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The Sweatpants Maketh The Man (And Woman)

Quinn Dombrowski
flickr creative commons

"It is the rare person who doesn't own a pair of sweatpants." I am, it turns out, that rare person. Sweatpants are just too warm, is my take. But I do own a number of pairs of cotton pajama pants. They're my sweatpants proxy.

Back before the pandemic became the central preoccupation of our existence, back when we made our radio show in, ya know, a radio studio, I would always get a little dressed up on my show days. I'd wear a jacket. Or a tie. Or a jacket and a tie.

Now that we're all working from home all the time, I spend the great majority of my work hours in pajama pants and stocking feet and a bathrobe. But when it comes time for one of my shows -- like this one, for instance -- I change out of my PJ pants into jeans or chinos. That's what "a little dressed up" means these days: putting real pants on. (Or even "hard pants," as they're now known.)

For we are living in the age of sweatpants. Question is: Are we ever going back? Or should we go back right now and start dressing like grownups again? What if we got, like, some fancy pants sweatpants? Would that be grown up enough?

This hour, from The Bad Ideas Dept.: a show about sweatpants.


  • Tim Chan - Lifestyle and market editor at Rolling Stone
  • Rebecca Jennings - A reporter covering pop and internet culture at The Goods by Vox
  • Rachel Tashjian - Style writer for GQ
  • Adam Tschorn - Deputy fashion editor at the Los Angeles Times

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe and Cat Pastor contributed to this show.

Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident.
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