An honest review of all the Spanx pants

My honest review of Spanx perfect black pants continues to be one of the most popular posts here on Cheryl Shops, and since Spanx just sent me several pairs of their best-selling pants in navy, I thought it would be helpful to do a side-by-side comparison of their top four fits, especially since you can see the details even better. So think of this as a companion piece to my previous Spanx reviews, but please note that while I received these pants for free, the following reviews are my 100% honest opinion, with absolutely no feedback or editing from Spanx. So without further ado, here's my honest review the four most popular Spanx pants. 

The perfect pant, ankle 4-pocket

I have these in black and they're one of my favorite pairs of pants. They're basically like wearing  compression leggings, except the back pockets and not-totally-skintight ankle allow you to pretend they're real pants and wear something that doesn't entirely cover your bum. These are definitely the most Spanx-like of all the pants, due to their inner shaping panels and magical pooch-sculpting powers, however they are still incredibly comfortable and stretchy. I joke that they're my "dressy leggings," but I do wear them when I want to pretend that I made an effort when...really I didn't. Now, for whatever reason, I prefer my black pair to my navy pair, but I feel like I'm going to reach more for the navy as the weather warms up, because they do feel more springy. 

Sizing: runs true to Spanx size chart, but if you're on the fence, size up. I'm in a medium and these are very snug by design. 

Pros: compression fit and butt-lifting back pockets.

Cons: these are the most constricting of the bunch.

OUTFIT DETAILS: J.Crew Sophie blazer | Madewell chambray shirt | Spanx perfect black ankle 4-pocket pant  (c/o) | Vionic oxfords (c/o; similar here) | Fount coventry bag (c/o)

The perfect pant, slim straight

I posted all four fits on Instagram last week and asked which pair was your favorite; I was honestly shocked that this was it, far and away. Full disclosure: Spanx did not want me to show the pant being wrinkled or baggy, so I had to retouch the photo for Instagram—the below images have been color-corrected but I didn't fix the wrinkles. So as you can see, these don't fit me very well, especially in the lower abdomen/crotch area; part of the problem is that I think I'm in the wrong size, but combined with that, I think the overall cut just doesn't suit me as well as the skinny. The best way I can describe these is what my mom would call "slacks"—they're dress pants, with a higher waist and more generous, trouser-style straight leg. You could get away with wearing them to a more dressed-up work environment, but I think they'd be best suited for business travel (should we ever start doing that again), because they'd be comfortable enough to sleep in on the plane, but you could also wear them straight from the airport to a meeting. Like all of Spanx's pants, these are made of a thicker ponte knit, but I did find that these stretched out the most. Overall, this was my least favorite pair, but I'd be willing to try them in a smaller size. 

Sizing: runs a bit big—I'd recommend sizing down for a fit closer to that of the model. 

Pros: the least restrictive; a good option if you don't like skinny pants.

Cons: the most expensive pair in the collection.

OUTFIT DETAILS: Uniqlo coat (current version here) | Anine Bing tiger tee | Spanx perfect slim straight pant (c/o) | Calla boots (c/o; similar here

Ponte ankle leggings

While three out of four of the pants in this post would be considered leggings, this is the only true pair. They're also not officially part of the perfect pant collection, although they are made out of the same fabric, more or less. The legging definitely has some compression to it, although not as much as the ankle 4-pocket, and while it doesn't have back pockets, this pair still has some impressive butt-shaping and -lifting qualities. The waistband is wide and flat—it stayed in place without giving me muffin top or riding up or down. This pair has nice, thick seams too, and it's obviously well made. Being no-frills leggings, however, these definitely felt the most casual of the bunch, hence my very laid-back styling. While they are thick and substantial for leggings, I would not recommend wearing these to an actual workplace, however they are more than sufficient for remote work ;). 

Sizing: runs true to Spanx size chart. I'm in a medium. 

Pros: the right amount of compression and thickness

Cons: a little pricey for regular leggings 

OUTFIT DETAILS: J,Crew Ella sweater jacket | Free People cowl-neck pullover | Spanx ponte ankle leggings (c/o) | Vans sk8-hi sneakers

The perfect pant, ankle backseam skinny

As you may have guessed, the defining feature in this pair is a raised seam that runs down the center back of each leg, ending in a notched hem at the ankle. As someone with shapely thighs, I often struggle with this design feature whether it's on the front or back of the leg, so I will admit I did not have the highest hopes for this fit. I was expecting them to be rather snug, like the 4-pocket ankle, but the fit is surprisingly leg-skimming—it's slimmer than a true straight leg, but not as skintight as a legging. The fabric is a similarly thick, smoothing ponte knit to the rest of the pants, however it doesn't have as much compression as the legging and 4-pocket, and it doesn't stretch out as much as the straight. And as for those pesky back seams, they are surprisingly flattering—I got compliments on these pants from everyone from my chiropractor to Sean. Which is not why this pair is my favorite; pants are very personal, but as far as fabric, fit, and cut go, these are juuuuust right. 

Sizing: runs true to Spanx size chart. I'm in a medium. 

Pros: the most flattering of the bunch.

Cons: not as butt-lifting or shaping as the others.

OUTFIT DETAILS: The Irish store aran sweater (c/o) | Spanx ankle backseam skinny pant (c/o) | Golden Goose Superstar sneakers


Lovely said...

Wonderful review! They look great on you and I love how you styled them!

Mica said...

You wear them all so well and you really know how to style them even if you aren't overly impressed with every single pair!

Hope that your week is going well :)

Away From Blue

Hilda Smith said...

I love my pair of Spanx leggings they are so flattering. Will go for that last pair you have shown next. Super flattering.

Gail Is This Mutton? said...

Great post - it was good to see all the different styles and your honest feedback. I'm intrigued by the pair that creased (and Spanx obviously know it's a problem). I can't bear anything that creases so I would definitely avoid those!

OR Mom said...

Thank you for taking the time to review all these different spanx pants. Thanks to your spot on reviews, I will NOT be wasting my $ on the slim, straight leg pants, which is what I would have chosen, if not for your review and photos, it is indeed, a wrinkly mess. Instead, I will choose your favorite, the backseam skinny pants, as well as the 4 pocket ones, which seem to be a crowd favorite on other sites. I look forward to incorporating these two "perfect" pants into my goto wardrobe.

Shelbee on the Edge said...

Cheryl, what a fabulous review! I do not own any Spanx pans at all so this is super helpful if I decide to try this brand! You look fabulous in all of these photos! Thanks for sharing and linking with me.


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