A Treatise On Sweat Pants

Did I not get the memo?

I took the day off of work today.  Let’s borrow a term from the NHL playoffs and call it a “maintenance day”.  A day to recharge the batteries, get a change of perspective, and take care of some odds ‘n’ ends.  Pay some bills, do some shopping, run some errands.  That kind of day.

While I was out and about, I noticed a disturbing trend.  Sweat pants in public.  Seinfeld’s George Costanza once wore sweat pants in public; Jerry said it was a statement to the world declaring “I’m miserable, so I might as well be comfortable”.  But seriously, sweat pants?  The Craven Hermit isn’t exactly a GQ clothes-horse, either.  I have no problem with people wearing sweats around the house or at the gym – that’s what they’re for.  I will even admit that, if you’re just kicking around the house on a Saturday night getting your drink on, then comfy fleece casual wear is totally acceptable.  But while out in public, people should at least make a half-assed attempt at being a little more presentable.

And your correspondent wasn’t in the sorts of places you would expect people to be wearing $9 sports-leisure wear.  I was at the largest mall in town, an international tourist destination, picking up some new records (including a vinyl copy of Jack White’s Blunderbuss for $15 – review to follow).  I was at a busy suburban supermarket.  And I dropped by the local Infiniti dealership to have some work done on my car.  Everywhere I went – people in sweat pants.  Young people.  Old people.  Males.  Females.

Seriously, WTF?

If you are a five-year-old boy at Walmart, I’m willing to look the other way.  A twenty-nine year old lady window-shopping at Holt Renfrew?  A fifty-five year old guy shopping for a $50,000 sedan?  Come on now.

On the way home, I stopped by a reputable establishment to pick up some ‘beverages’ for the weekend.  Just as I’m leaving, a young couple pull up in a 3-series BMW.  She was a reasonably attractive blonde creation, maybe 24 years old and full of freshly-scrubbed promise and potential.  He was wearing a Tap-Out t-shirt, a UFC ball cap (worn backwards, of course) and the now-ubiquitous pair of sweat pants.  This is my competition in the dating world, yet Captain Douchebag is kicking my ass.  This was more depressing than an eight-hour marathon of Real Housewives.  I felt like throwing myself off a bridge.

Again, was there a memo that went around saying that people should appear in public this weekend wearing sweat pants?  That society has abandoned all sense of decorum and just decided to emulate Britney Spears on a tacos-and-tequila bender?  I realize that it’s unseasonably cold here in central Alberta this weekend, and we’re not exactly the epicentre of fashion at the best of times.

But, come on, folks.  Throw on some jeans.  You could at least TRY.

Epilogue:  For the record, I am on board with Denis Leary and freely admit that I am totally cool with yoga pants in public.  Just not on dudes – that’s just wrong.  It’s called a double-standard, and I’m standing by it 🙂


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