Hey gents,

Just to follow up on a recent article about wearing bright colors on your legs, I wanted to tell you a bit about these khakis from Dockers that came in the mail recently.

To be frank, I try to avoid talking about specific models and brands too often because I don’t want to seem biased.

At the same time, it’s impossible to talk about clothing and personal style without also discussing specific examples. And sometimes, I come across a particular item that I just have to tell you about because I think it’s awesome.

This is definitely one of those times.

The denim alternative

I love my denim as much as the next guy (especially the dark blue inky kind) but sometimes, you just want to wear a different pair of pants, you know what I mean? Sometimes you’re forced to, for example, when it’s hot as balls out and you want to keep as cool as possible.

My problem with a lot of chinos out there is that they’re too baggy. TOO BAGGY! I hate baggy chinos, especially baggy khaki-colored chinos… the kind that cell phone kiosk workers and Best Buy sales associates and middle management employees choose to wear.

Nothing wrong with those professions, of course, but there’s everything wrong with that choice of silhouette.

(Side note: In case you’re confused about the difference between ‘khakis’ and ‘chinos’, chinos are the style of pants, while khaki is the color.)

Chinos, like your denim, should be slim-fitting (not snug or suffocating, mind you) and with minimal break. The length and break of your chinos is especially important, since you can’t just roll them up like you can with denim.

On the other hand, hemming chinos is usually easier than denim because you don’t have to always worry about keeping the original hem like you do with denim.

Well fitting AND at a good price?

Aaanyway, so fit is super important, but so is price. I know not everyone wants to spend $200 on a pair of chinos no matter how well-fitting it is.

So when Dockers asked me to try their Alpha Khakis, I was all “psHhH hellz yeah I’m down.” That’s exactly what I said to them too.

Truthfully I’ve been meaning to try the Alpha Khakis out for a while. I spotted them months (years?) ago at a Nordstrom while I waited for K (the fiancé) to finish her shoe browsing. I was first attracted to their array of color choices. Then I took a closer look, and everything about them was just so awesome.

First off, the silhouette wasn’t all billowy like some of Dockers’ more traditional models. The twill feels a bit brushed and worn (but not overly brushed to where it looks old), making it soft to the touch. Each pair is slightly broken in, so it’s not all stiff and uncomfortable when you first step into them.

They have the characteristics of your favorite pair of denim, but they’re freakin’ chinos! This translates to awesome in my book, because I want every pair of pants I own can feel like my favorite pair of denim. Don’t you?

Anyway, if you’re a dude who finds basic straight legs too baggy for your bottom half, give these a try. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

You can find the Alpha Khakis online here.


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PUBLISHED July 19, 2012

Barron is a Lean Wardrobe Advocate and Founding Editor of Effortless Gent. He's from San Francisco but currently living in New York. Connect with him on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Tumblr.

  • Jim

    how about chinos from GAP, slim fit?

    • I got the Gap tailored khaki in slim fit, I love how they fit.

      • ChrisReetz

        I like these Dockers, need to check them out. I have also had great luck with Gap – pretty much makes up my entire pant / slack collection.

  • cdrinark

    Dockers really has stepped it up with some styles. And, if you sign up for their email, you get 20% off and free shipping on your first order, even on sale items. And they send out great promotions, and they have great sales. No, I don’t work for Dockers. But their Alphas are awesome!

    • Great suggestion! 20% off never hurt anyone 🙂

  • rtflores

    dockers is my go to khakis. I do like their old models better- khaki waders and SF fits better than alpha. On alpha khakis, I had to go 1 size down to get the fit I want. Great quality for the price though.

    • Interesting, I never gave their older models a try. Wonder if they’re still around, or did they discontinue them completely?

  • JRok

    I purchased a pair of Alphas. I am slim and athletic. I road bike so my thighs might be a bit more muscular than others. But I find the alphas to be tight in the seat. My “junk” is pretty packed in there and I have a very difficult time adjusting myself. Suggestions? Anyone else have this issue?

