Colder temperatures are here once again. For freelancers, this means that it’s time for sweatpants.

Never having to wear slacks is a major perk of the work from home lifestyle. However, selecting the right pair of sweatpants isn’t always an easy decision.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the criteria I consider important. We’ll also offer a few brands to evaluate this autumn.

Sweatpants: New vs. Old

You obviously have many choices of sweatpants. Open that bottom drawer in your closet, and you’re likely to find a few ratty old pairs from years gone by. Why would you even need to purchase new sweatpants when you have several pair already?

Having worked in sweatpants for many years now, I find the following to be true:

  • Wearing ratty sweatpants all day can negatively impact your self-esteem.
  • When relatives or friends randomly show up at your house, they can’t help but look at your scuzzy old sweats and wonder.
  • On a nice day, you feel less confident stepping outside for some fresh air if your pants aren’t presentable.
  • High school gym class sweatpants might be great for playing racquetball, but they don’t provide much warmth during a 10-hour workday.

Sweatpants: Features to Look For

Just ask my wife, and she’ll agree that I’m rather particular when it comes to picking out clothes. For example, when I buy a dress shirt, I typically look for one that doesn’t wrinkle easily, has a buttoned collar, and is long enough so that it doesn’t come untucked easily.

When purchasing sweatpants for work, I’m equally specific. Here’s what I look for:

  • Warm, but not too warm
  • Comfortable, but not too “lazy”
  • No elastic band at the bottom (obviously, although I notice kids are starting to wear pants with elastic bands again, so perhaps I should reconsider?)
  • Able to subconsciously convince the MBA-side of my brain that I’m not wearing sweatpants

Two Nice Options

I’ve owned many pairs of work sweatpants. In my experience, these are two great options to consider.

Nike Poly (Polyester) Fleece Pants

Arguably the nicest sweatpants I’ve ever owned, these are 100% polyester and have a warm lining to keep you cozy on a snowy day in the office. Aside from the Nike logo and elastic waste, to the untrained eye these actually look kind of like dress pants. They at least look considerably more presentable than those nasty sweatpants you used to paint your yard barn last year.

See Colors & Prices


Champion Open Bottom Eco Sweatpants

As featured on the cover of my book, these sweatpants have been a great companion. Although these “look” more like sweatpants than the Nike Poly Fleece, they’re still better than the ones you have from your 8th grade basketball team. Champion offers a myriad of color options. They’re also cheaper than Nike.

See Colors & Prices


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Matt Keener is the original "Executive in Sweatpants," having built a successful online consulting business (from home). His best-selling book offers tips for capitalizing on outsourcing and freelancing. Matt holds an MBA and has been featured by many recognizable brands, including Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Insightly, the Dave Ramsey Show, and

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