Cultivated Wardrobe

Brass Clothing Review: the Ponte Pant and Long Sleeve Tee (+ Styling Tips for Both)

For awhile now I’ve taken to buying secondhand-first in an effort to become a more responsible consumer when it comes to fashion. Over the past couple of years I’ve blogged about everything from my capsule wardrobes to how to thrift online. But even more recently I’m finding that the “quality” brands I’m seeking out via secondhand methods are hardly holding up to sustained everyday use.

Total. Bummer.

Recently I’ve felt specifically frustrated when it comes to shopping for a high quality dress pant because I only work in a office setting two days a week — so the cost per wear doesn’t really add up to consider a hefty monetary investment. Ideally, I could find a pair of “trouser” like pants that fit the office and home scene (aka #momlife), all while being comfy, fuss free and of longevity.

After seeing such great reviews on Brass Clothing from other bloggers (namely Paige from Style This Life), they were definitely at the front of mind. I’ve known about Brass Clothing for a little over a year now (?) and from the beginning I’ve valued their mantra and mission: Fast-fashion isn’t worth the cheap price tag. Clothing should fit well, feel great and outlast trends.

Amen, right?

I specifically like that they clearly identify what they mean when they say “ethical” and that it is largely focused on relationship building.  I decided to reach out to them to see if they would be interested in me reviewing their ponte pant with my specific story in mind: a mom with young kids who wanted a “dress pant” that could pull double duty.  Lucky for me they were kind enough to send me both their ponte pant and their long sleeve tee so I could put them to the test.

Here’s what I learned:


First Impression | When I first pulled them out of their packaging they immediately weren’t what what I expected. I think I expected them to look and feel more like a dress pant and I was worried they were too much like leggings! (Albeit super thick, super sturdy leggings.)  I loved their color, their weight and texture — but still was worried about pulling them off at the office.

Fit | I read nearly all of the reviews and consulted measurements to make sure I got the sizing right from the start and decided on a large over a medium to ensure that they weren’t too tight since I intended to wear them to work.  They are snug in all the right places, no gaping at the waist, not too tight in the seat, the pocket placement is right on the money, they are trim through the legs, and the perfect length (for reference I am 5′ 7″).  I don’t find myself tugging them up or down or re-situating them in general throughout the day and I have worn them at least twice a week for 12 hour days for the past month.  I have noticed that the fabric does stretch slightly in the seat after multiple wearings but that it doesn’t look sloppy at all.  One thing I was super pumped about, and which drew me to this pant in the first place, was the high banded waist — and let me tell ya it doesn’t disappoint. I’d read some reviews that indicated that the band creates a slimming effect, and although I wasn’t interested in it for that reason I would say that accomplishes the task of working with a female shape, as opposed to against it.  It doesn’t cut in at undesirable or uncomfortable places  and therefore makes it an extremely well fitting piece.

Feel | If a yoga pant and dress pant had a baby this would be it.  Seriously.  I feel like I’m wearing a yoga pant, but when I look in the mirror they look so much more sophisticated and pulled together than that.  I think this lies in the combination of fit and feel.  The fabric is a sturdy weight, but lands more on soft yoga pant side of the spectrum. At the end of a 12 hour work day I’m not begging to get these things off of me, so I’m going to have to say ultimate win.

Fuss Factor | One concern I had about a ponte pant is the lint factor.  I guess you could say lint is a nemesis of mine, I don’t handle it so well.  And although they don’t break and records in the lint repelling department, they aren’t as bad as I thought they would be.  Ultimately I do think this will be a deterrent to wearing them around the house on a regular basis because we have two German Shepherds that like to shed a lot of hair… but I like that I have that option.  As far as other maintenance goes, these babies are hand wash! Hooray for a non-dryclean dress pant! I’ve washed them several times already and simply put them in a delicate bag on a cold wash cycle and then let them hang dry.

Flexibility | I originally sought out this ponte pant with the ideal hope that it would pull double duty as a dress pant and as an everyday mom pant, and honestly? It totally could. The denim-like causal back pocket paired with the sophisticated side seam with equestrian undertones strike the perfect balance between laid-back and refined. But because of my own personal strong aversion to lint and because of our lint filled home it will likely serve me more in the dress pant category.  And holy smokes will they ever serve me! Haha!

