Rubato officer’s chinos: Review

Friday, May 14th 2021
Share
||- Begin Content -||

I've come to really like these Rubato chinos, but it’s worth saying from the outset that they're not the originals. 

I had them narrowed after a few weeks, as I found the leg too wide. In the thigh it went from 33.5cm to 32cm, and in the hem from 22.5cm to 20cm. 

This was based on the shape of my old Armoury pair, and is what I prefer for casual trousers - I did the same with an old pair of Army trousers last year as well. 

The result, I think, is certainly something that is not slim, but not noticeably wide either. Of course, these things vary between people and over time too, but right now it feels like a good, contemporary line. 

I was a little nervous of slimming the trousers, as I count Oliver (Dannefalk, Rubato co-founder) as a friend and didn't want to offend him. He'd put a lot of thought and work into making these his perfect chino, after all. 

But Oliver was fine with it, indeed encouraged anything that would mean I'd get a lot of use and pleasure out of them. Which I think shows a generous spirit. 

And everything else about the chinos I love. 

The material is a Japanese cotton twill - heavy compared to a lot of mainstream chinos at 335g, but not compared to Japanese/workwear brands. It has a sharpness to it which makes them fairly smart, even if not in the ivory shown here. 

The make is unfussy but neatly done, particularly around the waistband lining and the waist button and zip closure. It all speaks to both quality and attention to detail. They are made in Japan as well as using Japanese cloth.

Interestingly, Rubato describe the trousers as sitting on the natural waist, which I would think would mean above the hip bones (see illustration of what I mean here). 

Actually they sit just below the top of the hip bone on me, which is not surprising given the front rise is 28cm. 

My bespoke dress trousers, by comparison, have a front rise of 30cm, and something I would describe as true high-waist trousers - like those old army fatigues, my Panico trousers, or Casatlantic chinos - have a front rise in the range of 33-35cm. 

Whatever the terminology, this is lucky for me as it’s a rise that works well, being close enough to my bespoke trousers to sit in the same area. 

The chinos have been washed three times so far, and I noticed a small expansion of the waist after the first wash (an inch at the most) but otherwise no change. 

They come unhemmed, and I had them hemmed as well as slimmed by Pinnas & Needles. They came back a bit longer than I had expected, but actually work well turned-up like this for more casual shoes (or maybe espadrilles in the Summer) and turned down for smarter ones. 

Smart loafers like the ones I'm wearing sit somewhere between the two, and I find can be worn with either length. It’s just a different style. I know some will dislike a length like this that is actually floating above the shoe, but it does look more casual and contemporary to my eye. And as I said, easy to change. 

The material does have enough body that you could iron in creases, and maintain them with repressing every two or three wears. It’s not the look I wanted though, and I don’t think there’s much virtue in trying to make them smarter in that way. 

Interestingly, the more I try different types of chinos (and there will be more articles in this area) the more I find they fall into different categories of formality. 

The first we can call workwear chinos. My Armoury ones fall into that category, as do some Real McCoy ones I’ll cover soon. The way I would define this category is that the chinos are just as casual and jeans - and in the same way could be worn with, for example, work boots or a leather jacket. 

These Rubato ones are not that casual. They sit in a ‘smart’ chino category along with the likes of my Stoffa basketweave chinos, which really look best with shoes like belgians, loafers, or slim/simple trainers.

However, personally I don’t think I’d wear them with a jacket. Or at least, not a bespoke tailored jacket, which I’d want to wear done up most of the time. For me, only tailored cotton trousers work there (like these from Dalcuore) and even there I generally prefer wool or linen. 

I can see my opinion being swayed on this though. Because brands I respect style tailored jackets with chinos like this, and because it works OK when the jacket is soft, undone, and worn with some slouch. So perhaps it's just me, or perhaps it depends a lot on the jacket. 

I’ve deliberately shown the chinos with everything Rubato - knitwear and belt - both to show off the overall style, and to discuss knitwear sizing. 

This V-neck is a size Medium. It is just about long enough to work on me, with these trousers; if the rise were even slightly lower, it would not. And even here it can ride up a bit. (Obviously rise is not the only factor - height and torso proportions are relevant too.)

