05/25/2016 04:22 EDT | Updated 05/26/2017 05:12 EDT

It's About Time My Kids Ditch The Sweatpants

Natasha Sioss via Getty Images
Young boys wearing dirty sweatpants and plain shirt holding a yellow bat in the front yard.

Until this year, my kids wore sweatpants sporadically. If a pair showed up in their pant collection, they would rock them, but really it was denim they preferred. I foolishly took this as an invitation to stock up on jeans for my eldest. Big mistake. Just like that, denim is out and sweatpants are in.

If my kids can not locate a clean pair of sweats, they are more than happy to dig a dirty pair out of the laundry. Too short, too big, downright ugly, it does not matter as long as they have a pair of sweatpants to don.

My children have become full-time athleisure-wearing little people. Day to day, I'm non-plussed. If their hair is brushed and faces are clean, I feel pretty good about life. I get it -- activewear is more functional when your day revolves around playing sports at recess.


However, what about those times when casual gear just won't do? There comes a time when elevating one's game is a must; when putting on a real pair of pants is called for.

This past weekend we were invited to our brother-in-law's for dinner; it goes without saying that I did not want my crew looking like a gang of troglodytes. When I told them to get ready, they threw on sweatpants that were clear of holes, T-shirts and looked at me like, "Let's do this!" In an effort to find them something worthy to wear, I realized I am part of the problem. I don't buy them many "nice" items. I'm to blame for their slim pickings.

While my kids were complaining and whining about what I was having them wear Saturday evening, I was trying to help them understand it wasn't about them. Being comfortable is important, but dressing appropriately and being respectful is more so.

Sweatpants are not the best they can do. We are so bloody casual, my kids get "dressed up" less than a handful of times a year. If I say put on a dress shirt, they should put on the dress shirt and deal with it.

My real concern with these sweatpants they adore so much is when can I cut them off? Is it reasonable to assume my kids will understand when they transition to adulthood, the sweatpants get packed away with the toys and leisure time? Can we group them in with other childhood items that they simply outgrow? What's the move here -- do you phase them out or is it better to simply stop supplying the product and let them get over it?

I guess what I am really asking is, is there an age when you must say as their mother, "Take off the fucking sweats and put a real pair of pants on?"


I think these rules apply for adults wearing sweatpants, although I walk my kids to school in my sweats all the time.

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