We all know different materials age in different ways. 

Leather is probably the most beautiful, and certainly the most varied. As a skin, if untreated it darkens when exposed to dirt or hands, yet lightens where it’s exposed to sunlight. It will take on the patina of the creams and polishes used to treat it, and even how they are applied. 

The variation you get as a result in leather shoes, bags and jackets is as delicate and complex as many things in nature. 

Wool is probably the worst of the common menswear materials, with cotton second. Wool lasts well, but most of its signs of age are simple balding. Cotton, by contrast, frays in ways that can be attractive, as well as losing colour. 

This fading is most obvious in denim, with the white core of the yarn showing at points that fold and rub. Jeans tell a story more than any item of clothing – from whiskers to honeycombs, wallet outlines to pockets fraying quicker than others. 

In fact there’s a separate article here at some point, because I think people are starting to forget the beauty of raw denim, and of personal ageing of jeans. Washed and bleached denim is becoming more prevalent, and it often looks tacky. 



But I digress. This piece is about how great (non-indigo) cotton ages. 

The chinos here are my old, and much-loved, Army Chinos from The Armoury.

This model has gone through several iterations over the years since, with variations in material, maker, cut and details. The current ones are different in each of those respects. 

We have talked about bringing them back together, and perhaps that will happen at some stage. Luckily, I have no need to replace mine, which are only getting better and better with age. 

(I also have a back-up: the gurkha model, which was introduced the following season. I don’t like the fastening so much but it does have a nicer (higher) rise. They’ll do if these ever disappear.)



The material has softened. This is the prime thing you notice on vintage cotton trousers: how incredibly soft they are, while still being strong enough to take a beating, in any activity. 

The coarser cottons used in workwear chinos, like these, start off stiff but soften and soften with every wash. I’m sure they’re still softening ever so slightly. 

This is also what separates them most obviously from ‘dress’ or smart cottons – those supplied by the vast majority of mills for bespoke tailoring.

These are often softer to start with, but do not change. They are designed to retain their feel, which is one of luxury and elegance: a pleasing hand but fine and dense enough to maintain a sharp line. 

I’ve never gone into the technical details on cottons, but perhaps it would make a good addition to our Guide to Cloth at some point. 



So the thing I love most about good chinos is this combination of softness and strength. By one definition of comfort, I think they’re the most comfortable thing you can wear.

When I get home after a day in a suit, my first thought is not to change out of the worsted into pyjamas, but into these chinos. Keeping the oxford shirt, and throwing a cashmere shawl-collared cardigan over the top. 

This association with pleasure and comfort is probably why the trousers are one of my favourite-ever pieces of menswear. 

The fraying and slight fading are also a reminder of that long personal association.

It’s most obvious around the pockets, where the cotton is coming away slightly on the pocket edge and on the body of the trouser, just behind it (shown above). I imagine my hands going in and out of those pockets, thousands and thousands of times. 



There are also little nicks and frays on the sides of the trousers, perhaps where I’ve leant against too many a brick wall. And some tiny flashes of white paint, which never quite washed out. 

The hems of the trousers – which have always been turned up once, simply – are faded along their bottom edge, as that fold in the fabric has caused the cotton to lose its colour quicker that the material around it (above). 

And the legs also have faint lines of fading up and down them, most likely caused by the trousers being left damp and wrinkled too long, after washing. 



The rivets on the fly have rusted ever so slightly. 

I know this was a deliberate design decision, to use uncoated metal, and I like the additional sign of ageing – in the same way I like untreated brass that will tarnish and can be polished, if I wish. Like the hardware on the vintage belt worn in this outfit, in fact. 

This will probably split opinion a little bit, but I like the effect, and the rusting has never caused any other deleterious effects, such as staining the cotton around it. 



The quality of clothing is also revealed by what doesn’t age as much as what does. 

So it is noteworthy that although there are many other signs of wear, no seam has a single loose thread – and the rear pockets are still razor sharp. 

Granted, those pockets have not been heavily used, but still it speaks to the way they were made – the internal structure and the precision of the work – that they look no different to that day they were made, even after dozens of washes.



People that care about creating good products often say that they’d love to come across their clothes in a vintage store, 20 years after they were made, ready for a second life.

I think these trousers could certainly fit that bill, and they compare favourably with vintage ones I’ve bought myself, such as this pair from Le Vif in Paris. The softening isn’t quite as extreme, but then the material is different too. The fraying, nicks and marks are comparable. 

If anyone wants to know the closest thing I’ve found to the Armoury chinos since, it’s probably these ones from Blackhorse Lane. That cotton has also softened really nicely, though it’s hard to make a direct comparison, having not had them as long. 

I’m also expecting great things from the Rubato trousers, of which I have the ‘officer’s chino’.



Those items shown near the top of this article, by the way, to illustrate the beauty of ageing are:

All those links are to old articles on them.