I tried sizing up to a Large for my next purchase, a grey crewneck (below). The length works much better on me there (an extra 1.5cm) but it is much bigger in the chest. In fact it’s large enough to be a ‘look’, I think. Nothing necessarily wrong with that - and the shortness of the Medium is probably equally unusual - but it is a noticeable difference and one that has to be taken into account. 

To complicate matters, Rubato have recently released a new line of cashmere/linen knitwear, in a new 'easy' fit. This style fits bigger, with the Medium I tried comparable to the body size and length my Large pictured above. It is also noticeably wider in the waist. 

All the changes are deliberate, with Oliver and Carl aiming for a more relaxed, slouchy fit. Something that's loose and thrown on easily in the Spring and Summer.

Personally I think I prefer the body shape of the other range, even if I couldn't quite find the perfect length/width combination. But it's early days, and as usual with Rubato, everything else is perfect - the 'earth' colour (below) is unusual yet subtle, and the cashmere/linen is soft and luxurious, yet very lightweight.

In what could seem like a very straightforward category, Rubato keep on producing knitwear that is original and beautiful. Which is probably what keeps me coming back.

The suede belts are also great by the way - a brushed suede that has just a little longer nap than others, giving it a slight velvety feel. It’s also impossible not to like a one-inch width after you’ve chatted to Oliver for a moment or too. 

The only thing I don’t like is the buckle. It’s solid brass, which is the main thing, but I do rather like uncoated brass, for the way it tarnishes over time (and can be polished back up, should you wish). 

As mentioned, I’ll be doing more reviews of chinos soon, including Casatlantic, Blackhorse Lane and The Real McCoy’s. You can also see previous chino articles on The Armoury here, Stoffa here, and Drake’s and Anglo-Italian here

The other things worn in the shoot are:

  • PS White Oxford shirt
  • Socks from Anderson & Sheppard in ‘Chamois’ cotton
  • Belgravia loafers from Edward Green in ‘Mink’ suede
  • Frank Clegg large working tote in ‘Chestnut’ tumbled leather
  • Cartier ‘Chronoflex’ watch in yellow gold
  • The chinos are the Rubato ‘officer’s’ style, size 48

The Rubato officer's chinos are in the process of being restocked, and will be available in new colours. The single-pleat style that was initially on offer will be not be offered again, however.

The chinos cost 2300 kr (£195), the lambswool sweaters 1800 kr (£150) and the cashmere/linen sweater 2380 kr (£236)

www.atemporubato.com

Photography: Alex Natt @adnatt

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

308 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Luke

Hi Simon,

I have enjoyed Rubato’s styling and range from afar. There is one thing that has put me off buying, and that is the turn-back cuffs, which seem to be a deliberate styling element. Do you find them annoying at all? Do they slip? Do you think you would prefer them not turned back? Cheers!

Benjamin Jones

Hi Simon,
Does Rubato have a UK outlet? I recently bought via their website post-Brexit and, although I loved the product, I was suprised by the import duty and VAT. I like to know how much I’m paying before I buy.
Thanks.

Rups

How much did you get hit by? I was about to make an order myself but these charges can add significant cost to things which are already expensive. I have messaged Rubato and asked them to do trunk shows once travel opens up again. Not just helpful to buy things without the duties and such like but also to get an idea of fit. How you can just buy trousers or even knitwear without trying on first is a mystery as even with measurements you dont really know how it will look on you. Plus this stuff is slightly idiosyncratic and may not be everybody’s cup of tea as it is.

Anonymous

Assuming all is above board you’ll be paying the same taxes if you import them by ordering remotely or if they bring them in and sell them here. Agree it’s less faff if you try them on etc and decide they’re not for you

David Turgeon

Not at all. If imported by a retailer, customs tax is paid on the wholesale price. If imported by the final consumer, customs tax is paid on the retail price. Big difference!

zo

I want to purchase from Rubato too, but I am really, really put off by companies that don’t offer a DDP service. Bought some products from Lund&Lund that I returned, and it has been 4 months and I haven’t been able to get back the £90 duty I paid to UPS.

