Comfy pants are here to stay... - une femme d'un certain âge

Comfy pants are here to stay…

This season, you don’t have to choose between being comfortable and looking put-together. As I mentioned in my newsletter a couple of weeks ago, I’m seeing a lot of “hybrid” designs that incorporate some structure without sacrificing comfort. Here are some comfy pants that could go to the office or out to dinner.

anthropologie Maeve plaid pull-on pants.

Pull-on pants seem to have shed their stigma. I’ve seen pull-on and stretch-waist styles from a range of modern brands that don’t look at all sloppy or frumpy. Most of these have a flat front for a sleeker appearance.

Above: plaid, but make it modern. Available in sizes 0-16.

J.Crew wool pull-on pants in glen plaid.

I’ll admit, I’m crushing on plaid pants at the moment. I have these on order, will report back. Available in Misses, Petite and Tall sizes, 00-16.

Boden Danby pull-on pant in navy chain print.

This navy chain print is fun too. Misses sizes 2-22 & Petites.

Vince Camuto crosshatch print pull-on pants.

This crosshatch print is a more subtle option. Misses XX-Small to XX-Large.

J.Jill pull-on slim leg corduroy pants.

Corduroys are a slam-dunk for fall. These are offered in 3 colors in Misses, Petite, Plus, and Tall sizes.

Madewell Huston pull-on corduroy pants.

These have an easy fit in a sumptuous Burgundy color. Sizes XX-Small to XX-Large.

Eileen Fisher ponte knit lantern pants in Espresso.

I love this lantern shape. And they have pockets! These washable ponte knit pants in Espresso are available in sizes XXS-3X.

Theory Demitria pull-on pants black.

These have a flattering flared silhouette and stitched front crease. Sizes 00-16.

Chico's Brigitte slim pants navy.

And these smooth slim pants are available in four colors, Regular, Petite & Tall sizes 00/2 to 4/20.

Vince navy pinstripe pull-on pants.

For those who have been asking for full-length pants, it’s true that there are far more ankle-length styles available. But here’s a pair from Vince (Misses/ Plus) that might have the length you’re looking for. (And they’re on sale!)

More comfy pants for fall

A quick programming note: we’re doing some work on the blog “backend,” so you may not see any new posts for the next few days. No worries, I’ll be back next week!

And be sure to watch the Over 50 Style Team this Friday on Instagram, 11am PT / 2pm ET !

Stay in touch.

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  1. Robyn
    September 15, 2021 / 2:25 am

    Thank you for this posts. The last few months I have been wearing pants. Mostly linen drawstring ones since it’s hot where I live. As I start planning for fall I’ve added in pants more than anything else, especially looser trousers. Maybe it’s because I’m back at work or I can’t seem to find jeans I like. I did notice in your street style post hardly a skinny jean to be seen. Thank goodness! Please continue posts with pant ideas.

  2. Eve
    September 15, 2021 / 4:55 am

    Women have secretly been wearing elastic waist or pull on pants forever. I’m glad they going mainstream. Comfort is paramount to me right now but I still want to look stylish. Paid pants are in my future. Right now I only have stripe.

  3. Kathie
    September 15, 2021 / 5:18 am

    I tried on the cords at Talbots yesterday. I’m 5’3″ and the petites in my size (small) fit well but were too far above my ankles to be useful in colder months. The misses were too long and didn’t quite fit right. Nice styling though. I came away with a great long cable knit cardigan in butterscotch that I recommend looking at.

  4. Ainsivalavie
    September 15, 2021 / 5:34 am

    I understand comfy but sloppy is a whole other mood. The pants on some of these models look too big or oversized. The high waists are bad enough but the low crotch on the photo of the navy chain print ( reference to the cover photo, in the photo above the model has her hands in the pockets to pull the front.) is plain unattractive. Those photos aren’t a sale for me. I wish companies would feature real humans in their ad campaigns.

    • Susan Blakey
      September 15, 2021 / 6:53 am

      Not everything is for everyone. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I don’t find these “sloppy,” but à chacun à son goût.

      • Robyn
        September 16, 2021 / 3:52 am

        We’ve been so used to slender “skinny” styles that more relaxed styles seem odd. I had a hard a hard time adjusting to the skinny leg look, but finally did. In yesterday years the pant shapes we are seeing now were common place. A fuller pant leg seems to balance out the shape of most people. I for one am glad to see clothes not so body forming.

    • Lagatta de Montréal
      September 15, 2021 / 6:56 am

      Yes, I have short legs so wide trousers and (horrors) elastic waists make me a frump. The main change in my jeans (the only trousers I wear) is that they are straighter up and down (stovepipe) and a bit shorter. To me elastic waists signify unfit old age. I do like shorter sweaters though, as long as they don’t show the naked waist or belly. That look is better on teens,

    • Kari
      September 15, 2021 / 9:03 am

      I agree!

