My dad always raised me to leave the house looking more than just presentable. His reasoning was that "you never know when you might meet your future husband, and if he sees you in sweatpants with unwashed hair, he might just keep on walking." The only appropriate time to wear sweatpants outside of the house is either to the gym or never. Even if you're too sick to go to school, you're still well enough to at least put on jeans to go to the doctor. Since I discovered during my freshman year that all of the fish in the University sea are either taken or just not my type, the time and effort spent on my face and hair has dramatically lapsed.
If we're going to be totally honest here, we all know that if you've seen a woman with make-up on and then without, you automatically think she's either a) sick b) tired or c) a ghost coming to steal your soul. Now I'm not suggesting that women aren't equally as gorgeous without make-up, I will argue that all women have beautiful features and God didn't create one ugly thing in this world, but sometimes make-up can also be too much of a good thing (like guys and their cologne, less is definitely more). Make-up should be used to enhance a woman's natural beauty, not leave someone wondering where your eyes are hiding.
Putting on even the most basic scheme of make-up is no five minute routine. You've got to wash your face, apply foundation, put a little powder on top of the foundation, put on some blush so you don't look like an oil painting, add a little eyeliner or eye shadow or both, curl the eyelashes, and brush on some mascara without stabbing your eye to death or sneezing. Just from the simple description, we can see "ain't nobody got time for that!" (But if you take the time to do so, you'll feel a lot better about leaving the house.)
While I truly can't bring myself to ever wear sweatpants outside the confines of my home, that certainly doesn't stop other girls. Not only do they take it to the sweat level, but dare I say it, the ghastly legging level. Dear everyone in the world: LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS. In case you might have any confusion, the only appropriate time to wear them are as follows: under dresses or pants for warmth, when you're working out or doing Yoga, when you're at home by yourself, or under a long tunic shirt that comes down right above the knee. That's it, no exceptions. If for some reason you don't own a mirror, leggings leave nothing to the imagination, and I. Mean. Nothing. Unless you enjoy being eye-raped by old, horny men, go put some pants on.
While leggings are too-flattering (to put it nicely), sweatpants (and pajama pants) are exactly the opposite. Sweatpants are bulky, often times horridly short, and having kiss me painted on the butt definitely isn't sending that "I'm a cute, single, bubbly girl" message; the only part coming across loud and clear is the "I'm single, check out my toosh" bit. And as much as I hate to say it, wearing these lounge-style types of clothing gives off this self-image of "I don't care." If you don't even like yourself, why should someone else take the time to get to know you?
I hightly doubt anyone wants to get dressed up to go to Wal-Mart, but there is an unspoken rule of the universe that you will run into someone significant that will make you regret your choice in attire. I'm not sure if this goes for everyone, but for myself, if I ever run into anyone I attended high school with, it is my goal to prove I haven't gotten fat, my skin hasn't gone crazy, I haven't flunked out of college, and that my outfit is to die for. Whether that's good or not is definitely questionable, but let's admit that success is the best revenge; that or your arch nemesis gained 50 pounds.
But let me ask you this question: On any given day, wouldn't you rather leave the house in your favorite pair of jeans that hug your curves just right and a cute top that makes your skin look flawless rather than baggy clothes that hide the fact that you're even a woman?
By no means am I saying that someone is only going to be friends with you if you're dressed nicely and made-up to the point where your shoelaces match your fingernail polish. Being even the least bit put together makes you more approachable and confident, and humans gravitate to those sorts of people. I understand that some days the Earth is immersed in floods, it's freezing, or you wake up five minutes before class starts. It happens, and those sorts of things are forgivable.
But if I have learned nothing else from religiously watching What Not to Wear, I have learned that you can always be comfortable and stylish. If you're already seeping into the sweatpant ways, know that it's going to be so much harder not to fall into the intense lip liner, velour running suits, and mismatching sun visors when you're older. So save yourselves now and go raid your closets, the mall, and thrift stores for outfits that make you feel beautiful. Because you are.