Some of us (my hand is raised) are in a rut. We default to dark blue denim at the slightest opportunity to do so. And why not? It’s comfortable, it’s classic,and in our current day and age you can even dress it up a bit. Hell, it goes with darn near everything (even other blue stuff) and prices range from dirt cheap to investment worthy. That said, sometimes you gotta branch out. Because if you don’t, you might never discover a new favorite. Here are 10 pairs of pants to consider that aren’t dark blue denim, yet won’t make jeans-addicts too uncomfortable. Maybe… (someone hold me. please).
JEANS OF A DIFFERENT CUHLAH! Don’t scoff. Even going from standard dark blue denim to a saturated grey/charcoal can be a weird switch for some. But dark grey, like this, will fool the eye a bit more and look terrific with a wool or chino blazer. They feel and wear like jeans, but look slightly more dressed up. A little lighter in shade in person. Many have complained about Bonobos (probably?) changing the fabric over the last year or two on their travel jeans, but many of us still find em’ to be pretty darn fantastic. Made in the USA denim, all the Bonobos fits available (Straight, Slim Straight, Slim Tailored)… and not blue. Codes can drop these to the mid $70s. Size 32×30 in the straight fit shown above.
#2. L.E. Moleskin Straight Fit 5-Pockets – $59.25 ($79) w/ MAPLE & 1610
Moleskin is nothing short of awesome this time of year. Thicker. Keeps the wind off your skin. It’s like velvet with a crew-cut. Little to no shine. Velvet is dressy and a bit frou-frou. Moleskin is quite dressed down and almost rugged. The nap on Moleskin is much shorter than velvet. Think nubuck vs. full-grain suede. And don’t worry… moleskin is just cotton. Not the actual pelts of moles. Code & pin is good for 25% off reg. priced styles through Tuesday, 10/21.
Some of us denim addicts have an aversion to subbing out our jeans for cords due to the “Dressed up” connotation cords can sometimes carry. If you were raised in a cold weather area, and had house-of-worship going parents, chances are you were shoehorned into an itchy sweater and ballooning cords on Sundays (or Saturdays) as a child. Conditioning man… it’s powerful stuff. Anyway, so the key to break that connection in your head, is to stick with cheap cords. Cheap cords aren’t as soft and mushy. And you won’t feel weird scraping them up/spilling sh* t on em’. Get the light grey pair, wear with a t-shirt, and go change your oil.
Awfully close to dark denim, but not quite. Baby steps here for the true dark denim addicts. These are selvedge twill 5 pockets. Ultra deep navy color. Slim fit. Not a ton of sizes left in terms of length (UPDATE: looks like they’re all but gone in blue), but, if you’re willing to slice that selvedge, you can always have em’ hemmed. Really well reviewed.
Much denser twill than an average chino, so they’re not going to feel like you’re working the floor at Best Buy. “Vintage Brick” shade pulls a summer go-to-hell color right into fall. Patch pockets on the rear. These things are beggin’ for a shawl collar sweater and a winter ale.
Not a plush, dressy corduroy. More like a canvas pant with a slight bit of texture. Dressy corduroy is going to probably drift too far from the norm for a denim addict, but these are more like canvas pants. Always on sale too, so might be worth waiting for a code. Slim fit, so watch out if you’re beefier through your lower appendages.
Anybody need some wood chopped? They’re not going to move or feel like standard chinos. And that’s a good thing. For the coldest of days. Gonna look mighty fine with some Red Wings. Extra 30% off & free shipping, today only, with LEAVES.
#8. J. Crew Camp Pant – $27.99 w/ TGIFALL (final) ($98)
Not quite a cargo pant. Might be worth checking out your local Army/Navy surplus for something very similar. Based off a military design. Patch pockets up front, flaps in the back. Slimmer fitting. Straight through the hip but with a slim thigh and leg. Lots of sizes left, but they are final sale. Use TGIFALL for an extra 30% off.
#9. Your favorite dark blue jeans… in black
Yep. Black denim is “in” this season. But a tip: Make sure you pick a pair of black jeans that aren’t a super-saturated, solid black. Like your favorite pair of dark-wash denim, you want a little bit of the lighter threads to be showing through (as seen above on the pair from Bonobos). Solid black jeans are a little tough to pull off, aside from wearing with 3-wolf moon t-shirts, or, heading to at Star Trek convention. But if you’re headed in that direction… by all means. QAPLA’! But that’s not to say it can’t be done. Just having that visual texture there, with the lighter colored threads, makes it a bit easier.
#10. Put on a favorite pair of suit pants… and the jacket too.
A substitution for when you were going to get out your best pair of dark denim and dress them up. Why not? Just wear a suit. For the hell of it. No, not to the budget theater for a $2.99 matinee, but if you and your sweetheart were planning a casual night out, why not ask your betrothed if they’d like to step it up a notch for the evening? If you’re a blue collar or business casual worker, don’t save your suits for special occasions. Get em’ out. Practice makes perfect. Have fun in them. (Above: Suitsupply Napoli fit, out of stock, from a few years back)
NOTE: Yes, during editing we realized that the very top image of this post looks like it could be the cover to some 1980s VHS adult movie. Not that we’d know anything about that kinda thing. Gets the point across though.