I bought a navy suit from Banana Republic about six years ago, right before my wedding. It’s wool, relatively slim fitting; it’s a nice suit. But it’s getting old. A few months ago I decided it was time for a new suit because I knew we had a summer wedding coming up, and I was ready for a refresher.
And then my car needed four new tires because of course it did. The new suit would have to wait. Meanwhile, Andrew posted this piece about what to wear to a summer wedding, and I thought, Well you serendipitous stud, especially because I immediately fell in love with the pants he was wearing by Buttoned Down. I have a hard time finding dress pants that drape well on me because I have a long torso and short, thin (chicken) legs. I showed my wife the article and said, “What about an outfit like this for the wedding?” I’ll censor her response for the sake of decorum, but it was an earnest vote of approval.
I love the Bonobos sport coat Andrew wore, but $250 was a little steep in the wake of four SUV tires, so I set out to find a budget option. Boscov’s, an East Coast department store where your mom and grandma find wonderful deals on costume jewelry, luggage, and summer hats, happened to have a sale on men’s Nautica sport coats, so I snagged one for just over $100.
I vacillated between a few ties, ultimately landing on a Lands End seersucker with a white button-down shirt, and I threw navy laces in my Allen Edmonds to keep my coordination game on point.
Here’s the final result:
So let’s talk about these pants.
For a guy with short legs, it’s hard to find the balance between slim pants and skinny pants. Slim is cool; skinny is for emo kids from 2006. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised with the cut of these slacks: The fit was tailored just right without being in any way constricting. The rise, the height of the crotch, fit me perfectly as well. My one criticism is the length. Typically in dress pants I’m a spot-on 32×30, but the first pair I got were way too long. I like no break or occasionally a quarter break in my slacks, and even with the 32x29s, I felt like I would’ve preferred just a hair of length taken off. My recommendation: order one size down on the length.
I have a few pairs of wool pants, and these are easily the lightest weight. For a summer wedding this was perfect. At no time during the wedding did I feel hot, and whilst cutting a rug during the reception, I managed to keep sweat under control. There were several guys wearing chinos to this wedding (which felt a little casual to me), and each of them suffered from palpable swamp ass within a half hour of dancing. Poor bastards never knew what hit ‘em, but thick cotton pants in a June wedding is never a great idea.
While these aren’t the softest slacks I’ve ever worn, they’re more than comfortable enough for three-season wear. Super 110 wool means they’re not going to have as soft a hand as say a Super 180 or Super 200, but they’ll be more rugged and stand up better to frequent wear. And since they’re wool, the drape was more than adequate, keeping wrinkles at bay for the entire evening. In fact, I hung the pants when my wife and I got back to our hotel room, and by the next morning, any minor wrinkles had completely settled.
Simply put – There is no color more versatile than this shade of light gray. I’m an old-school prep, so my preference was to wear these pants with black shoes and a black belt (And yes, this is the traditional choice when pairing gray slacks with a navy jacket). But my wife, preferring the more contemporary British look, encouraged me to go with tan shoes and belt instead. While I still think my idea was better (and we’ll keep that between us), the point is that this shade of gray goes swimmingly with either black or brown. Hell, I could even get away with a pair of white sneakers and a polo if I were feeling especially raffish.
The pants are also available in charcoal, black, and navy.
Let’s be real: $141 isn’t cheap for a pair of pants, but I actually think it’s a pretty stellar deal. Suit separates cost more, and somehow they never seem to have the versatility that I want. The pants are Italian wool, and the construction clearly matches the quality of the fabric – In no way do these feel cheap. So from a versatility and longevity standpoint, this isn’t a pair of slacks that I’ll need to replace over the next few years. To me, $100 would be a more appropriate pricepoint for these, but considering the savings over a new suit, I won’t complain.
If you’re in the market for a pair of slacks, I recommend these Super 110 slim fit slacks from Buttoned Down. They’re not cheap, but I see it as a cry-once situation. Not only will these be my go-to for summer events, but I’ll wear them for work at least once a week in the fall. The cut is svelte, the fabric is premium, and they look damn good.