19 Best Men's Elastic Waist Pants 2023, Tested by Style Experts
May 26, 2023
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No need to sacrifice style for comfort, or vice versa.
IF YOU'RE tired of constantly adjusting tight waistbands or uncomfortable belts, men's elastic waist pants are your saving grace. In fact, the best men's elastic waist pants will easily be the most versatile slacks in your wardrobe. Gone are the days when style was compromised for convenience, because now, men's elastic waist pants offer the perfect blend of comfort and fashion to revolutionize the way we dress—for work, travel, every day, or just about any occasion.
Designed to put comfort first, men's elastic waist pants should feature a stretchable waistband—unlike traditional trousers that have fixed waistbands with buttons or zippers—to provide a snug, personalized, and comfortable fit around the waist. That is to say, men’s elastic waist pants will eliminate the need for any fastening and can be easily pulled on and off to add convenience to your daily wear.
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But most importantly, men's elastic waist pants need to provide versatility and be able to effortlessly transition from casual to formal occasions. Below, our editors have wear-tested and found the 19 best men's elastic waist pants that will offer a comfortable fit without sacrificing style, including all different types of pants. Whether you’re working from home, heading to the office, enjoying a weekend getaway, or simply lounging at home, the best men's elastic waist pants have you covered.
Best Spring Pants | Best Summer Pants | Best Linen Pants | Best Drawstring Pants | Best Khaki Pants | Best Joggers | Best Jeans
As sharp as they are cozy, these elastic waist pants are the cure for the common, ragged sweatpants. In fact, they’ve even earned the co-sign from actor Adam Shapiro. "During the last couple years, like many, I have become something of an elastic waist pants connoisseur… Constantly in search of the perfect set, one that’s super soft and comfy for chilling, but with a structure, sturdiness, and style that can be worn anywhere. AND WITH POCKETS,” says Shapiro. “And just like that, I’ve found it: the Buck Mason Brushed Loopback Trouser. It’s super soft, really well made, sturdy, and the kind of heavy-duty elastic waist pants that I know I’m going to be able to wear for a really long time."
These are technically medical pants: you scrub in and save lives in these pants. But in all honesty, after testing them out, we feel that they look too good and feel too comfortable to be limited to be worn inside the hospital. Not only does the elastic drawstring waist guarantees a perfect fit to keep us at ease while we walk or travel or work the long shift, but these pants are also crafted from a durable yet soft cotton/polyester poplin fabric to ensure comfort and breathability throughout the day.
All in all, we love how easy these are to pull and put on. The zipper fly with button closure, inside drawstring, and an all-around elastic come together to lend us a secure and comfortable fit.
SHOP RELAXED FIT
If you’re looking to upgrade your sweatpants, Lululemon’s Utilitech Pull-On Pant will take care of it by letting you finally ditch the ragged cotton or fleece and trade advantage of Lululemon's proprietary Utilitech fabric, a polyester blend that is not only soft and smooth but also abrasion-resistant and comes with a four-way stretch. Our testers noticed just how sturdy and rugged the fabric felt to withstand daily wear and tear, but also just how motion-friendly it was as well to carry us through daily traveling and commuting. Better yet, we love that it’s got strategic ventilation gussets placed at the crotch to increase airflow and fend off the heat, you know, down there.
The true X-factor of these pants, however, is the pull-on design that makes them a hybrid of sweatpants and chino pants. While the waistband isn’t adjustable, our testers did find it elastic enough to give you a customized fit.
Read More: Best Lululemon Men's Pants
These joggers fuse athletic comfort with a modern style and are built to seamlessly transition you from workouts to lounging and casual outings. Crafted with premium French terry fabric, we found these joggers extra soft, cozy, and stretchy as well to let us move with ease in any activity. The elastic drawstring waistband has given our testers a personalized fit throughout the day wear after wear. The large side slant pockets and cargo pockets with ample space make sure that you will never compromise on storage.
“The fabric of these joggers is sensational. They are so soft. They are lightweight so they can be worn in many different seasons. Slim fit and fabulous,” says one reviewer.
Say goodbye to embarrassing sweat patches and hello to a dapper everyday fit that also has your wallet covered. After trying these affordable 100% linen pants, I now wear them as my go-to linen pants for casual summer occasions like running errands or going to a restaurant. The relaxed straight fit lets the air in to keep the legs cool, while the no-fuss elastic drawstring waist offers a nice minimalist styling touch.
We also absolutely love the straight legs of these pants, which offers a nice balance between the elevated look of slim and the comfortable fit of relaxed. The drawstring waistband naturally puts them on the casual side, but after wearing them with polo shirts to the office and meetings a few times, I'll say the formal flair of these linen slacks is not too shabby.
Everlane's ultra-soft elastic waist pant has a roomy fit in the seat and thigh area and a slightly slim, tapered fit downward, overall looking stylish enough to wear outside the house. It feels like a pair of sweatpants but is nowhere as heavy, and we love that it's got enough stretch for us to move and travel in.
