Business Ultra-Casual: Would You Wear This Sweat-'Suit' to the Office?
Nothing says business like sweatpants.
That's how Betabrand feels about it, anyway. The quirky San Francisco social clothier behind the world’s first RFID-blocking jeans is taking business casual to a whole new low: It's putting the 'suit' in sweatsuit.
Behold the Dress Pant Sweatpants and Sweat Suit Blazer. Put them together and you have Casual Friday every day, the ultimate slacker suit. No kidding, a business suit made of super soft French terry cloth that easily doubles for classic charcoal wool.
Yeah, it’s a thing and – surprise! -- it’s not ugly.
Hold the Fashion Police alarm. Betabrand’s oxymoronic sweatsuit-business apparel mashup somehow doesn’t scream tacky. And we say this reluctantly because we really, really don’t want to like it. (Neither did Kim Jong Un, but that’s another story.)
The combo’s quite fetching, even kind of slick, all warm and fuzzy like your favorite pair of sweats on the inside, strictly business on the outside. Definitely not cringe-worthy, unlike last summer’s short suit, which thankfully never went viral.
The thing is, the comfy blazer passes for an actual dress blazer and the bottoms pass for actual dress pants. At least the latter did when this brave CNN reporter strutted into the newsroom sporting them. His coworkers showered him with compliments.
“Everyone thought I looked really clean,” Jarrett Bellini said. “And nice. And less woke-up-in-a-gutter-y. So, the pants work. From both near and far, they look just like regular trousers, what with pockets and belt loops and that second, inside waist button that lets you know you're bein' all fancy-like.”
The best part, other than chilling in sweats at the office all day “all fancy-like,” is that there’s zero dry cleaning required. Both pieces (sold separately), blazer and bottoms, are machine washable, tumble dry. The worst? Bellini said the pants are noticeably warm. “Not terrible. But definitely warm.” Oh, and the prices are a tad overcooked, too: The pants range from $97 to $108 and the blazer clocks in at $158.
For you fitness fanatics who jog to work, Betabrand has your overachieving gams covered with these snazzy above-the-ankle sweat-dress pants.
If suiting up in a multi-piece getup for work is too much work for you, then you might be grown up enough to don a Suitsy, Betabrand’s zippered onesie-business suit hybrid. No joke. The dude in the video below is baby-man enough to wear one. Check it out for a chuckle:
Dressy sweatpant trousers, blazers and power onesies aren’t the only kooky threads the crowdfunding-based fashion retailer sells. Other gimmicky Betabrand doozies include:
- Dress Pant Yoga Pants -- “At last, yoga pants for the office!” Because you never know when you might get the urge to spontaneously human pretzel at your desk. They had us at faux zipper.
- Karate Casuals -- Baggy karate-inspired drawstring pants for the couch commando in all of us. Huh? We didn’t know inactivity was a martial art either.
- Shackets -- It’s a shirt. It’s a jacket. Wait, it’s a shacket. Okay, we get it now.
- Vajamas -- Cozy pajama tops and bottoms made from Vajisoft, a fabric “so soft and snuggable, baby bunnies feel like cacti wrapped in barbed wire by comparison.” Well, okay then.
- DiscoLab duds -- Picture blinding disco ball bling (“pure, shimmering disconium”) plastered on everything from tuxedo jackets to running shorts to, yes, even yarmulkes.
Or, if you’re more of a DIY type, stitch up your own custom sweatsuit business suit, like Rav Matharu did. The Clothsurgeon tailor transformed a Nike tracksuit into a dapper Swoosh suit worthy of the boardroom.
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.