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Bills Khakis - Model M2P twukk slacks / vintage poplin shirt

Posted by J. B. Kraft on Friday, December 23, 2011 Under: Made in USA Clothing

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J. B. Kraft

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Bills Khakis

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Bills Khakis - Model M2P twukk slacks / vintage poplin shirt

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There are some products that are so extraordinary that it's a privilege to post a favorable review. Bills Khakis is just such a product. Finer mens' stores in larger cities sell them (and some items you can't order from their website), but for the rest of us, there is a nice, simple website. I'm 59 years old, and I've always liked Khakis. The company is headquartered in Pennsylvania, and someone made the brilliant decision to bring back the same khakis that our fathers, uncles, and grandfathers had brought home from World War II. I understand that fabric, color, and construction were derived from old military specifications. There is a straight front model (the original), and forward and reverse pleat models. If you order them, you order by waist size only and they come with unfinished bottoms. The twill fabric is incredible -- a beautiful balance of strength and softness that only top grade 100 percent cotton produces . The waist closes with a button, which makes them a little less "dressy", I suppose than clasp closures, but, hey, it's under your belt anyway. There's an outstanding, rugged, brass old-style metal zipper on the fly, with slash pockets on the sides and button closing hip pockets. The pockets are generous, and constructed of the same twill as the outside of the pants. Living "in the country", I ordered my first ones - M2Ps with the reverse pleats and ordered them in tradition American khaki and British Tan. I understand that the original American military Khaki color was sometimes referred to as "pinks", because they took on a pinkish hue as they were washed repeatedly. It's a soft beautiful color that blends perfectly with a blazer or a polo of any color. I also bought the same pant in British Tan -- a color I don't like as much but which does go better with some of my sports coats. The downside of ordering them was I had to find a seamstress or tailor to finish the bottoms, so I found one in a larger city about 50 miles away, and drove over after having received my order. I got to the tailor shop, and went into the back to try them on, and they felt amazingly soft, and the fit was like putting your hand and fingers in a fine glove made just for you. The tailor remarked that they looked like they had been custom made for me, and marked the bottoms. I asked for suspender buttons and plain bottoms, West Point style, and a week later returned. When I got home and put them on, I literally did not want to take them off. I also had a pair fitted with the flannel lining for winter wear fitted and the forward pleat model. They are all the best pants I have worn, ever (although I think the reverse pleats look a bit better on me. They are so comfortable, I am thinking of keeping one pair at home I won't take to the laundry to be starched and iron, because they are so soft they are just a pleasure e to wear. So, with every product there is a downside, and here's the one for me -- I really hate wearing dress slacks or suit pants now, because they are just so uncomfortable in contrast to them. I have owned Dockers and other casual slacks (including some pretty fine custom twills made by Lands End with dress slack finishings. Dockers are just not what they were when they were made in America, and the Lands End have been fine pants but are unavailable now. With Bills Khakis, I doubt I'll every buy any other casual pants again. My commendation to the company for the fine product it produces at a reasonable price. 

The khakis were so wonderful, on a subsequent order, I decided to try the "vintage poplin shirt" (in military khaki, of course. The quality of the finish and the softness of the fabric were incredible (just like the twill slacks), but one of the things that impressed me was the quality of the buttons used on the shirts. They are both attractive and hard. Cheap plastic buttons that get broken by commercial laundry are one of the bains of modern life, and they can be found on otherwise beautiful shirts. These buttons (including the ones on plackets) will last.

In : Made in USA Clothing 


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