I need to introduce you guys to a menswear term we invented at SG HQ: Fourth Pant. You know them; you just didn’t have a word for them yet. Now you do. The Fourth Pant is comfortable and casual, but not sloppy. You could wear yours to your workout or while traveling, or out running errands, but (probably) not to the office. They aren’t your three essentials—jeans, chinos or dress pants—they’re your Fourth Pant. Think: Starbucks and their Third Place...but for pants. We love a good Fourth Pant, and I think you will too.
Athleisure is the easiest bucket to drop Fourth Pants into—they’re free time attire. Are your off-duty hours often spent traipsing around town doing that “grab a coffee and run a gazillion errands” thing before going to the gym? Then your Fourth Pant might be a jogger or a track pant. If you’re constantly hopping on planes and trains, or you ride your bike to work, your ideal Fourth Pant will probably have some performance elements and look a little more like a chino than a pair of sweats.
From activewear brands to niche menswear companies, the Fourth Pant offerings are plentiful right now. Plus, my favorite ones all fall into the same pricing sweet spot of about $100. Now, without further delay, allow me to galaxy brain your wardrobe with the addition of Fourth Pants.
Lululemon ABC Jogger, $128
Let’s get this out of the way right now: Lululemon’s ABC joggers stand for “anti-ball crushing,” which to us always felt like a bro-y way of getting guys into Lululemon. “We’re not soft..we don’t just do yoga and stuff; we talk about balls!” They are very nice pants, though, so what are you gonna do?
But yeah, these slightly technical-looking joggers are designed specifically to give your boys some breathing room, which is great. We love the other smart features, too, like a hidden phone sleeve and a little zip pocket on the butt. They make it easy you store everything you need right where you need it... Including your balls!
Oh, did you not know that pants with an elastic waistband can actually look super sophisticated? These River Stone pants have all the comfort and flexibility of a slim-cut jogger, but without the cuffed hem, so they look less sporty and just slightly more “dressed up.” Pair them with white leather sneakers and a cashmere crewneck sweater for a look that says “I’m sitting in first class” even if you’re really booked into basic economy.
If you’re looking for a true hybrid pant to fill the Fourth Pant-sized hole in your wardrobe, the Radius from Mac Weldon is the move. While these pants do have elastic side panels in the waist (comfy!), they also have a zip fly and belt loops (professional!), so you’ll feel ready for anything your new Fourth Pants life might have in store. Plus, they’re made from a fancy moisture-wicking tech fabric that’s 10% spandex as well as wind and water resistant—so you could commute to work on a bicycle in them very comfortably and arrive looking sharp.
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Behold, another extremely good-looking, and slightly sportier, option. These Hill City pants could go on a romantic hiking date in the Hudson Valley (complete with picnic lunch) just as easily as they could stumble out of your East Village apartment into the blinding light of noon on a Sunday for a bagel and coffee. They’re made from a nylon, with four-way stretch and a touch of spandex too, so you’ll be feeling flexible and looking good no matter what you’re getting into this weekend.
Vince Heat Seal Track Pants, $117 (originally $195)
I couldn’t resist including these track pants from Vince that are currently on sale because they’re still available in almost every size. Even if you’re not ready to go “full Armie Hammer” while traveling, a pair of low-key black track pants worn with a sweater, a bomber jacket and some cool kicks is such a chill in-flight ‘fit. Or just wear them around the house. Fourth Pants are great for house-arounding.
Finally, the most relaxed and casual Fourth Pant option: the fleece jogger. Are these basically glorified sweatpants? Maybe. But in a slim cut, and with details like a stitched fly and zippered pockets, I’m officially upgrading these cozy Bonobos joggers to full “not just four house-arounding” Fourth Pant status. Throw on a t-shirt, a chunky grandpa cardigan and one of our favorite white sneakers and you’ll be looking more-than-suitable to be seen in public.