After my last trip, I realized that I needed to seriously study the art of packing light and finding travel pants that are both functional for outdoor activities and stylish enough to wear in restaurants, museums, and on city streets. I went to California for four days of hiking and other sweaty workouts, nice restaurants, theatre events, and fancy wine-tastings. It was like I was packing for two different trips and, indeed, I ended up bringing two suitcases. As a seasoned traveler, I was ashamed of myself.
I’m the kind of person who likes to be out in the woods all day long, but then I want a good hot shower, dinner in a nice restaurant, and a comfy bed. Camping, tents, and hostels are not for me. The Joyful Heart Yoga trips that I organize reflect this. We practice yoga, hike, snorkel, zip-line, ride horses, etc., and we also go to wine tastings and cultural events, and we stay in nice hotels. I have travel pants from the usual outdoor outfitters, but I’ve never been really happy with them. They aren’t very attractive and never seem to fit me well. And with a look that says “I’m camping,” they certainly aren’t the best choice for restaurants, upscale hotels, or big cities.
My search for decent travel pants led me to Anatomie Style — a company that makes sharp-looking women’s clothes for travel. I ordered several styles of pants made from lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, quick-dry fabric. The website is very helpful with pairing clothes to your body type, and they have size charts for each type of pant. I’m 5’6” and 126 pounds, and even though I fell into the small category, I sized up to medium as they appeared to have a snug fit, and I have a curvy body.
The first pair I tried was the Paola pant. They are boot-cut pants, which hug the hips and thighs, then open to a slight flair. Imagine dressed-up yoga pants with a zipper and 3-snap closure. When I put them on I was amazed at how flattering they were. Then I was more amazed at how comfortable they were, and I was absolutely astounded to find that I could actually do yoga in them! They look tight, but they are super-light and super-stretchy. I wore these with heels for a ballroom dancing event, and although we got a little sweaty after a few numbers, the fabric did its job of wicking away the moisture fast. I washed them out in the sink, and they were dry the next morning, so I wore them to my yoga classes. They are a bit long, so if you’re taller or like to wear very high heels, you’ll have plenty of room. I’ll probably shorten them by 3/4″.
The Kate pant is a bit more sporty with cute pockets on the thigh and a leg that tapers down to the ankle. They fit me like skinny jeans, only they are much more comfortable, and they work with either heels or flats. This pant is more roomy than the Paola, but not baggy at all. The pockets are flat, and the pants look fantastic. I’ve found myself wearing these almost every day instead of jeans. In fact, I’m wearing them right now and don’t want to take them off! These are a great choice for my trips because I can do yoga in them and go right to hiking, but they are sharp enough to wear into a restaurant afterward. I’m going to want a second pair in another color.
The Madonna pant has wider legs, and a wide flare at the bottom with some very cool zippers and flat pockets on the lower leg. I found this to be very flattering and comfortable too. The fabric is a bit lighter weight than the other pants, and I’m concerned that the khaki color might be a tad too sheer in the back, so I would get this in one of the darker colors. These are long and I would need to hem about 3/4 – 1 inch.
I also tried the Skyler Skinny pants, a favorite of many travelers. These were too snug on me, and I would have to size up, but they are very cute and perfect for straighter body types. If you have curves and want a skinny jean look, go with the Kate.
For light packing, these pants can’t be beat. I rolled up the Paolas and put them on my food scale — they weighed 5.5 ounces. To compare, my yoga pants weighed 12.6 oz. and my hiking pants weighed 9.75. Both had much more bulk than the Anatomie pants. As I thought of the possibilities for taking these pants on my yoga trips and wearing them for yoga, hiking, and dinner I started to get very excited.
Now these pants are not cheap. They are $189+. That’s a lot, but they are well made and I expect to get a whole lot of use out of them — and if I save a lot of space and weight in my suitcase, it’s worth it. They might be made with travel in mind, but you can wear them anywhere. Anatomie Style has free shipping and free returns, so there’s no risk if you want to try something, and I’ve found that their customer service is excellent. I’ve been focused on pants, but they have cool jackets, dresses, and tops too. By the way, my husband might like these pants even more than I do. All the designs have a European flair, and he thinks I look “hot” in them. Here’s a link so you can check them out: