Here’s to never wearing tight pants again. 
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Patagonia Baggies
Credit: Courtesy Patagonia

Every once in a while, there comes along a product that ends up becoming less of a special guest, more of a regular in your daily life—and no, we’re not just talking about Duke’s Mayonnaise, though that is another lifelong co-star that keeps on giving. Something that makes any day just a little bit easier, streamlined, and stress-free is a rarity so nice that we’ll sing praises when the melody is deserved, especially when it comes to a staple wardrobe piece that works harder than anything else in the closet. 

In that case, we’ll start the tune at a pair of outdoor shorts that have been going way beyond athletics since 1982: Baggies. It’s become the thing we put on when there is no place to be, when there’s somewhere to be right that second, and everything in between, especially during a time when our “going-out clothes” are collecting dust in the closet. Which means, price per wear? Practically zero.

The Baggies shorts by Patagonia are one of the most popular items sold by the brand, even after 38 years of barely straying from the original design conceptualized by founder Yvon Chouinard, who wanted a versatile everyday short that was comfortable and durable enough to withstand any activity, from scaling mountains to swimming to laying on your couch. (Dibs on the last one!) They’re $55, made from recycled nylon, hang-dry completely in just 20 minutes, come in a ton of fun colors, and sit at a super flattering length that isn’t too short and doesn’t hug too tight. Shop some color options here. 

Over the decades, Baggies have garnered such a loyal following that you’ll find entire threads online dedicated to how great they are. Basically, Baggies are a cult icon. What makes these shorts stand out amongst cheaper and painfully expensive athletic shorts alike is the material and fit. Nylon gives enough stiffness to the breathable shorts to keep them from clinging to any areas you’d rather not feel like Saran Wrap on a hot day and is water-repellent enough to keep sweat, water, and the occasional spill from soiling your whole day, especially in classic stain-hiding black. More still, the slightly looser fit and bum-covering length ensures that every person feels comfortable at all times, from lounging at home to partaking in any activity. 

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At the end of the day, there’s something to be said for a product that has withstood the test of time with impeccable marks and without having to be wildly altered in design, material, or fit. It’s the kind of retro that never goes out of style—nay, makes you actually look decidedly hip by taking things back to the 80s. For women, they come in two lengths: five-inch or 2.5-inch, also known as “Barely There,” and for men, five-inch or seven-inch. But you can never go wrong with how they were meant to be. There’s just nothing more iconic than five-inch Baggies. Here’s to never wearing tight pants again.