Hold on Sweatpants Guy, Jeans are Comfortable Too

I can't be the only one who lounges in denim.

I’ve got a confession to make. When lounging around at home I’m more likely to wear jeans than sweatpants. And you know what? I like doing so.

Sweatpants are enjoying a mini lockdown-inspired renaissance. This is unsurprising. It’s only natural that people want to be as comfortable as possible while at home, and many see sweatpants as the most cozy option.

But I’m gonna propose something controversial here, jeans aren’t actually uncomfortable.

Are Jeans Really Comfortable?

In fact, jeans are comfortable. They’re warm and can be as stretchy as you want them to be. Wear a pair a few times and they’ll soften up and mould to your body shape. Get the fit right and there’s no reason for them to feel too tight or loose.

I’m writing this while lying down on my sofa in a pair of Uniqlo indigo jeans. And I feel absolutely no discomfort. Yes, they’ve been through the wash a few times which makes them excellently soft and supple. But the difference between the ones I’m wearing and a new pair isn’t that big.

I’ve even get a belt on, and I’m lying right on it. But you know what, I can barely feel it. At worst it’s a slight impression in my back, no worse than the wasteband on a pair of sweats I reckon.

Oh, and the story gets worse. I’m wearing skinny jeans. That’s right, a pair of “oh I could never get my athletic legs in those” ball-crushers. And I’m still not uncomfortable. If anything, the stretchiness of the material makes movement easier, and the close fit feels like a comforting hug.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that sweats are comfy. I wear them often. On slow weekend mornings spent lazing on the couch. Or after an evening shower if I’m not planning to go out. I’m not a complete monster.

These are the perfect times for sweats and, yes, they are comfortable. I just don’t feel like jeans are any less so. Different maybe, but certainly not worse.

Comfort Isn’t the Only Reason to Wear Jeans at Home

And there are other benefits to wearing jeans over sweatpants at home. Especially if you are working.

I read many of the articles published earlier in the year about work from home outfits with mild bafflement. It seemed like everyone bar me was shocked at the idea of having to put on a pair of pants while at home.

I’ve worked remotely for years and never even considered not getting dressed for my day. Ok, my usual “uniform” is pretty casual. Just jeans and a sweater. Maybe an Oxford shirt if I’m feeling it. It’s not much, but I could get away with a lot less if I wanted to. After all, no-one ever sees me. But I like to put a bit of effort in, even at home.

And it’s not just me. Studies have shown there are benefits to dressing up, too.

This Wall Street Journal article explains how research has long suggested that dressing up for work improves performance. It points to a study which found that “dressing more formally for work leads to the higher levels of abstract, big-picture thinking associated with someone in a powerful position.”

And who wouldn’t want that?

While there are no studies specific to working from home, the article says researchers are working on it. It wouldnt surprise me if the results were similar.

Of course, you may disagree. You might find wearing jeans to be an awful form of torture, one you can’t bear to endure for a second longer than it takes you to walk through the front door. If that’s how you feel, you’re free to slide into your sweats as often as possible.

But, for most people, I reckon that’s not the case. And maybe we don’t need to go out and buy a complete new wardrobe full of sweatpants and hoodies when we’ve got some perfectly comfortable jeans sitting at home.

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Duncan Elder

Duncan is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boardwalk. He's a menswear writer who has spent the last 15 years developing his own sense of style, which lies at the cross-section of mid-noughties indie and Uniqlo-inspired minimalism.

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