Sweatpants: A versatile staple for day or night

Sweatpants. Some say they should be saved for Saturdays at home and late nights in Milne Library. Though purists argue that they are unfit for public consumption, nearly any piece of clothing can be fashionable if worn correctly.

Sweats are wonderfully comfortable. They are even better worn creatively, however. As a garment most people already own, anyone can use this staple to elevate their style by mixing street and structured, sporty and suited up.

But first some terminology: Track or soccer pants are usually made of a sweat-wicking techno fabric, while true sweatpants are just that, sweatshirts for your legs usually made from a mélange or jersey fabric blend.

A classic Adidas track pant with heels and a cropped blouse or well-tailored blazer can make for a perfectly subversive Friday night outfit. Pants are also a practical nighttime choice given the recent prevalence of single-digit evening temperatures.

Balancing tight with baggy is a well-known style mantra, but baggy with baggy is another challenge entirely. An oversized top with a large print can produce interesting visual interaction and a unique silhouette. Men can try this out too. A casual shirt paired with slim soccer or track pants and brogues is a great look for parties. The key is to look casual but not sloppy.

Adding a blazer to the mix? Pair sweatpants with deconstructed knit jackets or even jersey fabrics - preferably with prints or interesting textures. Throw in some classic high-tops to really complete the look.

Got a little cash to spare? Aside from the usual sporty suspects Alexander Wang, Alternative Apparel and American Giant all offer well made - if pricier - options for everyone.