Chrome Industries have been at the apparel game for a while now with some hits and misses. About 2 months ago I wondered into the PDX store to check out their new trouser called the Blake. I ended up walking away with a pair.
The Blake is their latest trouser design. It’s smarter styling than a jean and designed to be used on the bike. A balance of bike function to everyday looks. Suitable for the bike, bar coffee shop and office but not the opera or some corporate suit’s meeting.
Fit and colour are the most important things in apparel – They comes in Shitake or Midnight – for normal people that is Tan or Navy, I chose the Navy ones. The fit I would call regular to slim and they come in whole sizes only ie , 32, 26, 24″, which means if you are very fussy you might be outta luck. I would recommend trying though/ (I’m 6ft 3 with long legs, I bought the 32 waist 34″ long version. I normally wear a 31 waist and the 30″ waist was a smidge too small.)
- Reflective inseam – for the rolled cuff visibility.
- Articulated knees, for cycling.
- Zippered side pocket for security
- Tough, wind resistant quick dry materials.
- Ventilated crotch gusset(?)
Testing the Blake
Construction. I have a daily 8 mile bike commute and found the trouser flex and ride very well. The ankle cuff is narrow enough that you don’t have to excessively roll up the leg. Generally the materials are holding up very well and the construction is great. Higher polyester content and heavier weight make it more durable than what you would class as a regular Chino material.
Dress Flexible. The darker trouser can be dressed up or down, meaning you can wear them with a button down and shoes or t shirt and sneaker. This versatility is very appealing and not found in a lot of trousers.
Secure – The zippered front pocket is great, you never have to worry about losing your cash or slim wallet while crushing to the office.
Wind Stopper – the material of the trousers is tightly woven meaning it resists wind well. If you are riding down Lakeshore in Chicago you will appreciate this feature, having personally experienced this frozen quad feeling.
On the critical side:
Obviously I am being pretty critical here, so you might want to try on the trousers to see if they work for you.
Nappy Arse – maybe it’s me, (quite possible because of my skinny stick like build) but the posterior part of the trousers are cut too large for me, feels a bit like there is room for a nappy (brit for diaper). This is not a deal breaker but the tailoring for myself could be a bit better. But who knows, maybe you have a sticky out arse and this will fit you great.
Rolly Flap – It’s a cool and unique pocket design on the back, but while wearing the problem is that the edge of the flap has a tendency to roll up. Caused by tension in the material and the way the gusset / yoke is cut, thus pulling the flap up. A small detail that could have been worked out to give the trouser a more polished look.
Dust Sensitive – this is not a huge deal but the dense weave and nap of the material has a tendency to capture dust / dirt more than say a Jean. On the Navy pant this is obviously more notable than the tan version.
Vented Crotch? – did not even notice this feature! maybe its great in the summer. let’s hope your berries don’t show!
Pictures are by Chrome: Tan – Shitake shown as the features render better in a lighter material.
- $120 online or in local Chrome Hubs
- Fit : Slim Straight, sits a little higher on the hip.
- Materials :62% cotton 36% Polyester 2% Spandex
- Made in Vietnam
That’s a smart lookin’ pair of slacks!