All-athleisure-all-the-time is a lot like social media. It’s crap. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. But no one admits it because it feels SUPER unpopular to raise your hand and say “y’know, sitting around in a snuggie all day actually makes me feel like trash.” Because it’s supposed to be comfortable, right? Yet how can something that’s supposed to be comfortable be so… uncomfortable?
Ooh so comfy! Yeah not really. After two days of this junk I feel like I’ve got ringworm.
Pretty much sorta kinda how social media can be… so… anti-social? I don’t know about you, but I always feel less happy and more alone after scrolling through a feed.
I have no answers for the social media thing. But for the great year long sweatpants sh*t-party that is #2020? I got some ideas. Here they are. You… me… trousers that don’t have an elastic waist band? EH? LET’S DOOO IT.
#1. Set your clothes out the night before
- Sanders Made in the UK Hi Top Chukka Boot in Snuff Suede – $218 (warning: returns are PRICEY)
- Lululemon Warpstreme Commission Pant in Vapor (sold out)
- Amazon Brand Peak Velocity Men’s Aeros Performance Polo Shirt in Alpine Blue – $20ish
- Ray-Ban Oversized Clubmaster – $137
- Christopher Ward 65 Trident Hand-wind in Black (sold out)
Decide the night before what you’re gonna wear the next day. You’ll be less sleepy eyed, and it can make a world of difference. Remove the resistance that is the morning-of-clothing-“decision.” Doesn’t have to be a complicated or formal setup like a clothes valet (although that could help). Could be nothing more than a chair. Or a friggin’ space on the floor. Doesn’t matter. But making the decision the day before removes a lot of cognitive incentives to fall back down that athleisure hole.
#2. Get a workout in first thing in the morning
Actually sweating in your sweatpants? The horror! But for real, doing a workout the very. first. thing. That’ll lead to not only being fitter and healthier, but you’ll have already “experienced” athleisure for the day. Those post-workout shower endorphins almost always lead to “I want to put on real clothes now.” (Shorts and tee above are from the old Target Champion C9 line. Those are discontinued, but you can try their All in Motion line, which honestly feels like a nice step up!)
#3. Stop wearing slippers all the time. Wear real shoes at home.
- Allen Edmonds Weybridge (discontinued)
- Dark Brown Allen Edmonds Mackenzie (also discontinued!)
- Allen Edmonds Liverpool – $345 ($495)
- Sanders Made in the UK Hi Top Chukka Boot in Dirty Buck – $218 (warning: returns are PRICEY)
- Good Man Brand Legend (blue accent option seems to be discontinued)
This is shockingly effective. Try it. Prove me wrong. I’m sorry, but slippers are a gateway drug to slobdom. I 100% understand that a lot of people do NOT wear their street shoes/out and about shoes/work shoes inside their homes. Cleanliness, cultural, a combination of the two, whatever. I get it. But that doesn’t mean you have to resort to your bunny slippers as soon as you hit the door. Especially these days, when a lot of us have mothballed most of our “nice” shoe collections. Set aside 3 pairs for at-home-use-only. Some NICE pairs. And wear them around the house.
#4. Wear your sport coats more casually
- Banana Republic Knit Sweatshirt Blazer (sold out, but this could work?)
- Amazon Goodthreads Lightweight Slub Pocket T-Shirt – $15
- Banana Republic Rapid Movement Jeans in Medium Blue – $77 ($129) similar
- adidas Stan Smith in White/Green – $64 ($80)
No one is asking you to go full Miami Vice and start wearing t-shirts with your suits. But if you’ve got a knit blazer? Or a totally unstructured, rumpled, chino sportcoat? Throw that on over a t-shirt or a polo, wear some jeans or chinos, and put on some classic court inspired sneakers. You’ll be just as comfortable (if not more), and you’ll avoid the standard trainers/sweatpants/hoodie look.
Another two-for-one on mental benefits. First, you clear out the clutter, and then you remind yourself of all the cool stuff you already have. See it. Be reminded of it. Desire to wear it again. Brilliant! Here’s a 3 step process on how to do it.
#6. Find something you want, eBay some old stuff, and make it happen
While we’re on the closet clean out topic… let’s make some cash off that job. eBay is an utter pain in the arse. So as you’re doing the closet clean out, set aside what’s sellable, grit your teeth, and make that sweet eBay money for something you’ve had your eye on. (Personally, I’ve got my eye on one of those suuuper nice looking Spier shawl collar sweaters). Once it shows up? Wear the hell out of it.
Some guys actually find this task relaxing… sorta like washing a cool car. Get out all your good kicks, and spend an afternoon in front of a favorite movie or sportsball, with a favorite beverage or 3, and clean up your nice shoes. Once you do that, you’ll want to wear them. Guaranteed.
#8. Make a date
- GAP Performance Poplin Micro Print Shirt – $28.77 w/ SMILE and GAPTREAT ($59.95) similar
- Amazon Goodthreads Men’s Lightweight Merino Wool V-Neck Sweater in Heather Gray – $35
Socially distant, zoom, whatever. Make a date with your significant other. Don’t have a significant other? Setup a zoom cocktail hour with some pals. Or use this as an excuse to ask out the cutie you’ve been trying to get up the guts to approach. “Hey, so, I’ve been wearing sweat pants all the time, and you’re totally suit worthy. Wanna grab a socially distanced drink next week?”
#9. Make it “suit week!”
- Spier and Mackay Half Canvas Charcoal Wool Suit – $328
- Ledbury Semi-Spread Fine Twill Dress Shirt – $108 ($135)
- Allen Edmonds Neumok Double Monks (discontinued)
- Nordstrom Over the Calf Merino Blend Dress Socks – $14.50
Forget SHARK week. Designate and commit to a SUIT week! Wear the dang things. You own them, right? They’re yours! “But nobody is gonna see me.” WHO CARES YOU’RE GONNA FEEL YOU BRUH. Almost none of us wear our suits enough. Practice makes perfect, right? Suit up!
- Banana Republic Core Temp Chino in Jupiter Gray – $54 ($98)
- Target Goodfellow & Co Slim Fit Short Sleeve Loring Polo Shirt – $9.99 similar
- adidas Stan Smith in White/Green – $64 ($80)
Okay, maybe the suit week suggestion was a bit too far. Let’s start slower. Just try wearing pants that don’t have an elastic waist band for
seven five days in a row. Baby steps guys. Baby steps.
BONUS: Go full crazy and wear the nicest thing you got to the most casual place
Masked up and in a tux for the post office? Try and stop me. Feel like a low budget Bond movie. A super low budget bond movie. “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to pay for signature confirmation!”
Also related: This, this, this, and this. But instead of telling, showing is always more effective. So it was high time we published a HOW to break out of the athleisure rut/trap/sartorial quicksand of despair situation. Good luck to everyone who’s shelving the sweat pants for a bit. We believe in you! You WILL feel better! And if you don’t? I’ll refund your Dappered subscription fee! HA! Joke’s on you. We’re FREE! Wait, joke’s on… us. Sonofabiscuit. We’re idiots. We’re giving this stuff away? We’re giving this stuff away! Dammit! We’re fools! We’ve completely devalued ourselves! (Puts sweatpants back on while gag-weeping into a bag of tortilla chips while hiding in the coat closet. I feel safe in here. Me and my chips. Let the salt of my tears merge with the salt of my crispy snacks.)