Friday, January 6, 2017

I was not compensated in any way by Betabrand or any of the 
other brands mentioned in this post.

Pants are one of those things that I absolutely hate purchasing, along with shoes (flat feet), bras, oil changes, and cat litter. More often then not, they tend to disappoint. When I do find a trusty pair of work pants, the style is guaranteed promptly disappears from the retailer's website and I will inexplicably gain or lose 5 pounds. (Remind me to write about the joy that is Crohn's disease in a future post.)

Enter the clothing retailer and crowdfunding company Betabrand's dress pant yoga pants. So what are these pants exactly? Betabrand claims that they "combine sophisticated styling with a soft, stretch performance knit. We think they'll be the most comfortable pants you ever wear to work."

Basically, they're yoga pants that you can probably wear to the office without getting fired.

Betabrand stalked me for a solid year before I caved and purchased my first pair of dress pant yoga pants earlier this year. I must've been hit with their Facebook ads fifty times over the past year, but while the concept appealed to me, the $78 price tag seemed a bit much. 

The pants are currently offered in four styles (boot-cut, straight-leg, leggings, and cropped-leg) and a variety of office-friendly colors. To add to the illusion of professionalism, they feature belt loops, a non-functional button and pockets, and a faux zipper. Because nothing screams "I'm an important business lady" like a zipper.

Too good to be true? I thought so, which is why I waited until I started working in an extremely casual office to put these pants to the test. Here's how it went.

Betabrand Dress Pant Yoga Pants - The Yeh

  • Comfort - 4.5 out of 5

Oh man. So comfortable. Having the ability to work a full work day without feeling pinched or squeezed is simply luxurious. There's not much to say except that they feel like you'd expect. You're essentially wearing stretchy yoga pants to work - it's as simple as that. 

If I were to recommend this to any group of people out there, it would be Crohn's sufferers. Not having to battle the ebb and flow of belly bloat is delightful. And, indeed, you'll find a whole underground community of IBD sufferers out there who sing the praises of these pants. There is nothing worse than having to wear a pair of restrictive pants during a flare up, especially when that pair of restrictive pants is two sizes two big everywhere but the waistline because of said flare up.

I knocked off half a point for mental comfort, which I'll address in the following section. 

Betabrand Dress Pant Yoga Pants - The Meh

  • Appearance - 3.5 out of 5
The comfort comes at a bit of a cost. With increased stretch and give comes a little bit of lumpiness. There's a reason the models on the site are largely over 5'9 and less than 130 lbs. 

At 5'6" and 133 lbs., you would think that I'm close enough to the template to make it work. Only kind of. While the medium, straight leg dress pant yoga pants are certainly forgiving when it comes to fit, they have a tendency to cling to all of my curves, including my subtle saddlebags. Granted, I've had this issue with plenty of other pants, most notably the J. Crew Minnie in stretch twill. The Betabrand version traverses the curves better than its J. Crew counterpart, but I still don't don't dare wear them in public with my shirt tucked in. The models make it so effortless and chic. Me...well, see for yourself. To be honest, I feel more polished and professional in a nice pair of skinny jeans.

Still, they do pass as dress pants in the workplace. I've paired them with blouses and blazers without any of my colleagues screaming, "THOSE ARE YOGA PANTS!" in the middle of staff meetings. I've even taken in a lunchtime yoga class in them. I'm just feel a little more self-conscious in them than I feel in a pair of lined trousers. 

  • Length - 3 out of 5

A work colleague of mine once empathized with my short-legged woes by saying that we both "had the body types of corgis." I'm 5'6", with the torso of a supermodel and the leg length of an Olympic gymnast. I had to Google this latter analogy to see if it's actually a thing. According to Teen Vogue, it is, with the average Olympic gymnast measuring in at only 4 feet, 8 inches tall. 

I digress. With a 29" inseam, I should've opted for the Petite option. But I always like to give my legs the benefit of the doubt. I figured that  I might have had a growth spurt in my 31st year of life and I was a gazelle and I just hadn't realized it yet.  

