|All photographs are original and from the archives.|
Reader Questions For the Community
- With the uncertain status of both Bills Khakis and Jack Donnelly, does anyone know where to get similar khaki pants, preferably Made in America?
- I have been following your blog for a bit, I was born in East Providence, Rhode Island and find your posts very enjoyable. On behalf of my partner; she is quite small, around a 25-26 inch waist. It seems that finding flat-front, straight cut khakis without a silly low-rise cut for someone of her size is an endeavor more trying than one might think....Can you point us in the direction of some sturdy chinos that might fit? We aren't fancy nor impecunious, so something reasonably priced and sturdy enough to throw in the wash. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
- I have been searching for some women's cotton chino pants, with or without a bit of stretch, not too low a rise, and no longer know where to look. It was always L.L. Bean and Lands End but they keep changing their styles. And I don't want the wrinkle resistant ones either. I am at a loss.
Appendix: KhakisKhakis are a mainstay in many a wardrobe.
But it has become increasingly difficult to find casual khakis today, with traditional styling, not covered with wrinkle resistant chemicals, with sturdy construction and equally sturdy material, and hopefully US made. This is in part because so many providers of khakis today have engaged in a race to the bottom, trying to figure out what to make more cheaply next, from quality of threads to depth of pockets.
The best options, when found, are now more expensive. However they look better, are timeless in design, have a broader range of uses, last longer, and often support American companies.
Providers of Mens Khakis and Similar Trousers
- Bills Khakis <https://www.billskhakis.com/> (New ownership)
- Jack Donnelly Dalton Pant <http://jackdonnelly.com/> (Currently out of stock)
- Nobby Clothes Shop Island Sands Khaki Pants Plain Front <http://nobbyshop.com/collections/pants/products/washed-khaki-pants-plain-front>
- Chatham Chino Company <http://www.chathamchinocompany.com/shop/chatham-chino-pant-khaki/>
- Filson <http://www.filson.com/men/pants.html>
- F.L. Woods Canvas Trousers <http://www.flwoods.com/product/canvas-pants-british-khaki>
- A Hume (Outfitters)
- RM Williams Brushed Cotton Drill Trousers <http://www.ahume.co.uk/Trousers-and-Jeans/Brushed-Cotton-Drill-Trousers/p-224-213/>
- Murray's Toggery Shop Castaway Harbor Pant <http://www.nantucketreds.com/collections/mens-pants/products/harbor-pant-khaki>
Bills have been the dominant player, but as many know their future is unknown since they were recently sold to a private equity firm. There is much talk a of depleted inventory and hopefully they will restructure and stabilize their offerings.
- Bills Khakis sold to private equity firm <http://www.readingeagle.com/money/article/bills-khakis-sold-to-private-equity-firm>
- Requiem for Bill's Khakis...? <http://thelifeofanangloamerican.blogspot.com/2015/12/requiem-for-bills-khakis.html>
Other Bills links:
- Choose your fit <http://www.billskhakis.com/mens-pants>
- Original Twills in M1 <http://www.billskhakis.com/mens-pants/m1>
- Original Twills in M2 <http://www.billskhakis.com/mens-pants/m2>
- Original Twills in M3 <http://www.billskhakis.com/mens-pants/m3>
|Stacks of Bills. Cut and Sewn in the U.S. Prices include hemming to your specifications.|
Jack Donnelly Dalton Pant
- <http://jackdonnelly.com/> (Currently out of stock)
These well made, long lasting pants are also made in the US, cost less than Bills, but arrive unfinished.
Considerations when Purchasing Khakis
The purchase of a khakis is a personal choice, and there remain quite a few attributes to consider. These include cut, color, weight of fabric (Some prefer 7oz material for warmer weather and 8 or 81/2 oz material for regular wear), and pleats versus plain front.
|Mr. Kennedy has opted for pleats.|
Another consideration is cuff size (or whether to cuff at all), which can depend on many things, including personal preference; one's height; and sometimes simply how much material is available.
|Cuffs sizes include 1⅝”, 1½”, 1⅜”, or none at all|
Across the last few decades, other vendors had been default sources.
The quality of their khakis has declined over the years. They wear out more quickly and have considerable shrinkage.
|Today's L.L. Bean Wrinkle-Resistant Khakis|
It used to be that Beans offered several styles and weights of khakis, in all cotton material (and often a blend as well), all of which were made in the US. Now it is mostly khakis treated with wrinkle-resistant chemicals that are made in China.
Below are some examples of US made L.L. Bean khakis (or chinos) from their 1994 catalog.
Orvis Ultimate Khakis
- Ultimate Khakis - Plain Front <http://www.orvis.com/p/ultimate-khakis/8k4y>