Robert M

Perhaps a question better asked directly to Rubato, but maybe somebody will find it useful also here. I see that the inseam of these chinos is 91 cm in my waist size. 91 is probably the shortest I can have if I want to wear them with turn-ups, so the question would be – how much length is lost by hemming? In other words – what’s the longest inseam these could have after hemming?

Robert M

Thank you for the answer. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough, I would just turn them up like jeans, without having an actual turn-up made. What I need is 88 cm inseam minimum (meaning that I’d need, say, 90 to wear them with a 2 cm cuff), so I was wondering what the least possible loss in length is when hemming a trouser.

But if you’re saying I’d struggle, then I guess I’ll just stick to Luxire MTM – no RTW chinos I know of are long enough…

Robert M

Thanks, this 1-2 cm was the information I was after. I was just wondering what the minimum loss was. And yes, being 194 cm tall does make me a bit unusual!

Triskel

To Luke (if I may). Turn-back sleeves are more of a look, and I think quite appropriate for this style of knitwear. In practical terms, and particularly important when buying without first trying on, you can (within reason) use them to adjust the sleeve length – for example, I like to show about 1cm of shirt cuff – which is impossible with ‘straight’ pullover sleeves.

Fatih

Rubato’s stuff is gorgeous. I‘m wearing this chino with their brown and charcoal V-neck which creates an style that I love. I hear you on the width/length combination of their knitwear, though. I could easily wear the V-necks in large and still would have that roomy look around the chest that they‘re after. However, the length would have been so short that even their high rise chino wouldn’t have covered the shirt underneath. And even the XL I went for shouldn‘t be any shorter. So, an additional 2 cm in length on each size wouldn’t do any harm to their style but would greatly improve the fit lengthwise.

Stuart

Hi Simon,

Love Rubato’s knitwear and thinking of picking up a pair of these chinos. I had a question – would you say the ivory color scans and as pure white or noticeably off-white in natural light? I find it hard to tell from the photos.

Maybe it’s in my head, but I always find a slight off-white much more flattering on my complexion.

Anon

I find 20cm at the hem to be my personal sweet spot. This depends of course on the individual build but 20cm to me looks just slim enough to not look stuffy and yet wide enough to not look skinny and restrict movement of the trousers legs.

John

Hi Simon, interesting point about chinos not being worn with tailored jackets. I have a pair of Anglo’s garment washed cotton trousers (basically a chino, https://angloitalian.com/products/garment-washed-cotton-trouser-stone), to which they have added pleats, belt loops and side adjusters, and style them with pleats. I think this number of features makes them look messy though, and am about to take receipt of the Armoury’s Sport chino (https://thearmoury.com/collections/chinos/products/cotton-model-a-sport-chinos?variant=32668806873159) which i am hoping will be smart enough to be worn with casual jackets (casual in terms of cloth (tweed) and a soft Neapolitan design). The Armoury style them in that way, but need to try them myself of course.

It seems you are focusing more on work-wear inspired chinos, in terms of heavier fabric, rolled rather than cuffed, and wider legged? For me a smart chino in the modern world has the potential to be the perfect trouser; suitable both with a jacket as well as knitwear.

Anyway, great to see this focus on the humble chino; it’s such a diverse category, and even defining what a chino is raises challenges!

shem

Hey Simon, interesting you would consider wearing the rubato chino with a sport coat but not the armoury sports chino. They seem to share similar style details (mid-high rise, flat front) with the sport chino being slightly slimmer and cleaner in detail (e.g. neater and single stich side seam on the outseam of the trouser), hence making it more formal?

And

Simon, why would you not wear a chino with a jacket, if they’re smarter than jeans, which you do wear with a jacket?

Charles

Simon, I wonder if would consider a post on this topic? Perhaps to show the difference in materials with say a staple like a hopsack navy jacket to show what works and what doesn’t with cotton chinos and linen etc (if it comes across in a photo?). I would find it useful anyway as I’m not so great at visualization and the casual combinations seem trickier than formal outfits.

Charles

Perfect! That would be great. Also, I think some reference to what wouldn’t work as well to remove doubt? eg such and such a material or style perhaps?

George

Really appreciate the chino reviews! I’m looking forward to the Casatlantic one – I like the style, but concerned about the width in the leg. On principle would you buy chinos with the intent to narrow them? And is there a limit to how far trousers can be narrowed?