Featuring a comfortable elastic waistband and a luxe look, the Easy Pant is casual enough for your daily errands and trips in your neighborhood, but also stylish enough for your weekend parties and bar-hopping. In our testing, we found it super versatile as well for different styling, and we especially love cuffing it at the hem. In addition, we found the fabric to be extra breathable, and has kept us dry and cool through thick and thin.
These from Allbirds are made from a Pima cotton, hemp, and TENCEL™ Lyocell to make them as durable and comfortable as they are performance-friendly. "Personally, I’m a huge fan of the R&R sweatpants! I like my sweatpants to be stylish yet functional. I feel like I can work out in them, and also mix them in for a fashionable outfit. The R&R definitely crosses off those boxes," says James Ro, founder of, Atlanta Run Club. That means besides feeling like a cozy blanket as pants, these sweats are also great for jogs or just lounging around.
I'm always searching for bottoms that can transcend different moments of my day-to-day life—from lounging to work to travel, and after incorporating the R&R Sweatpant into my wardrobe, I found that it does just that—providing comfort while I transition from lounging at home to catching a meeting out in the city, without sacrificing style.
Since launching in 2013, Vuori has been producing versatile pants that you can wear practically anywhere. Case in point: their elastic waist Ripstop pant, which features a modern slim cut and super soft fabric that's perfect for working from home, or trekking to the airport.
Created using Vuori’s Dura Terra ripstop fabric that features a two-way stretch, we found in our testing that these lightweight travel pants with a 33-inch inseam are issued with a gusset for extra roominess too. Their modern and slim-fit cut has let me dress them up or down as I pleased. We also found it to be quite breathable and work well as summer pants.
With an elastic drawstring waistband to snug them up just right, and a trouser-like silhouette, Public Rec's pant is as comfortable as your favorite collegiate sweats, yet look like dress pants or office pants for work, thanks to a slim silhouette. You won't be embarrassed to sport these in public. This stylish alternative to the normal sweatpant blows the most comfortable jeans out of the water, and sports tapered legs to help show off your sneakers too.
Truly the all-powerful trousers made with a unique blend of nylon and spandex that feels like a second skin, we love how these pants feel like your favorite pair of soft, cozy sweatpants but look like your Monday office bottoms and work like your go-to workout pants. Using a drawstring instead of a button, you can wear this from your office to the gym to the bar—no changing needed.
Ministry of Supply's chinos with elastic waist are made with the four-way stretch, tapered to look sharp, and enhanced with a cotton-nylon blend that provides all-day-long comfort and temperature regulation. In my testing, what I love about these are their fit, cut, stretch, and wide variety of performance feats. You can't go wrong with choosing Ministry of Supply's chinos because they are suitable for any occasion: from work to meetings, to date night, to weddings, and everything in between.
Having worn them to travel just recently, I was really impressed by how lightweight and smooth the fabric is, and how stretchy the elastic waistband is to lend me a customized fit. While it’s not traditional chino material, I like its nylon blend that is stretchy enough for a squat and sweat-wicking. I also found that while the fit is slim and tapered, it is not restricting, and all in all looks great enough for everyday wear as well as the office.
This perfectly relaxed chino keeps selling out for a reason: it’s got an elastic drawstring waistband instead of a stiff button closure. A hybrid of chinos and joggers through and through with a cropped, right-at-the-ankle length, this slack keeps things extra comfy without compromising on the elevated, professional look you’ll want to sport for WFH, running errands, or lounging at home. We found that not only did it fit just right in our testing, but the stretchy waistband and the overall stretchy fabric felt as comfy as our fleecy sweats.
As seen on Bullet Train Star Andrew Koji, these cargo slacks are one of the best for dressing up. We love their tailored, slim fit from the knees down and their jogger-like comfort from the knees up. We've easily styled these slacks with polo shirts to cop a business casual vibe, and we love that they've got a bit of stretch as well for mobility.
Made with good, durable material, the right length, L.L.Bean’s pants will also make you feel like a million bucks with its performance. Featuring built-in stretch technology, these pants ensure ease of movement, making them ideal for any activity. The moisture-wicking properties also will keep you cool and dry throughout the day, while the brushed twill fabric provides an instant touch of softness. The stretch also feels instantly pleasing to us; coupled with a convenient drawstring waist, these bottoms are as hassle-free as they can be.
TM's Right On Time Pant is wonderfully versatile and our favorite golf pant for men in 2023. When testing these golf pants, we found they had ample room in the seat and quads and the perfect amount of stretch. They also have a solid blend of breathability and durability—all while offering a stylish silhouette that looks good with everything from a vibrant golf polo to a buttery henley.
