What Are Ponte Pants?

Move over, leggings—there is a new standard for comfortable pants. Ponte pants are taking the world of style by storm. These pants combine style with comfort in a way that could replace skinny jeans and leggings as part of your go-to outfit.

If you’re looking to switch up your wardrobe with a unique style of pants, here is everything that you need to know about Ponte pants.

What Are Ponte Pants?

Ponte pants are a variation on leggings. The big difference is in the fabric. While leggings are made of thin material that clings to everything (and we mean everything), ponte pants are made of a thicker fabric that provides a more flattering fit. However, the cut is just as comfortable as leggings.

Ponte pants are a combination between the stylishness of skinny jeans and the comfort of leggings. This innovative new style is part of a larger trend called Athflow, which polishes athleisure and glamours it up for comfortable pieces that you can also wear outside of the house.

Most ponte pants are 7/8 length or ankle-length.

What Does Ponte Mean?

The name “Ponte” comes from Italy, which is where ponte fabric was first produced (the most famous variety is still called “Ponte di Roma”). In Italian, “ponte” means bridge, so the name was probably adapted to refer to the technique used to make this fabric.

What Are Ponte Pants Made of?

Ponte pants are made from Ponte fabric. Otherwise, they are just regular leggings or stretchy pants.

What Is Ponte Fabric?

Ponte fabric, sometimes called Ponte di Roma, is a type of knit fabric. Ponte is made of a double-knitted material that is similar to jersey (in fact, they are made using the same kind of machine). However, ponte fabric is thicker than other knits. That is because double knitting gives the material extra sturdiness. In turn, this makes the pants much more flattering than leggings made out of thinner fabrics.

Ponte fabric is what gives ponte pants their unique qualities. The material is stretchy, just like other knits, which means that the pants are comfortable and forgiving as your body changes and moves. However, because the fabric is thicker and holds its shape, that makes for a more flattering silhouette. Instead of clinging to every lump and bump, they help smooth out your profile without constraining you.

It’s no wonder that so many women are going for this fabric that is both comfortable and flattering. Besides pants, you can also find ponte jackets and tops as more and more manufacturers are starting to embrace this material.

Is Ponte Fabric Breathable?

When deciding if ponte fabric is breathable or not, it depends on your point of reference. Ponte fabric is a synthetic fabric, so it may not be as breathable as cotton or linen. It is also a double-knit fabric so that it will be thicker than your average pair of leggings and slightly less breathable.

In some situations, this is preferable. It means that ponte pants will keep you warmer in the winter than your old pair of leggings that feel as if the wind is slicing through them every time you go outside.

Ponte fabric is far more breathable than other fabrics, particularly those used for formal pants and office wear. It is more breathable than denim. Although you may feel warmer than you do in your leggings, you will not sweat through your ponte pants.

Spelling: Ponte or Ponti?

Sometimes, you may see ponte pants called ponti pants. There is also confusion about the name in Italian. “Ponti” is the plural of “ponte,” so the Italian fabric manufacturers sometimes call their material “ponti di Roma.”

Ultimately, both ponte and ponti refer to the same fabric. Ponte is the more common spelling, but some companies prefer ponti.

Style Tips for Women Buying Ponte Pants

The great thing about ponte pants is that they are easy to buy. Instead of trying on pair after pair of jeans looking for one pair that has the right fit, ponte pants fit right after a few tries.

Ponte pants are versatile enough that you can style them for casual, work, and formal occasions. When shopping for ponte pants, keep the occasion where you want to wear them in mind. These pants come in slightly different silhouettes that are appropriate for other occasions. 

For maximum comfort, go for ponte leggings. Ponte leggings are usually the same as ponte pants, but have a more casual fit and look similar to regular leggings.

If you are hoping to wear your ponte pants to the office or a formal occasion, then you should look for a more tailored fit. Get pants that have panels and a flattering seam down the side. You should also watch for details that bring the pants closer to a trouser silhouette, such as pockets, belt loops, and a wider fit at the ankle.

Tips for a Great Fit

Your ponte pants should be fitted but not constricting. While some styles come in a looser, more casual fit, most ponte pants are tailored close to the leg. Anything too loose will look sloppy thanks to the stretchy fabric.

You should also pay attention to the length. Your ponte pants should hit at the ankle or just above it.

How to Wear Ponte Pants

Depending on the style of ponte pants that you buy, you can dress them up or down depending on your choice of top and accessories.

No matter what occasion you are wearing your ponte pants for, keep the silhouette in mind. You want to look balanced, so pair the tight pants with a looser top. If you are nervous about the tightness of the pants, pair them with a longer top that covers your butt.

What to Wear with Ponte Pants

Any longer, looser top works well with ponte pants as it balances out the silhouette. Anything from a chunky sweater to a caftan will help you create a stylish look using these pants as a base.

Ponte pants are great for a casual outing or just running errands. Pair them with an oversized sweater and some statement sneakers for a look that makes you seem put together without demanding too much effort.

For a more formal look appropriate for the office, wear a long blouse and a blazer on top and formal office shoes. Keep your other pieces more tailored and formal to balance out the relative casualness of ponte pants.

As a last outfit suggestion, if you want to create an outfit with a little more edge, pair ponte pants with a short leather or moto jacket. If you feel uncomfortable wearing something short on top with tight pants, you can always wear a longer T-shirt underneath the jacket.

What Shoes to Wear with Ponte Pants

The great thing about ponte pants is that they are so versatile you can wear them with almost any pair of shoes. Your choice of shoe will depend on your comfort level, the season, and the occasion that you are preparing for.

For a casual look, wear ponte pants with your favorite bold, stylish sneakers. Although running shoes may be too simple for this outfit, a pair of colorful Keds or Converse can work well with ponte pants for a grocery store run or a kid’s soccer game.

When you’re looking for a sturdier shoe or something more formal, you can’t go wrong with an ankle boot. Ponte pants hit right above the ankle, so a taller boot will look strange, but ankle boots hit at just the right length. Get a black pair of ankle boots for a sleek monochrome look or a lighter color for a statement pair.

Finally, you can even wear ponte pants with heels as long as you have a more formal, tailored pair on. Heels and a nice sweater make ponte pants perfect for holiday parties.

Are Ponte Pants Work Appropriate?

Ponte pants are appropriate for most offices as long as you have the right pair. If you’re buying them for the office, make sure you get a thicker, more tailored fit instead of ponte leggings, which may be too casual. 

To style these pants for work, pair with a tailored blouse or blazer that is long enough to cover your butt. Wear formal shoes such as Oxfords or wedge heels.

Ponte pants are a comfortable, stylish alternative to skinny jeans, leggings, and even office trousers. They are versatile enough to dress up or down, so you can be comfortable for any occasion.