Jeans are addictive. They’re reliable and durable, comfortable and easy to pair with just about anything. This is why most of us have a jeans habit. It’s not necessarily a bad habit, but it’s causing us to miss something. Namely, a world of soft and colorful fabric that help us stand out a little, look more refined, and — trust us — feel more comfortable.
The world of men’s pants have changed since the days of crisp, uncomfortable cotton Dockers. Thanks to countless combinations of fabric blends, chinos, commuter pants, corduroy, and stylish sweats have a spring in them that helps them sit and fit and feel good from right off the shelf (something that simply can’t be done with selvedge jeans). The fabrics also allow for a brighter and greater variety of colors, including blues and greens and golds that stand out from the crowd.
If you’re not convinced yet, here are 8 reasons to make your next pants purchase jean-free.
For the office, for a polished date night, and for just about everything in between, reach for chinos. The original twill chinos were trusted by the Army for their durable fabric, but today’s chinos – particularly with stretch fabric and in six-fit options from Bonobos – are quite apt for the modern man. There are enough bold, eye-catching colors to suit every sense of personal style, while the NYC brand also delivers fun design details like colorful lined pockets.
Just can’t quite give your denim a break? Ease into something fairly close to denim, yet more visually appealing than jeans. The cut and look of the Commuter Pants call to mind five-pocket denim, but the blend of cotton, poly, and elastane delivers stretch and ease of movement you might not find in everyday blue jeans. Plus, dusty blue, red-brown, and tan color options give these a more distinctive hue than denim. Their pants fit for 9-to-5 and beyond.
Ralph Lauren’s designs are reliably classic in any season, especially his vivid logo polos and Oxford shirts. Accordingly, the designer also does a nice job of offering an enticing switch-up from jeans, without going too far over the top. That means his chinos are offered in a timeless straight fit with a hint of stretch, complete with polished, angled front pockets for a dressy finish. The cotton twill should prove soft to the touch for spring, summer, and beyond, while colors like Sand and Soft Grey are suitably breezy for warm weather.
Rethink everything you thought you knew about Abercrombie and Fitch because the brand has grown up in a big way. No longer a haven for bleach-blond locks and overpowering cologne, the brand now has a bit of a sense of retro cool, as with these breezy linen-blend pants that look like throwback painter’s pants. The drawstring waistband is plenty comfortable, sure, but it’s the soft olive color, laidback (not sloppy) fit, and patch pockets that are the real eye-catching touches here.
Keep the comfort of trusty drawstring sweatpants close at hand, yet upgrade to a more polished pair of pants with these aptly named corduroy trousers. The wide-wale corduroy fabric is eye-catching without veering too far back into the 1970s, while the choice of slim or straight cuts offers a reliable fit for everyone. Best of all is the fact that these pants boast organic cotton for a sustainable finish, and they’re garment-dyed, so they’re soft to the touch.
If there’s one thing we’ve noticed scouring the market for the best pants for men – and perhaps you feel the same way – it’s that comfort is still king. No doubt about it, there are days we’re hard-pressed to give up a crucial touch of stretch, even when dressed up. The solution? A pair of refined yet extremely wearable corduroy pants that boast a drawstring waistband – which can easily be hidden by the bottom hem of your sweater or Oxford shirt. Better still if you opt for a deep, dressy color like Midnight, then finish off your look with low-profile brown leather chukka boots.
The good folks at San Francisco’s Taylor Stitch have a perfect sense of what works for today’s modern man: There’s a dash of rugged style and functionality, plus go-anywhere utility. No matter how much or little you find yourself in the field, tackling a tough to-do list, the Taylor Stitch Chore Pants could fill another gap in your wardrobe quite handsomely. Case in point: A tough yet supple blend of hemp, recycled polyester, and organic cotton is turned into a pair of work pants with easy-access slanted front pockets, reinforced thigh and knee padding, and a design that fits right in at your local coffee shop or your favorite brewery.
Part of the fun of stepping away from blue jeans from time to time? Tossing a little color onto the canvas that is your wardrobe, especially more unique variations on classic shades like olive. Take these Todd Snyder chinos, for instance – they’re made from high-quality, durable Japanese selvedge chino fabric, which will mold to your body over time. Yet, the olive color is a little darker, and the fabric a little more textured, than your average colorway, which makes them the ideal change of pace as you search for the best men’s pants.