Whee! I got myself some fancy new pants, and they’re my first piece from Esby Apparel, so I thought I’d do a proper review here. They’re definitely an investment, and they’re definitely a statement, but spoiler alert, I’m pretty pleased with them.
I love the high rise (12.25″ front rise) and look of these pants. They feel very 70s, but also sort of relaxed and modern because of the organic/natural quality of the fabric. The color is fantastic. It’s called camel, but it is a deep camel, skewing more terra cotta than buttery. It would go well with almost any color I can imagine wearing…reds, blues, greens, pinks, purples, yellows, neutrals. Maybe everything but orange.
The quality seems great at first wear. The seaming feels very special (and it is the “feature” of the pant), reminding me of the seaming on my Elizabeth Suzann Clydes. I’ll admit that $225 is more than I’ve ever spent on pants before (the bulk of the cost coming from a credit I had at Esby), so I was skeptical, but I can see why they’re priced so high now. It’s a versatile, flattering piece that I imagine will be a staple in my closet for a long time.
The fabric feels sturdy but also very light. It makes sense that this pant is made in Austin, because I imagine them being great for mild-to-warm-weather year round, so perfect for me. The canvas is slightly textured, a bit scratchy to the skin, but not enough to bother. I’m guessing that’s also something that softens with normal wash and wear. And in typical me fashion, I dripped grease on myself on day one. With a quick application of cold water and dish soap, the spot came right out, so it seems the fabric is also somewhat stain resistant. It wrinkles very easily, and from Esby’s own marketing (see lookbook photo above), it seems like slightly rumpled is part of the look. I don’t mind the wrinkles that come with wear, but creases from being folded hold so well that sometimes I prefer to run an iron over it.
My size: 4 // My specs: 5’4″ / 130 lbs
I got a size 4, after much deliberation and measuring. The site lists size 4 as having a 27″ waist and a 37″ hip. My waist is about 27.5″ and my hip is more in the 38-39″ range, but I normally wear a 27 in pants, so I took the risk. And the pant fit like a glove. Comfortable, but not necessarily huge-food-baby friendly. Maybe a small food baby. They are pre-shrunk, which I love, but still need to be washed on cold (which I do with all my clothes anyway). The pants fasten with a zipper and a hidden hook-and-eye clasp, which lays flat against the belly with little fuss.
One of the reasons I was actually drawn to Esby was seeing this post from Julie (and the comments on it), sharing her sizing issues with Jesse Kamm sailor pant vs. Esby’s more hip-friendly Val pant. With the super high rise, the Lucia pant also seems somewhat similar to Kamm pants, but with much more reasonable sizing for hippy ladies. Also, go follow Julie right now if you want to see lots of Ace & Jig clothes and cool pieces she sews herself!
As I have short legs, I might get these hemmed a bit to show a sliver more ankle, but I find them totally wearable now–the length looks better in person than my photos.
No pockets. Or belt loops. This keeps the pant super sleek, but as someone who needs to constantly bolt from room to room with my badge and phone on me, it’s a bit of a drawback.
It’s not exactly a low-maintenance piece, in terms of styling. The fabric is thin enough to reveal every little bump of fabric beneath it, so you better be good at making tucked tops lay flat, and you better have some invisible undies (I recommend these!) And as mentioned, these pants also wrinkle easily, especially out of the wash, so if you like a crisp look, they require ironing.
Also beware: Esby has a policy that if you buy anything on sale or with a promo code, you can only return it for store credit. I think this is a bummer, as someone who can’t make it to their brick and mortar but still likes to try things without 100% certainty–and still likes promo codes! It wasn’t super obvious when I made my first purchase at Esby, so I just wanted to be super transparent that there is some risk when you order from them at any kind of discount.