To elaborate more on how much we like the Right On Time Pant, we've played multiple rounds of golf with them in several different climates—from Florida all the way to Scotland—and we've worn them for entire afternoons after playing and for entire days when going to the office. With an elasticated belt loop waistband, these pants can also really stretch at the waist to give you a customized fit and better mobility as well as comfort.
Made from durable stretch nylon fabric, this utilitarian cargo pant not only looks great but works even harder. With UPF 50+ sun protection and a water-repellent finish, it's ready to take on outdoor adventures and active pursuits. We also love how the fit and elastic waistband with drawcord have kept our testers comfortable all day long as well. Cuff at the hems for a park ranger's off-duty look.
These pajama pants from Mack Weldon are zero tolerance when it comes to combatting the cold. Made with Thermolite® technology that insulates your body from the cold, these slacks provide warmth while remaining lightweight and soft with the well-designed micro-waffle knit. Better yet, it's made of wool and stretch as well, meaning it'll keep you cozy but also keep you moving if needed.
In our testing, we found that even as pajama pants, their length doesn't go over our feet, making them more sweatpants and very friendly for lounging and relaxing in general, besides just sleeping.
Versatile for workouts and lounging, champion sweatpants are probably the trendiest loungewear on the market right now. In fact, Nicole Bolton, a fashion designer and the co-founder of Iconic Celebrity Outfits even praises them as “the best pick for anyone looking to invest in a new pair” since they’re super affordable and primed for everyday use. “These are made of cotton, which is the best fabric you could buy for yourself. These particular trousers are not only comfortable but also hypoallergenic. You can never go wrong with this pick, as this clothing item will never go out of style,” says Bolton. Really, these joggers are true classics, giving you style, function, and well, pockets. With tapered ankles and durable material, these sweats can go from the gym to the club to the office.
Hemp is another underrated classic fabric made to beat the warm weather. It’s light in weight but heavy in breathability, and is naturally sweat-wicking as well as much more durable than cotton. But a great pair of fully hemp pants for summer is rare until we came across Vince’s and tested it out. Hemp is not the most flexible material, but given this pant's roomy fit our testers were able to move in these easily.
The drawstring-closure-meets-dress-pants profile also renders them hella versatile, and we were able to style them with anything from dress shirts to zip-up hoodies.
Unleash your active, outdoorsmen spirit with these performance-driven moisture-wicking stretch pants. With a lightweight and versatile design, they provide unparalleled comfort in any setting—whether you're on the move or enjoying leisure time outdoors, the four-way stretch and adjustable drawstring waist will always ensure an easy fit, no matter your adventure. The addition of a durable water-repellent finish also ensures a quick dry, keeping you fresh and ready for anything. We also love how we were able to effortlessly transition from casual to refined with this pant's classic look and slightly tailored silhouette.
Fabric: You want to prioritize breathable material for warm weather, and cozy material for colder days. Fabrics like cotton, nylon, seersucker, and linen are great for keeping cool during summer temperatures, while corduroy and fleece are great for keeping warm. In addition, many pants are constructed of a blend of materials nowadays, so you often get the best of both worlds. Consider the season and weather conditions to choose a suitable fabric weight too.
Drawstring: Some elastic waist pants come with an adjustable drawstring (internal or external), while others have a fixed elastic waistband sans drawstring. A drawstring allows you to customize the fit to your liking, offering extra flexibility and comfort. If you prefer a more secure fit or want to adjust the waist size easily, look for elastic waist pants with a drawstring.
Elastic Waistband: Elastic waist pants are the way they are because they've got an elastic waistband that determines the fit and comfort of the trousers. So ensure the waistband is well-made, strong, and can retain its elasticity even after frequent use and washing. (Test it by gently stretching the waistband to see how it bounces back.)
Style and Occasion: Elastic waist pants come in all kinds of styles, from joggers to cargo pants to dress pants to even jeans and chinos. So consider the intended use of these pants: Are you looking for casual loungewear? Then elastic waist joggers and sweats will do. For office-friendly attire, elastic waist chinos, and dress trousers are easy to come by. For outdoor or athletic activities, pretty much all hiking and workout pants come in the elastic waist style.
Maverick Li is the Style & Commerce Editor of Men’s Health, where he covers clothing, footwear, watches, and grooming. He was previously the Assistant Commerce Editor at Esquire.
As Men's Health's Deputy Editor, Commerce, Christian Gollayan oversees all shopping content on menshealth.com. He relocated back to New York by way of Portland, where he was the Associate Managing Editor at TheManual.com. Christian's work has also been featured in InStyle, Food & Wine, the New York Post, and Tatler Asia.
Ted Stafford is the Fashion Director of Men’s Health. He oversees all style and fashion content for the brand, and also styles their fashion stories. His active lifestyle informs his passion for translating great designs into real-life style, a favorite part of his job. Prior to joining Men’s Health he worked at GQ magazine and Calvin Klein
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