20 May 2010

Chino Tasting: Boyer's Best Khaki

G. Bruce Boyer's pick for Best Khaki

No frills

Quality and Simplicity

The LINCS khaki (PS104903) is a clean and simple designed pant that speaks to a time in the mid - 60s when the khaki silhouette was tapered almost to the point of a jean. I was impressed and surprised by this pant. At $65 and made in China, it really is a standout. G. Bruce Boyer and Robert Bryan both gave it a 90 but Boyer awarded it "Best Khaki" of the tasting citing, "very good hand, reg. rise + slim leg, nicely finished, simple styling, good color."

If there was a category for "Best Value" this pant would get it. The problem is (there's always a problem), unless you're close to Dillards - you're S.O.L. DC Design admits that while the pant is a best seller it's not offered on line and must be purchased in the store. I'm scratching my head about this but there you go.

If you have the time, I'd like to throw a wonderful documentary at you. This is a short 10 minute feature shot in 1967 featuring Lee Marvin and the making of the Dirty Dozen. If you're pressed for time fast forward to 8:12 in and check out the khakis. Simple, clean, slim silhouette. Perfect for, "Action guys enjoying themselves on the town." I swear, someone at Chu design saw this and created this pant. Why they don't name it the Marvin and sell it on line I'll never know.


Peter Wilborn said...

Love the series reviewing khakis. But these pants are not good. I agree with all the points made, but the rise is super low. These are slim in the legs -- love that -- but the rise is like a pair of girl's pants. I went from a pair of Bill M2s, and the low rise Lincs (horrible name by the way) revealed one shirt button lower, the last. No way to wear full cut boxers under these.

tintin said...

Then wear briefs. I do with my linen Borelli trousers. What's the model # of the LINCS pant you bought? The rise on our sample (a 32" waist was more that adequate. I'll even check with DC Design and get the dimensions.

Both Bruce and Robert were sensitive to the rise but no one tried anything on. And I sure as hell can't fit into a 32. I'll see if I can't get the judge's sizes from the the the category winners (pretty sure J Press will say no) and see how they do in the real world (if the judges are game). Thanks for the idea.

Peter Wilborn said...

Briefs?! These are not Italian linen trousers, they are supposed to be good value trad khakis. No need to change underwear for a pair of pants. I tried both model ##s that you tested (ending in '02 and '03). I tried 33" and 34" (waist was fine on both, slim legs were great, rise was modern BS). I am 6'1, 175, and the rise was short, not regular. Also, fabric was advertised on tag as high-tech, non-iron, blah, blah.

Hey, I'm not negative. I loved the test (and love the blog) and followed closely. But I think rise is the most important pant distinction between classic great and modern mediocrity. Khakis (which are otherwise shapeless) are supposed to be worn around the waist, not the hips. You have showed this time and again with the wonderful shots of your dad and others. The Lincs pants sit below the hips and are horribly modern in this regard.

Few people can handle a real rise (like worn in the 40s) these days. Hipsters wear their girlfriends' pants and many others have lost their true waist long ago. Your ideal is correct: lean WWII GIs who deservedly walked with a swagger. Not one of whom could have fit their sack in a pair of Lincs.

tintin said...

Peter- You have every right to be critical here. And I will check with the Robert and Bruce for their own. David Coleman wrote a piece in the NY Times Thursday (5/20) on the hip khaki. Check it out on line.

His point (I think) is that the high rise khaki you and I like so much is dead (too "white bread" says Derrick Miller) and buried with the ultra expensive and hip khaki the next big thing. Or, his point was to get 12 hip khaki makers some press. I'm not sure.

My goal was to inspect a wide price range and focus on the quality, construction and overall soul of the pant hence the "tasting." While the LINCS pant that won is no iron, the finish on the pant we inspected was amazingly good. In fact, it wasn't until I got a description of the pant from DC Design that I even knew it was no iron.

Still, I will follow up with DC on the rise and see if I can't secure a pr to try on. If they're ball-less khakis (TM), I'll let you know.

Anonymous said...

Tintin, please correct me if I'm wrong, but by the '60s men's "khakis" had evolved into something of a sightly low-rise, peg legged, almost jeans-like pant that was not even really khaki colored. They were, by then, almost without exception, a ubiquitous light or bleached tone that today we refer as "stone."

I think that's plainly evident not just in the Dirty Dozen action guys clip you posted, but reinforced by the light-colored trousers Steve McQueen wore in The Great Escape. With chukka boots, no less. Period appropriate for WWII (and also '60s cool), but unless McQueen's character managed to scavenge a pair of chukkas from someone in the British 7th Armoured Division Desert Rats...unlikely. And where did he get the sweatshirt?


Carl said...

The rise is definitely low. I just purchased a pair from SteinMart for $35. Seems to definitely be a well made pant, but, yes, low rise.

Anonymous said...

Boyer has made an error on this one I am sad to say. The lincs rise is similar to the pants of a 13 year old school girl. Only time I have been truly disappointed by a Boyer recommendation.