The Curriculum

Khaki Leg Line
Page 1 of 2

Author:  Trip English [ Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Khaki Leg Line

In my extended semi-absence from clothing forums I've been undertaking a wardrobe rebuild. Having gone up in chest size I've basically moved to a more classic cut in all garments. Purely the baggiest shirts, fuller trousers, and suits & sport coats as well.

There's one garment -however- that seems to elude a good fit: khakis. It's been something that's been a long time coming for me, but I think I hate them.

Of course I love the idea of them. I like the way they look folded in my closet. The way the fabric - especially a nicer pair from Bills - feels in my hand, and the very casual nature of these pants. But I just can't stomach the knee-pops and the disjointed leg line that takes a mere 15 minutes to develop.

It seems that no matter how I alter the fit I'm stuck with this. When I wore much slimmer pants it sort of came with the territory, but I'd thought that as I migrated to a fuller cut I'd avoid this. Not so! Even in an M2 I get a stretched knee that seems to take the whole rigamarole out of whack.

Am I alone here? Do we just cope with what happens? IS IT TRAD???

Author:  Trip English [ Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

Note: The one khaki that seems impervious to this effect is the Brooks Advantage Chino (I like the Clark fit). But that comes with its own issues.

Author:  OCBD [ Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

Trip, I have had the exact same issues. I even documented this issue here: ... continues/

I have moved to slightly larger chinos and have had less of this issue, but I am coming to accept that it is just a fact of must-iron chinos.

Author:  Spin Evans [ Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

For the longest time, I avoided khakis due to those problems (well, also because I had to wear them daily in high school). The rayburst lines at the crotch, the saggy knees, and eventually when the hem stretches out and turns no-break to full-break.

I've come around again and enjoy khakis greatly now. Certain pairs, like my LE ones, are just plain awful about stretching out and turning into flappy sails. Others are less problematic.

Author:  Trip English [ Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

OCBD - That article hits the nail on the head. That' exactly what I experience and - as you mention - I suspect that my muscular legs are to blame. I made some quick illustrations of what the pants I've tried do after a little bit of wear.

I started with the Bill's M3. I had fond memories of the fit, but for whatever reason had parted ways with the few pair I had a few years back. To my chagrin they've actually changed the cut based on the iGent feedback that their "slim" wasn't "slim" enough. They also added the M4 cut for an even spindlier fellow. When they're ironed they almost have the collegiate cut that OCBD mentions as they're not terribly slim through the whole leg, they just have a wild taper. Of course after a bit of movement they're drooping off my ass and gripping my calves for dear life presenting the single worst leg line I've ever seen. Completely unacceptable. To eBay they go.

When I tried on the Jack Donnelly Hybrid Fit I was initially very hopeful. There's still a chance for these actually, as my tailor is skillful, but with no break these things sort hug the front of my calves and swing out to the back. I'm going to discuss options for increasing the break and maybe even a gentle taper under the knee, but I'm not holding my breath.

I thought I'd be safe in the M2s. After all I can take a medium stride without the pants moving, such is the capaciousness of their leg. I was mistaken. Sure enough the knees popped out like I'd stretched them over a musk melon.

So I'm left taking a temporary hiatus from Khakis. I'd prefer not to have to resort to BB's Chem-Trousers® but I may not have a choice. One of OCBD's commenters mentioned the LLs and I might give those a shot in the classic fit. If I'm going science-pants from the orient I may as well pay $39.


Author:  NaturalShoulder [ Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

Trip - Perhaps you may want to consider the Bills M1 cut with your tailor then tapering from the knee. I remember someone over at AAAT posted pictures after he he tried that option and I thought it looked good.

I considered trying as an experiment if I found some M1s cheap.

You may also want to try the Chensvold /Ivy Style khaki when it is launched next month.

Author:  Speas [ Wed Sep 02, 2015 9:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

Seems to me you have answered your own question here in that all cotton khakis stretch unless they have the phony finish or perhaps polyester. I tried the Chem-Trousers® once and they frayed horribly at the hem. Perhaps a solution would be to buy them long and cuff them, eliminating the fused end. I also recall that the perma-crease faded due to friction in the washer leaving a light colored stripe down the leg front and back. Maybe the fraying wasnt the primary problem.

Author:  Youthful Repp-robate [ Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

I wonder if what causes the issues is less muscular leg, and more some kind of balance issue in the seat area. That could be what causes the Donellys to swing back on you, maybe. Just spitballing.

I am lucky, in that Lands End makes stuff that fits me as it's meant to from the waist down.

Author:  Trip English [ Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

I agree that I've probably answered my own question.

A. Khaki material stretches.

B. Because of my muscular legs and generous caboose, my khakis are more likely to stretch on me.

C. Any khaki that's sufficiently generous at the knee to avoid the knee pop winds up feeling WAY too wide at the cuff.

D. Any taper that adequately (to my eye) rectifies the leg opening either a. brings the knee in too much, or b. looks out of proportion with the upper leg.


I have a pair of the L.L. Bean Classic fit waiting for me in my office. I don't care much about the fraying or fading at the crease (both of which I've experienced with BB Clarks), as I wear khakis interchangeably with jeans. Perfect fit and finish isn't needed.

Author:  Ensiferous [ Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

Long live the Chem Trouser!

They were good enough for our ancestors, and they are good enough for us. I like my non-iron LEs and "high performance" BBs.

Vegan trousers are overrated. Maybe the chems will preserve me.

Author:  Ensiferous [ Thu Sep 03, 2015 8:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

About your fit requirements, Trip, I am of no help.

Since personally trimming down some, my @ss and thighs need trousers with a slimmer seat & leg. 9.25" at the knee, 7.5 - 7.75" at the opening.

Author:  Trip English [ Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

I'm having pretty good luck with the LL Beans today on their maiden voyage. They've survived some heavy crouching and 45 minutes on a bike. MUCH softer than the BB ChemSlax®

Author:  ZJP [ Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line


I understand the frustrations.

However, I feel the options may be limited.

1.) Fabric- The higher end fabrics(yes, higher end than Bill Khakis) doesn't seem to have this problem. But, we are talking W. Bill level fabric and that means cotton pants that are as much as wool and maybe more. Kent Wang offers a khaki in W. Bill twill that can be had in MTM if the RTW doesn't work for the same price ($175).

2.) Cut. I too suffer from well developed thighs Luxire might be able to make you something that fights the issues more effectively.

I hope any of those thoughts help.

Author:  Billax [ Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

Ensiferous wrote:
Long live the Chem Trouser!
I, too, will acknowledge my heresy! J. Press Poplins
65% Polyester 35% Cotton, 2- PLY Poplin, Plain front, Tan. Made in USA. Within an eighth of an inch, the same measurements as Ensiferous.

Author:  Patrick [ Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Khaki Leg Line

Listen to Billax. He is the unsurpassed King of Krisp.

Page 1 of 2 All times are UTC-04:00
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group