Today’s chinos are indispensable. We bought 10 pairs of chinos, recommended to us by friends and by scouring the internet and wore them for an entire year, a full 12 months of going to work and going out. Here’s the results.
Results and What We Did To Review
The best pair of pants needs to excel in three categories:
1.How they fit?
2.How they feel?
3.How versatile are they?
We assigned each pant a score of 1-10 and averaged the results across the board. Above is a summary graphic and the detailed rankings below.
1. Birddogs – $95
The most comfortable pants I’ve worn plus they’re extremely versatile. The unparalleled comfort had me reaching for them every opportunity I could. The no-frills look passes the work and weekend test easily. They look great and fit well for a solid price point. I’m buying all three colors for my closet.
2. Kit and Ace – $148
Founded by Lululemon founder Chip Wilson and family, we really liked the Full Potential Pant. You can definitely wear it at home and the office. They feel great on your legs and look good for most occasions. This is a very close second to the Birddogs chinos. The problem, their fabric was still a little sheeny and slightly too techy of a feel, especially for work. At $148 they are also more expensive than Birddogs.
3. Lululemon – $128
The big new kid on the block the last few years in men’s wear didn’t disappoint. The ABC pants really live up to their name. They are versatile, fit and feel great. The quality of the fabric is apparent but they feel a little heavy and ever so slightly too techy. They do provide room for a wide range of motion while maintaining a modern tailored fit. Overall very comfortable, fabric is a little too heavy, too techy for work, very stretchy but a little too hot and thick.
4. Bonobos – $98
Bonobos makes a solid pair of pants. They are wearable to most events and carry a solid fit and feel. Nothing to complain about but they just didn’t really shine in any of the three criteria. Problem with bonobos: they feel like stiffer khakis, they’re not comfortable enough.
5. Rhone – $128
We felt this newer athletic wear company offering a “Commuter Pant” aired on the side of too casual. The feel was good and stretchy, but a little too much which hurt their office wearability score. The comfort level was high but they looked a little too casual for the office. Problem with Rhone, they stretch but the material feels cheaper and is sheeny. They are very techy and too shiny.
6. Public Rec – $98
Public rec is one of the newer companies on our list and there isn’t a whole lot of info about them online. They scored well in overall feel but were too casual for the office. For weekends they are ok but don’t look as good as other pants on the list. They look slightly cheaper and windbreaker like.
7. J. Crew – $79.50
J. Crew was a surprise. Their shirts and sweaters are great, comfortable and very versatile. Their pants fell short of the mark here, scoring average in feel but lower in fit and general versatility. Feels harder and stiffer like Bonobos without being as nice.
8. Dockers – $72
Dockers were average, and in a list like this, that pushed them to the bottom of our rankings. The fit was boxier than a modern slim fit. The feel was not nearly as soft and comfortable as higher ups on our list. They reminded us of older, stiffer pairs of chinos.
9. Banana Republic – $59.99
The quality of Banana Republic at a lower price point shone through but the hand feel and comfort levels weren’t great. For office wear they were fine but I found myself grabbing other pairs of pants for the weekend. They have more of a jean type pocket and the fabric feels too techy without the comfort.
10. Everlane – $72
We were surprised here, Everlane has a great reputation online. The biggest detractor was the feel of the pants. The fit and versatility ranked ok but they felt like the old and stuffy khakis that I would find in my dad’s closet. At $72 a pair they are one of the more affordable pants on this list but there are much better options for about $20 more.