Q: What are some nicer alternatives to sweatpants?

Get acquainted with some chic, drapey pants that are just as comfortable as sweats.
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Dhani Mau
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Get acquainted with some chic, drapey pants that are just as comfortable as sweats.

In our latest column, "Ask a Fashionista," you can solicit our strongly held opinions on everything from how to wear a midi skirt without looking like a tree stump to whether a certain retail CEO should go ahead and resign already.

Photo: Nina Frazier Hansen/Fashionista

Photo: Nina Frazier Hansen/Fashionista

Q: I can't do the "sweatpants in public" thing. What are some chicer alternatives? — Jenny, Brooklyn, NY

A: Some time in the early days of the still-going-strong athletic trend, sweatpants — when done in a flattering cut and styled correctly — became acceptable to wear out in the world, perhaps for the first time since Juicy Couture's heyday.

That vibe isn't for everyone, though, and it's now very possible to get the appearance and comfort of sweatpants without actually wearing them.

When done in a silk or light twill, a slouchy pant with a drawstring can work as well with sandals, sneakers or loafers at the airport as with a pair of heels at dinner or a party.

Gwen Stefani and Michael Glasser's new line DWP is pretty much centered around this type of drapey pant, done in a variety of fabrics and colors. For summer, we're partial to this white pair with subtle zipped pockets.

J.Crew currently has a ton of options in the slouchy, drawstring pant area as well: There's a printed option, a linen pair and a heavier style that could easily take you into fall. 

Anthropologie, too, is a gold mine of these slouchy godsends. If you don't want a drawstring, these are great, and they still have an elastic back for added comfort.

Finally, if you're looking for something a little more high-end and cocktail-appropriate, try Adam Lippes or Jason Wu. We also love Suno's wacky printed stretch silk pair and Sea's adorable leopard print numbers.

It's a look that just about anyone can pull off, but fit is very important. If the pants are too long or make your thigh/butt area look significantly larger, look for something else.

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