You know you are longing to ditch the mildly-to-wildly uncomfortable skinny jeans. Now you can.

Yes, you can wear track pants. Or the joggers. Or whatever you want to call them! But, a few rules will help the outcome be one you want to embrace. Image: Nordstrom

Designers are throwing us a curve, fueled in part by the street-driven fashion trend that has scores of women wearing yoga and exercise clothing as day wear. The track pant walked the runway last season, an evolution from the previous harem pant, and was a surprising success.

Before you sneer at this new silhouette, may we remind you of your attitude toward skinnies a mere decade ago?

Sneering aside, there is much to love about the old-school gym class favorite, now re-interpreted as a sophisticated trouser. The track pant often has an elastic waist and is fabricated from fluid, drapey fabric. (Which makes them wildly comfortable, by the way!)  They work for day to night when styled correctly, and they are fresh, modern and decidedly fashion-forward.

On the flip side, you must be vigilant when choosing the fit and cut of the track pant, or you risk a multitude of fashion errors. Also, choosing the right shoes and other pairings like blazers and tops are vastly different than with other pant styles.

Here we share the how-tos that will help you navigate this fashion trend so you can embrace track pants with sophistication instead of trepidation.

Rule #1

DO make sure the elastic banding is no shorter than slightly above the ankle bone. These are not cropped pants, but an elegant-with-a-twist draped trouser.

Don’t do this. Track pants should not be a cropped pant. The drapey pant should hit at or slightly below the ankle bone. Image: Nordstrom

Don’t do this. Track pants should not be a cropped pant. The drapey pant should hit at or slightly below the ankle bone. Image: Nordstrom

RELATED: Trend Spotlight: Hair Accessories 

Rule #2

Don’t let the bottom of the pant fold over or drape. If the pants are too long, have your tailor hem them and add elastic banding so that they hit at the ankle. The length should have a long, uninterrupted line with the banding on the hem still visible.

Look how cute! These track pants are not too short or slouchy. Perfect for a day-to-night look. Image: Express

Look how cute! These track pants are not too short or slouchy. Perfect for a day-to-night look. Image: Express

Rule #3

Do accent the waist by tucking or half-tucking your blouse or top. Unlike the skinny jean which normally hits below the waist or navel, the track pant hits at the narrowest part of your natural waist. Wearing a blouse or top tucked in, with a slight drape, gives the hourglass shape that you are going for.

The perfect length for a track pant is right above the ankle.

The perfect length for a track pant? Anywhere slightly above or below the ankle bone. Image: Bloomingdale’s

RELATED: Fitness Fashion Knock-Offs: Luxury Looks for Less

Rule #4

Do check out the back view. The higher waist creates a different look from the rear. If you fear the so-called long bottom, pair your track pant with a tucked blouse and a vest or blazer that hits below the waist to visually cut the rear in half.

Cozy and chic!

Wear these pants with a tucked in top and black blazer, or opt for the matching set trend and pair it with the matching jacket. Effortlessly chic, and comfortable too! Image: Saks Fifth Avenue

Rule #5

Don’t wear a chunky shoe with the track pant. The floaty pant is made for an elegant shoe … a juxtaposition to be sure. An exercise-themed pant with a dainty pump or pointy toe flat seems at odds. But the mix works beautifully.

Ditch the chunky boots!

Chuck the chunky boots! Instead pair track pants with a dainty shoe. Counterintuitive perhaps, but spot-on for style points. Image: Nordstrom

Rule #6

Do have fun with this fashion trend, but remember that if you are petite, proportion is key. No saggy crotch or hem dragging. Pair a track pant with a sleek heel to keep the look from overwhelming a small frame.

Pair these with cool sneakers or heels.

Perfect length, perfect cut for the tie waist, and comfortable all at once! Pair with cool white sneaks or a pair of strappy heels for any occasion. Image: Nordstrom

An extra rule

We have to throw in one more rule, just in case your best friend won’t tell you: the Juicy Couture Velour Track Suit is gone. Let’s put that one away and don’t take it back out. This is definitely not the track pant we’re talking about.

Is the modern track pant in your fashion future? If you follow a few tips, this on-trend trouser may be just the dose of fashion-forward fun you need. Check out your local stores this weekend and grab a pair and have fun!

**********

For more fashion tips and all things Southern, subscribe to our email