Style Notes | My favorite way to style these pants for work right now is with a cream button down blouse and black ankle boot.  It’s honestly a super simple look, but I think there a few details that really pull the whole thing together:

  • Fully tucking the blouse creates the basis for the professional/dressy vibe that I’m going for here.  If I wanted to dress these pants down I would pick a more casual top and do a half tuck or leave it completely undone.
  • Choosing a shoe with a heel further pushes this look into sophisticated territory, although these pants are totally “flat friendly” as well.  Keeping the shoe the same color as the pant makes for one continuous line which keeps the look cool and clean.  If I wanted to add more warmth or interest to this look I would swap the black bootie for a cognac one.
  • I’ve always been pretty bare bones in the jewelry department, but I do have a few pieces that are mainstays.  I’ve had my Michael Kors stainless steel watch for several years now and I love its chunkiness and the fact that it adds bling without the fuss.

Like this look? You can shop it and support The Lovely Laura Life at the same time using the affiliate links below:

CREAM BLOUSE (old + secondhand) — this blouse is a pretty unremarkable polyester version of something I (think) I’d rather have in silk, but has served me well the last two years.  I’ve had this silk one from Everlane on my wishlist foreverrrrr and will likely replace the one I have now when it fails or if the timing is right.

PONTE PANT c/o Brass Clothing

BLACK ANKLE BOOT by Madewell (secondhand) / Similar under $100 (on sale!) / Similar (made responsibly)



First Impression | Again, as was with the ponte pant, when I first laid my hands on this tee its not at all what I expected. It’s a soft mid-heavy weight jersey knit cotton with a 5% spandex construction, so I’m not sure why I anticipated your typical t-shirt feel, but I was pleasantly surprised that it felt like a much thicker and substantial — dare I say active wear material?

Fit | It is a more fitted tee, but only through the upper sections, the midsection hangs nicely away from the body.  I have fairly broad shoulders and biceps so I think if I wanted it to fit a little more like it does on the model on their site I would have sized up to an x-large. I have not noticed it stretching out over the course of a day’s wear like a typical 100% cotton tee would, so I’m a fan of that. And the neckline is an ideal take on the crew,  it sits high but not so high as to be annoying.

Feel | The construction of this tee feels fantastic.  It’s extremely soft and feels effortless when wearing it.  It has slit sleeve detail that I didn’t think I’d originally like as much, but sort of gives it an elevated feel. Absolutely a sophisticated take on a traditional tee.

Fuss Factor | I don’t think I’ve ever had a piece of clothing with such little fuss factor. I’m not constantly tugging it down, pulling it up and I don’t even feel like all the white is a deterrent from wearing it — which is usually the case for me.  I can throw it in the wash and all I have to do is hang it on my drying rack.

Flexibility | As far as versatility goes I think this tee offers a surprising range.  I don’t feel like my photos really do this next statement justice, but I could totally dress up this tee for work.  In fact I intend to pair it with my ponte pant!  If you have an extremely dressy work environment I don’t think this would fly, but mine is a little more on the business casual end, so if I paired the ponte pant and this tee with an even dressier heel it would totally work! And with with top notch comfort.

Style Notes | In this look I’ve dressed this tee down with a pair of overalls.  I’ve gotta be perfectly honest and say that I was itching to try this look out for spring ever since I saw this pin on Pinterest.  All  I need to completely recreate the look is a pair of cognac sandals (like these – which I have on my spring wishlist) and a summery feeling hat (similar to one I already have in my closet).

  • The semi-fitted nature of this tee made pairing it with overalls a no-brainer.  Super easy to tuck in and the neck line doesn’t get pulled down by the overalls over the course of the day like a v-neck does.
  • There is very little going on in this outfit, but overalls are sort of like dresses and just naturally create this pulled together vibe. So went with it and carried that relaxed vibe through with my shoe choice. The ultimately comfortable sandal: my birks.
  • To really finish of this look I think adding in a “bookend” would be appropriate.  I could wear my black panama hat to tie in with the black of my shoes,  or a black bag.  I don’t currently own a black bag — so I would likely use my favorite cognac leather tote — but I think a black bag would complete this look better.  I have this amazing black leather crossbody tote on my wishlist, but it will probably be awhile until I’m able to pull the trigger on it.  (If you’ve never heard of Fashionable you should definitely check them out.  They sell handmade leather goods and jewelry made by women who have overcome and I’m in love with their mission. You can shop via the links above or use my referral link here.)

