3 Essential Pants for Any Weather

Nathaniel Olsen, Columnist

Seasonal Pants

I’m sorry to announce that summer has officially ended…


School is finally here at Oregon State University, and to all of our dismay, there’s only one month left of shorts weather. This means that this little Sisterhood is going to need some pants! To help you all along your travels towards finding the perfect pair of trousers, here are three options that will not only last you through the fall but well into the upcoming winter, spring and summer. 


Before we begin, I think it’s important to consider the importance of sustainability in acquiring cross-seasonal garments. Sustainability is a buzzword that gets thrown around flippantly, especially in fashion. In simplest terms, the only way to have a more sustainable fashion industry is to buy better quality clothing less frequently. BUY BETTER, BUY LESS.


When talking about sustainable fashion, it is on us as consumers to drive the market where we want it to go. Thrifting and second-hand archive fashion are great alternatives to participating in the broader context of the fashion industry. However, thrifting does little to stop or mitigate many issues that consume the fashion industry. By the time you find the holy grail archive fashion piece of your dreams, thousands of the same item have been thrown into the trash. 


It is also important to mention that the items on this list are meant first as a reference guide to the possibilities that fashion has to offer when one invests in their wardrobe. This is not the end all be all of pants. Instead, these pieces are an excellent start to an elevated wardrobe. 


We all have to wear clothes, so how we consume clothing is something everyone should mindfully think about. If you are not buying clothing second-hand, it is even more important to consider the supply chain and how your clothing gets into your wardrobe. If a pair of new trousers cost less than fifty dollars, it is highly unlikely that the person who made the garment works in a fair or humane environment. The garment itself is also likely made out of unsustainable materials.


Besides the moral ambiguity of participating in fast fashion, the garment’s quality comes into heavy questioning when bought at lower price points. When looking for good quality garments, take the material type into account. For example, denim should be made out of cotton, not polyester, and while elastic fibers are necessary for skinnier cuts of jeans, they are not too sustainable for the planet. Worsted or combed textiles are generally higher in quality, which will be represented in the price point. Clothing that exists outside of the fast fashion behemoth comes with a bit of necessary premium. 




Blue “skateboard” Trousers $150


This railroad stripe cotton twill trouser by Japanese Americana Streetwear brand, Billionaire Boys Club Icecream, is a fantastic introduction to workwear aesthetics that lends itself to playfully fun styling given its silhouette and detailing. Yellow visible stitching, a classic reference in the world of Japanese Americana, matches the yellow printed back graphic. Cotton twill trousers, especially those made to the quality of a Nigo-owned brand, are a must-have in any wardrobe. They seamlessly go from pants you can garden or skate in during the warmer months to pants that keep you warm and protected from the rain in the winter. They are as much about play as they are about work! The mission of BBC Ice Cream perfectly aligns with the buy better, buy less mantra as stated on their website, “We challenge our community to perceive wealth in humanity, compassion, creativity, and curiosity. Wealth is of the heart and mind“.



Issey Miyake Homme Plisse

Pleated polyester Trouser

Prices vary ($250-350)


The next pants on my list are arguably the most versatile pants ever created. I have an anecdote that perfectly sums up why everyone should have these pants in their arsenal. My best friend is not a fashion-forward person. He hates spending money on clothes, and he hates hype. One day he asked for a pair of pants for a walk home when it had gotten too cold outside for the shorts he was wearing at the time. 


I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to show him what he was missing, so I let him borrow my Issey Miyake trousers. Lo and behold, he owns the pair of pants today and swears by them. This sweatpants connoisseur touts his Issey Miyake trousers as the most comfortable pair of pants he owns. 


Here is the kicker, they are more dress pants than anything else. That’s right, no more chinos that strangle your thighs and calves or baggy and saggy dress trousers that your mom bought “to fit you when you are older.” These are the best pair of sweatpants you will ever own disguised as high-waisted, straight leg and ankle-cut dress pants. 


The designer of these god-tier pants, Issey Miyake, passed away this past year, leaving a legacy of textile innovation that is captivating and free. His line Pleats Please was “Created for the lifestyle of modern men with the intent to liberate the way they dress. The brand was established in 2013 as a result of Issey Miyake and his team’s research on pleating since 1988″. This one-of-a-kind textile has many applications that flatter all body types and wardrobe languages. The unique texture is created by a pleated or folded effect held in place by heat setting the recycled polyester fabric. 


The price point might make you uncomfortable, and that is OK. The level of craftsmanship and technological innovation that brings you pants of this caliber of cut and quality at this price point is simply unmatched. An important note to add about acquiring them at a more formidable price is that most of your local small fashion boutiques will have them in stock. Frances May, in Portland, Oregon, consistently sells them at a lower price point than ssense or other online high fashion retailers.



Beige Le Papier ‘Le Pantalon Meli’ Trousers



$635….? For a pair of pants? Yes, but bear with me. These trousers are flippin’ expensive. The price point is unreasonable for even most business professionals, but they represent what’s behind the curtain of fashion. There is much to explore in this simple pair of beige trousers that tell a story of love against all odds sewn into the fabric of Simon Porte Jacquemus’s eponymous house Jacquemus. 


Jacquemus has a grasp of the fashion zeitgeist in the current moment for the most part due to its free, expressive, utterly chic designs and its charismatic designer. 


These trousers are from his latest collection for Fall-Winter 2022, titled “Le Papier,” as the collection is meant to represent a blank sheet of paper. Many important moments have happened to Simon and his fashion house this year leading up to the most page-turning moment, his marriage to Marco Maestri in the south of France in August. 


These trousers resemble parchment with their beige linen makeup (made from flax fiber) for the wearer to write their own story while being worn. Linen is an excellent material when it gets warm, and you still need to dress nicely. Mostly made in pastel tones or earth tones, linen trousers make for an excellent wardrobe essential. However, be especially careful that you take care of linen clothing, as it loves to wrinkle and lose its unique drape. Linen trousers can be found at nearly any price point, but be sure to consider that when buying faster fashion, even H&M or UNIQLO means that you are participating in the fast fashion industry. There are plenty of great brands, even locally, that apply both craftsmanship and class to their designs. Retailers like END Clothing, SSENSE, Bodega, or even Grailed can provide more suitable options when adding any piece to your wardrobe.


No matter our different styles or tastes, we all need pants that are made well and fit well. This only happens when we invest in ourselves, spending a bit of time and attention on finding brands, styles, and fits that make us feel most like ourselves. My hope is that these three options can be used as a launch pad into a wardrobe that is more representative of everything that makes you who you are. Fashion is all about exploration; it should be playful and, at times, awkward. But if you follow the mantra of Buy Better, Buy Less you are guaranteed to find pieces that accomplish your goals and show the world more of who you are. Whether it’s cotton, polyester, or linen, invest in clothing that puts you first, and do not settle for anything less.

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