As everyone returns to the office, there’s no better time to upgrade those trousers.
There’s just one problem: business casual pants do not have the best reputation, especially in the comfort category. If you know, you know - the frustrations of wrinkles, bunching, and a lack of flexibility make you feel furthest from comfortable.
But while many men and women have accepted this unfortunate garment reality, there’s hope out there! The perfect office pants are there for the taking - you just need to know where to look.
This should be music to the ears of all those corporate warriors out there, especially those who have suffered for years, restricted by starchy, restrictive slacks and chinos.
We’re here to guide you through the process of finding those game-changing pants that you’ll actually want to wear, so stay tuned as we walk you through the key criteria.
Start with Fit
Why does fit come first? The way your pants fit to the body is crucial to the comfort factor and should be your top priority.
Think about it - you’d rather have a perfect-fitting pair of pants made from less-than-optimal materials, rather than the most expensive threads in the world that just don’t fit right.
Unfortunately, decades of bad fashion have misled the public on what it really means for pants to fit right! Modern pants tend to be far too skinny in the glutes and thighs, or baggy beyond belief.
Look for pants that have a generous amount of space around the middle where most movement occurs, while also maintaining an elegant taper down to the ankle. Once you put on a pair like this for the first time, you’ll know immediately what you’ve been missing.
As you start to figure out the difference between a good and bad fit, you can then move on to fabrics and materials that create the comfiest pants possible.
Here’s where you might be surprised to discover that cotton and pure polyester are not always best for business casual, even though they’re traditionally considered more dressy. Those materials may be the norm, but they’re far from the most comfortable.
This explains why more companies are investing in four-way stretch materials to create everyday pants men look forward to wearing - rather than being forced to endure those trousers from 9 to 5.
Materials such as nylon and spandex are not just for gym clothes, it turns out. Some of the most stylish and sharp-looking pants are made from these synthetic fabrics that also feel great on the skin and never wrinkle. Keep an open mind and try these next-level materials for yourself.
The office lifestyle is not as sedentary as we might imagine, and we’ll realize this first-hand as we return to the workplace in real life. Not only do you have to commute both ways (an average of 40 minutes), but you also have streets, stairs, and various furniture configurations to contend with.
In other words, you’re doing way more than just slapping on a pair of pants and sitting at a desk all day, and your waistband needs to be up for the challenge.
Going from seated to standing, ascending steps, sliding in and out of booths at restaurants - all these things require a flexible waistband that keeps everything in place.
Ever noticed how many business casual slacks seem to fall short in the pocket department? If you’re juggling keys, cards, cash, and various gadgets all day long, you’ll need more pocket space than the average pants can provide.
Keep this in mind when shopping around for your next pair of business casual pants, because you’ll soon discover that extra pocket space is more valuable than you remember in the working world beyond your home office.
There’s no point in making your wardrobe needlessly complicated, especially if your main goal is to get back to the working world without delay. You want pants that look great with any type of shirt, shoes, socks, or outerwear accessories in the mix.
Within reason, you can get away with having just a few pairs of pants in the weekly rotation, so long as you keep things fresh and switch around those other pieces. Only a handful of pants have that capability.
Remember that flexibility means more than just stretch - it’s about getting mileage from your wardrobe for the long haul. That goes for colors, too! If you find that perfect pair of pants at last, just stock up on a variety of colors and stick with what works.
Return to the Office in Style (and Comfort)
Leave those restrictive, scratchy slacks in the past! That era of business casual is long gone, now that superior fits and materials have arrived.
Make your first steps back into the office both stylish and confident, with a comfortable stride towards success.