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Reasons to Love New York 2014

44. Because Like the Rest of America, We Wear Sweatpants, But We Pair Them With Heels


“If sweatpants are a sign of defeat, then I don’t want to win,” says Julie Schott, a beauty editor who’s made the track-ready trousers—paired with heels—somewhat of a signature. The unlikely combo has cropped up recently as part of the Jenna Lyons–esque embrace of stark contrasts: feathers with chambray, a boiler suit with an evening clutch.

Rihanna, who’s worn the juxtaposition several times, including piped gray sweatpants with strappy black Manolo Blahnik Chaos heels for an airport jaunt, is a poster girl for the look. Grace Clarke, a copy editor at Madewell, calls this strategy “little accents of I’m Still a Woman Lest My Trashbag Silk Trousers Confused You.” Her accessory of choice is “single-soled, patent-leather Manolo BB’s if I’m allowed to be picky, and when you’re wearing leisurewear out of the house, you sort of have to be.” Unlike the trends that trickle down to the masses, this one seems thoroughly New York and thoroughly undilutable. The slob-from-the-waist-down, socialite-from-the-toes-up look just wouldn’t play anywhere else. It takes a certain New York ballsiness to head out of your apartment in IDGAF chic.


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