Sierra Trading Post
There are some really good sales right now at Sierra Trading Post. Once you sign up for their DealFlyer newsletter, you’ll be notified of their daily coupons. Lately, they’ve been offering 35% off your whole order, as well as free shipping if you spend more than $100. That gives the following deals:
Derek Rose pajamas: Excellent pajamas available in multiple designs and colors. Starting price is $78. A bit expensive, to be sure, but Derek Rose is one of the better makers out there. 
Falke and Pantherella socks: Two top-tier hosiery manufacturers, though Pantherella’s quality has taken a dive in recent years. Still, you can get over-the-calf wool socks for about $5 right now, which makes this one of the best deals I’ve seen on socks. 
Johnstons of Elgin scarves and throws: Johnstons of Elgin is a 200+ year old manufacturer of woolen and cashmere goods. They’re not as nice as Colombo or Begg, but they’re very good and much more affordable. Johnstons’ cashmere scarves can be had right now for $39, while their lambswool scarves are $13. At those prices, these are a real steal. 
Tretorn sneakers: These aren’t the Nylites that the menswear bloggerotti have been wearing, but I could see this model still working very well for fall. For $45, it’s not bad. They also have other styles for as little as $26. 
Smartwool baselayers: Smartwool makes some of the best garments for cold weather. If you live in a cold climate, it may be wise to get a few of their baselayers and socks before winter arrives. They’re not the most stylish, but since they’re worn under your garments, they’re also not seen. I even recommend wearing them at home to save money on your heating bill. 
Trickers shoes: Trickers are a bit too rounded for my taste, but they’re quite popular among men’s style enthusiasts. Of the ones available at Sierra Trading Post right now, I like this boot the most, and the extra discount brings it down to $316. 
Bill’s Khakis M3 pants: Bill’s Khakis look a bit frumpy online, but I assure you they’re excellent. The M3 is their slimmest model, but it may need some tapering once you get them. That job should run you about $20, but when the chinos themselves cost $52, these are still a great deal.

Sierra Trading Post

There are some really good sales right now at Sierra Trading Post. Once you sign up for their DealFlyer newsletter, you’ll be notified of their daily coupons. Lately, they’ve been offering 35% off your whole order, as well as free shipping if you spend more than $100. That gives the following deals:

