Of all the background characters in “Making the Grade” — without a doubt the most tradly attired movie of all time — the guy on right is probably my favorite. He’s only on screen for a few seconds and has two words of dialogue, but what an impression. He’s certainly a lot cooler than the pink-and-green caricature at left. If you’re going to wear pink and green, you’d better be a tattooed badass.
While 90 percent of the film’s characters have their bottom halves clad in khaki, this guy struts by — with the perfect nonchalance of a prep-school senior played by a 22-year-old Hollywood actor — dressed in charcoal trousers with double-flap pockets, which he pairs with a scarlet red shetland sweater, sleeves rolled up, white polo shirt and Weejuns.
I thought of the red-sweatered prep when I saw LL Bean’s charcoal wool flannel Town & Field pant with flap pockets, a new item this fall. Bean marketing quickly sped over a pair.*
Priced at $89, the Town & Field pant comes in charcoal and olive. Though waists sizes are even-numbered only, you can have the plain-front trousers cuffed at no charge and choose the inseam down to a quarter of an inch. I found plenty of room in the seat with a slim fit through the hips — just what you’d want. Quality-to-price ratio seems more than fair.
The back-pocket buttons are black plastic and logoed, so you may want to swap them for something else, especially if you plan on wearing the pants mostly with brown belt and shoes.
If you’ve already seen the pants on the Bean website, you might have noticed that they were originally advertised as washable, a mistake that has since been corrected. The Town & Field pants are dry-clean only, and hence a bit dressier than knock-around washable wool trousers. I think you’ll want to wear them on the town more than in the field. — CC
* Compulsive honesty, one of my worst qualities.