Remember when the only khaki pants you could find were either tan, stone, navy, or olive? (I’m using the term ‘khakis’ to refer to pants like ‘Coke’ to refer to soda…you get it). Those were dark days… Even though Nantucket Reds have been around forever, they didn’t get much play down here until five or so years ago. Now, the pants color spectrum is all over the place thanks to folks like Bonobos and Sid Mashburn.
Shorts, on the other hand, were a couple years in front of their longer cousins in terms of color choices. While khaki still reigns supreme, color options are starting to cut into the khaki dominance. And I’m all for it. Khaki is a the ultimate ‘neutral’, and therefore easy to coordinate an outfit. No issue there – better safe than sorry, right? Well, being that I’m a bit bolder in my color palettes, I prefer to avoid khaki shorts, unless it’s what the doctor ordered. From the solid color perspective, here are the best in the business:
From top left:
1. Southern Proper Club Shorts: Top of the heap for a reason (RCS review coming soon). These shorts in Sea Island Green are about as good as it gets.
2. Sid Mashburn Canvas Shorts: If you haven’t pulled the trigger on a pair of Sid Mashburn canvas shorts, it’s time to get on board. The fabric develops a patina after a few wears that gives these shorts a really cool character.
3. Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Lightweight Shorts: Brooks Brothers has really hit it out of the park with their Red Fleece line – a bit more casual and updated than their traditional stuff. These shorts may need to be brought up a couple inches, but the ‘Crown Blue’ color is spot on.
4. Orvis Twill Shorts: You can’t ever go wrong with Orvis.
5. Blankenship Dry Goods Freedom Shorts: A newcomer to the front nine, it’s hard to leave out anything who’s color is named ‘Augusta’.
6. Onward Reserve 7″ Shorts: About as standard as it gets…7″ inseam, great colors, and a fabric that is extremely soft and not too think. These are the staples.
7. J. Crew Factory Rivington Shorts: I’m a huge proponent of the J. Crew Factory shorts. The price is extremely affordable, and the fabric is a little thinner than most. They come in a million colors including the pictured ‘Vintage Turquoise’.
8. Patagonia Stand Up Shorts: I’ve been wearing these for many years, and still go back to the iconic Stand Ups. Every once in a while they’ll release an alternate color or two, but it looks like the Forge Grey color is here to stay. Which is a good thing.
9. Chubbies ‘The Derby’ Shorts: So it’s business in the front and party in the back. In terms of ‘anything but khaki’, Chubbies sets the bar awful high.