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Occupying the surprisingly vast space between jeans and proper chinos is an extremely versatile and extremely underrated garment generally known as 5-pocket pants. The name references the orientation of the pockets, which mimics that of denim: two on the front, two on the back, plus the coin pocket or watch (or guitar pick) pocket, as it’s sometimes known. Chinos, on the other end of the spectrum, feature four pockets: two on the side seam and two in the back, for a slightly more formal presentation. The 5-pocket pant combines the more casual look of jeans with the fabric of chinos, which offers a few key benefits: a more dressed-up appearance, for one, but also added flexibility and breathability.
They’ve always struck me as cool in a way that would befit a creative writing professor or a woodworker with equal aplomb. Paired with an OCBD, a casual blazer and pair of chukkas, and you’re set for most business casual settings, date nights, nice dinners, etc. But combine them with a henley, your favorite chore coat and some boots, and you’re all set for a day spent working outside or cruising pumpkin patches or whatever.
What the Hell Are Performance Pants?Breaking down the most buzzwordy bottoms
Huckberry’s ever-reliable in-house brand Flint & Tinder makes a version that’s as good as any I’ve ever tried. The 365 Pant is a perennial best-seller, available in multiple seasonally appropriate materials, a dozen colors and, most importantly, four different fits — Slim, Straight, Athletic Tapered and Relaxed — all constructed with a fabric that contains 98% cotton and 2% spandex for added mobility. Performance pants for dudes who would never dream of buying something called performance pants, basically. They recently sent me a pair to try in each of the four fits. Here are my thoughts.
Huckberry doesn’t provide an exact weight for the pants, but I’d say they’re on the lighter side, though still perfectly acceptable for cooler temperatures. The 2% spandex is noticeable (more so in the slimmer fits, naturally), but never to the point that it gives the pants that weird techy feel that has befallen menswear in recent years. They do wrinkle considerably, which is in no way a negative. Cotton is supposed to get wrinkled — if it bothers you, iron them like a grown-up; if it doesn’t, more power to you.
Nothing out of the ordinary here. The four pairs I received were all remarkably consistent in terms of the waist size — it’s not like the Slim fit is tighter in the waist than the Relaxed fit, which is a nice feature that lots of other brands get wrong. Whichever cut you decide to go for, you can confidently order your standard size.
I’ve washed each of the four pairs at least once by this point, and I’ve encountered zero shrinkage or any noticeable wear. I also have a pair from a few years back that I’ve kept in my rotation consistently, all year round, and they’re essentially like new. No fraying, no fading, no issues whatsoever.
Now, let’s get into the specifics of the four different cuts. I’m 6’1”, weigh 195 pounds and typically wear either 33×32 or 34×32. For the 365 Pants, I went with the 34, and as stated above, the sizing was consistent throughout the fits. I probably could have gotten away with the 33, but if you’re on the fence between sizes, I think you can confidently choose the bigger one and not regret it.
The slim fit is a bit of an outlier in the lineup in that, of the four options, this was the one that struck me as more extreme in its interpretation of the style. My preferred pants generally fall somewhere between slim and straight — I’ve worn my fair share of Levi’s 511 and J.Crew 484, both marketed as slim fits, and these are considerably slimmer than both. Things feel within normal range in the seat and thighs but were definitely more constricting than expected in the calf area. If you’re a diehard slim-fit guy, just know that these might veer a bit closer to skinny territory.
This was the goldilocks fit for me, without question. Comfortable in the seat and thigh, with a nice drape throughout the leg, cuffed over a chunky pair of boots or Vans Authentics. For more comparisons to other brands, these are perfectly aligned with Levi’s 501 and J.Crew 770.
Huckberry touts these as being for those with a fuller seat and thigh, aka, “the guy who doesn’t skip leg day,” and while I am fully aware that this is very much a concern for lots of people out there (a former colleague with famously thicc thighs was forever going on about his struggles to find pants for this very reason), reader, I regret to inform you that I have skipped my fair share of leg days. These were awkward for me — a little too big up top and a little too tight down by the calf and ankle. They weren’t such an extreme fit that I wouldn’t wear them out again, mind you, but I definitely found them bunching up around my lower legs throughout the day.
Following menswear’s slow movement toward fuller fits in recent years, this is the newest addition to the 365 lineup, and it’s very much what it purports to be, without delving into the extreme. They’re just an all-around wider version of the Straight fit, which, depending how you style them, could read slightly more fashion-forward or just more appropriate for a day spent lounging around. I expected them to look a bit too sloppy for my liking, but I was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong.
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