If, like the rest of my co-workers, you're wondering where I got my cute pants, you might be shocked to find out that they're actually courtesy of one of our favorite activewear brands. Yes, really: The Lululemon On The Fly Pant ($98; lululemon.com) is my jean alternative that's as comfortable as my go-to leggings, but chic enough to wear on a dinner date. I won't lie—I live in these office-friendly athleisure pants, and wear them at least once (who are we kidding, twice) a week. Call me obsessed.
This go-anywhere pant is what I reach for when bopping around the city doing errands or heading into the office for work. Four-way stretch allows me to move as freely as I do in yoga pants, but they have awesome coverage and hug all the right places. The 7/8 length is the perfect compromise (for reference, I'm about 5'5), since full-length pants tend to drag, and cropped fits can sometimes be too wonky. If you're more petite, just turn up the cuff for a tailored look.
The drawstring band and higher rise waist ensure total comfort, while the material has a cool, smooth feel. Also good: the fabric is breathable and sweat-wicking to keep up with me, whether I'm traveling or want to change into something drier and a bit more stylish post-barre class.
Before I make any apparel purchase, I always check the care label, because I am just way too busy for a trip to the dry cleaners. You can also forget items that require hand washing. I refuse. Since I'm on a budget and value my time, the fact that these babies are machine-washable sold me. I toss them in with my laundry and wash on cold water, then hang to dry (but you can pop them in the dryer on low heat). Absolutely no dry cleaning involved. Score!
Plus, you can dress them up or keep them casual. I love pairing mine with a simple tee and bomber jacket, or a fashionable sweatshirt for cooler weather. My fear with jogger-type pants is that the style or length makes shoe pairings seriously limiting, however that's not the case with these pants. Literally every single shoe in your closet will look amazing underneath. Trust me, I've tried them all. Chunky sandal? Check. Sporty sneaker? Yep. Elegant mule? You get the picture. Even a sophisticated Chelsea boot for winter plays nicely with these versatile bottoms (read: the semi-cropped fit doesn't look weirdly ridiculous with a boot at all).
On the fence? More than 500 reviewers have taken the time to rave about these Lululemon pants, so the rest of the Internet knows they are totally worth the investment (although I see them as more of a bargain). "I love these pants so much that I also have them in black," wrote one reviewer. "I wear the black pair at least once a week to work with a dressy shirt."
They've also been approved by jetsetters as a travel must-have. "These pants are light enough so I don’t sweat in warm weather, but also keep the chill off when I land in a colder climate," a globetrotter wrote.
The classic neutral shades go with everything, but reviewers are also digging the subtle charcoal grey camouflage print, saying it's surprisingly wearable. "I picked these pants up in the muted camo last weekend and I can't seem to take them off," a reviewer commented. "I even wore them out to dinner one night with a black tank and pretty scarf."
I own the melanite (grey) shade, and find it difficult to not buy a pair in every color. Right now, I have my eye on the dark olive and black. It's never too early to blast out a holiday wish list to friends and family, right?