My quest for the ultimate pair of sweatpants commenced in early 2020, when it became clear leaving the home wasn’t going to be much of a thing. Denim around the house? No thanks. The doldrums of daily life required comfort, durability, and—with a sizable uptick in baked goods—an elastic waistband. My smattering of decades-old sweats weren’t up to snuff; many seemed one wash away from dissolving into tatters, all from my high school or college sports days. New threads were required, but from where?
After noodling around on the Internet, the creepy advertising algorithms did their thing and my Instagram feed was rife with sweats and athleisure pant options. One pair caught my eye: Mack Weldon’s Ace Sweatpants ($78). They had the right look, a plethora of colors, and a reasonable price. (Now, they’ve got nearly 10,000 five-star reviews, too.)
Two years later, I’ve bought eight pairs of these puppies and it’s a rare day that I’m not wearing one of ‘em. I truly live in them. Here, my review of Mack Weldon’s Ace Sweatpants, the one pair of bottoms every guy absolutely needs.
The Ace fabric feels perfect
Mack Weldon whipped up a proprietary fabric for its sweats line, Ace Fabric, and it’s pretty darn great. It’s a blend of fine-gauge cotton and stretch Lycra, and it’s got a “crazy-soft feel from a unique micro-brushed treatment,” per the brand’s marketing spiel.
Except it’s not hype; the fabric has a marked softness to it but still has the heft and weight you’d want from pants you hope to wear outside on errands or to walk the pup. The right amount of stretch within the fabric means the Ace pants move with you, whether you’re doing a workout or cleaning up the basement. The fabric has also held up perfectly over the two years I’ve had the pants. More on the durability in a second, though.
The tailored fit flatters everyone
Sometimes the tapered leg look can be tricky for a fella to pull off. Too tight and you can look awkward, like you painted your pants on your calves. And, unless you never skip leg day, bro, sometimes the silhouette through the thigh can be a bit baggy, giving off a pirate vibe. No bueno.
The Ace cut is just right. The pants are tight enough through the thigh to help slim you, but the stretch within the fabric lets you move freely. The taper down to the ankle is relaxed, not boa constrictor-levels of strangling. The back-ribbed ankle cuffs ensure the pants’ legs don’t ride up. The fit is so great, I never think twice about leaving the house in my Aces, worried about how I’ll look. I always feel stylish and confident.
Wondering how the Ace sweatpants fit taller guys? I’m 6’2” and often suffer cold ankles, so I was thrilled when I saw Mack Weldon offers a Tall option when buying. They’re a bit longer than the regular length and they fall perfectly on me. (Tall guys rejoice!) My waist size is 34 and I found a Large fit me perfectly.
The Ace packs plenty of functionality, too
For starters, that elastic waistband with the external drawstring is wonderful. They’re super easy to cinch up. (Or loosen up if you’re on the other side of a cowboy ribeye, for example.) The front pockets are large enough to house your phone, keys, and other daily accoutrements. And they’re deep enough so you don’t suffer that horrible happenstance where you sit down and your pockets instantly expel everything.
There’s a stealth zipper pocket on the right thigh that’s not terribly large but is great for keeping money or an Airpods case. It’s a solid spot for house keys if you’re out for a run, too. Lastly, the back pocket has a zipper to keep your wallet safe and snug.
The wearability is limitless
The inner waistband is printed with “For Daily Wear” and while it’s easy to veer into hyperbole here, I’ve slavishly followed those words. They’re the first things I tug on in the AM, and I’m set for the day. If I’m headed out into the world, I’ll go with a darker, neutral color and pair with a henley and I’m off. Even in the winter, they’re warm enough for the stroll into town for a coffee. I’ve rocked these to trivia nights at the local pub, the grocery store, the mall, to boot camps, and everywhere in between. Never felt out of place once, and I’ve gotten plenty of compliments, too.
The value and durability are great
After two years of relentless wearing and washings, the Ace sweatpants have held up wonderfully, especially for costing $78. My old washing machine loved to chew up things like drawcords and demolish elastic bands; not on the Aces. The metal caps on the drawcords haven’t tarnished, the waistband is still as tight as the day I got them, and the (elastic) ankle cuffs haven’t relaxed shape, either.
The Ace pants don’t shrink
With clothes that are mostly cotton, as the Aces are, you may expect a significant amount of shrinking after the first trip to the washer. I didn’t find that these shrink appreciably. They may get a little snugger after the first wash, but they’re back to normal after wearing for about an hour. More importantly, they’re just as soft as when I first opened the package, and they’re just as comfortable.
Mack Weldon is great with sales and discounts
Check out Weldon Blue, Mack Weldon’s solid loyalty program. It’s a wonderful spot to get first sale access but also ongoing discounts. This program is the key to getting 20 percent off every single order, which means those $78 sweats just became $62. To unlock this level, simply spend $200 within one year. After, you’re treated to free shipping and 20 percent off every order.