[This is a sponsored post with Bottoms Lab.]
The main factors that determine the suitability of pants for men are usually price, comfort, maintenance, and design. Bottoms Lab, a male-centric apparel brand that first launched in Melbourne has ambitiously designed a product that wants to check all the boxes above.
The founders of Bottoms Lab are Malaysians and while their bottoms were originally intended for the notoriously temperamental Melbourne weather, they realised their pants would also suit Malaysian weather, which fluctuates between rainy and sunny skies.
When it comes to aesthetics, most pants with ruched “stretchy” waistbands look more casual, and typically are unfashionable. Bottoms Lab hopes to solve this problem through their more modern design that maintains the elasticity of stretchy long pants but is suitable for smart casual or semi formal occasions.
The brand’s flagship collection, the Momentum series (pants and shorts) are bottoms that resemble your usual fitted Chinos. But unlike traditional Chinos, the Momentums are made with a breathable and stretchable fabric, with a slim design that should easily walk the line between casual and more formal settings.
To ensure the pants work well for those with an active lifestyle, they’ve sent out a few pairs to their friends to test them out under different activities like basketball, skateboarding, and more.
Testing The Bottoms On My Bottom
After reading up on their claims, we got to walk a mile in their pants, literally.
As someone who’s on the bigger side, finding the right pair of pants that combines comfort and style has always been a hassle. In my case, for non-stretchable pants, they usually leave a print around my waist after a full day of wearing them, especially if I have any heavy meals.
On the other hand, my colleague, Goh who is a father of two, often struggles to look for casual pants that require less care and are more durable.
So I received a pair of Momentum Shorts in XL, and Goh got the Momentum Pants in S.
While the shorts did fit me well, it was a little too short for my liking (inseam length is 7.6” for XL) as someone who firmly believes that shorts on me need to reach my knees. After all, my pale legs haven’t seen the light of day for a good few months.
Pro Tip: If you prefer longer shorts, you could also opt for their Ease Lounge Shorts instead, which comes in a 9” inseam variant. Use coupon code VPXBL10 for a RM10 discount for your first purchase.
I wore the shorts for a full work from home day through the recent blazing hot weather, and it was a fairly comfy experience. I did not feel overly sweaty throughout the workday and with the stretchable material, it was easy to move around in too.
The huge difference is that they look much more presentable than my worn-out, faded pants that my mum usually complains about—I can stand up during a Zoom video meeting without feeling embarrassed.
The front pocket of the pants easily fits my phone and even a long wallet. For those who would appreciate having secret pockets, they have a small one in the front.
Like most of those who are working from home with kids, Goh has to constantly juggle between his parental responsibilities and work. His 2 active boys require him to be quick on his feet and here’s where the stretchability helps, and he wouldn’t look sloppy when they host visitors or if he needs to run out for errands.
He mentioned that the pants were lightweight, which he sees as an advantage when it comes to packing for the family since the pants won’t add much weight.
He was impressed with the wrinkle-resistant feature of the pants, minimal ironing is required, which is a plus for a busy parent.
Finding The Right Fit Through Trial & Error
We’re not alone in our positive experience with the products. When the brand launched in Malaysia early 2020, the team were able to carve a steady returning customer base from those who like quality bottoms at an affordable price.
When developing the pants, the team went through more than 100 samples and 6 months of R&D to perfect the materials and fit of the final product. They’ve put the prototypes through multiple washes to ensure there’s no shrinkage after.
In just one year, Bottoms Lab managed to grow its revenue by 160%. Profit-wise, the team shared the breakdown of their products’ cost and profit.
For example, with their Momentum Shorts (RM89), 70% of that retail price goes into product and fulfilment (RM62.30), while 20% goes into marketing and post-fulfilment (RM17.80), and 10% (RM8.90) is their profit.
As for what’s next for Bottoms Lab, the team said they’re actively looking for local brands to collaborate with, and the collaboration will be a chance for both parties to showcase their respective strengths.
For future materials, the team is looking to add denim into their product line, but the process of combining denim and comfort is not an easy task so it requires extra research and testing.
Could there be other stretchy and comfy attire from Bottoms Lab other than men’s pants? Hopefully, if they’re able to complete a thorough R&D process for it.