Versatile pants 👖 to wear at home now and out later…

Susan B. wears an at-home outfit with J.Crew cashmere sweater, Athleta Brooklyn pants and leopard loafers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This is the time of year I find myself wanting to pare down and simplify. So I spent a little time this weekend re-shuffling my wardrobe. In doing so, I came across a pile of “maybe’s” from my last closet detox, a few pieces that I’d set aside to re-evaluate later. These pants were among that group.

earrings (c/o) | sweater | bracelet | pants | shoes

(sizes: sweater size Small, pants size 6P)

Athleta Brooklyn pants, styled 4 ways…

So many of you have recommended the “Brooklyn” pants from Athleta that I finally ordered last Spring. (My size and preferred color seemed to always be on backorder so it took months to get them.) Here, I’ve styled them four ways with other pieces from my closet. Above, what I wore at home yesterday.

A sporty casual look with a denim jacket, Vince striped sweater, Athleta pants, French Kande jewelry and Paul Green sneakers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

earrings | jacket (similar) | sweater | necklace | pants | sneakers (c/o)

(sizes: jacket size 0/4-6P, sweater size Small, pants size 6P)

I’d wear this out to run errands, walk the dog, or meet a friend for a coffee. These pants are lightweight, and the fabric is silky-feeling and has a nice drape. Notice the pockets… 😉 They wouldn’t be warm enough for outdoor wear in winter, unless you live in a mild climate. I’m wearing size 6P.

Zoom-ready outfit with a J.Crew blazer, turtleneck top and knit pants. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

earrings (c/o) | blazer | sweater | necklace (c/o) | pants | bracelet (c/o) | shoes

(sizes: jacket size 8P, sweater size 0/4-6, pants size 6P)

This blazer was another piece in the “Maybe” pile, and I think I’m going to keep it for now. I put together this outfit with those of you in mind who are working from home and need to look pulled together for Zoom meetings.

Susan B. wears a navy and white striped tee, navy pants and white sneakers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

earrings (c/o) | tee | bracelet | pants | sneakers (similar)

(sizes: tee size Small, pants size 6P)

Here’s an outfit for later in the year, once it warms up again. If we travel during the warm season this year, I’ll definitely include these Brooklyn pants. They are lightweight and comfortable, don’t wrinkle, and can rise to Smart Casual if needed.

The Athleta Brooklyn pants are offered in Misses, Petite, and Tall sizes and a few colors. Pros: they’re comfortable, lightweight, washable, versatile. Cons: not for colder weather, not as structured as woven pants. I’ve decided these are keepers.

Seeking your input…

If the last few months had a mantra, I think it would have been “one day at a time.” I’d started the year with a definite schedule in mind for une femme d’un certain âge, which was completely upended in a matter of weeks. I pivoted away from all travel content, and focused on style, wellness, and making the most of life at home.

I didn’t plan posts much in advance, as things seemed to change from day to day. While I think that staying flexible was the right choice in 2020, this year I want to move ahead with more direction and intention.

And that’s why I’m asking for your input. I’ve created a reader survey HERE to help me understand what topics you’re most interested in, and your outlook and (current) plans for 2021. Your answers will help me to plan content that’s helpful and relevant to you.

Thank you in advance! (BTW, your responses are for my use only, and will not be shared with third parties.)

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  1. I have always wanted to try the Brooklyn pants. Are they as warm as jeans? Most importantly are they comfortable?

    1. Hi Robyn, yes they are very comfortable. They are not as warm as jeans, which is why I think they’ll be great for a warm weather travel wardrobe.

    2. I have 2 pairs of Brooklyn pants, plus 2 other similar pants from Athleta. I call them Magic Pants. They are not as warm as jeans, but for me that’s a good thing. This fabric looks polished, but you can sleep in the pants on a cross-Atlantic flight, and they won’t wrinkle. If you should happen to spill a glass of red wine on them in flight, you can rinse them out in the tub after arriving at the hotel, and they’ll be dry within hours 😉
      I’m 5’7”, and find these a bit short for my taste, so I order the Tall size. If you’re short, or like your ankles showing, then the regular size would be fine.