  • Derek Rose pajamas: Excellent pajamas available in multiple designs and colors. Starting price is $78. A bit expensive, to be sure, but Derek Rose is one of the better makers out there.
  • Falke and Pantherella socks: Two top-tier hosiery manufacturers, though Pantherella’s quality has taken a dive in recent years. Still, you can get over-the-calf wool socks for about $5 right now, which makes this one of the best deals I’ve seen on socks.
  • Johnstons of Elgin scarves and throws: Johnstons of Elgin is a 200+ year old manufacturer of woolen and cashmere goods. They’re not as nice as Colombo or Begg, but they’re very good and much more affordable. Johnstons’ cashmere scarves can be had right now for $39, while their lambswool scarves are $13. At those prices, these are a real steal.
  • Tretorn sneakers: These aren’t the Nylites that the menswear bloggerotti have been wearing, but I could see this model still working very well for fall. For $45, it’s not bad. They also have other styles for as little as $26.
  • Smartwool baselayers: Smartwool makes some of the best garments for cold weather. If you live in a cold climate, it may be wise to get a few of their baselayers and socks before winter arrives. They’re not the most stylish, but since they’re worn under your garments, they’re also not seen. I even recommend wearing them at home to save money on your heating bill.
  • Trickers shoes: Trickers are a bit too rounded for my taste, but they’re quite popular among men’s style enthusiasts. Of the ones available at Sierra Trading Post right now, I like this boot the most, and the extra discount brings it down to $316. 
  • Bill’s Khakis M3 pants: Bill’s Khakis look a bit frumpy online, but I assure you they’re excellent. The M3 is their slimmest model, but it may need some tapering once you get them. That job should run you about $20, but when the chinos themselves cost $52, these are still a great deal.
For $50 You Can Buy …
It’s been a while since I did one of these entries, so I thought I’d make up for it by building an entire ensemble for fall, head-to-toe, out of things you can buy for under $50. 
Shirt: Ralph Lauren Rugby has this "antique striped shirt" on sale for $49.99. I’m not crazy about Rugby’s designs when they have a bunch of collegiate stripes and emblems, but this one is simple enough. It also looks like it could go quite well with most casual ensembles. 
Pants: Sierra Trading Post has a bunch of Bill’s Khakis in a variety of colors and fabrics, and this vintage twill in olive would make for a nice fall chino. They cost $79.95 right now, but if you sign up for their DealFlyer newsletter, you’ll get their “special coupon” notices. Lately, they’ve been giving 35% off any one item, which brings these down to about $52 (hey, I’m just $2 off, cut me some slack). Depending on how skinny your legs are, these may need some tapering, however, so you should account for that cost. 
Belt: Narragansett Leathers makes handsome, custom-made belts for under $50. They have a variety of styles, but I like their plain 1.25” belts the most. If you want something more unique, they also have double ring and hoof pick belts for about the same price.
Shoes: It’s hard finding shoes for under $50! Obviously, if you’re willing to pay $100+, and look on eBay, then all sorts of decent options are available to you. For under $50, however, I’ll recommend these Land’s End chukkas. I’m not crazy about the stitching on the back quarters of the shoe, but they’re advertised as being full grain leather, and only cost $49.95. 
Wallet: I really like Chester Mox wallets. They’re completely handmade, built from Horween leather, and produced by a family in Los Angeles that has been working with leather for over a decade. Right now they’re running a promotion where they’ll etch your name or initials into the wallet for free (use the code FREEPRSLZ at the end of the Paypal checkout process). They have a bunch of designs for under $50, but this model only costs $35. A customized, handmade wallet for $35 ain’t bad. 
Watch: Big faced Timex, you got two of those. Well, at least that’s how many you can have for $50. Get the Easy Reader model for $20.24 on Overstock.com. If that one sells out, just check out their other Timex options. Many of them can be had for about $25 each.
Socks: You can get a pair of Gold Toe socks for about $3 at Belt Outlet. Read my review of them here. 
Key fob: This is a bit of a superfluous purchase, but the leather is 225 years old, and it was found at the bottom of a sunken ship! For $24, it’s a pretty cool thing to carry around. You can read more about the special leather in this old article I wrote. 
There we have it. Head-to-toe everything you need for fall, and nearly every item costs less than $50. It’s not the most sartorial of looks, but not bad for a budget. 

For $50 You Can Buy …

It’s been a while since I did one of these entries, so I thought I’d make up for it by building an entire ensemble for fall, head-to-toe, out of things you can buy for under $50. 

  • Shirt: Ralph Lauren Rugby has this "antique striped shirt" on sale for $49.99. I’m not crazy about Rugby’s designs when they have a bunch of collegiate stripes and emblems, but this one is simple enough. It also looks like it could go quite well with most casual ensembles.
  • Pants: Sierra Trading Post has a bunch of Bill’s Khakis in a variety of colors and fabrics, and this vintage twill in olive would make for a nice fall chino. They cost $79.95 right now, but if you sign up for their DealFlyer newsletter, you’ll get their “special coupon” notices. Lately, they’ve been giving 35% off any one item, which brings these down to about $52 (hey, I’m just $2 off, cut me some slack). Depending on how skinny your legs are, these may need some tapering, however, so you should account for that cost. 
  • Belt: Narragansett Leathers makes handsome, custom-made belts for under $50. They have a variety of styles, but I like their plain 1.25” belts the most. If you want something more unique, they also have double ring and hoof pick belts for about the same price.
  • Shoes: It’s hard finding shoes for under $50! Obviously, if you’re willing to pay $100+, and look on eBay, then all sorts of decent options are available to you. For under $50, however, I’ll recommend these Land’s End chukkas. I’m not crazy about the stitching on the back quarters of the shoe, but they’re advertised as being full grain leather, and only cost $49.95. 
  • Wallet: I really like Chester Mox wallets. They’re completely handmade, built from Horween leather, and produced by a family in Los Angeles that has been working with leather for over a decade. Right now they’re running a promotion where they’ll etch your name or initials into the wallet for free (use the code FREEPRSLZ at the end of the Paypal checkout process). They have a bunch of designs for under $50, but this model only costs $35. A customized, handmade wallet for $35 ain’t bad.
  • Watch: Big faced Timex, you got two of those. Well, at least that’s how many you can have for $50. Get the Easy Reader model for $20.24 on Overstock.com. If that one sells out, just check out their other Timex options. Many of them can be had for about $25 each.
  • Socks: You can get a pair of Gold Toe socks for about $3 at Belt Outlet. Read my review of them here.
  • Key fob: This is a bit of a superfluous purchase, but the leather is 225 years old, and it was found at the bottom of a sunken ship! For $24, it’s a pretty cool thing to carry around. You can read more about the special leather in this old article I wrote

There we have it. Head-to-toe everything you need for fall, and nearly every item costs less than $50. It’s not the most sartorial of looks, but not bad for a budget. 

