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Review Summary

I don’t typically wear pleated pants. They tend to feel outdated without serving any significant stylistic purpose. But something felt special about the John Elliott studio pants. Perhaps it’s the added modern elements such as the cropped inseam, extra long cotton drawstrings, and knee darts that won me over. One thing is for sure, I’m a converted fan. The studio pants come in what can almost be described as the essential color range from John Elliott; black, sage, and oak (only missing olive). I purchased the black and sage colors about 6 months ago and have been working them into my rotation ever since.

The fit is certainly on the baggier side compared to many of the other pant offerings from John Elliott, especially through the thigh. The cropped inseam is also not as short as I was expecting on my 5’ 11” frame which required me to roll the bottom hem slightly to achieve the aesthetic I was seeking. Those two things aside, these are some very versatile pants that are incredibly easy to dress up or down no matter the occasion. The cotton and nylon blend material is one of my favorites from John Elliott and is reminiscent of that used in the himalayan pants. As you would expect, the overall construction is solid with enough details to make you feel as if you got your money's worth. 

Review Ratings


  • Unique silhouette with cropped inseam is an awesome look when dressed up
  • Neutral black, sage, and oak colors are spot on and complement any wardrobe
  • 70% cotton 30% nylon blend material is one of my favorites from the brand (2022 release)
  • Decently lightweight and overall incredibly comfortable 


  • High price for a pair of pants that may play a smaller role in your rotation
  • Fit more baggy throughout the thigh than I would prefer and finding the right size is tricky
  • Cropped inseam was not as short as I was hoping, or perhaps I’m not as tall as I need to be.

John Elliott Studio Pants


Review Details

John Elliott Studio Pants Sizing

The fit on the John Elliott studio pants is unconventional and took me some getting used to initially. It’s definitely geared towards adding a unique style that is in fact easy to incorporate into your everyday wardrobe. At the time of writing this, I am 5’ 11” and weigh roughly 170 pounds. I generally wear a size 32 in jeans and a size large in shirting. I ordered two pairs of studio pants online and wasn’t certain whether to go for a size medium or large. Seeing that the waist was not elastic like the himalayan pants, I opted for the size 3 large (generally a size 32 in John Elliott) just to be on the safe side.

While I have not yet tried on a size 2 medium, I can say that the large is a bit looser than I had anticipated. The waist fits just a bit big, however, the drawstring belt allows for extra cinching which is a mandatory when I wear these. I’m not sure a size medium would work for me as John Elliott lists their model as having a size 30 waist and wearing a medium, but I do wonder if I’m somewhere in between. In the himalayan pants, I wear a size 2 medium and those are quite a bit tighter and require some stretch to fit. I may try a medium pair on to confirm if I'm ever in the vicinity of a flagship store or retailer.

The length of the John Elliott studio pants also fit a little differently than I had expected. One of the key reasons for purchasing these pants was the shorter inseam that exposes the ankle. I’m obviously a major fan of this style as the himalayan pants are a main staple of mine and pin rolled jeans are the only way I wear them. I found that the pant leg cuff, while shorter, still rested just above the shoe. The shorter length was not as dramatic as the images had me believe (I’m also not 6’ 2”), however, this was easily solved with a single roll up on the cuff and a slight extra hiking of the waist. In looking at the measurements, the front rise is 11.8” compared to 9.8” on the himalayan pants. This naturally results in either wearing the pants higher up around the waist or having a slightly lower and baggier crotch area. 

The overall silhouette of the studio pants is rather interesting and has become a style I have grown to really like. They’re incredibly comfortable with quite a bit of room in the thigh that slowly tapers down through the calf and ankle. Knee darts along the back of the knees add a unique contour that follows the natural bend in the leg. All in all, the studio pants offer a unique fit that I can’t say is my favorite, but it is a pair of pants that I’m glad I have on rotation.  

John Elliott Studio Pants Construction

Like most of John Elliott, the construction falls into the solid category with each piece differing slightly based on the country of origin. The studio pants were made in China which I have not had any issue with historically, although I have a strong affinity towards the made in Japan pieces. Upon initial inspection, construction appeared clean with tight stitches, little to no loose threads, and a well secured waist button. Nothing surprising here.

I like that John Elliott opted to create a proper fitting waist that does not incorporate elastic. The button closure and zip fly seems to elevate the fit of the pants and avoids any concern of loosening from prolonged use or subjective sizing. I’ve had various elastic waist pants from John Elliott that all held their scrunch over time, however, some were significantly looser/tighter from the onset than others which caused some frustration. The drawstring belt is a nice functional feature that also offers an aesthetic touch if you decide to allow it to drape down the front of the pants. For me, it is a necessity as it helps secure the pants higher on the waist to allow for more ankle to show. 

