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An ode to sweatpants

Ops, I did it again.

This is not a Britney reference. I actually did it again: I woke up this morning, had a cup of coffee (okay, three), brushed my teeth and wore a pair of beautiful, baggy, warm sweatpants.

And then I went out, ready for class and the countless informal meetings throughout the day.

Now, who knows me knows that since approximately 2010 sweatpants have been a sort of uniform for me. 

Before then, I only wore them when I did sports (the last recorded episode of me doing sports dates back to 2007) or when I was feeling depressed. Then, at some point, I started wearing them every day. Maybe because I was chronically depressed or perhaps because I just loved how they made me feel on an inner, visceral level.

I know that if you go out wearing sweatpants, people automatically assume that you have given up on life; you get followed around in shops because they think you’re a thief; people ask you if you work at Sports Direct… that sort of stuff. 

 My friends suddenly turn into the fashion police, they give me a Miranda Priestley look and go like Oh My God Are You For Real?


Besides the warmth and the feeling of the soft fleece lining on my cold legs, the thing I appreciate the most about sweatpants is the sense of power they give me.

Someone once said that if you go out in sweatpants you have lost control of your life. I think it was Karl Lagerfeld. Or maybe Pope Francis.

Anyways, that might as well be true and… absolutely fantastic!

When people think you’ve given up, they immediately lower their standards and expectations. They let go of you. They no longer see you as part of the equation, you’re game over. And suddenly you are free.

But something happened a couple of months ago. I betrayed my sweatpants discipline. I switched back to jeans and – horror – trousers. I also started ironing my shirts and buying perfume. I went shopping, for God’s sake!

Even the most oblivious observer might have guessed that something was up.

Now, I don’t know what it was. Maybe a mid-life crisis, or I was unconsciously trying to impress someone. I just know that, suddenly, my ego was screaming: ‘’Hey, look at me, I can be pretty too if I want to. Uh, yes, of course I’m going to change myself to fit your idea of beauty! And sure, if changing my appearance is the only thing that is going to make you see me as bearable of course I’ll do it!”

Oh screw that!

It’s been a very uncomfortable month. The jacket was too tight, the shoes too rigid, those frigging jeans were cold as hell. And also, while it might have made people perceive me as better-looking, it did not make me more bearable. Overall, I would say it actually had a negative impact on my quality of life.

So this morning I woke up and I picked my favourite pair of black sweatpants. And a matching sweater. Yes, I’m basically wearing a tracksuit. Of course, I am going to keep on wearing fancy clothes when and if I feel like it.

But for now, I am not just wearing this tracksuit, I am OWNING IT. I show it proudly, as an emblem of freedom of rebellion. 

I am free at last.  


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