I would actually urge you to take a second look at those gray VBC ones available RTW. Unless my monitor is playing tricks on me, it's the same fabric that I had made into a suit last year. The trousers turned out to be so versatile that I actually had a second pair made. The fabric is gray-ish, but there's a tinge of tan to it, which allows it to look just as good with a blue blazer as it does with a brown guncheck or something in olive, green, etc. It also works with a white or blue shirt, but can also go with a more colorful gingham or tattersall if you want to do the Cordings look, something that a true light gray might not do as well. I originally was leaning heavily towards the light gray, which I actually think S&M had last year, but the guy steered me towards this one and I am glad he did.So one thing that's been bothering me with all these drops is the lack of light grey trousers. I see there is one light grey flannel, but that's without the side-tabs. But even then, there's worsted light greys and all kinds of others missing. And these tend to be sold out very, very quickly. I hope Rick is working on delivering more light greys.
Re: the side tabs, I guess if you are a purist then yea, this might not work, but if you really want to, a tailor can take the material left over after hemming and make the straps for you that way.