The Sweatpants Era Is Officially Over

Entireworld is closing, citing a "nuclear apocalypse of an ending," while we attempt a return to normal

A grid of rainbow sweatpants from the brand Entireworld, which Scott Sternberg announced is closing
Closing time, put away your sweatpants, and get back out into the world ...

We’ve all heard countless stories of fledgling businesses that were blindsided by the pandemic. “Everything was going great … until March 2020,” that sort of thing. Mine is that a local bookstore had just changed hands and the new owners had sunk a bunch of their savings into the shop, and then they had to shut down. Thankfully, some community goodwill helped them pull through, and they’re doing swimmingly today.

The story is the opposite over at Entireworld, a clothing brand focused on basics from designer Scott Sternberg formerly of Band of Outsiders. The company kicked off in 2018 and was still finding its way when the pandemic swooped in and shocked its sales to life — the best-selling items being cozy, colorful sweatpants and sweatshirts, which we’ve written about here on InsideHook a number of times. As a New York Times Magazine profile in August of last year noted, sales in March 2020 were up 662% over March 2019, and near the end of April the company “grossed more in two months than in its entire first year in business.” I can only imagine the effect that story had on sales afterwards. 

The pandemic is regrettably not over, but it appears the sweatpants era is. On Wednesday, Sternberg posted on the Entireworld Instagram that the company is closing up shop. He acknowledged the announcement is coming out of the blue, calling it a “nuclear apocalypse of an ending.”

“Just a few weeks ago, we were closing an acquisition deal that – after years of unsuccessful fundraising – would have finally given us a shot at realizing the financial potential of the brand,” he wrote. “But that deal disappeared in a flash, leaving us and our factories high and dry and giving us no choice but to shut things to [sic] down.” 

For those who did find momentary comfort in the brand’s tapered “mimosa yellow” sweatpants and oversized Japanese loopback French terry sweatshirts, you’re not out of luck just yet. Over the months they’ve occasionally sold discounted styles on a version of the site called the Underworld, and according to Sternberg they’ll be offloading their inventory there over the next two weeks “or so,” with new stuff being added throughout that time. 

In all likelihood, you may have had your fill of sweats, finding your dresser drawers hard to close due to the sheer quantity of cotton loungewear you’ve accrued over the last year and a half. On the other hand, it may be worth picking up a pair of Entireworld-branded socks as a little souvenir of the time when we all faced the great monster that is the Great Unknown and hid under cozy fabrics. 

“Entireworld was like the rare life form that survives the apocalypse,” the Times Magazine wrote a year ago. Today, the apocalypse hasn’t quite abated, but it seems we’re ready to face it with a little more sartorial flair. 

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