  2. Would you mind posting sizes of your tops and bottoms? It gives me reference point for ordering my own sizes. Perhaps others would find it helpful? Thank you. PS-How do you like the JCrew cashmere compared to Everlane?

    1. Hi Lori, I wear a 6p in the pants. I’ll update the blog post to reference all of the other sizes, check back shortly, thanks!

      I did try one of the Everlane cashmere crewneck sweaters a while back but the fit wasn’t as good on me (too long). I didn’t compare the fabric to the J.Crew at the time.

  3. You look absolutely fabulous. I am now tempted to sign up for the FWTFL. I don’t recall ever seeing you in a blazer as I recall you prefer a more casual look, but that blazer is a definite winner for you. The color, style and cut is perfect for you. I have a pair of navy slacks from J. Jill similar to the Athleta Brooklyn Pant you feature here. They, too, are less structured and not for cold weather. I was tempted to send them back, but they will be great for spring/summer, plus wonderful for travel when that starts again. Wishing you and your loved ones good health, peace and happiness in 2021.

  4. I’ve only been pairing my Brooklyn pants with cute tees or sweatshirts and tennis shoes. Now you’ve inspired me to try dressing them up a notch……thanks for the tip! You look great!

  5. You often note that you get rid of clothes. What do you do with them? You are clearly a values-driven woman, would you consider doing a blog on passing clothes on to others who need them?

  6. Those pants (or trousers as I still prefer to call them haha) are great. I like all the outfits you created with them, but the one with the camel jacket and shoes.. och I.. LOVE it. And with the breton striped sweater as well.
    Good pants, well styled.

  7. Put the blazer in the keeper pile as well; it looks fabulous on you! I love how you styled one item 4 ways; it’s a great way to show how you can stretch your wardrobe. I’m a big organizer so having more focused blog sounds like a good idea. Thanks again for your blog, I’ve learned so much & look forward to each new post!

  8. I had my Brooklyn pants with me on my trip to Dublin last Feb. I was able to “dress up” the black ones with a beautiful sweater and scarf and felt perfectly lovely going to tea at the Shelburne. Thanks for teaching me to be deliberate with my choices and how to “tabletop dress”…

  9. I would love to see a capsule wardrobe for travel in your beautiful colors you wear since your makeover. I love this lighter and brighter look and would love to see the way you would go about putting pieces together for a casual trip. Small Trips are nice too even if you just go a few miles from home for a weekend getaway. Many places to see and things to do for fun in wide open spaces like parks and beaches. We have some great little towns a few miles from us we plan to visit to see the sights. I want to tour a famous courthouse nearby. I love museums like The Walter Anderson Museum or the Seafood Museum. Time to revisit without all those tourists.

  10. I have wondered about the pants as well, but am I just imagining a weird bunching in the front area? Maybe it is just due to your hand in your pocket? I think the blazer is so great on you, a keeper for sure.

  11. I’ve tried and tried, but I just cannot like the Brooklyn pants, or just about any of the current Athleta “around town” pants. The material feels like nylon, not silky, and they are always baggy in the butt. I love the Metro line of pants that Athleta used to make but has discontinued…they were more of a cotton ponte feel, didn’t bag, looked terrific, and were easy to dress up or down.

    As for blog content, more Gigi content please!

  12. Susan,
    You have done such a wonderful job in pulling together a versatile and stylish wardrobe in your new color palette. You are an inspiration! I recently retired and am in the process of reevaluating my wardrobe with reference to my coloring, body shape, overall style and changing lifestyle. How did I end up with so much black? While I am not brave enough to get rid of ALL those black clothes yet, I realize that it is not the most flattering color for me. I have been paring down the number of items in my closet, and going forward I am determined to only add pieces in colors that are better suited to my Autumn palette. I love today’s post where you style one piece in several different ways. I would also be interested to see some new travel capsule wardrobes (maybe even using your own clothing) with your warmer Spring colors. Even though most travel (especially overseas) is probably many months away, we can still dream, can’t we?

  13. I bought a pair of these to for a trip to France scheduled for last April. Instead, they have been a great wardrobe staple during these past few months – as comfy as sweats, but more stylish.

  14. The Brooklyn pants now have a lined pair that are great for cold weather (I live in Colorado). They are slightly different with the leg opening gathered more like a jogger, while I like the light weight style better the lined ones are warm enough for my daily walk.

