Elevating the Comfy Pant

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cabi pivot joggers

For years, my business casual, dinner out with the family, weekend run to the mall, and coffee with friends uniform involved jeans.  Bootcut jeans with Chelsea boots, skinny jeans with knee-high boots, boyfriend jeans with sneakers, ankle-length straight jeans with loafers… you get the idea.  I think it's a uniform many of us have in our closets.  Denim is universal, denim goes with everything, denim is easy maintenance.  But is denim comfortable?

universal standard rio blazer

pants | blazer | t-shirt | boots | bag | earrings

universal standard rio blazer back view

Blazer: Rio Blazer c/o Universal Standard (XS Petite) | T-Shirt: Scarf Lady Tee c/o Chico's (size 2) | Pants: Pivot Joggers c/o cabi (no longer available; similar) | Boots: La Canadienne | Earrings: Cober Hoops c/o Jenny Bird (no longer available; similar) | Bag: Large Dakota Backpack c/o Dagne Dover

universal standard suiting 1

Nope, it's not.  Even the stretchy jeans, they usually end up digging into my stomach or making my legs itch because they're so snug.  If they're super comfy, they're not super attractive (or super durable). Since working from home, I find I wear denim less often.  I don't want to be standing or sitting at my desk in jeans, I want comfy pants.  So instead of changing my clothes completely when leaving the house, I've started seeking out comfy pants that don't make me look like I'm still wearing my pajamas.

how does the universal standard rio blazer fit

These are heavyweight knit joggers from cabi; I like them so much I got two pairs.  You've seen them before in this casual winter weekend outfit. Unfortunately, these are from last season and this season they only have this pant in leopard print. But I have found “elevated comfy pants” at a variety of retailers.  This fall I wore the heck out of my cropped ponte wide-leg pants and have sought out polished pants with comfort like my hot pink wide-leg trousers which are stretchy yet hold their shape, machine washable, yet look dressy and professional. Below I've curated a collection of knit joggers like I'm wearing:

Shop My Picks of Jogger Pants:

universal standard rio blazer review 1

What makes the comfy pants not look like pajamas is the addition of a structured piece on top.  Here, I'm wearing the Rio Blazer from Universal Standard which has been my go-to blazer as of recent.  It's a traditional suiting fabric, traditional styling, and I can have it at the ready to throw over a t-shirt and comfy pants to look polished. Under it is a new t-shirt I got from Chico's; it's nice to have a cute graphic tee that also has sleeves this time of year.  I've always had success with Chico's tees, they don't shrink, don't fade, are nice and opaque while still having a great shape.

Many of you have asked about these boots; they are not cheap and I wondered if I was going to keep them.  They are from La Canadienne and cost $395.  They incorporate the current trend of combat boots without looking too trendy or bulky. However, they come in widths.  They are waterproof.  They have lacing on front but also zippers so you can create a custom fit but easily zip them on and off.  I have added a pair of my favorite insoles in them and there's still room for thick socks but now they are seriously the most comfortable boots I own.  I wear them under jeans, over leggings, with joggers, with midi and maxi dresses, and more.  They are truly quality and I feel they will be in my wardrobe for many many years.

Shop the Look:

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. I’ve been wearing the Cooper jogger from Universal Standard for this exact reason – LOVE them. They’re an ‘athletic’ fabric that doesn’t read that way (IMO) and they are super soft.

    1. I think with their method of selling through stylists and the stylists needing to have inventory for their fashion experiences, it would prove quite difficult. There would be a need for additional training, stylists purchasing additional inventory, changes to their size charts and fit methods. I’ve learned by attending their conferences and working with other brands that things we find to be obvious can actually prove extremely complicated, expensive, and difficult to provide a consistent experience. For example, this season cabi came out with extended sizing and I know this was years in the making to add two sizes. But I hear you, a lot of their jackets I’d wear if they came in petite. I find the pants to fit well, just a quick tailoring but not everything like jackets and dresses is that easy.

