Wearing Sweatpants to Class: Acceptable or Not?
Rachel Pukall
rpuka198@uwsp.edu

Sweatpants and the just-rolled-out-of-bed look have become popular around campus, but is it sending the wrong message? Do professors and peers take students less seriously and view sweatpants enthusiasts as sloppy and unprofessional?

Tyler Betry, a senior majoring in land use planning, believes it is okay for students to wear sweatpants to class.

“We have pretty busy schedules as students, and sometimes we just don’t have the time to get ready, so the next best option is to throw on some sweats,” Betry said.

Brock Agamaite, a senior majoring in business administration, believes that if a student is more comfortable and relaxed in class, they are more likely to pay attention and learn something.

“I usually wear sweatpants to class at least once a week. Class isn’t a job interview, so what’s the difference?” Agamaite said.

Sarah Pogell, an Associate Professor of English, says that her colleagues view sweatpants as a little unprofessional but not as bad as pajama pants.

“I don’t mind it. I tend to see young women more than guys wearing them, and I guess it doesn’t bother me. It’s better than really revealing stuff, but if it represents looking like you just rolled out of bed, then I can see it as being problematic,” Pogell said.

When asked about the difference between sweatpants and pajama pants, neither Agamaite nor Betry saw much of a difference between the two.

“They both are comfy, but in my opinion I think sweats are a little more presentable than pajama pants,” Betry said.

Pogell agrees but for different reasons than her colleagues.

“It’s because the students look so cold. Sweatpants to me seem warmer, and I guess there’s something about pajamas that really does intone, ‘I rolled out of bed,’ even though I know it’s a fashion statement,” Pogell said.

Research shows that what you wear and how you present yourself can impact your confidence and self-esteem.

Although Pogell has not compared the scores of students who wear sweatpants on test days and students who do not wear sweatpants, she believes it could have an effect.

However, many students do not think that what they wear can have a drastic effect on grades.

“Usually when I see someone wearing sweats, they either look like they just woke up, or they look normal and like they just want to be comfortable,” Betry said.

While comfort is a high priority for many students, sporting sweatpants to class can come off as unprofessional, especially when giving a presentation.

“If you’re giving a speech, and all eyes are directed on you, you might not want to wear sweatpants that day. I think it’s a good life lesson to know that if all eyes are looking at you, then you probably should look more professional,” Pogell said.