Not-so-hot take: pants are HANDS DOWN the hardest piece of clothing to buy on the internet. Sizing can be (LOL read: always is) hit-or-miss and sometimes, pieces that look AMAZING on models end up falling in weird or uncomfortable ways on us regular folk. So earlier this week, to aid on my OWN quest for some new bottoms, I threw a question out to the team: if you were rebuilding your wardrobe from scratch, which pants would you need to grab first? Which ones are comfortable? Which ones make you feel great?
Their answers were all over the map – and below, you’ll find everything from leggings to snow pants to wide-legs to printed crops to denim at all kinds of price points! Each of these pieces are worn regularly, fully-vetted, and well-loved by an EHD team member. It was very helpful to me to read their recommendations and then peek at their SUPER cute selfies to get better ideas of actual fit (like, hey, apparently windowpane print is in and everyone CAN pull it off – added to my cart SO FAST, thanks Mal and Rashida!!!), so I hope it’ll be just as helpful to you if you’re also trying to navigate the wild west of online pants shopping. Let’s kick it off with the big boss…
Madewell 10″ High-Rise Skinny Jeans: I don’t even need to tell you about these again but I will. They are skinny but with room up top and I bought them in both a 26 and 27 for, you know, both types of days. Whatever material they are made out of (some sort of trademarked material) does such a good job of holding things in and being forgiving.
Women Ultra Stretch Leggings: I realize that I had black athleisure and then stiff jeans but I didn’t have that in-between that was warmer on cold days (inside or out). So while I was shopping for my AMAZING sleeping bag puffer, I found these jeggings and thought I’d give them a whirl. While I likely won’t wear them out with my girlfriends (someday) because, well, they are elastic waisted jeans, they are GREAT for something with slightly more structure and warmth for walking dogs, hanging out back with kids but still NOT wearing uncomfortable jeans. I wouldn’t get the lighter pairs, the black is slimming and comfy but you can’t really see that they are jeggings because they are so dark and you might be able to see the faux seems in a lighter color. I wear these on the days I don’t wear my black workout tights.
Franck Trousers: These jeans created quite the controversy on instastory because they aren’t really ‘covid’ jeans. They are statement jeans that are in fact fitted at the waist (AGHAST). But the debate was so heated with people loving and hating on both sides that I obviously had to keep. When Joanna Gaines DM’d me over and over again saying she was ‘personally invested’ in me keeping them (she bought them, afterward) I was like ‘well, I can’t NOT keep them now’. They are cool and someday when I go somewhere I’ll wear them and people will either be IMPRESSED or barf.
So if you read the blog every day and have read my past recommendations you might be saying to yourself, “Jess, for the love the god get some new pants, mix it up, LIVE a little.” And if you are saying this you aren’t wrong. But I like what I like and with still being at home 90% of the time, I’m going to wait until I get crazy with my bottoms. But here are my real loves… (O and P.S. The reason why I’m wearing red lipstick is because I shot those photos on Inauguration Day and if there was ever a day it to put on red lipstick it was THAT glorious day. Otherwise, I have yet to embark on the red lipstick during quarantine stage…if that’s even a stage,)
Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Legging: Yep, I am talking about them AGAIN because they are the true MVP of my wardrobe. I wear them every day unless I can’t for some reason. I recently got a pair of the ones with the side pockets and while I don’t dislike them, I prefer these (more flattering on me). Plus they’re cheaper which is a big win for me as that is almost never the case when it comes to my favorites of anything. I think the ‘earth” color is next on my list. Yep, I still want more.
Madewell 10″ High-Rise Skinny Jeans: Also known as the jeans that won 2020 on EHD. I love these puppies for the same reasons I always have – they are the perfect wash, the perfect rise for my almost 5’4” body and they make me feel good (so the perfect skinny). A ton of you bought them last year and I hope you love them as much as me.
High-Rise Wide Leg Cropped Jeans: These are the pants that I put on when I want to look put together but don’t want to wear my skinny jeans. I have them in the brown color but they look more rust to me which I love. A fun neutral! Plus they are really comfortable. I highly recommend but I also highly recommend sizing up because at least when I bought them a year ago the sizing was not correct for what I normally wore. Just a little tip from me to you. But who knows it could be better now??
The Curvy Authentic Stretch High-Rise Skinny Jean: I was looking for a true blue, well-fitted pair of jeans, and I found them. It’s one of the best fitting jeans I own. It sucks me in where I need it to, and hugs my curves in a flattering way. And the fact that they’re ethically made is a bonus.
