04 November 2010

Bill's 20th Anniversary Cramerton To Benefit The USO

I've sung the praises of Bills Khakis before. The Bullard came in first place at the Blind Khaki Tasting and it's an amazing pant. 10.2 ounces (per yard) of incredible wood plank khaki cloth that makes for a perfect Fall or Winter trouser. Might be a little warm in Spring and Summer though.

Back in late October Bills introduced a special Limited edition Cramerton 9.2 ounce khaki to celebrate their 20th Anniversary. They call it a WWII pant but I recently discovered that WWII khaki was 8.2 ounces. You're getting the same WWII Cramerton cloth but a little heavier.

This Cramerton is softer to the hand than the Bullard. Still, it's a gutsy pant with a beautiful finish. Something anyone who spent time breaking khaki starch in the army would appreciate. That's Cpt. Patterson up there. An old friend who served with the 7th Infantry Division (Light).

Cpt. Patterson's wearing a Model 2 which is trimmer in the rise than the Model 1 but he likes the fit. Model 1 is the baggier of the three plain front models while Model 3 is the more trim. The pleated versions or 'Warsaw Pact Models' will not be discussed here. Maybe some blogger in Estonia would like to run with it.

Some interesting details only the wearer will be in on. The watch pocket is a huge 3" x 4" and each front pocket is 14" deep. I don't think I ever put anything in my army khaki pockets...it messed up the starch. There's an interesting tab on the rear pocket and I'm gonna have to talk to Bill about it. There's also a beautiful raised seam on the outside trouser leg. Nice details invisible to all but the wearer and the khaki-cognoscenti.

Now for the bad news. They're $195 a pair. That's steep for a pair of khakis but look at it this way -- the US Army never issued a khaki this good. Weighing in at 9.2ounces, Uncle Sam never went over 8.2 ounces. And while the army khaki was issued, you sure as heck couldn't call it free. $195 is a small price to pay for the best khaki in the world and you don't have to enlist.

I will tell you that if you do enlist there's an organization you're gonna know Ricky -tick. The USO has been around for 70 years and I remember it well. When you're an E-1 going trough basic training at Ft Jackson you don't do a lot of socializing at the O-Club.

A lot of us made good use of the USO at Jackson and I have fond memories of the volunteers who worked there. Bill Thomas is donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this pant to the USO. That's a stand up thing to do for a pair of trousers that could probably stand up by themselves. Details for purchasing a pair and getting a free bucket bag are at Trad Approved.

The bucket bag will hold a six pack of beer and ice... just in case you're wondering what it's for.


Anonymous said...

Nice post, Tintin. Unlike pumped up SUVs that everyone is afraid negotiate over speed bumps, Bill's will take all the knocks you can send their way. For years. It's what they're meant for. In the words of one friend, "They're stout." The prices, ouch! But look at it this way: you already pay $5 for your daily lattes, so go the extra for these pants and brew at home before you leave each morning.

I've always been fond of the USO, and their radio PSAs bring it home for me. Thanks, Bill's Khakis.


LPC said...

And their pants for women are, what? What's that you say? There aren't any? There aren't any good khakis for women? They are all made either of infernal "distressed" cloth or they have, aaargh, stretch in them? Is that true? How could that be true?


Main Line Sportsman said...

Bill's had a stand at The Devon Horse Show for years...probably from when they first started...and seemed to sell a ton of pants over that brief 8 day period. Certainly a top-shelf khaki...but yes $200 is steep for a casual trouser.
Now...what the heck is that little flap over the back pocket?

Summer is a Verb said...

Golly daymus I wish Bill's would make a line for women! I luuuv their khakis and even went as far as buying a pair and having them altered to fit. Didn't turn out so well...XXOO

Curt McAdams said...

Actually, the Cramerton can be had for $165, but without the tote. I don't know if anything goes to the USO, but a donation can always be made straight to the USO if desired. Still not cheap, but quite a nice pair of khakis.

martylane said...

This post brought back memories for me. Not the pants, but Ft. Ord and the USO. My Army buddies taught me to play golf on Ft. Ord, and while on leave in Rome, I had Thanksgiving dinner at the USO, where local Roman volunteers served us. It was a very touching Thanksgiving, and one I'll never forget.

Brohammas said...

The first time I heard of Bill's K was on the radio show of a host who has since gone completely insane. Because of this "ist impression" I cannot help but think of political lunacy when the brand is mentioned.

Then again, maybe draping such associations over my back side is completely appropriate.

NaturalShoulder said...

It sounds as if you find the Cramertons superior to the Bullard. Is this the case?

Peter said...

Let's be clear...Bill's are great pants. Had a pair of button fly authentics myself. And yet...the company -- in good 'ol socialist Reading, Pa. -- definitely has a right-of-center feel, Glenn Beck aside. I think -- again, mostly my impression -- that they have wrapped themselves in the flag a little too tightly for my taste.

But I would recommend a pair of their original model to anyone.