Chino season has returned.
And with it, the plethora of khaki colors to choose from. Perhaps you’ve already been browsing for a new pair and stumbled upon the likes of Vintage Sand, Dusty Stone, Insouciant Taupe. But what’s in a name? Were any of those even real? It’s time to put your menswear acumen to the test and play a little game we’ve made up called...
We’ve filtered through all of the online sale noise and graded your best options out there, should you feel inclined to do any menswear browsing this weekend...
For Looking Fashion-Forward to Summer:Opening Ceremony is knocking 20% off most of their spring wares with the code SpringFling20. Discount: B Sizes Available: A- Selection: B+
For Princely Pants:Dockers is throwing a Friends and Family sale with 30% off everything, including their Alpha Khakis—which were recently spotted on British royal Prince Harry—with the code FF2013. Discount: B+ Sizes Available: B+ Selection: A-
For the Swimmers: Get up to 60% off swimwear at Nordstrom, featuring one of our favorite trunk-makers: Orlebar Brown. Discount: A Sizes Available: B Selection: B+
We won’t spend any more time extolling the virtues of chinos. You’re probably wearing a pair now. We’ll just say this: a classic is a classic—from British officer khaki to go-to-hell red. It doesn’t matter what you’re hearing right now, you’ll be wearing chinos of every stripe, summer after summer, regardless of what #menswear is telling you. Which is why we'd rather survey the whole spectrum—a little reminder of what was and a little inspiration for what will be. Whether you’re going full-on Lapo Elkann or keeping it classic, Miles Davis-style, let this be your guide.
Our Exhibit A is this pair from Brooklyn’s own Left Field, which sports a herringbone pattern so subtle, you won’t even see it unless you’re looking closely; it’ll just look a little more weathered than your average chino. Throw in a decidedly non-skinny cut and you’ve got one of the most versatile pairs of pants we’ve seen all season.
And if you don’t feel like dropping $180 just yet, we’d direct you to Exhibit B, Dockers’ Alpha Khaki, a surprisingly rugged item that hit the $60 sweet spot on the Dockers site earlier this week.
As you may have noticed from the stack of glossy pages threatening to break your coffee table, it’s time for the September issues—the print-world primer for everything that happens in style for the next six months.
So we took it upon ourselves to methodically flip through GQ, Esquire and Details (which add up to roughly the page count of Crime and Punishment) and provide scientific analysis.
This Army pant arrived today from Steven Alan and Dockers, with the flat twill you’d expect from Dockers and the clever twists you’d expect from Mr. Alan. But our main interest was that stitched front pocket.
It’s not exactly a cargo pocket, but if you needed somewhere to stash a smartphone, it’s the perfect size. And since it’s clinging to your hips instead of your thighs, the pocket dodges most of the problems we have with the dreaded cargo pant.
It doesn’t hurt that the fabric’s so perfectly weather-beaten. As brute utility goes, it's pretty handsome stuff.
We stopped by GQ’s fete for new menswear designers last night, and the message was pretty clear: the state of the menswear union is strong. Six designers were selected to put together a capsule line with Dockers: Patrik Ervell, Michael Bastian for Gant, T by Alexander Wang, Rick Klotz from Warriors of Radness, Kirk Miller from Miller’s Oah and the trio of gents behind Riviera Club. This afternoon, the judges named Alexander Wang as their pick—but we‘d point out that all of the nominees were in a room with Kanye, which technically makes them all winners.
More seriously, the collaboration brought out some of the best in all the designers involved. Riviera Club proved their fall/winter chops (or possibly their love of tweed), Michael Bastian pioneered something we’re going to call “the carnival chalet look,” and Patrik Ervell kept his inner deconstructivist in check long enough to create one of the slickest heathered suits we’ve ever seen. With any luck, it’ll be arriving at Bloomingdale’s in the fall with the rest of the capsule collection—which should give you time to consider whether you’ve got the panache to pull it off.
Khakis usually make for unusually bad biking pants—the pant cuff tends to find its way into the bike gears, except on the slimmest of the slim fit—but Dockers gave their pants a run for its money in one of the toughest gigs in the biking world: Berlin’s World Bike Polo Championship.
These scruffy gents are from the American team, bankrolled and (more importantly) outfitted by Dockers. The slim tapered pair on the left seems to have escaped any chain-related chewing, which speaks for the experiment pretty well—although we’d like to see those pant legs rolled up a little more. Still, count it as one more reason to avoid anything that describes itself as “relaxed fit.”