The 70% cotton / 30% nylon fabric (now midweight compact cotton for 2023), feels nice to the touch and is decently lightweight. It is very similar in composition to the himalayan pant material with a matte sheen appearance that seems resistant to wrinkles, however, holds its shape when rolling the cuffs. I prefer the use of nylon in these pants over the 100% cotton as it provides a more lightweight feel and distinct look that can be dressed up or down. 

Finishing touches on the studio pants include a nice button closure and plastic color matched YKK zipper that glides along with little effort. You can’t go wrong with trusty YKK quality and the use of plastic only aids in the lightweight properties of the pants. An extra long cotton woven drawstring runs along the inside of the waist and exits on the front exterior of the pants. Belt loops have also been included in case you want to opt for going that route. You’ll find three pockets in all the natural locations that one would expect, two on the side and one on the right rear for a wallet. Unlike some of the John Elliott cargo pants where pockets are heavily emphasized, I’d say the studio pants purposely hide the pockets. The front slants blend in with the pleats and the rear welt is nothing more than a reinforced slit. 

After 6 months of casual use, the John Elliott studio pants have held up quite well with zero issue. I have followed the wash instructions religiously and always hang to dry which happens pretty quick due to the nylon. There has been zero shrinking and all seams seem to be holding up well, probably in part due to the baggier fit that experiences low levels of stress.

John Elliott Himalayan Shorts Style

I was a little slow to come around to the studio pants. They appeared baggier than a fit I would typically wear and the pleats were a style I was not accustomed to. I ordered the sage and black pairs as I do with just about every offering from John Elliott as they’re easy to casually style with neutrals and other earth tones. The aesthetic of the pants make them simple for everyday wear or you can dress them up for a night out just as effortlessly.

Because of the mad men pleats down the front (they’re not that serious), the longer rise, and the undoubtedly baggier fit, I tend to lean towards wearing these pants with an oversized collared shirt or at a minimum, a nicer knit sweater. I feel like a billowy unbuttoned long sleeve military workshirt or hemi over a basic tee is my general go to when I grab these pants out of the closet. They’re also so lightweight that they can be worn in the warmer months with a short sleeve shirt and still look the part. Pair that with a set of New Balance 990v3 and I’m feeling ready for any average daily occasion. 

With these pants, the shoe selection is quite important. Due to the shorter inseam, there is much more prominence placed on the ankle area allowing for a proper shoe to really shine. Given the elevated pleated styling, I think a nice leather Viberg slipper in a complimentary color plays well. I’ve also paired these with a set of Clarks wallabee lows and been pretty happy with the result. For a more sporty look, I’ll choose a triple black or platinum pair of Nike Vapormax 2.0s which surprisingly work wonders. 

Choosing the perfect shoe is one way to either dress these very versatile pants up or down. Additional levers include the treatment of the drawstring belt that runs throughout the waist. I like that I can tie a nice bow with the long drawstring and still have plenty left over to let hang down the front of the pants. I tend to do this in more casual environments while you can then tuck the excess drawstring into the waist for a cleaner look. I also opt for rolling up the bottom hem on each ankle a bit more to give the pants an even shorter appearance. This takes away from the clean line, but adds a bit more casual aesthetic to any outfit.

John Elliott Studio Pants Value

Timing is everything with John Elliott. Obviously it’s not a cost conscious fast fashion brand where you can casually purchase an entire new wardrobe. That being said, there are plenty of deals to be had for out of season items, surprise subscriber sales, or during irregular annual sales. I was lucky enough to catch both pairs towards the end of the season when they went on sale across a few different retailers, saving me roughly 50%. It’s a risky strategy to bank on if it’s an item you really desire as the key sizes are typically sold out, however, it can pay off.

At full price of $348, I wouldn’t describe these pants as a good value for my style due to the lack of reps in my rotation. The baggier fit and slightly less casual nature of the pants mean they leave the closet probably once every other week for a night out or decent meal. That being said, I’m happy to have a pair of pants that fit this bill as most of my closet consists of himalayan pants (regular and cargo), camo pants, black jeans, and raw denim. If you’re lucky enough to find a pair of John Elliott studio pants on sale, I’d jump at the opportunity. I don’t regularly come across a unique pair of pants that stands out in a positive way and forces me to part ways with my cash, but these sure did..

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