And the other clothes shown in this shoot are:

Photography: Alex Natt


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These aren’t made today, unfortunately… if you were looking to replace them (and not waiting to see if these are resurrected) which would you buy?

Any way to determine which trousers will survive “thigh rub” better than others? This is always the point of failure on all my trousers but a few random pairs last years and yet others (eg incotex) have worn through in under 6 months of once a week wear.

Robert M

Only 32.5in inseam 🙁 I’m happy with my experiments with Luxire, but at the same time I’d love to have these BHL chinos. A good 2 inches too short though (more if I’d want to roll them). Do you know of anything of comparable quality that would be longer?

Robert M

Yes, they are, but I’m almost tempted. If only they had them it taupe, like their other trouser model. Being picky is a curse!


My go to chinos for the last couple of years is the orslow slim fit army khakis. Their silhouette looks like the armoury ones, – so not that slim fit. The cotton has become softer with each wash and there is a sligth fading in the yearn. Until nok all trends are holding on, so I hope the trouser will last for many years ?

Jay Barron

The current model wears longer than that. I’m 6’5 and still turn up the hem.


Simon, on alternatives to the Armoury Army chinos, you also give the Real McCoys chinos a good review. I’d be interested to know if you would still say that Blackhorse Lane is a better option and if so why?

Also, wondering if your preference against the Armoury army chinos extends to their Sport chinos if one is after a slightly smarter, slimmer look?


I have tried to buy BHL´s chinos since you first mentioned them more than a year ago in a pop up post. First they were not available via their website for a few weeks and then all sizes except the smallest and largest were sold out in all tree colors so fast that I missed out. Since then no chinos have been produced.


I would recommend 3sixteen Selvedge Chinos (available at Rivet and Hide), the best chinos I’ve ever had. Quite different in fit from these, but very high quality.


The chinos of Rubato look very nice, almost like the ones from The Armoury. However, under Care Instructions, they say Professional Dry Cleaning only. This is, for chinos, a no go for me.

One question regarding the ageing of your trousers. You don’t use the pockets for stashing your phone, keys or wallet, do you? My trousers, after several washes, clearly outline the position of my phone, wallet, keys etc…


Hi simon can i check if rubato mentioned their chinos can be washed? It seems the officer chino can be washed but the other cotton trousers which are pleated (taupe/brown) needs to be dry cleaned as indicated in the webstore. If those can be washed too that would be fantastic as the officer chino is slightly too striking in the white/ivory

Peter Hall

We constantly return to comfort and memories. Building new memories is a comment my wife uses…Do you remember this jumper…That jacket? Indelibly etched into the grooves of life.


I’m partial to Armoury’s Ring chino trouser. Very nice fit that you can pull over into business-wear with an OCBD, tie, and a crunchy sport coat.

RRL also have a nice cut on their officer chinos but I’ve noticed the stitch quality to be lacking.

I like to be able to throw my cotton trousers in the wash. It’s a surprisingly high bar for some chino makers.

Your armoury chinos have aged well. Alden, ever American, really completes what you’re going for.


Hi Simon, it would be interesting if you commented on why exactly you don’t like the current chinos from The Armoury as much.



I am the same as you.
I have an older pair of the armoury chinos made in hong kong. Side tabs, button fly, mid to high rise with a slightly slimmer leg.
Also with a much more robust selvage twill fabric compared to the current soft, almost italian like cotton fabric.
Much like wearing in a pair of jeans they do look great a few years later.

They wear so well you barely need to iron them & don’t give off a rather “messy” look that alot of super soft cotton chino’s give after half a days wear.

Paul F.

For the sake of comparison, can you advise exactly what the length of the rise is on these older Armoury chinos? What I believe is The Armoury’s current iteration of the trouser—the selvedge twill cotton Army chino—has a front rise of 32 cm (for sizes 32, 34, and 36). This is nearly what the rise is in Trunk’s Duke corduroy, which are admittedly different, in a five pocket style. But given your comments indicating your preference for the rise—among other things—in the older chinos, it would be helpful to know what that measurement is.


Love the proportions- interested to know the thigh and hem measures please.


Simon, can I ask, will we ever see a PS army chino? I’m sure most readers will agree, it is almost impossible to find army/workwear chinos with the dimensions above. Even with the most infamous names we all know and love, it’s often a case of being a touch too wide or a touch too slim. These armoury ones are perfect, I think you know that hence why they’re still your go to all these years later.

I understand the PS version might not be identical, but I’m sure they’d be damn close, and I know you’d get the colours right. Similar to the PS tee, you wouldn’t be able to keep them in stock. Perhaps it’s something you’re already considering?


Amazing, quite possibly would be the most in demand PS product to date. While I’m at it, please do your best to find the olive to end all olive’s. Much appreciated as always, Simon.


Hi Simon,

I just wanted to see best of luck in your search. I would love to buy a pair!

