I happened upon these pants in a Billy Reid store on a rather balmy South Carolina day — they felt incredible in hand so I tried them on. The fit felt great, so I walked out with them. Linen pants can be tough to style generally, as they tend to rumple at the knees and hips, and wrinkle every where else. They tend to be worn a bit more ’flowy’, which only complicates styling.
These though are effectively jeans, but in cotton-linen, and are thus pretty easy to style and wear all summer. I’ve had them just shy of a year, and I wear them all the time.
Billy Reid notes that these are “made in a breathable cotton-linen blend with just a hint of stretch for ease of movement and garment-dyed for a lived-in look and feel”. The actual stated composition is 78% Cotton and 22% Linen.
I don’t notice any stretch to them, so I am not sure where that is coming from. It is a very breathable and light fabric, with some stellar texture. Over the course of nearly a year, they’ve held up well, and have not faded as much as I worried they would. The linen content here is rather low, so we’ll talk about the performance benefits of these pants separately.
Fit & Style
The style on these lends to something I might dub ‘considered casual’. They are not 1:1 replacements for blue jeans, nor are they what I would consider to be something you could dress up to work in a true smart casual style. They are simply a nice pant, made in a 5-pocket style.
The fit is slim, but not skinny, and the rise is a mid-rise which I prefer. They fit me great out of the box using my standard waist size. They are cut longer on the inseam, so I did have to have them hemmed to the correct length. The material lends itself to holding a folded cuff, which is nice if you want to walk in sand with them.
Once you wear these a bit, you’ll likely be surprised the linen content isn’t higher than stated. They wear closer to a linen pant for temperature regulation than they do cotton — which is to say they are very comfortable even well into the humid-90s range. They breath well, as the fabric is thin and the weave lends itself to airflow.
The blue slate color I have is completely opaque, so no worries on that front. And they do move quite well, even without any sort of stretch I notice — I have not been bound up in them when articulating my legs at the extremes, this might simply be the cut, or the direction they ran the fabric weave when they sewed the pants.
Where you’ll notice the low linen content is in the drying times. They do not dry fast out of the wash, and while I’ve not noticed any sweat soaking them, I would have no reason to think that would dry much faster. It’s going to depend on how much airflow you are getting, as to how fast these dry.
The one notable downside here is the shallow front pockets. I found both to be on the edge of almost too shallow for my iPhone 14 Pro Max to fit hidden in the pocket. It does fit, but that’s basically the max depth of the pocket.
I expected these to be far more faded by now, but the dye has held up through travel, wear, and washing. The knees do tend to get baggy looking over time, with washing bringing them right back in place. I would say I get 10-15 all-day wears before I start to notice that happening.
I mentioned above how standard linen pants will rumple and wrinkle. These still rumple, but don’t wrinkle so much. And what does appear, tends to fade rather quickly. It’s most noticeable behind your knees where the fabric will be quite textured after you’ve been sitting for a good bit of time.
I bought these as summer pants when I didn’t want to wear shorts, but wanted to still stay cool. They’ve quickly become one of my favorite summer pants, and one of my most worn as well.