Now that we’ve gotten Dan into a decent pair of shoes, he needs to be able to show them off.
Most days, Dan wears shapeless, pleated khakis which not only add girth making him look wider than he is, but they are also too long which dwarf him – and at 6′ 2″ tall, that’s not easy to do. Dan actually has a rather athletic build, and would benefit from pants that are more straight leg, flat front, and properly tailored. Sure, Dan complains of some extra cushion around the middle, as most men over 30 do, but what he may not realize is that proper fitting pants will actually be more flattering, and will make him look slimmer.
Dan wears chinos most days, but will also throw on the occasional pair of wool trousers. J.Crew makes a straight leg pant called The Bowery Pant that comes in cotton and wool varieties, and would be perfect for Dan. Should he choose to go a little more casual both Dockers and Lands’ End Canvas make slim (not skinny) fitting chinos in soft, washed cotton. And on those days when Dan can ditch all formality and go with a pair of jeans, he’d be best served keeping it classic with Levis 501′s.
The J.Crew Bowery cotton twill pants in classic fit are cut straight with a roomier seat and thigh, while tapering slightly towards the bottom. I personally own a few pair of these. They come in a variety of colors including khaki (shown), light hickory – which is a darker, yellower khaki, navy, black, and raw steel – a dark grey. The hook and eye closure and back welt pockets keeps them on the dressier side. An interior tab button keeps them on. And off-seam side pockets keeps them from ballooning. At $69.50 per pair, they are by no means cheap. However, in my opinion Dan would be hard pressed to find a more versatile, and handsome looking pair of pants.
The Bowery Pants come in most waist sizes, and in 30, 32, and 34″ lengths. In order to benefit from the great fit, Dan needs to keep them from bunching at his shoes. At his height, he’d most likely benefit from getting them in 30″ length. The pants are also offered in additional fabrics, and patterns. There are solid wool and wool herringbone versions available in light grey and in charcoal for $118.00, and in other cotton varieties such as glen plaid, micro-stripe, and cotton oxford.
Dan could wear the basic cotton twills with either brown loafer, the black ministripe with the black oxfords, and the grey wool with any of the four loafers or oxfords from Big Dan Part 1. I would also wear the dressier of the three belts, which is also available in brown.
Bowery Cotton Twill in Classic Fit | $69.50
Bowery Microstripe in Classic Fit | $88.00
Bowery Wool in Classic Fit | $118.00
All available at J.Crew.
I feel like all labels from high-end designer to basics like GAP are making slim fit chinos these days. And with good reason – they are flattering on most men without being too skinny. There’s no reason to wear skin-tight chinos. In fact, there’s no reason for a man to wear skin-tight anything unless he is riding in the Tour de France, etc. Dockers and Lands’ End Canvas are just two great options in a slim-fit chino, both clocking in at very reasonable price points.
The Dockers version comes in a number of fabrics and styles (which can be seen here.) I recommend purchasing them at Macy’s though, where they are currently on sale in the soft fabric for $32.00. I picked up a pair for myself. In my regular 34/30 they felt snug in the waist, but fit perfectly in length. My guess is these are teh waders which are meant to be worn rolled. However, you will not see me (or Dan for that matter) rolling any pants, so for Dan I recommend he buys these at 32″ length for that perfect casual fit.
Since I may not keep my Dockers, and also because I like to research what I write about I have also ordered the Lands’ End Canvas version in the same size. While I cannot personally endorse the fit of these, I have seen online and in the comments that they tend to run a little bigger which may be good for both of us. And at $39.50, they’re almost the same price as the Dockers, and can be returned to any Sears should they not fit. Bonus! Both brands are available in a variety of colors.
Dan could wear the Sebago loafers with either of these, or any of the more casual shoes. I would recommend wearing the casual leather belt or the web belt.
Dockers D1 Slim Fit Chinos | $29.00 – $52.00
Lands’ End Canvas Slim Fit Chinos | $39.50
Jeans are very personal, but one thing I think most of us do, or at least should agree on is that acid wash is bad – very bad. I’m not saying Dan wears acid washed jeans, just making a point. Most men look good in a straight leg jean. Not too skinny like some hipster, nor too baggy like some of those kids with whom I attended high school, but right there in the middle – comfortable while still looking neat. Many men buy selvedge jeans and roll them to expose the mark of the selvedge jean, but I really don’t think Dan cares about such things. That’s why I recommend the Levis 501 jeans in clean rigid which can be dressed up with a sweater or sport jacket, and either mid-shift or indigo mine for all other days. They can be worn to work on the car, or dressier in a pinch.
While I wouldn’t recommend Dan wear the black oxfords with jeans, he could certainly get away with either loafer, or any of the casual shoes. And if he insists on wearing jeans en route to the beach, yes flip-flops are ok too. Dan can dress the jeans up with the dressier belt, or go with either of the other two for a casual look.
Levis 501 Jeans | $44.00 – $79.50
Check later at Big Dan’s Ramblings for Dan’s response, and back here tomorrow when I’ll cover shirts, sweaters, and outerwear.