SHOPPING FOR PANTS can be a tedious, borderline painful experience. Even for fashion editors, finding the right pair of comfortable, flattering trousers can feel like an endless search with many, many visits to fitting rooms—and who has time for that? And if you do find a pair of pants that seem to fit, chances are they won’t be the most comfortable option in your closet. Sure, sweatpants have technically been deemed acceptable to wear outside the gym, but a grown man can’t avoid those important occasions—business meetings, weddings, and holiday events—when it’s time to clean up with a sharp look below the belt.
We know the struggle and we’re here with a solution. The Men’s Health style team found a number of menswear brands with sleek styles that have a hint of stretch. Finally, you can buy chinos and dress pants that have an attractive slim fit with flexibility for comfort. And best of all, it won’t cost you a fortune to score a pair.
To put these top-notch pants to the test, we enlisted the help of four Men’s Health readers. Wherever their day takes them, our group of guys need stylish pants that’ll look great from morning-to-night and all them to move with ease.
For work, weekends, and everything in between, these chinos, cargos, dress pants, and jeans have you covered for every style flex—no fitting room required.
THESE AREN’T YOUR grandpa’s chinos. They’re slim, stretchy, and look great on men of any age. Worried about your muscular thighs and calves? Four-way stretch keeps your pants looking sharp, not silly. Put on a little winter weight? The flexible waistband is seriously forgiving. From Sunday Funday to swanky soirées, a good pair of chinos has the versatility to replace just about any pair of pants in your closet.
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CARGOS ARE COOL again, folks. By adding utilitarian pockets to slim-fit wool trousers, it creates a rugged elegance that’s hard to achieve. Sporty details like elasticized cuffs add some extra cool factor while you make moves comfortably, thanks to the help of a little Lycra.
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BEHOLD, THE PERFECT jeans to wear to the office. A dark indigo wash keeps your look polished, while the tiniest bit of stretch makes them comfortable to go from office hours to happy hour. Stretch denim is nothing new, but choosing the right option is still a tricky situation; too much stretch can make your jeans lose their shape and look sloppy by five ‘o clock. Levi’s remains a trusted source for the best denim duds to hug your legs in just the right place, without suffocating them.
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YES, DRESS PANTS can be comfortable. Forget those stiff, boxy trousers you’ve encountered and meet the new crop of slim dress slacks with stretch to hit the scene. You’ll never have to worry about being uncomfortable while sitting, or worse, ripping your pants when you bend over. We’re not suggesting you hit the gym in these dress pants, but you should level-up your everyday style and give your go-to jeans a breather by sporting these bad boys during your active day. Whether you’re wearing a tailored blazer or just a simple tee, these pants have the power to take your look from bland to Bond status.