A pair of black pants is meant to be a staple in every woman’s professional wardrobe, yet it’s one of the most difficult things to shop for. For years, I searched high and low for the perfect pair, but would come up empty-handed. Too long. Too short. Too casual. Too Working Girl. The only suitable pair I found in my years-long search was a now-discontinued cropped style from Diane von Furstenberg, which I happily wore until they unraveled at the seams.
But my shopping luck changed when I came across a pair from Free x Rein, a new equestrian clothing brand. First off, I’m no equestrian. I can count the number of times I’ve been horseback riding on one hand — if you consider pony rides at carnivals horseback riding, that is. “We wanted to bring the design and feel of traditional breech-style pants into modern streetwear,” the site reads.
Since the Signature Ponte Riding Pants are actually riding pants, they’re going to be tight. But trust me, the wiggling and squatting it takes to get into these pants are worth it. The soft blend of viscose, ponte, and elastic and a four-way stretch give them the comfort of leggings, but the look of traditional trousers.
Over the last few months, they’ve become my go-to pair for just about everything. The versatile silhouette looks great with blouses, sweaters, and dressier shirts, while the cropped ankle pairs well with heels, sandals, boots, and flats. They also happen to be incredibly flattering. Whenever I pull these pants on, my legs magically look more sculpted. And the suede patches along the inner thighs and two exterior zippers offer a fashion-forward flair, making me feel like a slightly cooler, more 2018-era Tess McGill.
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