Hannes Hanhineva


Any news regarding this :)?




Are these the army chinos made by Ring Jacket that I’m seeing on The Armoury website now?

Denis T.

Hi Simon,

I’d like to know more about one detail You’ve mentioned. The one that wool doesn’t age that well and mostly it means balding. I would like to learn more on that topic as I assumed that wool gets softer through time, and it is possible to have it for decades . For example, I have one of my favourite wool/cashmere sweaters for six years, and It’s softer and still good as new. Then I have newer knitwear of much higher quality; therefore, I have much higher expectations from them but cannot yet say how they are after six years or so.
If you don’t mind, could you pass me your thoughts on that one?
I’d be grateful. Thank you very much, and wish you nice evening.


Very interesting, thank you! Does this apply only for their Army chinos, or also for the Model A sport chinos made by Ring Jacket? On another note, do you think the basketweave trousers from Stòffa will improve with age in a similar way?


“Wool is probably the worst of the common menswear materials” could not be farther from the truth. Wool is cool in summer and warm in winter. It does not absorb odors and takes a sharp crease while rarely needing dry cleaning.. While I own many pairs of cotton trousers in varying cloth weights and materials they require much more maintenance than wool trousers. Cotton is perceived as a “casual” material but in fact it is less comfortable and durable than wool and requires much more maintenance


Hi Simon,

Nice article, thank you. I always look forward to Monday, Wednesday & Fridays. Specifically for new PS articles.

My inquiry is actually on the Trunk Berwick Shetland Sweater and your Harley Shetland Sweater you own from Dick’s of Edinburgh. They appear to be very similar in all respects. Since you have both, can you please tell me if there are any differences, besides a slight cost difference, e.g. fit, quality of material, sizing, height of neckline, ribbing, etc? Any info would be helpful.

I’m interested in the: https://www.trunkclothiers.com/products/trunk-berwick-shetland-crew-ecru?variant=15418879311907 and the https://dicks-edinburgh.co.uk/collections/mens-knitwear/products/harley-crew-neck-voe-true-shetland-jumper-in-white.
Thank you.

Kind regards,


Paul k

Do you think these would benefit from a crease down the length of the legs? To me, a crease would harmonize the bottom with the upper half.


Thank you for this helpful and interesting piece.

I think you have said previously that you very much like the Stoffa chinos. How would you compare those to the ones mentioned here?


Incidentally, what do you think of Stoffa’s flannel trousers?


Not a big fan of these chinos. The leg opening is too wide and make the feet look tiny. The button fly, in addition to being a hassle (zippers were invented for a reason), gives the fly that characteristic bumpy look when closed. I know the Armoury likes to do these slightly retro wide cuts from time to time; the aesthetic is lost on me.

mr Smith

What brand shoe are you wearing?


Hi Simon

Lovely article as ever.

I can see you are wearing your trousers higher around the ankle than you normally would and I notice that this is a “thing”.

I see men spending a lot on shorter trousers so they can show a little more string or tassle on their loafers, is this a trend you have acknowledged?

I can quite see on chinos or jeans you can change the length with a roll up or roll down but on more expensive tailoring it seems odd. I ask out of complete naivety.


Thanks Simon

It does and chimes with my thoughts exactly. I could never see why you would spend several hundred pounds on a pair of tailored , elegant trousers that could only be worn with loafers for example.



May I suggest you try the Joe McCoy Blue Seal chino. They differ from the Real McCoys military chinos with a mid rise and thinner leg. I have had mine for years, and they just get better.



I went size up and the rise and leg is fantastic. Really think these are better than the BHL ones


They have changed the cut considerably about a year or so ago. I agree the previous cut was frustratingly low rise and slim after a few washes. The new cut is higher rise and roomier whilst maintaining a taper. Frankly I now find them the best informal chinos anywhere.


For this kind of chinos i would also recommend the tapered version from Tellason, i really like them. And also the tapered version from Studio D’Artisan if they are still available. I think both are at least as good as the Joe McCoy / Real McCoys, i like them better. For universal chinos i still like Incotex (the slim version) and their half linen version is great for hot summer or holidays.


Apologies in advance for what is potentially an obvious, and certainly a pedantic, question.

What is the difference between Ecru/Khaki “Jeans” and similarly coloured Chinos. Is it simply the five pocket configuration on the jeans? I did think the seams were a difference, but the trousers here seem to have the overlapping seam (not sure of the correct terminology) that I thought was typical of jeans.

Similarly, is ecru denim a contradiction in terms? Is it technically just ecru cotton twill? I had understood (possibly incorrectly) that denim was defined by its indigo dye. When a cotton twill fabric is made into a jean, is the fabric called denim by association?

At the end of the day I suppose the nomenclature makes little difference to what you wear and what you enjoy, but it’s been bugging me for a while…


Do.you know how Doppiaa chinos compare to Rubato? I saw them recently on No man walk alone and am wondering whether they might be a good alternative.


