We had the distinct pleasure not so long ago of visiting the Pop Up Flea in New York City. Many of our favourite folks were there including Clutch Magazine/Men’s File, Alexander Olch, Freeman’s, Grown and Sewn, and Wooden Sleepers. We were also pleased to see Bill’s Khakis there too. We purchased a pair of Bill’s traditionally styled button fly khakis several years ago at the fabulous O’connell’s Men’s store in Buffalo.
As we were looking through the racks of khakis, tartan shirts, belts, and bomber jackets, a voice over our shoulder said: “Have you heard of Bill’s Khakis?”
“Yes, yes, we have,” came our swift reply.
“Well,” he said, “I’m Bill.”
And so he was. Twenty-five years since he first pulled an army surplus pair of khakis off a store shelf and vowed he would try to recreate the fit and quality, Bill is still at it.
Out of his headquarters in Reading, Pennsylvania, Bill Thomas sources materials from around America and swears they’ve changed little since he starting selling an initial run out of the trunk of his car. But of course, even fashion classics change slightly. They are the ultimate casual pant that can be dressed up and dressed down, and yet always preserves a sense of elegance. (Jeans are versatile, but elegant? Not so much.) But Bill will admit that the long, high waist of the wartime trouser has given way to a somewhat lower-cut version that sits more on your hips.
But what hasn’t changed is the great, classic look and colour that is as at home on a boat deck, at a ball game, chopping wood, or being thrown one leg at a time into a vintage jeep.