A Complete Guide to Getting Chinos This Summer

Chinos have a bit of a circutous history. They began as part of the British Army’s standard uniform starting around the 1840s. By the end of the 19th century, American troops stationed in the Philippines began wearing them. They remained associated with the military for another hundred years, until 1942, when the US Navy approved that they could be worn off-duty. Since then, they’ve been incredibly popular with the public. I think the civilian trend largely took off when James Dean began wearing them. That was during a time when much of the public looked towards Hollywood for sartorial direction, and ever since then, the popularity of chinos has been buoyed by big marketing campaigns from companies such as The Gap. 

The great thing about chinos is that, like jeans, they look better with age. In fact, one of the best looks, in my opinion, is a pair of really worn down chinos with a sports coat, oxford cloth button down shirt, and pair of brown loafers. The more worn down and beat up the chinos, the more stylish this look becomes. When the pants are too new, the look can be a bit stiff. As such, I recommend that you wear your chinos with a bit of a rumple and avoid creasing the front of the legs. Creases on chinos add fifteen years to your age and can make you look like the type that irons your underwear. Wear them as casually as you can and invite the fraying that comes. If you want, you can also roll up the the legs a bit, which Gilt Manual recently gave some really good tips for

So if you’re on the market for chinos, where can you turn? Here are some options. Note that in the interest of sizing information, I’ve included what I wear for most of these. I’m a size 32 in most pants, but sometimes have to size down depending on the cut. It’s probably also worth mentioning that I have an Asian booty that’s flatter than a flapjack, so take that into account when gauging whether my reviews will be helpful for you.