  2. Does anyone have any recs for joggers in tall/longer inseams? I’m 5’9″ and the usual 26-28″ inseams on most joggers look ridiculous on me. I’ve looked in my usual haunts and come up short (ha) (I’m also a cusp size so that limits the brands I can try).

    1. I’m at 5’9 also and can’t stand when my pants are too short…so I’m wearing a lot of boyfriend style jeans, intentionally shorter showing off cute boots. That being said, I got amazing joggers at Long Tall Sally. They’re long but because of the jogger style bottom work perfectly!!

        1. Those exact Long Tall Sally joggers are my current favorite pants. I have then in two sizes for two different looks and I love both. Would highly recommend.

    2. Athleta makes tall sizes in most of their pants, including jogger. I know because I’m 5’11” and have been planning to order some!

  3. I love cabi and love the look of these joggers. Are you wearing a Large? Their pants used to run big on me, but lately are more true to size. There are quite a few of these in new/nearly new condition on ebay… 🙂

    1. Yes, these are Large. I saw people wearing a smaller size which may fit but gives more of a legging effect. The waistband is wide and doesn’t easily fold over so in doubt I would size up. When shopping know cabi has had joggers in the past but they are not all knit and don’t have the same kind of stretch, though owners do love them. I found them too snug for my curves, especially my rear and calves. For those I’d size up. Here’s a link to specifically Pivot Joggers on eBay: http://bit.ly/38PllUy I’d also check Poshmark. I often post cabi on there (though no Pivot joggers) and see others do as well: https://posh.mk/1sQZLpP9D3

      1. Appreciate the link — I am so torn on sizing. I joke that I am an Extra-Medium in many brands. I wear a 10 and sometimes an 8 in jeans (almost always an 8 in skirts), but I carry my weight in my thighs, so I tend to size up if the pants are very fitted. I don’t want these to look too slouchy/casual, but I know I simply won’t wear them if they are too tight.

        Clearly I am overthinking this… 🙂

  4. You’ll be happy with La Canadienne boots. They are not inexpensive but they’re waterproof, durable, good-looking. I bought a pair in 2005 and they’re still great.

      1. Are the La Canadienne boots actually made in Canada, or is the name a marketing scheme to make people think that? If they are made in Canada, I’m willing to pay the higher price to cover Canadian workers salaries. I want Canada, the US, and Mexico to continue to make clothes and shoes.

        1. It drives me nuts that we constantly hear about energy, how we’re lacking, and how we can do our part to make things better. And yet hundreds of container ships, many of them 1000 + ft length, arrive daily in the US. A lot of what they bring is way sub-par clothing and shoes and tons of plastic crap that no one needs. Yet somehow there is plenty of fuel for the behemoth ships.

    1. Me too – glad there’s someone out there who can relate, especially since it was difficult forming a personal style during my teenage years without one! I’m actually the opposite to Allie in that I never wear jeans – except when it’s really cold & I’m going to a smart casual event where I won’t be sitting for long. As you can imagine, that sort of event doesn’t crop up very often lol, so they usually languish in my closet until I’m in the mood to brave the metal buttons, zips, bumpy back pockets & thick side seams. Which isn’t often, either!

  5. Ok, seriously… Get out of my head 😉 I was just thinking about this the other day. I just started working from home again and didn’t want to go back to sad leggings and frumpy over-sized sweatshirt. This is perfect!!!

    And totally kidding please keep anticipating my wardrobe needs 🙂

  6. I think a key factor in elevating black comfy pants is the fade factor! The minute they fade, comfy pants start to look like pjs or sweats. This becomes quite obvious when paired with black tops or accessories. I’m interested in your experiences and reviews with fading as well. I always appreciate your reviews. Much more informative than any I have encountered. You rock!! Thank you.

    1. Agree! These joggers from cabi have been AMAZING in how they have retained their color and haven’t stretched out or pilled either. I’ve washed them a dozen times and they’ve been in the dryer too. I hope they bring them back next season, and I’d love to see them also in navy and maybe olive. It’s hard to find such colorfastness, even when washing on cold and line drying.

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