I love my Campus Chino from Runabout Goods. They do age well and have mid-century details like the coin pocket, but the rise is a little too low and the inseam a little too short, so I’ve been on a hunt for a replacement. Sad to learn even the Sports Chino from The Armoury doesn’t compare!

Right now the number one choice I’m eyeing is the Blue Seal Chino Trousers (NO.MP19010) from The Real McCoy’s. Hard to find in the US though.


The Real McCoy blue seal are tougher than the BHL ones, have a nice wear in


Do you have any thoughts on versatility of different chino colours? Clearly you’ve found this khaki colour very useful. I’m waiting for BHL to restock and undecided between the olive and beige. Khaki chinos and a navy jacket is a classic combination but also a little cliched. Navy chinos are useful (especially once the navy fades) given it goes so well with brown suede.


Hi Simon,
Nice article and information regarding more rugged chino. But what about a more formal one? Like Incotex for eg. though they are more expensive than before and better invest in other brands.
What brands do you recommend for this kind of chino?

John Nichols

Hello and first a Happy and Safe New Year to you and yours. If you care to look at a pair of Bill’s Khaki trousers. Very well made and will not shrink as I’ve tried to. And as a side note I love your shawl collar sweater. Fits great and plenty of comments about it.

michael powell

My love affair with chinos began with Old Navy (budget fashions for the 16 – 30s cohort). As my age (and disposable income) increased, I stepped into Dockers (Levis). Wore them for 20 years. These days it’s Bill’s Khakis; a recreation of the U.S. Army uniform trousers from the 40’s. Very nice pants. I think this is as far as I’ll go, chino-wise. Armouries are 265USD in the States.


Hi simon i have all iterations of the army chinos from the Armoury and I see pros and cons of each. I like the sturdy cloth and leg line of the first one (that you feature here) but I like the rise of the new one and also come to appreciate the softer and lighter fabric it uses (especially in a humid country). Wanted to ask your experience of the rubato officer chinos (in terms of rise and leg line) and if they will be featured here? Also do you think the colour is too striking given its a white?


I, for one, would love to see outfits incorporating the Rubato chinos; their site only has one image in which they are actually modelled. More generally, I love the way your armoury chinos have aged, but a higher rise would suit my current tastes. Maybe the current edition would suit me well


Hi simon with regards the rubato chino, do you think they work with a necktie? (e.g. oxford shirt, sportscoat etc.))?


Hi Simon,
In a casual/weekend wardrobe,I could say that jeans and more rugged chinos like the ones from The Armoury and BHL are a staple.
Though you don’t recommend Incotex chinos anymore,I am guessing that a step up above jeans and casual chinos would be a cotton trouser.
Could these cotton trousers work in a casual/weekend wardrobe?( Even if I wear jeans and chinos sometimes I want to dress up)
What could make them more casual in term of style? I am guessing that a cotton trouser with no pleats, belt loops and that permanent crease from waist to the hem could still be smart but wearable in a casual wardrobe ( no sport jackets) and be lower in formality than a single pleat and side adjusters perhaps.
But can a cotton trouser with side adjusters and a single pleat still be wearable for that kind of wardrobe?
What do you think? And what brands do you recommend other than Stoffa?



Thanks for a great post.

I would recommend the Warehouse lot 1082. Great stiff fabric before first wash but then they soften up more and more. They shrink almost one size after first wash, so they are quite similar to raw denim pants. Didn’t find many stock European stores w them but these guys sell them https://goteborgmanufaktur.se/brands/warehouse/warehouse-co-lot-1082-chinos-khaki-1.html

Jim S.

Bills Khakis are a good quality fabric. The style is very American and tends to be big, but the quality of the material is quite good.

Il Pennacchio

Bill’s Khakis are deliberately cut large so that it’s easier for the customer to have them altered. Bill Thomas, the “Bill” of Bill’s Khakis, sold his eponymous company in 2015, but has since become Brand Director of Duck Head, which is also well-regarded for its chinos, including a higher-rise, no-stretch, made-in-the-USA model: https://www.duckhead.com/collections/chinos/products/made-in-usa-chino-gold-glory-d91003-230


Hi Simon,

Do you have any tips for avoiding stretching in the knee? Several of my chinos and jeans develops ”knees” after a short time. And no they are not slim, which I would see contributing to the stretching. Also maybe a dumb question, is it possible to fix this stretching in some way? A tailor maybe?

Best regards


Aha great, thank you I will try that.

Have a nice day!


Hi Simon.

I have a pair of suede Tricker’s Long wing bluchers very similar (last shape and color are practically the same) to your Aldens which are featured here. Im having a hard time matching it with outfits. I’ve only wore them with khaki and army green chinos, I havent been able to pair them with anything else. What other colors do you think would work? Would you wear these shoes with a sports jacket? I tried once but I switched out the shoes last minute since the outfit looked just about okay, but ultimatelt I wasnt happy with it.