  • Uniqlo Vintage chino ($50): Uniqlo’s Vintage fit chino is a nice slim cut model with mid-century details - watch pocket, decent hardware, and a slight herringbonish finish. Unfortunately, they also have a low rise, which makes them not as good for tucking in shirts. Still, for $50, they’re not bad, and if you’re in New York City, you can pick one up at any of their stores. Uniqlo should also have a website up at some point, but details on the drop date are fuzzy. I wear a 32 in these. 
  • Brooks Brothers Milano Fit chinos ($95): Brooks has a popular slim fit chino. They’re a bit tapered, which make them good for slim men, but not much so for heavier guys (tapered pants can emphasize your waistline). The material is a smooth plain-weave, which gives them an “office” feel. I prefer slightly rougher twill models, personally, but it’s a matter of taste. Unfortunately, Brooks only has a terrible peach colored version left, but they’ll restock their other colors soon, so just keep an eye out. If you catch them at the beginning of their sales, you can nab one for as little as $60, but otherwise they’re about $100. I find these fit pretty true-to-size. I wear a 32 in these, but can also size down to 30 for a slightly slimmer fit. 
  • Rugby university chinos ($70): Rugby’s University model fits very well if you size down. Whereas I’m normally a 32 in most pants, I wear a 31 in Rugby’s. They’re slim and have a rise that just hits the waist. They have a slightly worn finish, which means the colors are a bit faded and the edges are very, very slightly distressed. Nothing really noticeable, but it’s there. 
  • Bill’s Khakis M3 chinos ($67): Bill’s Khakis has three models, but only the M3 is anything that’s remotely close to wearable. Even then, you’ll have to get these slightly tapered. That job shouldn’t run you more than $20, however. So why buy something that doesn’t immediately fit well off the rack? Because these are some of the best chinos you can have after some alterations, and when Sierra Trading Post has them for $65, they’re a steal. They’re superbly constructed and made from a traditional soft twill fabric that’s free of any pre-distressing. They also feature deep pockets (a detail many brands are cutting back on) and have a rise that actually sits on my waist (not “just hits it”). The slightly higher rise will allow you to tuck in your shirt without making your torso look unnaturally big. I recommend sizing down a bit, but not too much. I wear a 31 in Bill’s Khakis. 
  • Ralph Lauren Preston chinos ($75): These are a lot like Bill’s Khakis - great construction, but not terribly slim (these are “grown up” chinos in a very real sense). However, like Bill’s, they hold a lot of potential. They have a slightly higher rise than Bill’s, which I like, but the pockets aren’t as deep. You’ll need to size down quite a bit to get these to fit right. I go down as far as 30 personally. 
  • J Crew chinos ($60-70): I’m not crazy about most of J Crew’s stuff, but I think they’re worth talking about since almost everyone has a J Crew store near them. J Crew has a few different models, but I’ll only speak of the Urban Slim Fit and Bowery. The Urban Slim Fit doesn’t work at all on me, but I could see them fitting well on someone with a lot of junk in the trunk. The Bowery is much better - pretty decent slim fit, even though the construction is clearly more mass market. The price isn’t bad, however, especially given how often J Crew holds sales. You could probably snag these for $40 if you waited for the right opportunity. If you do, I recommend sizing down. I wear a 30 in the Bowery. 
  • RRL Officer Chino ($185): RRL, a Ralph Lauren brand, has has a pair of selvedge twill chinos that wears like selvedge dehim jeans. They’re meant to be worn as such, too - wear them hard and don’t wash them often. Soon you’ll see fades like you would with selvedge jeans (though obviously more subtle because of the fabric). They also have nice details, such as double canvas waistband (which makes them sturdier) and a button fly (which won’t give you a weenie tent like zipper flys do). The fit is a lot slimmer, however, than other models you’ll read about here. Part of this is just the style, but part of it is also to get the fading you want. The cut is definitely not for everyone, but if you’re used to wearing slim selvedge denim jeans, then you might want to consider these. Size down and expect a little stretching (I wear a 31). You can buy them in most Ralph Lauren stores, but if you’re not close to one, you can phone an order in. RRL is also going to get a website up sometime next month, I hear. 
  • Left Field ($198): The nice folks at Left Field sent me a free pair of these to try on. They’re a slightly more workwear version of traditional chinos. The belt loops are big enough to accommodate belts meant for jeans; the stitching is slightly more rugged; and the pants have a slight “work pant” feel. Like with most workwear/ heritage brands, the quality here is heavily in the details. There is a chain-stitched waistband, Corozo button fly, and Japanese chambray pocket bags. The fabric for the pants themselves are a ringspun cotton Japanese twill. I could see these working well for someone who has a Americana/ heritage sensibility. I recommend going true-to-size on these, but note that they fit slightly big in the seat, so you should probably have something more than my non-existent Asian booty if you want to wear these well. 
  • Unis ($228): I know what you’re already thinking. $228 for chinos!? Part of the reason why these are so expensive is because they’re made in the USA (as Eunice Lee explained to someone in the comments section of Well-Spent). As a political economist, I’ll admit, I don’t care for these kind of “Made in the USA” appeals. For me, I just care about fit, styling, and quality, and all these counts, Unis’ Gio chinos are pretty nice. They’re slim without being overly so, have the perfect rise, and feature nice details such as a button fly and Corozo buttons. They have an unwashed version if you need something dressy, as well as a garment dyed rumpled version if you want something casual. I wear a 32 in these, but could also easily do a 30. If money is less of an object for you, I would definitely recommend these. 
  • Others: There are other highly celebrated chinos. Howard Yount and Albam come to mind, but I don’t have any experience with either of them. Incotex and Mabitex are also a favorite for many people, including me, but the fit, styling, and finish on them vary so much that it’s not possible to write a generalizable review. You can find them in the Buying and Selling section of Styleforum, eBay, Yoox, and Gilt. A word of warning on those, however - buying them can sometimes be a gamble since they vary so much. Caveat emptor

Lastly, for those who might be wondering: what’s the difference between chinos and khakis? For pedants, chino is the Spanish word for Chinese. The original material for these pants was a Chinese twill cotton, so they were colloquially called chinos. Khaki is the Hinidi word for “dust.” The original chinos, worn by the British Army, were dyed in a mulberry juice that gave it a yellowish drab shade, now known as “khaki.” Thus, the correct term for these pants is chinos, and khaki the sandy tan color they most often come in. But that’s pedantry; for the most part, the two words are interchangeable.