Paul

Hi Simon
How much do cotton chinos stretch. I recently had an mtm pair made that were excruciatingly tight around the waist and crotch. I kept taking them back to be told that they would wear in but couldn’t actually comfortable sit down in them so I asked for and got a refund which I was reluctantly given
Paul

Dan James

Very nice ensemble.
Quite understand about having just alterations of only 0.5 cm or so. Had some Pini Parma linen trousers altered in very much the same way and happier with them now and will wear them more as a result.
The suede belt has won me over-what size did you order? I’m a 34 inch waist, so would 85 or 90 be better?
The neck on the sweater seems a little too low to me but can see the appeal in the warmer months.

Dan James

Thank you for the advice about the belt. I’ll bear that in mind when I order.
I also appreciate your unfailing honesty in replying to my comment and all others. I can see how the line of the v-neck would balance itself out with the shape and length of your beard . I just feel that it might not suit me with my long, thin neck and small head. Thank you once again.

Michael

Hi Simon, I’m the same size as you in most things and I was wondering if you could please tell me if you are a 90 in all of your Rubato belts?

Michael

Thank you! I had compared the measurements, but I just wanted to check the sizing of their belts was consistent as well

Ian Skelly

That nice suede belt has prompted me to ask does anyone know where I can get a nice quality dark brown (ideally woven ) belt with a brass or similar buckle? I’ve been looking for ages , thanks

Joel
Thomas

If if may, Morjas and Berg&Berg propositions look very similar to what Simon is wearing here.

Thomas

Hello Simon,
I’m sorry, i was trying to answer to IAN SKELLY but i don’t seem to handle the comment section quite well yet. I was indeed talking about the belt and the alternative ideas he asked for. Is there really such a quality gap ? I mean i do understand for the shoes, but for such a simple item as the belt ? I have no experience with either brands though.

Anonymous

Rubato just released one actually for their SS collection.

https://www.atemporubato.com/collections/accessories/products/rubato-woven-belt

Felix

While this is a nice belt, I haven’t found any practical necessity to wear one in a long time even with non-tailored trousers (i.e., jeans and chinos), and – this for sure is also a general fashion thing – these days wearing a belt always looks somewhat dated to me.

Since you don’t have a problematic figure, was it a stylistic choice or did you actually feel the need to wear one, and wouldn’t you agree that where necessary side adjusters always look cleaner?

Leif

Thanks for a great read! I wonder in what way the belt buckle has been coated? I also enjoy the ageing of brass, but I would have thought this was untreated by just looking at the picture so would be glad learn what to look for. Many thanks in advance.

Kristoffer

Lovely review. Rubato makes beautiful garments. Will the linen trousers be reviewed too? Hard to find heavy irish linen these days that is “rtw”

MBB355

I like the white shirt on top and ivory chinos below, broken up the brown sweater. There’s something edgy and interesting about the “white on white,” yet breaking it up with the sweater makes it highly doable and approachable. Plus it allows you to keep within the cold-color capsule, without deviating from it with a blue shirt.

RT

Hi Simon,

I’m attracted by the new cashmere/linen knitwear. However, I’m a little hesitant. I’ve had several items of linen knitwear in the past and they’ve all very quickly stretched and lost shape, in a way that none of my woollen, cashmere or cotton sweaters have. This has happened no matter how tight the knit is. Do you have one of these cashmere/linen pullovers? If so, what’s your experience of it in terms of stretching?
Thanks,
Richard

RT

Thanks, Simon. That’s helpful. From the measurements on the Rubato website, it looks as is they’re already designed to be a slouchy fit. Stretching would exacerbate that effect in an unpredictable way, I suspect. I’ve had some quite negative experiences with knitwear doing that. Perhaps these aren’t for me. It’s a shame. I was really attracted by the two colours on offer, especially the chalk.

David

It’s a shame you didn’t do a before and after shot of the chinos.
I’d like to have seen the effect of the alterations.
To my eye, there is something not quite right about the line of the leg.
Personally I’m very fond of ‘Officine Generale’ original Fisherman’s chinos.
They are incredibly well made in an English double twist cotton and age beautifully. I wouldn’t touch anything else from OG but they started out making these and completely nailed it.
Years ago Dunhill also used to do nice ones but that was before they went completely crazy.