    • Maybe try sizing up one and seeing how it fits? Also, the material stretches with a bit of use, and as long as you don’t throw your pants in the laundry every day (unless they’re dirty, of course) they should eventually conform to your body. That was my experience at least.

      You could also try their D1s, though I think those are not very slim, despite being called slim fit.

  • Derek

    “you can’t just roll them up like you can with denim.”

    That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that; it’s usually vice versa when I read it. Rolled up chinos look more natural to me than rolled up denim. Rolling up pants occurs when it’s too hot, you’re stepping in the water, or you’re riding a bike, and you shouldn’t be wearing denim anyway if you’re doing any of that.

    Really just nitpicking here though, good post, I have a pair of Alpha’s myself.

    • apm

      It’s hard to find a pair of chino’s not rolled up in London (mine included).

    • Hmm, I’m not sure what I meant by that when I wrote it, now that I’m looking at it a month later. I think maybe I meant in a dressier situation, if you’re wearing chinos, typically you wouldn’t want to roll them up and would prefer a proper cuff with minimal break. If it’s a casual situation, of course that wouldn’t matter; I roll up my chinos all the time. Sorry if that was confusing 🙂

  • Thanks for alerting about these. Any issues with sizing? Did you have to size up or down compared with other jeans or chinos?

    • rtflores

      size down

    • I think size down. I got the 32″, which were comfortable but had a little more room in the waist than my other 32″. It depends on how close you are to the mid sizing, I guess.

  • Brock

    Definitely giving these a try. I was a bit unsatisfied with their “slim fit” khakis. Thought they weren’t very slim and felt cheap. But these look cool…off to order. Thanks for the review.


    • Yep, I didn’t like their D1, I believe it was? They were marketed as their slim fit (before these Alphas) and they were not slim at all… These worked well however.

  • Found a pair of these at Winners for $10. I wasn’t sure about the color (army green or something similar), but I tried them on and, while they were too long, they fitted very well. Sad that they’re harder to find in Canada, especially in size 28.

    • You can always get them taken up, right?

      • Yep, that’s what I’ll do! My chinos collection is now complete, next step would be dress pants.

  • kmorris76

    I got chinos that fit really well (imho) from Banana Republic for $70, which, in my opinion, is a pretty good price.

  • Personally I found the Alphas tapered a bit too slim from the calf down for me. Now granted I’m not the slimmest guy in the world, but felt they accentuated my slight bowleggedness. They might have adjusted them since then though, but otherwise some guys may prefer some of the more casual options in the D1 lineup.

    • Yeah, it definitely depends on the guy. I have larger than normal calves (muscle, not fat, thank God) and quads for my height / weight, but these seem to fit me just fine, so I felt comfortable endorsing them… I figured if they fit me well, they’ll probably fit a majority of average guys. I tried on the Levis 511 once and I couldn’t get them past my knee. They’re like straight up leggings.

  • Erick Salinas

    i just bought 3 pairs, this are awesome! a lot of colors and very good fit

    • I love the color selection too 🙂 And the fit is incredible.

  • Adam

    Keep your eyes peeled at TJ Maxx & Marshalls. I see them in those stores all the time. (They’re also really easy to spot on the rack — just look for the orange stitching on the inner waistband.)

    These are my favorite chinos… I own more than a dozen pairs in tons of colors, and I’ve never paid more than $20 bucks for a pair. If I recall, I think they’re usually about $17 at Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx, but I’ve gotten them for as little as $12.

    • No way, you’ve found them at TJ Maxx and Marshalls? That’s amazing. Great find for the folks who can spot em at these discount stores. Nice tip.

  • Eric

    Bought a pair of these from Macy’s today and love them! Thanks for the rec!

    • Awesome! Glad you found a pair you liked.

  • Lee4

    I have a pair of slim fit alpha khakis and a skinny fit chinos from Gap. Both have very similar fits (good), but the dockers look more casual and feel much stiffer. Do they soften up over time? How do you get them softer?