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Jogger pants: The fancy sweat pants that could save men's fashion

Kevin Chupka
Executive Producer/Writer

Lululemon (LULU) almost single-handedly made workout wear a fashion category for women. Men, on the other hand, have lagged, opting for baggy sweatpants or mesh shorts for working out. Hardly a fashion trend.

Enter jogging pants (or just "joggers"). These fitted and (arguably) fashionable sweatpant-like bottoms are apparently all the rage at several retailers, even while many criticize them as flat out "ugly."

Urban Outfitters (URBN) has a “pants + joggers” category on their website and sells a variety of jogging pants for anywhere from $49 for a standard pair to $599 for the leather variety and every price point in between.

Nike (NKE) has a $100 version and Abercrombie (ANF) offers a jogger cut in a khaki or chino type material for about $80.

Brian Sozzi, CEO of Belus Capital Advisors says all these offerings help prove these pants aren’t just a fad. “I think it’s part of the broader athletic apparel trend that remains on fire. It’s the only thing in the mall that seems to be selling and selling at full price.”

And that’s the key. For instance, denim sales are down 6% according to Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of The NPD Group. As retailers jockey for position by cutting prices and putting everything on sale, finding a new trend like these pants is making real money for those selling them.

“These pants are completely redesigned,” Sozzi notes. “They have drawstrings on them - they fit your feet in a way that shows off your cool sneaks from Nike and Under Armour (UA).”

He believes it is all part of a larger trend that has seen men, traditionally less in tune with cutting edge fashion, willing to open their wallets and look good even when they’re not in the office sporting a suit.

But that not all these odd looking pants are doing. Sozzi says they are , in effect, “unannounced cost savings plans by retailers.” He notes that clothes like these jogging pants are actually cheaper to make. Add in the aforementioned fact that stores are selling them at full price and it also makes them a great product for investors to watch as they have the potential to make a real impact on bottom lines.

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