Thanks Simon!


Hi Simon,
I am looking to buy a pair of shoes that could work with denim and with some chinos like the ones from BHL. Do you think any of this below styles, split toe derby could work? I do like the handgrade version better. Would suede be more appropriate for that kind of chinos or calf could work to? And what about loafers,are they suited?



Thanks Simon.
So the same principles which you mentioned applies to denim as well or could a split toe derby in suede/ grain could work with jeans?

Peter L

Hi Simon,

Since you had the pop up with Brycelands. Did you try on their army chinos?
How do you find the fit, fabric of those?
What are your thoughts in keeping the original intended silhouette of a certain brand compared to altering them to be slimmer like how you did with your other pair?


Hi Simon,
I noticed that there are two tigh measurements for trousers,one where you put the trousers flat on a board and measure from to crotch to the seam
and second where the measurements it’s done from the side of the leg, for eg. in trousers with crease in front and the back,from crease to crease. Are the measurements the same or they differ?



Just to make it clear i attached some photos. The reason I ask is because I have a pair of denim from BHL and a pair of cotton trousers from Rota. The ones from Rota have 2 more cm in the tigh though they are tighter. I can’t explain why.



heres another product opportunity. regular fit chinos in 100% cotton, in either tan or navy are hard to come by. Dont want to pay £300 for stretchy incotex from trunk. if you know of any brands (Blackhorse lane noted) then please do share.


Hi Simon, I concur about the Armoury workwear chinos. I bought the navy-blue version a few years ago when I lived in NYC, I would have gone for the olive or beige but they were sold out. I wore them fairly frequently, probably a few times a week to a casual office, and they’ve held up well. The only thing in the ageing is that the navy perhaps ages less elegantly than the beige, but otherwise they’ve been great.


Hi Simon, what do you think about the Real Mccoys chinos? How is it compared to your Armoury’s or the BHL’s? Thanks.


Resurrecting an old comment but what colour did you go for? I can’t decide between beige or khaki.

Joe Pickering

Hi Simon,

I was wondering how useful you find your Trunk Berwick Shetland in dark olive? It’s a beautiful colour and looks – from these photos and Trunk’s website – dark enough to be fairly useful across a range of casual outfits but I thought I’d ask. And do you have any thoughts on their brown version, as compared to the Anderson & Sheppard one you have?


Joe Pickering

Thank you, Simon. When you say grey, do you mean their pebble grey version, or just grey in general? At nearly 40, I find myself with about seven navy sweaters of various kinds and zero grey ones, somehow…


Dear Simon!
It’s that time again when we all start thinking of summer chinos.
I’ve done my research on my site for your suggestions, believe me! But wondered where your head was at now? The BHL ones you like are sold out everywhere, and I seem to have detected your move away from incotex. Stoffa are both physically and financially out of reach for me at this moment of the year.
These armoury beauties are of course no longer in existence.
Love to know if there’s any you like at the moment ? I don’t think I could bare coming out of lockdown without chinos to enjoy whatever sunny days we get this spring!

Best, as ever.


Thanks Simon. I have been wanting to purchase something from Rubato for a while – I think they’re the most underrated brand out there personally.
I actually bought the Real Mccoys ones earlier this year. They’re nice, I agree, but I have a couple of issues myself – 1. The plastic buttons are infuriating. I presume a style choice / period details but they are not going to last long and at some point I am fairly sure I’ll be buttoning them up at an event and have to walk around without a top button.
2. The very heavy twill means they feel more like trousers to me, and although I own them, due to the high price, I lamented for a while not just getting some twill ones made up bespoke – they don’t really have the qualities of chinos I normally look for.
Those gripes aside, they’re a good trouser, and I am fairly sure there isn’t a RTW option like them elsewhere in London.
How do you wear them? I’m aware sometimes, its easy to judge an item incorrectly when in fact you just don’t have the right clothes to go alongside them.


Hi Simon,

Based on your replies in this post and what you’ve written in other posts, the Rubato chinos have a high rise while the Real McCoys chinos are rather low-rise compared to your usual trousers. I find that puzzling, since comparing the size guides for both shows similar rise measurements at the same waist size. I’m comparing the size 31 Real McCoys (post-wash) with the size 46 Rubato. At those sizes, they nominally have the same rise as my most comfortable trousers.

I’m thinking of investing in both products purely on the basis of measurements, as you frequently (and wisely) recommend comparing to what a customer already owns. But I must admit your feedback on them is causing me to waffle somewhat, as either or both of them could fall out of the range of what fits me in one or two crucial areas. At the moment, my tentative solution is sizing down on the Rubato pair since you also wrote that they gained an inch in the waist after washing. That might mean the rise will be that bit closer to the Real McCoys, but it might also not turn out that way. What do you suggest, Simon?