(photos by pocketsquareguy, The Sartorialist, and J Crew)

If you’re in Reading, PA or environs, don’t miss the Bill’s Khakis Warehouse Sale. Bill’s are actually made in the USA, so this is an *actual* factory store. Some of the best-quality khakis around.
Here are the details (and thanks for the heads-up, Chris!):
Bill’s Khakis Summer Warehouse SaleSaturday, June 11 • 9am–2pm531 Canal Street, Reading, PAFactory 2nds - 5 for $95, Coats - $50, Discontinued 1st quality - $30  10% of sales go to the John Paul II Center for Special Learning.

If you’re in Reading, PA or environs, don’t miss the Bill’s Khakis Warehouse Sale. Bill’s are actually made in the USA, so this is an *actual* factory store. Some of the best-quality khakis around.

Here are the details (and thanks for the heads-up, Chris!):

Bill’s Khakis Summer Warehouse SaleSaturday, June 11 • 9am–2pm531 Canal Street, Reading, PAFactory 2nds - 5 for $95, Coats - $50, Discontinued 1st quality - $30 10% of sales go to the John Paul II Center for Special Learning.
It’s On Sale
Bill’s Khakis M3 in various styles
Bill’s Khakis are the highest-quality khaki you can buy for everyday wear. They’re sort of like a modern, iGent-approved boutique brand from an era before the internet. They were started by a guy who wanted to create the Ultimate Chino. Note that while the M3 is Bill’s trimmest fit, it’s far from slim - more like a traditional straight fit. I buy these and have my tailor slim the leg a bit, which costs about ten or fifteen bucks. The quality is superb. The Bullard Field Pant is my favorite - rough and tumble khaki, ready to stand up to anything.
$40-80 at Sierra Trading Post (be sure to use a DealFlyer coupon for added discount)
(note: If you’re not able to take advantage of the DealFlyer coupon, try "liking" their page on Facebook for a 20% discount. I’ve found that this coupon can be repeatedly used, by the way, simply by “un-liking” and “re-liking” their page. - Derek)

It’s On Sale

Bill’s Khakis M3 in various styles

Bill’s Khakis are the highest-quality khaki you can buy for everyday wear. They’re sort of like a modern, iGent-approved boutique brand from an era before the internet. They were started by a guy who wanted to create the Ultimate Chino. Note that while the M3 is Bill’s trimmest fit, it’s far from slim - more like a traditional straight fit. I buy these and have my tailor slim the leg a bit, which costs about ten or fifteen bucks. The quality is superb. The Bullard Field Pant is my favorite - rough and tumble khaki, ready to stand up to anything.

$40-80 at Sierra Trading Post (be sure to use a DealFlyer coupon for added discount)

(note: If you’re not able to take advantage of the DealFlyer coupon, try "liking" their page on Facebook for a 20% discount. I’ve found that this coupon can be repeatedly used, by the way, simply by “un-liking” and “re-liking” their page. - Derek)

Bill’s Khakis Warehouse Sale in PA

A StyleForum user reports:

Bills Khakis’ Holiday Warehouse Sale is being held tomorrow, 12/11, at 531 Canal St., Reading, PA (about an hour northwest of Philly). 9am-2pm. They restock throughout the day.

Factory 2nds - 5 for $95, Coats - $50, Discontinued 1st quality - $30

If you prefer your khakis very trim, these may require tailoring, but the quality is as good as it gets.
Q and Answer: Clothing for the Field
Michael asks:  I’m a biology student and as my classes become more advanced, more  field work becomes involved. This means trekking through woods, wading  in streams, getting on all fours to collect mushrooms, or turning over  rocks to look for insects. Is there something I can wear for all of this  that is fashionable and practical? I’ve no problem dressing myself well  out of the field, but I’d like to look a cut above the traditional  jeans, sneakers, and t-shirt that are prevalent in the field.
Right now, Michael, thousands of cool kids are sitting in pools of their own drool, wishing they had an opportunity like this.  At this moment, nothing is cooler than classic field clothing, and you have the chance to wear it for reasons beyond simple fashion.  Enjoy yourself.
The best outdoor clothing has a hundred-year-plus history.  The clothing that British ramblers and American sportsmen wore in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s remains just as functional and beautiful now as it was then.
Spend some time with brands like Filson, Barbour and Orvis.  Look for vintage pieces from companies like L.L. Bean and Abercrombie & Fitch which made fine quality outdoor clothing for many years before turning mallward. (Even now, the real outdoor and hunter’s clothing at Bean is some of the best they make.)
My advice is to focus on a simple kit.  Buy some great khaki pants, some solid shirts, a wool shirt or two, a great knit, a Barbour or Filson coat, a pair of amazing field boots and a pair of boots for wet work.  The outerwear in particular should last a lifetime with proper care.  Take care with fit - contemporary style suggests a closer fit than most legacy brands offer - this can be corrected with careful sizing or a bit of tailoring.  There’s no need to go overboard in this direction, though, if you plan to keep your gear for decades.  And remember: all the most durable items in your kit are probably available used.

