As we continue to adjust to life indoors, so too does our work uniform. The pumps and tapered trousers have most definitely been pushed to the back of the wardrobe. Heck, even the classic combo of jeans and a tee are less likely to get a gig in the current climate.
And while sometimes it feels like we can wake up, wrap a robe around last night’s pyjamas and shuffle into the home office, getting dressed (even into equally comfortable clothing) is an important part of maintaining a routine. So here are six pants that can help you maintain professionalism through isolation – and that aren’t leggings you're wearing from your morning workout.
The lounge pant
More laidback than officewear and a step up from pyjamas, the lounge pant takes you confidently from your lounge room to the streets. It blends comfort (for snuggling up on the couch) with an air of social acceptability, so paired with a pair of sneakers, it won’t look out of place on a walk around the block. Assembly Label’s 100 per cent linen pants are breathable, with a drop crotch and drawcord waistband. Matteau’s relaxed straight-leg trousers are made from lightweight silk crêpe de Chine, a wrinkle-resistant fabric, to save you ironing before each wear.
In Bed’s 100 per cent linen pants are made from the same beautiful material as the label’s bedding range, so you can camouflage between the sheets. Cut from soft sand-washed silk, the legs of Silk Laundry’s bias-cut pants fall into a fluid silhouette that gathers at the ankle to form a slight bell-bottom – and they’re dark enough to hide that chocolate-Easter-egg stain. For texture, go with these retro-inspired corduroy pants from Seed or these satin high-waist trousers from Zara.
The could-be pyjama pant
The line between sleepwear and loungewear is more blurry than ever, and in the current climate, the appeal of lounging around in silk and slippers is increasingly irresistible. It’s not just about the material, though, but the fit. Broadsheet Sydney editor Sarah Norris says the reason she’s wearing Hybernate’s slim-leg pants on repeat is simple: they’re just so damn comfy. The relaxed pant (with a roomy seat) is made by the Sydney label using pima cotton from Peru, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to her new WFH lifestyle. Bassike’s slouch jersey pant has a similar cut.
On the other hand, Oosel’s relaxed hammered-silk-satin pants and Maison Essentiele’s wide-leg pants offer a sense of old Hollywood cool, so you can feel glam in the confines of your home. And if you’re looking for some stretch after one too many homemade baked goods, the elasticated waist and ribbed detail of Venroy’s cashmere lounge pant will suit perfectly. Zara’s high-waist knit trousers are super soft and will only set you back $59.95.
The tracksuit pant
The tracksuit is the OG work-from-home attire. Stretchy waistband, fluffy lining, cuffed at the end to keep your ankles warm. Some of our favourites include Best Jumpers’s Trevor, Tyrone and Polar Fleece sweatpants made with premium Japanese fabrics (and designed here); Uniqlo’s double-knit sweat pants; Camilla and Marc’s relaxed-fit trackpants; Order of Style’s “happy” pants; and Cotton Citizen’s 100 per cent cotton sweats. And for those of us partaking in lunchtime yoga sessions, go for Lululemon’s wrinkle-free joggers or Nike’s bold, weather-resistant pants.
The feels-like-a-warm-hug pant
In uncertain times like these, often the most comforting thing is a hug from your mum, a close friend or your furry pal. But if you’re living alone, these can be hard to come by. Enter Skims cosy knit pant. The Kim Kardashian-approved pants are made from stretchy bouclé yarn that feels as though a cloud has wrapped around your legs. Zara’s high-waisted velvet trousers are a little more glam.
The dress-up-or-down pant
If you’re thinking long-term, you might be in the market for comfortable pants that double as outerwear (for when we come out on the other side of this pandemic). St Agni is known for its relaxed luxury – these figure-hugging bamboo knit pants are a case in point. They’re designed to be worn as an everyday basic, adapting seamlessly for special occasions. In a similar vein, Uniqlo’s ribbed wide pants can be worn on the couch and beyond.
If you’re planning a Zoom party, add heels to these versatile textured-stripe Dominique Healy pants. For some laidback luxury, the Nice Martin Rosie pants come with a fully elasticated waistband and a small frill on the hem. The cotton fabric is textured to add a touch of luxe to a daytime look. A Melbourne-based mother-daughter duo is behind Honest Studios, and their black corduroy pants can add style to your homebound look. For something a bit more sports-tech and tailored, try Best Jumpers’s Tyrone Pintuck pant – they combine comfort with smart design details, including welt pockets and white statement stitching. And for a pop of colour? Zara’s slouchy trousers in lilac are roomy enough for sprawling on your living room floor, and chic enough for virtual dinner with the girls.
The comfortable denim
What’s that? Denim can never be relaxed enough for the couch? Wrong. For maximum comfort there’s Kloke’s relaxed mid-length panelled pants with elasticated waist and adjustable front waist tie. They feature a slight drop crotch and are made from Japanese denim. Uniqlo’s three-quarter, wide-cut jeans are roomy and cut loose for comfort at the waist. And for something tighter with just enough stretch there’s Nobody Denim’s Bessette jean, aptly named after muse Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.
And the perfect hoodie
All these can be paired with a cosy pullover. We recommend Uniqlo’s men’s hoodie for that oversized look.