I had been told that these pants were hard to explain, but decidedly the best chinos you could buy on the market. Not that they are stand out feature by feature better — but that they are nearly perfect and there’s some intangible attribute to them which is hard to describe. At $245 a pair, for full cotton pants with no stretch — they better be the best. They are, after all, just cotton chinos.
I bought my first pair in khaki, then another in olive, then a sale caused another purchase for a second olive pair, and then I snagged a pair in navy. Because, quite honestly, these are the best pants I own.
So yeah, I’ll try to explain why…
Simply listed as “heavy cotton twill” these are 100% cotton pants which will fade in color over time. The idea is that these are quite literally the type of pants an officer in WWII would have been issued to wear. This, keep in mind, is essentially where the chino pant started and was popularized — so it’s both classic Americana and military inspired. Double RL is leaning into that here.
The pockets are almost like a canvas, and they are properly sized. There’s simply not a lot to say about the material itself. Instead, I’ll comment that the material feels soft to the touch from day one. It feels like your favorite pair of chinos, which you worked hard to break in for years — comfortable.
Fit & Style
This is the part where these chinos separate themselves from all other chinos. The fit is spot on with a medium rise, a straight but tailored leg silhouette — these pants get every single detail correct. That means that they are flattering to wear.
That also means that they fit in most places you want chinos to work. Toss a t-shirt on with them, and head out for a casual look. Tuck a button down in, and head out for a smarter look. The only thing they don’t strictly do is look dressy. That’s not to say they can’t dress up, but rather the worn/washed in nature pulls them back to a more casual look.
The part which people struggle with on these pants, which is hard to explain, is the intangible quality of them simply looking very nice to the eye. That’s hard to explain because it is not attributable to any single aspect of the pants, but is rather the culmination of all the decisions taken in the design of these pants.
The slight wear and fading on the belt loops. The stitching detail and slight angle at the pocket opening. The button flaps on the back pockets. The visually soft and worn nature of the cotton twill. The straight, but not baggy, cut of the legs and seat. Add that all up and you get a pair of pants which simply look premium — which look well considered. Quite truthfully, the only time you tend to get a combination like that, is when you spend more money — it’s what a lot of the ‘technical’ chinos we’ve talked about here are missing in spades.
Yeah, so these are 100% cotton, no gusset, no stretch. Just cotton. They wear like cotton. From a performance aspect — there’s essentially nothing here (at least along the lines of what we talk about). Let me note on some wearability things with these before touching on something which I think is stand out on these pants and should fall under performance.
- Range of Movement: the first thing I noticed about these pants, is the restriction of movement at the extreme ends. Trying to put on my shoes, will lead to the pants being tight around my leg bending at the hip. Doing a large step up to get into my SUV, same. Generally I can still do these things, but I notice the pants when I do them. What I can’t do is those same things with my iPhone 14 Pro Max in my pocket, there’s just no where for the phone to go, and it completely will shorten the range of motion on that leg. It’s not ideal.
- Breathability: the thing we often forget about cotton is that it does breath well. I’ve worn these from 40°F to 85°F so far, and they’ve been comfortable. I don’t think they will be the most comfortable at the ends of the spectrum, but I’ve not felt as though I regret the choice. They are certainly most comfortable in the 50 – 75°F range of temps.
- Drying: I have to hang these to dry, and they take a full 24-32hrs to fully dry. That’s not good, and it’s mildly annoying, however;
- Washing: the care instructions essentially say to wash these sparingly. What that means in practice is that you wash them when/if they look or smell dirty. Otherwise, try not to. I’ve washed three of the four pairs since getting them, and that’s it — they still look and smell clean.
So drying isn’t that large of an issue because you don’t wash them often. But there’s no DWR, or anything to protect the pants, thus these aren’t so much lacking in performance for your day to day wear, but do present potential pitfalls when/if you travel with them. One spill, and you might be waiting a couple days to get them dry to wear again — especially so in the pocket areas.
One hidden performance attribute here is the fly. This is a button fly, but the button holes have the covering flap stitched down at the top and bottom of the hole. Thus when you sit down, there’s no risk of the top flap flipping over and showing the buttons — instead the fly lays rather flat and smooth at all times. It seemed like such a small thing when I got the pants, but it’s yet another small detail which is well thought through.
These are my favorite pants to wear, not just to the office or out on date nights — but generally. I love wearing these. I took a pair on a beach vacation, and foolishly didn’t pack some sweats for lounging in the condo — but it wasn’t an issue because I lounged in these. That’s crazy, these are chinos. But that’s the magic here: the look sharp, are durable, and for very comfortable to relax in. And you can basically wear them for anything.
I’ve never liked a pair of pants this much, so while the price is steep — they are worth every penny.
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