Q and Answer: Clothing for the Field

Michael asks: I’m a biology student and as my classes become more advanced, more field work becomes involved. This means trekking through woods, wading in streams, getting on all fours to collect mushrooms, or turning over rocks to look for insects. Is there something I can wear for all of this that is fashionable and practical? I’ve no problem dressing myself well out of the field, but I’d like to look a cut above the traditional jeans, sneakers, and t-shirt that are prevalent in the field.

Right now, Michael, thousands of cool kids are sitting in pools of their own drool, wishing they had an opportunity like this.  At this moment, nothing is cooler than classic field clothing, and you have the chance to wear it for reasons beyond simple fashion.  Enjoy yourself.

The best outdoor clothing has a hundred-year-plus history.  The clothing that British ramblers and American sportsmen wore in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s remains just as functional and beautiful now as it was then.

Spend some time with brands like Filson, Barbour and Orvis.  Look for vintage pieces from companies like L.L. Bean and Abercrombie & Fitch which made fine quality outdoor clothing for many years before turning mallward. (Even now, the real outdoor and hunter’s clothing at Bean is some of the best they make.)

My advice is to focus on a simple kit.  Buy some great khaki pants, some solid shirts, a wool shirt or two, a great knit, a Barbour or Filson coat, a pair of amazing field boots and a pair of boots for wet work.  The outerwear in particular should last a lifetime with proper care.  Take care with fit - contemporary style suggests a closer fit than most legacy brands offer - this can be corrected with careful sizing or a bit of tailoring.  There’s no need to go overboard in this direction, though, if you plan to keep your gear for decades.  And remember: all the most durable items in your kit are probably available used.

John from Reading sent us this picture of an outfit he wore to work the other day.  In many ways, it’s a pretty quiet, straightforward work outfit, but John was proud to point out that he’d spent only $150 or so on the whole ensemble, soup to nuts.
Here’s his breakdown:
Jacket - Lands End Overstock - $500 down to $80 Shirt - Gitman Brothers - Thrift Store - $3 Trousers - Bills Khakis - Warehouse sale - $20 (I live in Reading PA) Belt - Brooks Brothers - Salvation Army Family Store - $1 Shoes - Cole Haan - $200 down to $50 Socks - Gold Toe - Clearance bin - $3 Tie - 100% Silk, made in USA, UPenn store - Flea Market in a retirement  home - 25 cents Silk Pocket Square -  Yard Sale - 50 cents
That’s something we can get behind.

John from Reading sent us this picture of an outfit he wore to work the other day.  In many ways, it’s a pretty quiet, straightforward work outfit, but John was proud to point out that he’d spent only $150 or so on the whole ensemble, soup to nuts.

Here’s his breakdown:

Jacket - Lands End Overstock - $500 down to $80
Shirt - Gitman Brothers - Thrift Store - $3
Trousers - Bills Khakis - Warehouse sale - $20 (I live in Reading PA)
Belt - Brooks Brothers - Salvation Army Family Store - $1
Shoes - Cole Haan - $200 down to $50
Socks - Gold Toe - Clearance bin - $3
Tie - 100% Silk, made in USA, UPenn store - Flea Market in a retirement home - 25 cents
Silk Pocket Square -  Yard Sale - 50 cents

That’s something we can get behind.

