If you’re looking for Lululemon men’s pants, you don’t have to look very far. When the Vancouver-based brand opened the doors to its first physical space way back in ’98, it was a modest design studio that happened to host yoga classes at night. Twenty-five years later, Lululemon isn’t just an athleisure brand—it’s the athleisure brand, a multi-billion dollar global juggernaut that made a mint hawking lycra everything to a professional class perpetually en route to the gym.
Lululemon’s leggings remain a perennial best-seller, but over the years, its swishy, stretchy, sweat-wicking pants also caught on with a different demographic entirely: style-agnostic fellas just looking for comfortable trousers to wear to the office instead of jeans. You likely know the type of guy we’re talking about here—you probably work with (or work out with) at least one person who insists, with a peculiar degree of fervor, that Lululemon’s pants are so swishy, so stretchy, and so sweat-wicking no others can ever hope to compete. Which sort of begs the question: Are any of those pants actually, y’know, decent-looking?
So, in the name of journalistic service, your pals at GQ Recommends set out to find some answers in the only way we know how: by testing them ourselves. Over the course of a few weeks, our intrepid wear-tester cycled through five sleeper-hit silhouettes, each slightly different in fit, fabric, and design. And, honestly…they’re not bad! (No, really.) We probably wouldn’t suggest any of them in lieu of dress pants, but if you’re just looking for an easy-going chino alternative you can turn to when sweats won’t cut it, the Lululemon men’s pants below are far from the worst place to start.
The “Hang On, They Might Be Onto Something Here”: Lululemon New Venture Pants
What They’re Made of: Water-repellent twill. Stretch Factor: 2-way stretch (i.e. pretty damn stretchy). Sizes: XS-XXL. Where to Wear ‘Em: If you dig the look of conventional chinos but want pants that read a little less formal, these are them. Wear ’em work, to after-work drinks, or to the golf course if the dress code skews lax.
If, in a fit of monk-like asceticism, you resolved to rid your closet of all your pants but one, you might wind up with a pair that looks a lot like these. Lululemon’s New Venture pants get full marks in every category our wear-tester judged them by—fit, fabric, the ability to withstand an impromptu jog to the train. Their easy-wearing, slightly tapered fit is neither slim nor baggy, an earnest rejection of whatever trends are currently dominating your timeline. At first glance, they look like business-as-usual chinos, but their internal drawcord (don’t worry, you can stash it behind the waistband) and the water-repellent twill they’re made from will keep you fly and dry long after you’ve signed off for the day. If there’s a pair of pants that’ll make you believe in the Lululemon way of life, these are probably them.
The AI-Era Work Pants: Lululemon Utilitech Carpenter Pants
What They’re Made Of: Lululemon’s Utilitech fabric, a blend of cotton and another the material the brand calls “elastomultiester”. Stretch Factor: 4-way stretch (i.e. extremely damn stretchy). Waist: 26-46″. Where to Wear ‘Em: If you’re more likely to rock your double-knees sipping a latte than siding a house, these guys can replace your canvas go-tos with comfort to spare.
We might be living in the era of the double-knee warrior, but the uncomfortable truth about those rough-and-tumble carpenter pants is exactly that: they’re not all that comfortable. Enter Lululemon’s riff on the style, cut from a lightweight, four-way stretch fabric designed for maximum mobility. They fit relaxed in the seat and thigh, then taper gently towards the ankle for a clean finish, all the better to spotlight the sneakers you’ll wear ‘em with. Naturally, they come equipped with the requisite reinforced knees and even the signature side pocket, but in this case, the pocket in question is lined with a springy recycled polyester, transforming it into a nifty secret compartment for the only tool you really use—your phone.
The Impossibly Comfortable Khaki Replacements: Lululemon Utilitech Relaxed-Fit Pull-On Pants
What They’re Made Of: Utilitech. Stretch Factor: 4-way stretch (i.e. extremely damn stretchy). Sizes: XS-XXL. Where to Where ‘Em: Comfortable enough to work as sweats alternatives on the weekend, but a heckuva lot more put together than your trusty heather grays. Toss on a cardigan and nubby suede mules and you’re ready for brunch.