One of the biggest trends you will find in men’s fashion right now is skinny sweatpants. Regardless of where you look, fitted sweats are everywhere. They have moved from something you put on when you are sick and hiding in the house, to something you proudly pair with a cashmere top to grab lunch in the city.
To me, if I had to pick a brand that really started this movement, it would one the four winners of GQ’s 2014 Best New Menswear Designers in America – John Elliott + Co. What really sets this brand apart is the extreme minimalist pieces rooted in the most essentials fashion staples. Which brings me to the John Elliott + Co The Cast jeans.
Keeping with the simple essential vision of John Elliott, the brands has one fit, the Cast, offered in a variety of simple easy integratable washes. The most popular wash is The Cast Coast which is the “washed version” of the raw The Cast Cobalt jean. The most important thing to point out at the beginning is that there is a bit of vanity sizing going on with these jeans that really forces you to look at the sizing guide. For example, I am normally a wear a 32 waist but about ⅓ of the jeans in my closet are 31”. So when I spoke to John Elliott + Co about which size would be best for me, they recommended a 30” if I like to wear them on the skinny side. I do, however I thought they were crazy and there would be no way in hell I would squeeze myself in a 30” waist. So I decided on the 31” and left it at that. What I can tell you is that a 30” would have definitely worked for me. At first, with both the Cobalt raw jeans and the Coast, fit perfectly around the waist. But then a few short hours later, the waist actually stretched out by about an inch (more so in the raw Cobalt jeans). So going two sizes smaller may have made the first two hours tight, but afterwards it would be molded to my body perfectly. On the plus side, it was really only the waist that stretched out quickly. Every other aspect of these jeans, from the hips, thighs and butt, fit extremely comfortably and definitely worthy of the recognition from GQ.
What really helps set the John Elliott + Co The Cast jeans apart is the fabric. The actual feel of the fabric is something that I have never felt before. Somewhere in a wonderful land between denim and terrycloth that wrap your legs in the comfort of the most plush hotel robe ever. The Cast jeans are made from a 12.5 Japanese indigo selvedge denim but feel unlike anything I have in my closet. The Coast wash is the most popular wash from the brand and constantly sold out on their website, which I totally understand. The distressing and washing is spot-on and goes perfectly with the laid back luxury simple feel of the brand. My goal is to wear the hell out of the Cobalt jeans to achieve the same look and distressing that John Elliott + Co has been able to artificially produce with the Coast wash. One small downside is the size of the back pockets. Although they are big enough to hold most wallets, I would have liked them a big deeper just for added security and storage. No big deal, just a small adjustment.
Aside from the jeans, i was very fortunate to get the John Elliott + Co Flash Dual Fullzip Sweatshirt and the Curve U-Neck tee. Both pieces continue to showcase why this is absolutely a brand to watch and admire. The Flash Dual Fullzip Hoodie is a slim fit high neck hoodie made from custom milled 16 ounce terry. I got this in a medium and this is slim enough that I can finally wear it under a blazer without adding any extra bulk. This is a look I have been trying to pull off for a few years now but have never found the right hoodie…..until now of course. Simple enough to pull off on its own or high-end enough to wear to work as one layer to your suit.
As everything else, these pieces are made to layer and the John Elliott + Co Curve U-Neck tee is the perfect first layer. Slightly longer than a traditional tee, it captures another of the latest trends, in long underlayers and short top layers. Thin, slim fitting and hits the arms at just the right place, the Curve U-Neck tee is perfect.
Bottom line: Everything here works and John Elliott + Co has burst onto the scene in a big way. When looking at the John Elliott + Co The Cast jeans, at the moment you should go almost two full sizes down to keep everything slim and skinny. I would recommend checking the size guide on the website first just to be safe, but my recommendation is to order smaller than you think.
Feel free to check out my other reviews here.
Until the next pair,