Q and Answer: The Pants After Jeans
James writes: Recently I’ve been paying more attention to my clothes and their quality — that meant scrapping a lot of boxy khakis and ill-fitting jeans for a pair of APCs, but I’m looking for more than one pair of “everyday pants.” I feel like khakis make me look like my Dad (I feel like every generation of dudes wants to look as much like their grandfather as they can but as little like their father as they can) and after wearing pants cut for humans everything else feels baggy and awkward. Where can a guy go to get a pair of pants after he’s used to the durability of raw denim?
If you’re talking about a casual wardrobe, the next logical step after a good pair of jeans is a good pair of chinos.  Not all chinos are the triple-pleated monstrosities that you associate with your dad and Frasier Crane.
There are plenty of options these days for chinos with a trim fit.  Above are J. Crew’s “Urban Slim Fit” pants, which come in several colors - we prefer the slightly sandier British Khaki to the standard khaki.  A little more flavor.  They’re about $60 at full price.
My own favorite chinos are ones that I’ve recommended here several times before - the Uniqlo Vintage Chino.  A great fit, some great details, and they’re usually about $35.  If you live in New York, you can go into the store, but if you don’t, they ship, just call them (917-237-8811) and ask for phone orders.  I like that the Uniqlos retain a bit of a military feel - it makes them more useful as a casual pant, rather than as a second-rate substitute for dress pants.
Dockers, feeling the pressure to update their image, have released the K-1.  It’s inspired by WW2 military chinos, but with a dramatically slimmer cut.  I haven’t touched them, but I’ve heard good things from the clothes nerds.  They’re inexpensive as well, at $68.
Everyone seems to agree that Bill’s Khakis are the bee’s knees when it comes to quality in a chino.  Their M3 size isn’t quite as trim (from what we’ve heard) as the J. Crews, for example, but it’s pretty solid.  The price is a bit higher at $135, but the khaki aficionados say Bill’s are worth the scratch, especially if toughness is what you’re after.
Go flat-front, slim-fitting, and possibly with a little bit of military, period detail - like a wider belt loop, a richer color, a heavier twill.  Don’t buy them pre-destroyed.  Start them a bit more formal, and move them towards casual as they wear.  Your goal here should be to rock these as effortlessly as JFK on his boat.  With some good accessories and a nice fit, you’ll look great.  Then, you’ll be ready for some gray flannels.

Q and Answer: The Pants After Jeans

James writes: Recently I’ve been paying more attention to my clothes and their quality — that meant scrapping a lot of boxy khakis and ill-fitting jeans for a pair of APCs, but I’m looking for more than one pair of “everyday pants.” I feel like khakis make me look like my Dad (I feel like every generation of dudes wants to look as much like their grandfather as they can but as little like their father as they can) and after wearing pants cut for humans everything else feels baggy and awkward. Where can a guy go to get a pair of pants after he’s used to the durability of raw denim?

If you’re talking about a casual wardrobe, the next logical step after a good pair of jeans is a good pair of chinos.  Not all chinos are the triple-pleated monstrosities that you associate with your dad and Frasier Crane.

There are plenty of options these days for chinos with a trim fit.  Above are J. Crew’s “Urban Slim Fit” pants, which come in several colors - we prefer the slightly sandier British Khaki to the standard khaki.  A little more flavor.  They’re about $60 at full price.

My own favorite chinos are ones that I’ve recommended here several times before - the Uniqlo Vintage Chino.  A great fit, some great details, and they’re usually about $35.  If you live in New York, you can go into the store, but if you don’t, they ship, just call them (917-237-8811) and ask for phone orders.  I like that the Uniqlos retain a bit of a military feel - it makes them more useful as a casual pant, rather than as a second-rate substitute for dress pants.

Dockers, feeling the pressure to update their image, have released the K-1.  It’s inspired by WW2 military chinos, but with a dramatically slimmer cut.  I haven’t touched them, but I’ve heard good things from the clothes nerds.  They’re inexpensive as well, at $68.

Everyone seems to agree that Bill’s Khakis are the bee’s knees when it comes to quality in a chino.  Their M3 size isn’t quite as trim (from what we’ve heard) as the J. Crews, for example, but it’s pretty solid.  The price is a bit higher at $135, but the khaki aficionados say Bill’s are worth the scratch, especially if toughness is what you’re after.

Go flat-front, slim-fitting, and possibly with a little bit of military, period detail - like a wider belt loop, a richer color, a heavier twill.  Don’t buy them pre-destroyed.  Start them a bit more formal, and move them towards casual as they wear.  Your goal here should be to rock these as effortlessly as JFK on his boat.  With some good accessories and a nice fit, you’ll look great.  Then, you’ll be ready for some gray flannels.