As the athleisure market continues to grow, the new generation of trousers boasts durable, innovative textiles. These versatile garments marry elegant silhouettes with high-performance technical details like comfortable stretch, moisture-wicking, and crease-resistance.
On the runways, work-to-play bottoms are showing up widely, whether it’s Stella McCartney updating track joggers with bold contrasting patterns or at Calvin Klein 205W39NYC, where scuba pants emerged out of the surf and into the streets. This new trend makes sartorial sense at the office or out to dinner, but worn with sneakers, the pants are equally ideal for an airplane or hiking trail.
Ahead, 8 picks.
A classic five-pocket silhouette is taken up a notch thanks to a featherweight fabric that keeps you cool and dries fast. Complete the look with one of Theory’s similarly constructed blazers or try them with a polo shirt for a day on the golf course.
From afar, these pants don’t look too different from basic chinos. But details (like a lightweight yarn that stretches and recovers without the heaviness of a material like spandex) mean they can actually do it all. After a day of meetings, wear them for cycling, hiking, or even a HIIT workout.
These wide-leg pants offer a good amount of give but still retain their shape after many wears. Plus, these are wrinkle-resistant, making them a travel workhorse that will pair equally well with stilettos and white low-top sneakers.
Crafted from reclaimed materials, this brand’s pieces are meant to accommodate the busy lifestyle of frequent flyers. As such, this pant has the stretch you need during a long flight, the eye-catching design you want to show off once you’ve deboarded, and the durability to be active at your destination.
The leg-lengthening seaming on this cropped pair will complement a professional look. But the pull-up, neoprene construction and flare silhouette provide a touch of sportiness. Try them with a sharp blazer for a cool take on a business suit, or a chunky cardigan for an off-duty vibe. You can also try them for a lower-intensity workout—like restorative yoga or Pilates.
Pleats add a dressed-up vibe, but these pants are cut with more room around the hips so they won’t dig into your skin. The stretch fabric has a UPF rating of 50, which makes them a good option for a morning bike commute. For a dressier look, consider donning them with a nautical striped sweater.
The versatile color combo and track-meets-tuxedo aesthetic will make these your new go-to pants. They’re made from three of the stretchiest fibers out there (rayon, spandex, and nylon), resulting in a look that’s as comfortable as it is polished.