XL-XXL Men's summer weight stretchy pants that don't feel too synthetic?
June 16, 2022 9:51 AM   Subscribe

I need a couple of pairs of pants that I can wear in the boiling upper midwest without dying. They need to come in XL-XXL/38-40W sizes. I'd like wovens, not knits and they need to stretch so that I can bike short distances in them.

I have a pair of Banana Republic Core Temp shorts that I got on ebay and they are a stretchy, thin fabric that feels a bit like a cotton sateen....but the Core Temp pants don't come in ideal colors and cost one hundred American dollars. If I have to, I'll buy a pair in black, but I wouldn't use the other colors.

Anyway - so I'd like stretchy, thin fabric in black, grey, brown or dark green - not fun light colors because I know already that I will be sweaty and don't want to have obvious sweat blotches on a light color.

I have relatives visiting before whom I must wear pants, I know we'll be outside in August and it will inevitably be in the nineties and I am going to melt.

DO NOT WANT: Non-stretch pants. I know you like linen, I know you like seersucker, but I am going to be bending, stretching and biking short distances in these and as a fat guy I cannot bear doing all that stuff in non-stretch pants. Do not tell me to wear bike shorts or other shorts; I need to be able to move around in these pants, not change into something else.
posted by Frowner to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I just got a pair of these from Carhartt. Stretch, durable, have phone pocket (helps when riding bike), comes in waist sizes up to 44 I think,
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:08 AM on June 16

Possibly something from the Grit Flex Twill line at Duluth Trading?
posted by humbug at 10:14 AM on June 16

Old Navy might have some good options given your criteria: stretch cotton twill joggers if you want an elastic waist, or stretch chinos if you want something more formal.
posted by theotherdurassister at 10:16 AM on June 16

Response by poster: Just to clarify - while stretch is important, summer-weight is also pretty critical. I have standard weight stretchy pants and jeans now, but I need something that either the maker or you personally recommend for very hot weather.
posted by Frowner at 10:19 AM on June 16

Old Navy has a variety of pants with "built-in flex". E.g. I have a 38 waist and wear almost exclusively Old Navy pants. They usually come in some darker colors (always black, often charcoal gray and navy as well), a variety of fits, and they're not particularly heavy. Most Old Navy pants are pretty cheap (the linked ones are the most expensive I've ever seen), and as a bonus, they go on sale often. And even if they don't go on sale, when you buy anything from Old Navy, you'll get Super Cash, which you can then apply to later purchases. Like I said, all my pants are from Old Navy, and I rarely spend more than $20 on a pair. I've worn the loose-fit built-in flex in khaki before, and was comfortable in humid summers. It's one of the lighter-weight pants I've encountered. Not so light that it feels weird or cheap, but definitely noticeably lighter in comparison to other pants.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:22 AM on June 16

Outdoor Research Ferrosi.

I'm a climber and these are what I wear on sunny days in the summer when I know I'll be in the sun (think 120-140 degrees inside a brick oven). They're the lightwest weight pants you'll find, yet are as stretchy as sweatpants, reasonably durable, and can pass as office appropriate (depending on your office). Still not cheap but they're often available on sale (e.g. here).
posted by woof at 10:26 AM on June 16

My brother-in-law works outdoors in Houston and lately he's been swearing by clothes made for fishing. I don't know specifically what brands he is wearing but here are a couple I found in a Google search:

Mojo Sportswear

Along the same lines, a search for hiking pants might yield some results.
posted by misskaz at 10:36 AM on June 16

The linen-blend pants from Uniqlo in a 3XL would probably work. I have some from a few years ago that are lovely and light.

These pants in XL from Pact should be light and airy. I have the women's version and they're so light I can only wear them in warm weather. (I wear both men and women's clothing).
posted by purple_bird at 10:56 AM on June 16

Nylon and spandex blended 'tech' or travel pants are all I wear now, are widely available from many of your favorite brands. They dry quickly, are very light, come in a variety of styles, colors, shapes, including cargo, and are surprising rugged. I still have my first pair, camp burn holes, paint splotches and all.

Nylon gets a bit softer when it's wet- which makes wearing them in hot steamy days better than any alternative I have found. They generally come in two basic formulations: breathable or waterproof. I have both types, and in general the breathable ones are stretchier although if they have cotton blended in those are stiffer.

I have these from Eddie Bauer but will get the more breathable cotton blend next time. I have worn out the stitching on these, but that is only an indictment of how hard I wear them. My current fav is this breathable 'commuter' pants and for waterproof, both available at Costco. Both are 95% nylon 5% spandex.
posted by zenon at 11:18 AM on June 16

Lululemon has several pairs of men’s pants that are woven, have stretch, are lightweight, come in a bunch of dark neutral colors, and go up to a 40 waist in several insteams lengths - for example one, two - and I think there are more options that would work for you as well.

However, they’re even more expensive than the Banana Republic pants you like - mostly around $130. There’s a huge lululemon resale market though - Lululemon themselves have a site with pants around $70, and I’m sure they’re available via eBay and other resale sites as well.
posted by maleficent at 11:38 AM on June 16

L.L. Bean has some Men's Activewear Pants that might work; the Explorer Ripstop Pant looks especially promising (they're described as: Moisture-wicking, abrasion-resistant blend of 73% cotton, 23% polyester, 4% spandex).
posted by jabes at 12:38 PM on June 16

Wrangler Authentic Men's Classic Cargo Stretch Short. 2% spandex to give it stretch, cotton so available in darker colors. No idea how thick though.
posted by kschang at 1:37 PM on June 16

Men's All in Motion Golf Pants from Target are made in waist sizes up to and including a 42 and get kudos from reviewers for their breathability and office-ready look. (Summer bonus: The fabric is SPF 50.)

They're touted by bloggers Bryn and Alex of Hype the Swipe as a credible alternative to the much more expensive Lululemon ABC Pants for men.
posted by virago at 1:46 PM on June 16

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