Garment Instructions

You’ve got to love a garment that communicates to the wearer.

“We suggest wearing a minimum of 60 times before first wash”: Wallace & Barnes

“Could you survive for 40 days and 40 nights on a piece of tofu the size of this Maharishi washcare label?”: Maharishi

“Dry Clean only. Don’t come crying to us if your mum shrinks it”: Duffer of StGeorge

 Wallace & Barnes Japanese Selvedge Chino

Wallace & Barnes Japanese Selvedge Chino

My relationship with a pair of chinos, or khakis, began when I read ACL’s review of a pair made by J.Crew, under their Wallace & Barnes sub-brand. Wallace & Barnes is J.Crew’s workwear orientated brand, and seemingly where they hide the really good stuff.

 Printed instructions for wear & care

Printed instructions for wear & care

I’ve tried and failed so many times with chinos, always reaching for a pair of jeans in the morning, over whatever the latest style of chino I’d bought. I’ve got a drawer full of the bloody things.

 Triangular back pocket flaps

Triangular back pocket flaps

However, these chinos are different: they’re a match for any expensive, raw denim pair of jeans. They’re made on narrow looms from 11½oz Japanese selvedge cotton: the red selvedge thread visible on the turn up cuff. Like all good workwear, the material is also sanforized, so these chinos are tough and will not shrink; so buy to fit. They’re exceptionally stiff when new, but over time, they soften and mould themselves to your shape. The attention to detail is exceptional, with button fly and triangular back pocket flaps. 

 Selvedge red thread

Selvedge red thread

 More wear in every pair

More wear in every pair

 

Supply of these fine trousers into the UK is limited, which means that a trip to J.Crew Lambs Conduit St is advisable if you’re going to invest in a pair. 

 Don't take them off for a couple of months

Don't take them off for a couple of months

J.Crew on Lambs Conduit St is small and beautifully formed, with J.Crew’s multiple excellent collaborations with other brands available there alongside the best J.Crew has to offer. It’s run by David, who is friendly and knows his menswear, so you can have a good chat about what’s what while you’re there. It’s how shopping should be. 

 David, J.Crew 38 Lambs Conduit St

David, J.Crew 38 Lambs Conduit St

These chinos are expensive, but if you’re a firm believer in Considered Consumption, you’ll soon get over the price. As the label says, "They get better with age," and become so comfortable you’ll reach for them every morning. 

 Do as it says, or you'll keep setting shop alarms off and having to deal with store security.

Do as it says, or you'll keep setting shop alarms off and having to deal with store security.