Of course, that wasn't the case. The minute after tried on the Regular (with an inseam of 32"), I tossed it back in the packaging and sent for the Petite instead. The Petite are a much better fit, though it's clear that these pants are truly designed to be worn with heels rather than flats. This kind of works against the whole notion of having dual-action (board room to yoga studio) pants. No one wants to be stepping on their hems while they're in down dog. 

Betabrand Dress Pant Yoga Pants - The Blegh

  • Care - 2 out of 5

While not the most delicate of trousers, the Dress Pant Yoga Pants do have specific care instructions. The Betabrand website suggests "Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry or line dry." That's great and all, but my husband isn't going to remember to seek out what looks like athletic pants from the wash and gently lay them out flat. Thus, I fear that my pricey pants might have an unfortunately short lifespan. 

I've noticed that all three pairs get a bit wrinkly. I'm a firm believer in not washing pants after every wear, but the dress pant yoga pants tend to look noticeably rumpled after a single use. I'd take a light ironing to them, but they also seem to be a bit prone to marking and smudging at the slightest brush, so I'm afraid of inadvertently scalding them. 

Just as an FYI - comments on the Betabrand site indicate that the pants shrink significantly after washing.

  • Price - 2 out of 5

With a price tag of $78, Betabrand Dress Pant Yoga Pants are comparable to a nice pair of trousers from Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, or J. Crew. However, despite its overnight success, Betabrand appears to be a fledgling company, so you're less likely to find a great sale.  I bought one pair 20% off ($74, including shipping and handling), another pair on eBay ($45 with free shipping), and my third pair with a pre-order discount ($68, including shipping and handling). 

To me, they're worth about $50 a pair, so the price is just out of my comfort zone. I'd give it a 3 out of 5, but I knocked another point off for their in-your-face financing options on their product pages. Guys, if you have to pay for your fancy dress pant yoga pants in monthly installments, don't buy them. Just don't. Put down your credit card and step away from the computer. Set up an eBay saved search and wait. Don't put yourself in debt for yoga pants.  And Betabrand, shame on you for telling people they ought to put themselves in debt for yoga pants. Come on.


Come to think of it, not only do I not like shopping for pants, I don't like wearing them all that much either. So consider that before putting too much stock in this review.  
I'd recommend Betabrand dress pant yoga pants if you...

A. Are fortunate enough to have a work situation that allows you prioritize comfort over appearance;
B. Aren't self-conscious about your curves;
C. Have an average to long inseam;
D. Are of means or can wait for a decent sale.

Still intrigued? Try them out. Betabrand's return policy offers 110% store credit or a refund to the purchasing payment method in addition to free, pre-paid return labels for domestic orders. Not bad. 

(But seriously, don't opt for the payment plan.)
Monday, January 2, 2017

Hermes Bip Catbert (2005 - 2017)

Brown tabby and radio personality Hermes B. Catbert, whose fierce purrs won the hearts of countless buddies across Oregon and California, passed away peacefully today at the age of 11. 

Born in Coos Bay, Oregon in summer 2005, Hermes spent his youth surrounded by community college theater students in a squalid apartment in a charming neighborhood known as "Methpire." He repaid his beloved humans for his adoption with snuggles and the worst case of ringworm Coos County health professionals had ever seen. 

In 2006, Hermes met his would-be talk show co-host and life partner Millicent Moo Lightfoot Catbert. The two shared a tempestuous relationship, earning them the moniker "the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor of the feline world." Despite their troubled romance, the two developed and hosted the recommended and hella splendid Hermes and Moo Radio Show between 2007 and 2015. When Hermes was fired by the station for his controversial remarks about the value of dogs as pets, Moo resigned in solidarity and protest. Together, they returned to school, where they both earned degrees in nursing and nannying. 
Hermes loved sunny windowsills, unwatched plates full of people food, picking at bedsheets with a single claw at 4:30 am, tiny hats, and snuggling with his main buddy, Jason, at the end of a long day. If you were stressed or ill, he would never hesitate to lend a tender, comforting paw.

Mr. Catbert is survived by his life partner Moo, his humans Jason and Elizabeth, his charge Teddy, and a nameless sister who probably lives on the streets of Coos Bay. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Friends of of Coos County Animals and the Coos County Animal Shelter.





Read these, too.

Powered by Blogger.