  15. I think I’ll order the Brooklyn Pants for travel this year. Oh, I hope we can travel Two of my life long friends and I had a 2 week England trip planned for our 50th birthdays, it was supposed to happen last September but we postponed till this September. I have all my fingers and toes crossed, hoping we’ll be able to go and I think the Athleta pants would be perfect. I know you’ve gotten away from posting travel wardrobe ideas, at least for 2020 – hopefully you’ll have a reason to get back to it. I am pretty sure that’s how I found your blog in the first place, I was looking for travel wardrobe ideas this time last year.

  16. Survey wise, I like your movie recommendations, anything “French”, and travel clothes recommendations ( silk tees/ wool socks/ rain gear/ waterproof boots and shoes). Since Covid started I am walking and taking exercise classes outside, it’s 35-50 degrees right now, so any ideas would be helpful. We kept our classes going through heat, smoke, rain and cold weather, it’s really helping with my/ our sanity. I haven’t bought any “ lounge wear” , as I wear exercise clothes a lot, so I look forward to a break from them.

  17. I completed your survey but have a few more thoughts to share. I first came to your blog because of the travel packing content which I have put to good use and will again one day, hopefully in the not too far distant future. I travel at least a couple of times a year to Europe and always go carry-on!
    I have stayed engaged even when not traveling because you just feel like a friend and I look forward to our “conversations” in the morning.
    I wish that there were some more uncommon shopping sources included. I get rather bored with the same old brands. I did discover Kettlewell through you and appreciate that.
    Also I am a BoHo with a summer pallete so my choices are quite different than yours and if there were a way that feels true to you, to include other style options and colorways I would love that.

      1. Me too! Penelope’s post could have been written by me except for the reference to brands. These are often irrelevant anyway because I live on the other side of the world.
        Although I love your new colours, they don’t suit me. Would you consider adding some posts using more generic colours and looks? I do love your tips including tying scarves and the French tuck.

  18. I have the Brooklyn pants in all colors as well as some other Athleta pants. I have to agree with the commenter above about the bagginess behind and I have sized down to try to fix that issue. I wear them all the time, but again like another commenter, usually only in very casual outfits but I see they can look polished enough for slightly more upscale pairings. Not that I have anywhere to wear upscale anything …. Recently I have tried to simply dress up for any out of home activity (grocery shopping, distanced walks) because otherwise the majority of my wardrobe will have cobwebs soon. Thanks for your ideas for sparking up days that run into the next days! And I agree with the call for more Gigi content, not an option in your survey….

  19. You are looking very small. I LOVE the tan blazer and it looks incredible on you. I know you probably aren’t wearing it much but in CA I would think you could use this in place of a light weight coat. Love it and it perfectly matches those shoes.

  20. This Brooklyn pant reminds of a similar pant from Christopher and Bank’s. It is also lightweight and stretchy and it is not for winter wear here in Nebraska. The name of it is Pull on Signature Slimming Luxe Stretch Ankle Pant. It comes in four or five colors and is on sale right now. I don’t have access to Athleta stores in my area but I do have access to a Christopher and Banks Store. Just thought someone else might want a different option.

  21. I have a pair of the Brooklyn pants, but there is a similar pant at Lululemon that I like better. They keep changing what they call them. Right now they are called Keep Moving High Rise, 7/8. The fabric is lightweight, but maybe slightly more substantial than the Brooklyn. I am 5’4” and the 7/8 length is ankle length on me. They are advertised to be good for exercise, but also nice enough for errands, etc. They are wash and wear, and last forever. I have 3 pair.

  22. Lovely clothes options thank you Susan and thank you for putting the sizes too.My favorite is the jacket but I wish it was cheaper! I ordered the Chico’s white turtleneck; i hope it looks as good on me as it does on you:) Take care, be safe.

  23. Just did the survey, but wanted to add something. You’re a great writer and I love your think pieces on style, travel, culture, etc. and would love to see them more often.

  24. I love your shopping tips and you have introduced me to brands for which it is unlikely I would have otherwise discovered. Dean Davidson comes to mind as I purchased a gorgeous pair of earrings from them. I also like some of your French Kande pieces. Thank you for all you do.