05 June 2008

The Best Chinos

I recently found these trousers and I gotta tell you...they are something else. As close to the US Army Khaki as I've ever seen. Straight leg with flat front. Close attention to detail with the watch pocket as well as the belt loops. Very accurate to Army issue. Even the buttons...while not perfect come very close. I'll replace them with my old buttons. Cut from a hefty, 9.6 ounce cotton. They're the real deal.

Made by Polo. In China.

I kid you not. They're the best damned khakis I've ever owned. And they'll be perfect when I replace those buttons with the real McCoy. Better than Bills. Better than Bean, Brooks, Press, Duck Head, Land's End...Better than Uncle Sam. They list for $98 but you can find 'em for $39...if you look hard. They're not everywhere but as you run your hand across the countless cheap chinos hanging from a rack be prepared for something that doesn't feel right. That's what you're looking for. Substance. Heft. Quality.

A quick note. They're described on the tag as, "Polo GI Pant" which I have no issue with. No insignia. No problem. However, the description says, "...inspired by WWI military surplus garments." What are you guys smoking over there? The US Army chino came outta WWII. God's in the details. Still, they're damned good.


Anonymous said...


I too have worn and thought highly (surprisingly) of the Polo GI Pant. The fit is old school, and the fabric durable. It's nice. There's got to be a nice ol' profit in selling them for 98 clams, but still. I prefer them to my (gasp), Bills! Though I'm still bullish on Bill's poplin M2.

My GI pant was made in USA and is fairly old. I had a copy in the "tattered trad" thread on FNB.


Anonymous said...

Great post. I'll have to look for these. I remember a few pairs of army surplus khakis that I had in high school and college, and there was absolutely nothing like that fabric since.

Scott said...

I've got a pair, and I'd rate them at about 93 to 95 out of 100. Just a hair less substantial in the fabric weight and buttons. The cut is pretty much spot on. I've had a couple pair of the real deals, and I put my last pair up as an artifact before I completely wore them out. I've also got a later pair with a zipper.

Mine still have the guy's name in them. I wish I had a laundry marking machine like they used back then. Perfect little neat block letters.

Alice Olive said...

I love the way you write! "Substance. Heft. Quality." - It's sad but true that those stand out from the crowd these days.

A sort-of-related quote from LA Story (a fav movie):

"Sandi, your breasts feel strange."

"Oh, that's cos they're real."

initials CG said...

Alice, Steve Martin?

Real breasts, and real GI pantaloons...what more could I guy want out of life?

Look said...

Any thoughts on the Buzz Rickson replica trousers? They call them the 19C... $130...

tintin said...

H- I'll check out your thread at FNB. Some of the early Polo GI trosuers made in the US have button flys. Same with you?

Scott- Have yet to try ebay for issue khakis but suspect that a designer at Polo will steal your observation regarding block letters.

Alice-I think you can apply my "touch test" to trousers as well as breasts.

cg- That' the reference. I read the book and saw the movie. Liked them both. Lots of interesting retail observations as well as Old Man observations.

look- Never heard of them until now. They look good but $130's a little on the high side. Plus, they're missing a market with the limited waist size. I do hear Army issue khakis in larger waist sizes sell for a premium on Ebay. Makes sense. I was a 30 waist in the Army and alas no more.

ethandesu said...

I was lucky enough to have a friend who was in production for the Real McCoys, when I was in Japan, and he gifted me a sample pair of '41 officers trousers. Before Real McCoys got sold and split up, they made the best military replicas you could find, and 8 years on the seams are just starting to come apart.
Check www.0308.net for the new version - not as good, but still not bad.


Anonymous said...

Shame - it looks like the Polo GI Pant wasn't long for this world.