Ah yes, how lamentable that not all brands make that front/back rise distinction. The Real McCoys also doesn’t include thigh measurements, which is mildly disappointing.

I’m probably torturing myself too much regarding this decision. I see your points, and it’s probably safer to start with just the one purchase and see where that takes me. Thanks, Simon.

Out of curiosity, roughly where would each of these two chinos fall within your August article on trouser rise? Are they at or near the extreme ends of the spectrum?


I own the Real McCoy ones as I mention in my comment above this one – I wouldn’t consider these a low rise at all. They sit very fractionally under my belly button, which in my opinion is a real sweet spot of a chino as it means the sit nicely under a jacket, but you also don’t look weird and compressed without a jacket – like with a full high rise (Unless of course you are as slim as Scott Fraser).
I had them hemmed, but to be honest, they’re a great fit – though as above I lament the buttons.


Interesting, thanks Chris. I do recall the trouser rise article mentioning that using the belly button as a reference point isn’t always consistent, but your description still gives me an important part of the picture.

Thank you both for the input, it’s helping me make a more informed decision.


I think you have much longer legs than me Simon, which perhaps plays a part?! My legs are probably considered shorter relative to my torso (thanks Eastern European heritage!) Also I do not really understand how physiology, shape and tailoring interact. Perhaps an interesting article at some part.

I think also perhaps I have confused the issue – apologies Joseph and Simon. I have also yet to wash these which from reading above, it’s likely the rise will shrink (which will be a real shame for me.).
Also, I do not feel these are the definitive chinos by any measure, though I liked them enough to keep them, and get use out of them. Simon, time to bring back the above pair with the armoury which clearly exist nowhere else! The people have spoken.


Do you think this casual outfit could work with navy or grey socks?


Hi Simon, I’d be interested to hear whether/how much how your Blackhorse Lane chinos stretched over time? I’ve just purchased a pair and they are really nice, but I’m debating returning them as they’re slightly tight at the moment. Thanks for the article, an interesting read!


That’s a shame, but thanks for the advice!


Ah, helpful to know this. I have purchased the same…bigger size gapes at the waist and smaller size is too tight at the crotch. I guess not for me.


I was on lookout for a dressier chinos and Armoury didn’t have stock. Instead of going with Incotex, I’ve purchased RL Polo and while being about $200AUD less than Incotex, the quality is absolute bullocks. I understand that this is entry level RL but I’ve never seen such poor stitching even on Uniqlo or Charles Tyrwhitt garments. You don’t expect Mercedes selling you a Renault quality for it’s entry level A-class car, why this should be the case with the high street brands?


I had a similar experience with RL Polo quality on a blazer i bought online in a sale; the fabric was appalling and the stitching was literally coming undone down a seam. Shockingly poor quality and i won’t touch RL (under any of their labels) again.


@ John & Nick-
Similar experience. Multiple times have quickly repackaged RL stuff bought online and returned it within minutes of opening. Wasn’t Purple Label (which I can’t comment on having never purchased PL), but the quality of what I have purchased is embarrassing.


Hi Simon,

I recently bought a pair of pre-washed flat front stone chinos form JPress and they come unhemmed. I wonder if turn-ups are appropriate or not? Your pair here doesn’t have them.

I have some more dressy pleated chinos that I’ve had turn ups in but I wonder if that doesn’t make them look more formal ? (It sounds a bit paradoxical given that turn-ups tend to make formal trousers appear more casual)


That’s a good suggestion, thanks Simon.
I guess that for more formal chinos (like your Stoffas) turn-ups can work well?

Joe Pickering

Hi Simon, may I ask what size waist you wear in the BHL chinos? They recommend taking a size down in their denim, to account for stretching (which I did with my jeans from there: I’m normally a 32, got a 31 and they’re pretty ideal). I assume the chinos don’t do that?



Hi Simon!
Awaiting your review of the RM trousers as a beige option. Can you possibly recommend an olive/green option? Cheers!

Bertie Wooster

Simon I can’t believe I’ve done a search on the site but couldn’t spot the right article where this has already been addressed. With these Armoury chinos, or any other chinos for that matter while crease, or also have those double stitched side seams and therefore less formal, what sort of navy jacket works? I find that most navy jackets end up looking more formal than the trousers that look like a poor relation


Hi Simon, just wondering if you/The Armoury have any plans to bring this version of the Army chino back?

I’m looking forward to your review of the BHL chinos, though I have some hesitations with them as the rise seems quite low based on the measurements, and they are not very long.

I must say that I have been rather drawn to all the workwear items you have been covering lately: chinos and loopwheel sweets/tees in particular. I have been building a wardrobe and have tended to focus more on tailoring/smart casual, but it is workwear pieces like this that in reality receive the most wear. Thank you for exploring this category of clothing in such detail.


Simon, to complete my ansewer to another post.