    • Kari
      September 17, 2021 / 5:04 am

      These don’t look so great to me either. I’ve loved plaid in the past but not real sure now based on the shapes I’m seeing presented this time around.

  5. RoseAG
    September 15, 2021 / 5:35 am

    I know those Modern Plaid pants aren’t for everyone, but I have seen some attractive street style snaps with them. Of course the street style snaps are all of model-sized women, but I think they’d look good on all sizes. I think the styling is important. Since they have a bit of a horizontal line in the pattern I think flare at the hem, and a length that leaves some ankle showing and a loafer or oxford shoe is a good counter-balance.

  6. September 15, 2021 / 6:39 am

    You have a good selection here and I am curious about the pair from J. Crew. One thing though, so many are a cropped length. That doesn’t work for winter in the northeast, I need a full length which on me is minimum of 31″ inseam and they are so hard to find. I could do the J. Crew pair in a Tall though so look forward to your review.

    • RoseAG
      September 16, 2021 / 5:36 am

      I live in the Northeast and when I used to get up and go places 🙂 I either wore boots with my cropped pants, or light colored socks that gave me the same spot of contrast at the foot. What I’d love would be to find a Michael Jackson style boot with the dark shoe and a light colored upper that looks like a sock from afar but is really one peice.
      It’s more often wet than snowy where I am and since I travel often by public transit I was happy to arrive without wet pant hems.

  7. Linda M
    September 15, 2021 / 9:46 am

    Some of the judgment here might be a little out of date if the person hasn’t tried these styles in the last few years. Elastic waists have come a long way, as Susan has shown. I have a tummy and I wear my tops over my elastic waists. You can’t even see the elastic, and not having the waistband means you can wear very smooth, lovely tops over them without fear of the little holes forming and the bulk showing. Having an elastic waist means I can get pants that fit me correctly in my slimmer hips and thighs. I follow and enjoy fashion. I’m sporty-classic and never feel frumpy.

    • Lee Rosenthall
      September 15, 2021 / 1:35 pm

      Hear, hear! I don’t understand the dismissing of something without even trying it. And I’ve been shocked at how well some styles I’d previously avoided fit me. These are NOT our mothers’ “stretch pants.”

    • Lyn
      September 16, 2021 / 12:25 pm

      The flat front is one of the great features of pull-on pants. I hate the little lump where the front button is with zip-fronts, and it’s even bulkier with the trouser hook-and-bar closure. All of my tops cover the waistband, so it stays hidden. Pull-ons are the way to go.

  8. Kami
    September 15, 2021 / 9:54 am

    I agree with Cathy. I have a short torso and long legs, and the current trend of high waists and cropped or ankle inseams just doesn’t work for my body. Tall sizes are often too long in the rise, but the inseam on regulars are rarely longer than 28″ lately. Even with tall shafted booties these won’t quite cover the ankles. 30 – 31″ inseams work well, but they are very hard to find. Nonetheless, I have the J. Crew cords in Tall on order. Hope springs eternal!

    • Jill Ann
      September 15, 2021 / 10:43 am

      I’m perpetually on the “full length pants” bandwagon, and have posted about it here repeatedly! (I know Susan can’t solve the problem, but maybe some clothing mfrs read her blog!) I’m not super tall (5’7”) but need at minimum a 31” inseam & prefer a 32”. I just don’t like the look of cropped pants, especially with fuller leg styles. I live in a warm climate, but completely understand the bare ankle problem for those in cold climates. Come on, manufacturers, enough with the crops!

      • SueMD
        September 15, 2021 / 2:33 pm

        I agree! I’m the same height and also need at least a 31″ inseam. I’ve stopped buying pants because everything is too short. And here’s hoping Susan’s sponsors read this and start meeting the market!

  9. Kathleen McDermott
    September 15, 2021 / 2:56 pm

    Crops should be an option, not shoved down our throats. I am mystified as to why all the manufacturers went ALL in on them! It’s not because everyone likes them. Or because they are flattering on everyone. Or because they are easy to wear and accessorize. Or because they are practical (not here in NJ come Fall). Regarding pull-on pants, they are vastly different from what my mother wore (I’m 68). I have many pairs of jeans, twills, pointe knits, etc. As I wear my tops out, you would never know I’m wearing pull-ons.

  10. Victoria D.
    September 16, 2021 / 7:28 am

    Please add me to the category of those mystified by the almost complete dominance of cropped pants. As so many have pointed out, they are terribly impractical much of the year in areas with seasonal climates and unflattering to many. I am starting to wonder if the short pants are just a way for manufacturers to save money on material!

  11. SuD
    September 17, 2021 / 3:32 pm

    I like the select of pants. Some are long and some are cropped. My favorites are Eileen Fisher, Madewell and Vince.

  12. chris
    September 18, 2021 / 2:36 pm

    Check out the everlane dream pant for a cross between polished and easy. Still fitted enough to look “put together” but relaxed enough for style and comfort.

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