The best men’s elastic waist pants are dead ringers for, uh, “real pants”—you know, the kind with zip-up flies that look respectable enough to wear to an IRL meeting or land a second date (well, not bar you from one, anyway). But looks, dear reader, can be deceiving: the pants we’re actually talking about here are just as relaxed and forgiving as your most sumptuous sleepy-time slacks. Which is music to our ears. Because after enduring a few years restricted to our living rooms, constantly ensconced in fleece and lurking out of frame on our Zoom calls, some pandemic-era habits have stuck around.
Don’t get it twisted, though: elastic waist—or drawstring—pants aren’t the exclusive preserve of the “funemployed” or the slobbish, like they might’ve been pre-2020. They’re bona fide everyday staples ready to help you re-enter polite society, one leg at a time. So if you’re not ready to get back on the raw denim saddle, or if the thought of doing up a fly just sounds like…work, consider these, shall we say, transitional pants—cut in a wide variety of styles, from casual to dressy—the first step in your journey back to hard clothes. Scroll through our 21 picks culled from the best men’s elastic waist pants on the market, pull on a pair, and get back out there.
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