Lululemon has had their ABC line of mens’ pants around for a while, and they are widely talked about on the travel/one bag Reddit community. A long ways back I tried on some in a store and was not super impressed, but decided to finally give them a try with their new “Warpstreme” fabric.
Specifically, I tried the ABC Pant Classic Warpstreme.
These pants are made with Lululemon’s four-way stretch Warpstreme fabric, which is 100% polyester. It is heavier than I’d have expected and is smooth and has minimal texture.
While walking, these pants do make noise, and especially in bright light, they have a sheen that gives them away as technical — no mistaking these for your standard chinos.
Quite a few claims are made about these pants, so I’ll go through each:
- Shape retention: seems to be there, haven’t had any bagging out between washes, remains to be seen how this holds up long term. I’m guessing some of this comes because there is no elastane to stretch/wear out.
- Quick-drying: these dry about as expected for heavier polyester pants. Nothing magic, but will dry overnight.
- Four-way stretch: yep, these are stretchy. Not the stretchiest I’ve tried, but very comfortable.
- Breathable: in the summer heat and humidity, I didn’t find these very comfortable, so I’d challenge this feature.
- Wrinkle resistant: yep, no wrinkles, ready to wear right from the washer.
- Feels smooth & falls softly away from the body: not sure this is a positive, but true.
The performance features are rounded out by a crotch gusset, a nicely done hidden zipper in the right back pocket, and reflective tape inside the outside seams that is visible when the pant leg is rolled up, for bicycle commuters.
Fit & Style
These pants come in both a “Classic” and “Slim” cut. I have the Classic variation, and I’d say it fits straight with room in the seat and thighs, all while not being baggy. The fit works well for me and the style is classic five-pocket.
With no-to-minimal break, you wouldn’t ID these as technical fabric, but the drape seems like it could be off if you prefer more break. The sheen and noise, however, do give these away. While the sheen isn’t noticeable in normal indoor light, it really shows in the sun or harsh lighting.
The final straw to keep these pants from blending in is the seam across the back of the knee, these typically are added to very technical pants to keep the pants from binding when you bend your knee. It is disappointing that Lululemon decided to add these here, as with four-way stretch, they shouldn’t be needed.
I purchased the “Obsidian” color, which I expected to be grey (as it looks in the Lululemon website photos), but it turned out to be a blue-grey, leaning towards the blue side.
These pants retail for $128, and I don’t think they are worth that price. There are numerous other pants we’ve reviewed that fit in this category (high stretch but good looks) that are better (Olivers Passage Pant, Western Rise Diversion Pant, Aether Kelso Pant).
If you live somewhere where it’s hard (or expensive) to get our other picks, these aren’t bad, but wait for a good sale.