If you’re masculine-of-center with a not-so-masculine body type, then you’re very aware that pants that fit and flatter do not come from the mens department. Yes, you and I know it all too well, friend. We’ve tasted our own tears in many a dressing room. We’ve learned to stop getting excited when our best friend’s ex’s cousin’s sister swears up and down that this one rare and expensive brand is a guaranteed fit every time. We’ve made the final compromise with whatever cut of women’s jeans is the least upsetting, reminding ourselves not to grimace too much in the mirror as we shake our fists at the heavens, shouting “Why, Shane? Why?!”
I don’t want to be yet another snake oil salesman on the long road to masculine-fitting pants, but a recent trend in menswear has changed my tiny little life, and I felt it was worth sharing. “Recent” could be a stretch, I suppose, since depending on your locale and the style of your crowd, you might have been rocking fashionable jogger pants forever, or six years ago when Kanye claims he invented leather sweatpants. You read that last sentence correctly. Make a note on the back of your hand or the back of your girlfriend’s hand or write this on your cat for all I care: Jogger pants. Jogger pants are the future.
I was a big drop crotch sweatpants person last year. Many an hour did I sit on eBay, punching in those fifty cent increments so I could win the super cheap teen boy pop stars sweatpants from Korea.
Did they sometimes make my backside look like a filled diaper? Absolutely. Did I still love those sweatpants like they were a child I produced with my own sweat and blood? Oh yes, yes I did. Because the thing about a lower crotch is that it hides the fact you have a set of child-bearing hips. In drop crotch sweatpants, everyone has a weird lumpy torso that extends to your knees, no matter what gender you were assigned when you popped out of your mother! Drop crotch sweatpants are the great equalizer, the answer to that age old problem: I want to look androgynous but also like I am walking around with a basketball between my legs. You can hide just about anything in your crotch pouch. For example, Justin Bieber could be clutching a whole Butterball frozen turkey between his thighs, and we’d be none the wiser.
The problem with drop crotch sweatpants is that I couldn’t really wear them in public. They don’t scream “appropriate for work” and they didn’t go with half my wardrobe, meaning they were typically reserved for Wal*Mart trips and the couch. Maybe I felt super cool and on gendertrend in them, but they didn’t do much to improve the way I felt when out of doors. I guess I just don’t have enough leather accessories or fake Givenchy shirts to pull it off.
Boom. Cue jogger pants. When I bought my first pair at H&M, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, nor did I know that the tapered sweatpants I was buying had a fancy official name. I just thought I was acquiring some sweet sweats that finally made my butt look good. Imagine my delight when pants identical to mine were popping up on all my favorite style blogs, and getting serious fashion cred. I moved to Ireland last week, and the amount of fashionable jogger pants wearing over here is off the charts. I see them used for professional workwear, hanging-with-the-lads-wear, and hot-cool-person-wear. You can bet your britches I’m getting in on that.
At this point, you’re probably wondering: Kate, what in the world is a jogger pant? I’m glad you asked, reader!
While there’s a healthy amount of variation in what qualifies as jogger pants, the common traits are a stretchable waistband, cinched cuffs, and comfortable materials. A lot of jogger pants are made from, surprise, the type of soft cottons you love in your sweatpants, but jogger pants aren’t just for lounging. There’s denim joggers, chino-esque joggers, pleather joggers (for your budget) and leather joggers (for your not-budget). Are they casual? With a hoodie and some kicks, sure. Are they formal? Paired with the right stuff, you could wear these babies to the office. Fusing comfy with fashion is a wave I’m always going to ride hard. And I know my LGBTQ crowd loves their comfortable clothing — I’ve seen y’all wear your Birkenstocks with socks way too many times to think otherwise.
I haven’t even mentioned the best part yet! Because they’ve got an elastic waistband, they fit perfectly even over my wide-ass hips and lady thighs. By tapering the legs and cuffing at the ankles, they give me an androgynous silhouette without being shrinkwrapped to my body a la skinny jeans. Sizing is easy and flexible — I can go up a size if I want the baggier look, or down a size if I want something more fit. No pant has ever screamed “you do you” quite this hard. And the fact that these are a big trend in menswear right now means they’re more widely available and cheaper than ever.
Here’s a couple picks for those of you looking to take the jogger pant plunge.
Just the basics. Dress ‘em up or down, you’re a hottie either way.
Surf’s up, homo. Your hips are gonna feel great in these pants, especially because there’s spandex in the fabric!
You know what’s hot? You are, no matter what you wear. You know what else is hot? Camo. Camo is very hot right now. Check out those scrunchy camo cuffs. Super hot.