How To Bring Your Sweats Into Summer Seamlessly (It Can Be Done)

While some may think that sweatpants are simply not for the stylish, we must protest. Style does not have to be defined by what you wear, but how you wear it — it's the intention you bring to your outfit choices that make a fashionable fit. Styling your sweatpants in the summer months does indeed demand intention — but when done right, no outfit is more chic. With so many ways to wear sweats these days, from track pants, to loungewear pants, to knit pants, and beyond, summer sweats can blend into a range of aesthetics. And while your old college sweats will do just fine, now is the time to expand your idea of what sweatpants can be. So let's transform them into a show-stopping summer look, shall we?


One of the best parts about styling sweatpants is the capacity for contrast that they hold. Combining your casual sweatpants with dressier elements can make a strong impact. But let's not forget the obvious here: Sweats are comfortable. We love being comfortable. And with the right pair, you won't feel overheated when the sun is out either. Here's how to do it. 

Choose lightweight sweats

Fashion writer and digital creator Liv (@livthemole) detailed her experiment wearing a pair of sweats to dinner in her substack, The Molehill. She described the look: "Sophistication grounded in ease. It felt effortless." And of course, we're going for the same! Notice how the sweats have flow to them; they do not appear to be made of a thick fabric, and do not have bands around the ankles. Instead, the pants read more loungewear, which is well suited for summer weather.


Although Liv wears her sweats with a cropped, long-sleeved cardigan, this look could just as well be transformed for a warmer day with a tank top or T-shirt. She also aces the 2023 wedge revival just in time for summer with her cool, clear wedges, paired with a classic summer straw or raffia bag. This look is a hit all around, and one that is worth emulating for the summer.

Wear sweats with heels

When you're ready to commit to a sweatpants look, knowing how to pair them with shoes beyond just sneakers or slides can take some planning. For an instant leg up, however, we recommend wearing sweats with pointed-toe heels. Where pointed-toe pumps are slightly more formal than a pair of platforms, for example, they pair well with sweatpants when you want to dress them up. 


Digital fashion content creator Jaz (@whatjazwears) nails the sweatpants and pointed-toe look with five outfits in her TikTok video. The outfits range from dinner date attire to casual lunch to workwear — yes, you can get away with this look in the office — and beyond. The sweats are essential to the success of each ensemble, where high and low style is blended and balanced. These looks are proof that you can work the right pair of sweats into your wardrobe, and not just for your workouts. 

Dress up with a blazer

When you want to get away with wearing sweats for a night out with friends, consider pairing them with a cute blazer for an instant style lift. Fashion digital creator Carlota Arango (@carlotaarangoo) styles a pair of sporty sweatpants with a black bra and super cropped blazer for a fun and comfy ensemble — and don't we always have more fun when we can actually move in the outfits we're wearing? 


From a dinner date to the club, this look is versatile and layered, making it perfect for transitioning from location to location throughout the summer evening. The look is also well-balanced; where the sporty sweatpants are wide-leg and loose, the cropped blazer adds some structure, which is a good idea when you want the outfit to feel more intentional.

Pair with a lightweight top

We love the breeziness that lightweight sweatpants can offer, and there is no better complement than a lightweight shirt. For the summer months, ensuring that you stay cool is super important, but so is protecting your skin from the sun. This is why this look from digital creator Kyra Aaliyah (@kyra_aaliyah) on TikTok is so genius. 


She pairs her avocado-green lounge pants with a white tube top for maximum coolness, then layers it with a lightweight, button-down shirt. The shirt adds both an element of sophistication to the look, and assists in protecting the skin from too much sun exposure, which is super important for those looking to avoid sun damage. Her accessories are also what dreams are made of, from the thick, platform beige slides to the bright green tote with floral details. All in all, this is a seamless summer sweatpants look. 

Test out sweatshorts

When it's just too hot to be comfortable in full-length sweats, this clothing item might change your life: sweatshorts. With all of the comfort of sweatpants, but without the added fabric, sweatshorts are another fantastic option for styling sweatpants in the summer. 


Digital creator Grace (@graacechange) wears a summer sweatshort outfit in her Instagram post. For those who are not into wearing bold color in the summer, a monotone look is chic and easy to wear everyday. She wears heather grey sweatshorts with a beige cropped tank top, and a button-down shirt overtop. She also pairs the look with matching sneakers. This look is great for on the go, for heading to the gym, or for a quick walk along the boardwalk. 

Go for summer colors

For practical reasons, and for the sake of summer styling, we recommend to choose sweats that are on the lighter, brighter side. First, know that darker colors absorb more heat than lighter colors do, meaning that your black or dark blue sweatpants could become a pop-up sauna, depending on the weather. Second, many of our favorite brands opt to release colorful clothing designs in the summer, so why not take advantage of the season with a pop of color? 


Fashion creator Ariana (ariana.ek) styles a pair of seafoam green sweats with a pink tank top in her Instagram photo. This look has a beautiful spring and summer essence, where the intentionally-paired colors make the look feel cohesive. This would be a great, casual option for a morning coffee run, quick lunch with a friend, or even a stroll to the farmer's market. Experimenting with color is a great way to take sweatpants away from their usual grayscale, and turn them into a fashion item.