I’ve been looking for a pair of similar chinos ever since this article came out.
I have been struggling a lot, since I didn’t want slim fit chinos, nor elasthane, and because I didn’t want to pay more than 150€ for a more classicaly fitting pair that’s made 100% cotton, as it will be treated roughly.

For those with limited budget such as myself, Uniqlo released a vintage fit chinos with high rise, wide leg, 100% cotton, jetted back pockets, in a nice medium weight twill that looks like it will age nicely. I just acquired a pair, and I think they look great in casual (t-shirt and sneakers) and semi-casual (Oxford shirt, knitwear and brogues). I guess they fit the whole Ivy style.

As of September 2021, they’re 40€ in France.



I’ve been on a long search for something similar, after being increasingly frustrated at how literally all medium priced brands I can find in Italy only do very tapered trousers. It would be funny, if not a little sad, if Uniqlo ends up beating them all.


I have finally ordered the vintage chinos from Uniqlo. And you were absolutely right, they are what I’ve been searching for a year and couldn’t find even in more expensive shops all around Rome. Everything outside luxury menswear brands is (too) slim, has elastane, and often low-rise – but this is it. Machine work seems impressively precise for the cost, as well. Fit is straight but not *really* vintage, i.e. perfect for actual wear, and color is the classic shade of beige. Huge success.
This season they even added more colors, but I didn’t try those out, I only ordered the beige.

chris kai

Hey Simon,

Have you checked out the Armoury’s army chino this season? The measurements look much closer to your original pair here, though it seems like a slightly different cotton? Still looks great quality though. I must admit I’m tempted, the rise seems closer to a mid-high rise now along with the thigh measurements etc. which all round seems to be a slightly more contemporary take on the classic army chino, much like these originals. Would love to hear your thoughts.

chris kai

Thanks Simon, ahh I see. Honestly, I will keep my powder dry in that case, it’s your original ones that really hit the mark all round. If you ever managed to bring something similar to those back via a collaboration of some sort, they would fly off the shelf. I understand they’ll never be exactly the same, but I’m sure you’d get them pretty close. I’m enjoying my BHL ones for now though!


Hi simon i have both iterations of the army chino from the Armoury (the old one with metal rivets at the fly) and the newer softer one and I agree the former is the best chino I have ever owned. It’s high but not too high. Wide but not too wide. The cloth is sturdy and has a good slubbiness and rigidity to it and I find the metal rivets at the fly makes it easier to do/undo as opposed to buttons. However what amazes me is how the length of the chino keeps shrinking with each wash. I always hand wash and line dry them and each time to length shrinks by a cm or too that it now bothers on being too short for me with little length left to let out and lengthen. Given that there is hardly any in the market like this pair I have resorted to not washing them (I haven’t done so in the past year!) wondering if you face this shrinking issue as well?


I made a rather expensive purchase – Ring by Armoury Chinos. I thought they were stunning and I was thrilled to have them hemmed in-house.

However, when I got them home and put them on for the first time, I noticed that the crotch was already ripped. Alex apologized and explained that sometimes formal thread was used instead of whatever regular thread is used for chinos.

It’s just so odd to have such a defect in such an expensive pair of cotton pants.
Would you let this dissuade you from purchasing more at this store?

And what are other, similar options in NYC? J. Mueser?


Hi simon i have two sportscoats (dark navy and dark brown check) that i like wearing with a necktie and khaki army chinos. I know it’s not a look most or yourself will like but i like how slouchy and comfortable it is. Im meaning to get a pair of bottoms which are darker to create a different look and realise most chinos are usually khaki or white. Do you havr any experience with chinos that are dark in colour (charcoal-ish etc) that are not denim or olive chinos?


hey simon what about this from bryceland (https://www.brycelandsco.com/products/brycelands-army-chinos-salt-pepper)? I think it may look good in winter with sportscoats/overcoats given how textured it looks though not sure if they look odd to be worn on its own though with just a shirt up top.

Oliver Price

Hi Simon, I just thought I’d let everyone know about the tapered chino from Full Count (I know you like their jeans) – I have a pair of these from a few years back and they’ve aged beautifully. https://www.sonofastag.com/products/full-count-1122-tapered-chino-beige?utm_source=Klaviyo&utm_medium=campaign&_kx=O8ayjcH45p_JvtOFC-CtSlVTKrabWeQkkAyoD0ylVk4%3D.heFfW3

Oliver Price

No, you’re right – I always find it frustrating that they don’t have measurements. However, there’s a page on the Fullcount website that has the measurements:


That page doesn’t seem to always work, so here’s the Japanese version too:


In a 34 waist, they have a 27cm rise and a 20cm hem.


Hi simon have you tried this brand called tangent (https://tangentclothing.com/products/tan04?variant=39652413964484) from japan? Looks like a casatlantic with a focus on trousers but on military types. Quite interesting designs but the classic ones look good.


