick or thin according to the brand. Joggers are known for being versatile. You can wear them for a light jog on warmer days, to run errands or hang out with your friends, or lounge around with your friends. They really do express a casual street style combined with a cool, sporty aesthetic. 

Joggers are made of lightweight fabrics, so they are perfect for being active or lounging around. Additionally, they are usually ideal for warm seasons since they are exceptionally breathable and cooling. 

What are sweatpants?

Sweatpants are classic loungewear and sleepwear, although we do have to admit Hollywood stars have succeeded at bringing sweatpants into the fashion world, pairing them with elite brand-name shoes and accessories. You can definitely dress sweatpants up to achieve a relaxed everyday look, but it isn’t as easy to do as it is with joggers. 

Sweatpants are very loose around all parts of your body, except for the elasticized or drawstring waistband, and sometimes the elasticized ankle cuff. They are designed exclusively for comfort during lounging, sleeping, or basic movement. They can also keep you cozy and warm during warm-up and stretching for physical activity. Compared with joggers, they are usually made up of heavier and softer fabrics. 

Advantages of Joggers and Sweatpants

As you can see, joggers and sweatpants are designed for similar activities but each possess unique designs, materials, and styles. Likewise, they each have distinctive advantages, and knowing these can help you choose which one is best for you! Check out our convenient table below which shows you the clear winner in each feature or performance category:







Flattering Fit



Loose Fit






























Price Point



Considerations when shopping for joggers and sweatpants 

Now that you know if you would like joggers or sweatpants, it is time to actually make the purchase! Yet, once you are actually online or in store, there are so many options! How do you know which one to choose? We got you! Check out our brief checklist to help you decide on which pair to buy:

Considerations for Joggers

  • Type: Joggers tend to have elite names that signify what activity they are suited for; the typical types are sporty joggers (for physical activity and hanging out with friends), lounge joggers (for lounging around at home), everyday joggers (for lounging, running errands, or hanging out with friends), and smart joggers (for work or going out). 
  • Material: Material is something we do not usually consider right away when making a purchase; however, it can inform you if the joggers will be breathable and cool, stretchy and dimensional, and durable. The best, high-quality materials for joggers are polyester and nylon.
  • Color: Color is more important for personal preference than anything else.
  • Fit: Joggers should closely align to your body’s natural silhouette, however they should be skin tight. They should loosely fit around the glutes and thighs, providing a nice shape and allowing free range of motion. They should taper nicely along the calf to just above the ankle.

Considerations for Sweatpants 

  • Material: Sweatpants are meant to be cozy, soft and comfortable. The best high-quality materials for sweatpants are cotton, polyester, fleece, and French terry. 
  • Color: Color is more important for personal preference than anything else. Neutrals or dark Colors are most fashion-forward. 
  • Fit: Fit can be relaxed fit or slim fit. Ultimately, how it fits on your body is up to your personal comfort level. You may wish to pay close attention to the waistband, as that will determine comfort while lounging. 

Style tips for wearing Joggers

As aforementioned, joggers are notably more fashion-forward than sweatpants; this is mainly due to their sleek and dynamic design which fits in with an athleisure or laid-back street wear style. That said, sometimes we just need a few extra pointers to up our aesthetic game:

  • Ensure your joggers are close fitting and flattering: Comfort should be your highest priority when choosing a pair of joggers, so make sure that your joggers allow you to move and sit easily; a constricting and too-tight pair of joggers will not be flattering anyhow. That said, they should be tight enough that they follow your body’s natural shape from the waist to the knee. 
  • Opt for a thick waistband and corresponding cuffed ankle: The proportional waistband and ankle will add a touch of  refinement. 
  • Choose neutral colors such as white, beige, tan, or black
  • Pair them with a nice shoe: A brand-name sneaker or business casual loafer if you are a man or a low shoe or heel if you are a woman will always make you appear put-together. 
  • Add a collared shirt for an effortless preppy look 
  • Add a blazer or stylish jacket for a cool professional edge

Style tips for wearing Sweatpants

Sweatpants are less easy to style than joggers, simply for the fact that they are often slouchy and baggier. However, if Vogue can do a whole feature on celebrities who wear sweatpants then you can definitely style them nicely. Let’s look at some easy ways to elevate sweatpants:

  • Consider the fit: Certain types of sweatpants are going to be much easier to style than others. For instance, a cropped sweatpant or a slim fit sweatpant will appear more composed. 
  • Choose neutral colors such as white, beige, tan, or black 
  • Wear like colors: Monochrome will make your outfit look intentional and more sleek.
  • Paid them with a nice shoe: A brand-name shoe or a high-top sneaker are always going to complete a sweatpant look if you are a man. For a woman, a stylish boot or low heel might be most flattering. 
  • Choose a cinched ankle: Rather than have a flowy ankle, which can give off a complete lounge or track pant vibe, opt for an ankle that cinches with a cuff. 

Add classy and simple accessories: Accessories always make an outfit look more thoughtful, whether you are a man or a woman. It can be as easy as wearing a chain and a beanie, or pairing it with a designer bag and sunglasses.

Looking for the most comfortable joggers and sweatpants? Read our article on the most comfortable joggers here.

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