Slim Ankle Pants: Next up are my black plaid pants. I thought I was done with “work pants” but these stole my heart when I saw them sitting perfectly folded on display. They have the comfort and breathability like a good pair of leggings, but the structure and hold like a good pair of jeans. It’s the best of both worlds and they’re currently on sale! Trust me, you want to add these to your wardrobe capsule!
Mid-Rise Ankle Skinny Jean: I’ve always wanted a pair of Rag and Bone jeans, but that $350 price tag was just never in the cards. UNTIL my mom snuck over to Saks off Fifth and found these baddies for $250 less than they normally are…Melissa you doll. Maybe my favorite Christmas gift ever!! They have SUCH a good jean selection at this Saks outlet, so if you’re in the market go check out their insanely good brands and deals!!
Piper Legging: I’m still wearing workout gear 90% off the time, and I finally got these leggings I had been eyeing for soooo long. I thought they would be too much (and they are admittedly a lot) but they make me so happy and I find myself wearing them MULTIPLE times a week! If you’re wanting leggings that are not as funky leopard vibes, I also got these black leggings with pockets (to wear on my leopard legging off days) and am OBSESSED WITH THEM. Both the black leggings and the leopard leggings are the queens of never falling down which is the DREAM.
Black Windowpane Pant: I have a hilarious story about these pants. I had some that were literally identical to these and I wore them ALL THE TIME from freshman year of HIGH SCHOOL until they literally split in the crotch 4 years after I bought them. Well actually I sewed them together and then they ripped in the crotch again and I knew it was time for them to go. Then my mom (yes my mom strikes again with the pants!!) bought me these from Marine Layer for my birthday and they are IDENTICAL to my old pants. I’m very into pajama-but-make-it-real-pants fashion in quarantine especially, so these are the dream for 2021.
Sky High Straight Leg Jeans: I write this as I am wearing these jeans. In fact, most days I am wearing these jeans (I have two pairs now–they are that good) and I can wear them no matter what my day looks like. I can sit all day in them or walk around and they are still comfortable because they have the perfect amount of stretch but still hold their integrity and don’t get too baggy. I’d wear these on a plane if that tells you anything so if you love denim as much as I do and obsess about finding the perfect pair, THESE ARE IT.
The Perfect Vintage Jean in Ainsworth Wash: If I am not wearing the Sky High Jeans, I am wearing these. I consider these more “pants” (or jeggings??) than “jeans” just because they have a LOT of stretch so they are wildly comfortable (like, I can do SQUATS in these bad boys). They are also made for curves so you don’t have to deal with that annoying thing where they fit in the thighs and butt but not in the waist. 10/10!
Beautifully Soft Fleece Joggers: I bought these at the beginning of quarantine when I was still putting off laundry and they are SUCH a steal. So soft, so cozy, and this color is on sale for $13.99 right now. (I’m not the only one in the EHD orbit who loves these – y’all are not going to BELIEVE the person who links them up tomorrow!!!)
Dance Studio Pant III (Unlined): IF YOU LIVE IN A COLD CLIMATE, THESE ARE A GODSEND. I love these pants, you guys. 9 years in LA has turned me into an enormous baby about temperature but I spent a lot of time traveling to very cold places for ice skating competitions (pre-rona, of course! That picture is from a January trip to Grand Forks, ND – the coldest place in the continental US #blessed). These are a dream to layer over leggings for added warmth without a ton of bulk. It’s not just snow, though – love them for super early mornings (can imagine them being extra cozy while walking the dog pre-sunrise) and for keeping your muscles a little extra warm on the way home from a tough workout class (you know…when we can go to those again). I’ve also had the same pair for 4 years and they look brand new. 100/10! (PS. They come lined, too, if you wanna get REALLY toasty.)
Any of Madewell’s Emmett Pants: In case you can’t tell from our accidental matching outfits, these are perennial EHD office favorites. They are SO GOOD on any body type (I am for sure bigger than Veronica but we can both wear them!) and they’re re-released every season with new fabrics and color variants. They’re the perfect amount of high-waisted, super comfortable, and they work for folks of any age. (I wore them to my godmother’s Christmas Eve party in 2019 and they were a BIG HIT. Have a feeling I’ll be wearing this style for years to come :))
THERE YOU HAVE IT – the pants we actually have in our closet and turn to every day. No new bottoms were purchased for this post – just pieces we all own, love, and would buy again in a heartbeat. If you have any recommendations or all-time favorites that have stood the test of time for you, I’d love to hear about them. Have a great weekend, pals – see you back here tomorrow for a very fun link up! xx