Like this look? You can shop it and support The Lovely Laura Life at the same time using the affiliate links below:

LONG SLEEVE TEE c/o Brass Clothing

OVERALLS by Madewell (secondhand) / Similar under $150 / Similar in shorts under $80

FOOTBED SANDALS by Birkenstock

P.S. I’m totally joining in on the 10 x 10 challenge — extended by Lee from Stylebee and Caroline over on Unfancy — that starts tomorrow! Only… I still have to pick my pieces, plan outfits, take photos… you know, pretty much everything.  Wish me luck and check out the details on Lee’s awesome 10 x 10 challenge if you’ve never heard of it. :)

What do you think? Am I crazy for thinking I can wear a tee and yoga pants to work? Have any ideas for pairing these two pieces? What are your thoughts and/or experiences with Brass Clothing? Do you think you’ll give them a try if you haven’t already?

This post was created in partnership with Brass Clothing. I received their long sleeve tee and ponte pant both as gifts in exchange for my honest review.  This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting brands that help support The Lovely Laura Life — and whom also seek to challenge the status quo.

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  • Reply
    April 7, 2017 at 3:53 am

    I have a pair of ponte pants (from Mint Velvet as I can’t buy Brass Clothing in the UK), and in the dressing room I loved them. Then I got them home and I wasn’t sure. Then after trying them on 5 times at home I decided I LOVED them! Now for me, I have to keep the tush covered, I just cannot show my bum, size small or not. I just feel naked that way. But in the ponte pants, if it came down to it, I would. I am about to take them on a ten day holiday (doing the Spring 10×10 challenge with StyleBee), so they will have to be super flexible since I’m only bringing one other pair of pants (jeans) and a dress. The more I wear them, the more I like them. I was disappointed that since I bought them about 3 weeks ago they’ve now been reduced to half price (figures), but all it’s made me do is see if they carry them in another color. I love them so!

    I am planning to try Brass once we move back to the US this summer because I love their ethics, the simple style, and their prices are comfortable for what you get. A lot of ethical/sustainable clothing companies are far more expensive than I’m comfortable paying ($150 for a t-shirt??). When price point + style + ethics = awesome things I do a little happy dane.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2017 at 10:39 am

    When you described you dress pant requirements it immediately made me think of my own. I also only work in the office 2 days a week and need for my pants to do double duty for being a mom. My absolute favorite work (and casual) pants are from Athleta. They are super comfy, machine washable and dryable, lightweight partially recycled fabric that holds up great to repeated wearing/washing, AND look professional enough for my business casual environment. I love an ankle pant but they also have them in full length and lots of other styles. They have free shipping/returns and a great return policy (can try them out and even wash them and still return with no time limit) so I encourage anyone that has trouble finding good double duty pants to give them a try. I call them my magic pants because they are perfect for so many situations!
    Full Length:

  • Reply
    April 11, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Those pants look amazing on you. I have them as well, and my favorite way to wear them is with a chunky pullover sweater or long cardigan–it disguises their yoga-pant-like nature. A blazer would probably be cool with them, too. :)

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Lauren, Etc.
    April 12, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Those pants are so cute! And they look amazing on you. I would say if you wanna try to wear both Brass pieces for work, pair them with a long blazer or cardigan and a nice long statement necklace. I had a pair of pants like this from Banana Republic back in the day. If you wanna try a different color, I think prAna sells a similar pant in olive green. Have fun with the spring 10×10!

  • Reply
    Karin Rambo
    May 1, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I’ve been thinking about the Ponte pants so thanks for reviewing them! I have a couple of their dresses and I love them (though they don’t get worn super often during this stage of life).

    Also, you look super cute in overalls. :)

    Karin |

    • Reply
      May 4, 2017 at 8:36 am

      So glad to hear Karin! And yes, dresses of that aren’t also shirt dresses prove to be quite difficult (ahem, useless) while nursing. ;) Thank you so much for the compliment, I definitely feel totally at home in overalls. :)

  • Reply
    July 10, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    We miss your posts…come back soon!

    • Reply
      July 12, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      Oh man Maria, this seriously makes me feel so loved! Thank you, and will do :)

  • Reply
    What I [Really] Wore No. 2 – The Lovely Laura Life
    August 8, 2017 at 8:19 am

    […] boy am I glad I don’t wear heels everyday!  I wore my linen button down, my ponte pant (full review here) and borrowed the blazer from my mother in law.  Leading up to this meeting I actually considered […]

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