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How to Wear Your Sweatshirt Outside the Context of Loungewear

In case you’re tired of tracksuits.

sweatshirt style
Stacey Toth
If you've fallen into the same pandemic-induced style rut that we have, you are likely confined to a few hero items: sweatshirts, sweatpants, leggings, etc. When you wear them all together, the combination is dripping in informality. Luckily, you won't have to stop wearing said items post-pandemic, you simply have to change how you wear them. A quick switch-up of the styling allows the wearer to extend the life of these seemingly mundane items by donning them outside the context of loungewear.

For the purpose of today's styling exercise, we are specifically examining a crewneck sweatshirt, which we all have in our closets. Though you may be wearing yours with coordinating track pants these days, the comfy classic does not necessarily have to be relegated to a sweat suit. As the sweatshirt is such a casual item, you'll notice each of the looks we've rounded up has counteracted its relaxed nature with a more polished element. Whether that's in the form of a handbag, a pleated skirt, a loafer, etc., this contrast is key in dressing up the item in question. Continue scrolling to discover how you can work a sweatshirt into your ensembles outside the context of loungewear.

Pleated Mini Skirt + Loafers

sweatshirt styleRight photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@chrissyford
Embrace your inner high-school student and opt for a pleated skirt with a mini hemline. The addition of the loafer adds the perfect amount of polish to this youthful ensemble.

Pleated Mini Skirt

Sandro Paris

Cotton Socks

$29 $15.60

Button-Down + Jeans

sweatshirt styleRight photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@shotfromthestreet

Continuing on our preppy path, we can't get enough of this polished layering. The button-down-sweatshirt-combo is a timeless combination and the tonal denim keeps the look subtle.


Bike Shorts + Sneakers

sweatshirt styleRight photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@ladydirevengelooks

No matter how many years we put between ourselves and these looks, they never get old. Whether you're heading to the gym or not, this sporty pairing is timelessly chic.



White T-Shirt + White Jeans

sweatshirt styleRight photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@jessalizzi

A nontraditional styling trick, your sweatshirt can actually act as an accessory instead of a top. Opt for a monochromatic white look then drape a sweatshirt in a contrasting color over your shoulders.


Wide-Leg Jeans + Sneakers

sweatshirt styleRight photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@_jeanettemadsen_

Yes, the goal of these looks is to polish your sweatshirt up a bit but you never want to cross the line into too formal. A relaxed pair of white leg jeans and a pair of sneakers keeps the overall ensemble looking relaxed.

The Crew


996 Sneakers in Suede

New Balance x J. Crew



Coordinating Midi Skirt + Sneakers

sweatshirt styleRight photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@amysmilovic
Play with your proportions by contrasting a boxy sweatshirt with a skirt cut in a slim silhouette. Keep it tonal to make sure your eyes focus on the shapes.

Presa Bracelet

Laura Lombardi

Tonal Denim + Handbag

sweatshirt styleRight photo: Courtesy of Instagram/@lisafolawiyo
If you’re ready to experiment with color, this purple tonal look is bursting with sartorially induced happiness. We love the addition of the polished handbag in a slightly darker shade to intensify the color combination.
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