Im getting the shorts either this or next month. Will let you know how they are.


Dear Simon, how short would you cut these? My tailor took off quite a lot (to the upper part of the ankle). What do you think?


I’m late to the party on this one, but I just got a pair of the Army chinos from The Armoury. I got a size 50 and fit dead on. My only concern is how much the waist may shrink in the wash. I realize they are pre-washed, but if I lose a full inch at the waist, it could spell trouble.

Does anyone have any experience, or know if I should exchange for a 52?

Thank you!

Jim Bainbridge

Have you tried Iron Heart’s chinos, Simon? I just got a pair of their 12oz ones and am very impressed. The relaxed cut I went for has a little more room in the thigh (13.2”) and a bit less at the hem (7.4”) than the ones you tend to favour, but I’d still say an ideal everyday cut – and the only thing I can find to criticise is the single hook fastening (rather than overlapping with a jigger button) – which I’m guessing is maybe a repro thing? It doesn’t bother me anyway as I wear them with a belt. Great experience dealing with IH as well.

P.S. Despite the above, I am sure that if you did make a PS “perfect chino”, it’d probably be the best in the world!


+1 for the PS Workwear Chinos.

Jim Bainbridge

The other model I’m considering from them is the IH727, which is a bit wider in the hem (7.8” for a 32), it’s a little more tapered at the knee than I’d ideally like and is a different lighter weight cloth (also LHT), but a nice mid rise at 11.2 and 12.7 in the thigh. Nothing seems to tick all the boxes!

Cormac Lynch

Simon, Great article like many others. Snuff suede looks exceptional with this pair of Chinos. Probably, that’s why Snuff is one of the top selling material at Alden in some of Wets Coast stores where people wear much more workwear. I always appreciate workwear posts from you.
I wonder if there is a way to make workwear chic without looking too Ivy. I ask because at West Coast, most people are dressed in sweatshirt/fleece, chinos/jeans and running shoes. If you happen to change too much, there is chance of looking not understated. Would you have something in mind? Thank you in advance.

Cormac Lynch

Thank you Simon.

On a separate note, I read your article on levels of formality in color, textures, type of garment, age etc. and it gave me an idea on how to do chic workwear. Perhaps, by keeping overall formality of the outfit to my surroundings, when adding some casual chic pieces, might keep things understated.

Examples being, with smarter shoes a t-shirt is better than a shirt to pair with raw denim jeans, under a smarter knit a t-shirt than a shirt, or a smarter shirt with more worn in pair of jeans than newer raw denim. I’ll try to balance overall formality by adjusting color, type of garments, and age as well.

I would love to know your thoughts on age of the garments in determining smartness in chic workwear. Thanks again.

Cormac Lynch

Not entirely, there is certain texture, softness, matteness, and fading that comes with the age, but fraying is definitely a great sign of age. If almost everything in an outfit is relatively new, there is loss of nonchalance. And, pardon me to extend this discussion to third level, I was just curious on how to do intersection of casual chic with workwear well. Thank you for your consistent replies.

Cormac Lynch

Thank you Simon. I went through your talk with Rubato and it was super pleasing to see how you were able to touch various elements of style, brand, and culture with them. Both of them displayed casual elegance, and I liked their point on how general people prefer hard wearing clothes in today’s world. One might add, at least in West Coast, people like low maintenance clothes as well.

Peter Hall

Just to jump on the discussion -really thoughtful btw chaps, work wear is such an odd term nowadays and encompasses such much as to be no guide.

Would not ‘rugged casual ‘ be a better term?


Simon, could this finally be the year we see a PS workwear chino?


Simon I hope you’re well! You’ve been a big influence on my choices of wardrobe (and pastime in research!) recently and I’m having lots of fun with it. Thank you! I’ve seen these chinos in many of your articles for other subjects – and I keep coming back to them as the ideal chino! I followed your link to Blackhorse (product has changed likely since link doesn’t work) and I’ve also seen the rubato officer’s various chinos online. I ordered an armoury pair and just received it. Sadly I’m returning it! None of these seem to have the color & texture of the prior armoury pair! They all seem like shades of stone or auburn as opposed to yours which seems to have an almost slight reddish, warmer hue. Many of them have a more formal cut and are shiny, as opposed to yours which seem more rugged yet even soft. Any advice for where to find one would be hugely appreciated!


Bummer! Thank you!


With workwear chinos should one go for regular fit or slim fit?

Owen Levine


Do you think that your Edward Green Mink Suede Piccadillys would be too formal for the Armoury Army Chinos or Real McCoy Chinos?



After reading this, I thought I’d give the new version of the Armoury chinos a try. Sadly it seems the quality is no longer there. I recently purchased two pairs of the Sport Chino. There is a huge quality issue. BOTH pairs split seams. One on the very first wear, and the other after only a few wears. Fabric and fit is great, but there is something very wrong with the construction.