Are Drawstring Pants the Ideal Men’s Back-to-Work Trousers? When They’re This Spiffy, Yes.

Peter Zottolo, a photographer and electrician in California’s Bay Area, has a secret. His most loved trousers, a pleated navy pair from Japanese brand name Camoshita, have an elasticated waist and a drawstring that he can tighten or loosen on a whim. When he wears a button-down shirt or sweater that conceals these attributes, “they just look like costume pants,” mentioned Mr. Zottolo, 46. “No one particular understands you are the most at ease man in the home.”

Mr. Zottolo is aspect of a wave of in-the-know gentlemen who are pulling on trousers that say “smart” from ankle to pocket but confess “sweatpants” sotto voce at the waist. Elasticated, drawstring-furnished waistbands were when reserved for gymwear and swim trunks. Now, on the other hand, you can obtain them cinching everything from chinos to corduroy slacks to formal go well with trousers from Brooks Brothers and ultrawide, cash-F-vogue trousers from luxury brands like Loewe. 

STRING Idea Celebrity stylist Paul Henry Duval sporting summery drawstring pants in Dusseldorf in 2021.


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These sneaky hybrid designs—sometimes named “Easy Pants”—are forgiving on put up-WFH paunches but do not look slovenly. That will make them excellent for guys unwilling to abandon lockdown-era comfort as they re-enter a world of office meetings and IRL Hinge dates. 

Fasih Awan, 28, an engineer at San Francisco fintech corporation Block, applied to wear suits to work but now relies on wide-legged, box-pleated drawstring types from New York tailoring model Stòffa and Australia’s Informale. “Now that the workplace is less fast paced and I’m only there a few of days a 7 days, a match feels like far too a great deal,” he mentioned. He thinks drawstring models, when sharply reduce, can “elevate a informal outfit” to get the job done-acceptable heights and even skew official-ish if paired with a pleasant sweater.

Brooks Brothers innovative director Michael Bastian agrees that drawstring pants are an attractive perform possibility for guys who “don’t have to have on a match just about every working day.” Nevertheless they current specified styling issues, mentioned Greg Lellouche, owner of on the web retailer No Gentleman Walks By itself. “You have to imagine about the intersection with the shirt at the midsection,” he mentioned, introducing that trousers whose drawstring is concealed on the inside—like Mr. Zottolo’s Camoshitas—are less difficult to get the job done with. Noticeable drawstrings are as well considerably for a lot of workplaces, he said, contacting the sight of aglets or knots dangling beneath a shirt hem “one move too much for company casual.”

Most gurus we spoke to advocate a shirt-out glimpse, but if you’re tempted to tuck, Paul Witt, operator of Wittmore, a menswear manufacturer and retail outlet in Los Angeles and Malibu, Calif., suggests donning a luxe linen T-shirt and dressy sneakers or loafers. For the office and social gatherings requiring sensible-ish apparel, Mr. Bastian of Brooks Brothers proposed sporting drawstring trousers in a dressy grey suiting fabric and pairing them with a cashmere crew-neck sweater. But, he cautioned, the pants’ capability to transcend their lowly roots as pajamas has its restrictions. “I wouldn’t at any time recommend sporting drawstring trousers with a shirt and tie,” he claimed. “That seems silly.”

Stretch Charm Two pairs of elasticated drawstring trousers that will have you wanting smart yet emotion chill in the place of work. From remaining: Merino Wool Stòffa Trousers, $475, Cotton-Linen Blend Pants, $228,


F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Jill Telesnicki

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Appeared in the July 30, 2022, print edition as ‘We’re Surprisingly Drawn to These Trousers.’