David

Interesting.
The one modelled shot on the site makes me think they were better in their original state.
Obviously you were trying to make them better for you and it would have been great to see a before and after on you.
I always think that altering the leg width of an off the peg trouser is a difficult exercise. It just doesn’t seem to work and maybe it’s the photos but yours do look ‘altered’.
For me, chinos are like jeans. You just have to find a pair that fit – alter them and it just all goes pear shaped.

Brendan

I recently purchased the dark brown version of these at the pop up – and while I love them, the leg is a little too wide for me. I’m keen to have them narrowed, though am wandering where you took measurements from (I imagine hem, knee, and thigh at the fork)? I don’t really have a suitable pair of trousers for reference measurements (perhaps my Real McCoy’s chinos are closest), so want to make sure I do not inadvertently alter them to the point where they are not wearable at all.

David

Could you perhaps say a bit more on the color? White looks good, but like more of a summer option. It has a yachting vibe to it that makes it difficult to wear in the city, particularly in colder weather ones. Maybe a light tan would be a more versatile choice?

Also, what do you think of cuffs on such trousers? Although they’re supposed to be a casual detail, I find they turn chinos into something slightly more formal. I’m also not so sure about the asymmetrical back pockets…

Would you say your P. Johnson trousers are about the same in terms of formality?

Mohammad Reza

Interesting article. Regarding these chinos what aspects do you think make them less suited to a jacket/blazer? Is it the baggy fit and specific details like the buttoned flap pocket on the back? Or is it more to do with the cloth itself?

Anonymous

What puzzled me slightly on reading this article was that you are happy wear jeans with tailored jackets but not chinos. I tend to think jeans are more casual that chinos. So perhaps it’s association more than anything else?

Anonymous

Interesting. And perhaps worth exploration. I’ve always basically seen chinos as summer jeans – quite a big overlap in the Venn diagram. But I think you’re saying there’s less of that than I thought. Perhaps an article on “jeans and chinos – style overlaps and gaps”

Nabil

Simon,

Between your mink suede and dark oak Belgravia’s, which do you find to be
more versatile?Reason being is Im contemplating on getting the dark oak Belgravia’s seeing that I already have dark brown suede Alden tassel loafers but was wondering if it would work with dark denim (im in jeans mostly now)

Rogey

I have two pairs of AngloItalian chinos and they are among the most versatile trousers I own. The fit is perfect, and I like the pleats and side adjusters. I wear them with a corduroy or a moleskin jacket, and I think the combination looks absolutely fine. The other day I wore the stone chinos with a navy blazer, a striped oxford button down, a repp tie, and monk strap shoes, and got nothing but compliments. I haven’t worn them with a tweed jacket yet, but I think they’d be fine with a lighter weight tweed cloth.

Paul

Personally,if I wore a jacket that had a furry nap like cashmere or tweed I would wear trousers with a similar nap like flannel,corduroy or moleskin.Cotton chinos have a similar texture to worsted trousers that would’nt work in this scenario in my opinion.
Summer worsted or linen jackets have too fine a finish to pair with cotton trousers. In addition they don’t drape very well either.Better to pair the jackets with lightweight worsted strides.
If I wear chinos they will be matched with a shirt jacket or a blouson or no jacket at all.
Sorry if this all sounds rather prescriptive it’s not meant to be.Each to his own.

Marco

Looking forward to your Casatlantic review, maybe you can compare them?

R Abbott

Lovely product photos. Given the fact that Rubato markets it’s sweaters as designed to go with high rise trousers, I was surprised to read that the rise in their trousers is somewhere between low- and mid- rise. (Eg, coverage of Rubato at Robb Report and elsewhere is about how great the style of the sweaters is for high rise trousers.)

I like the look of the trousers post-alteration but I’d be very reluctant to buy something knowing I had to make that type of (potentially tricky) alteration at the outset. The alteration isn’t the simplest ones and obviously you can’t return the trousers if you’re not completely happy the way they look afterwards. Not to mention the additional hassle. Given how many other options out there, I would probably look elsewhere.

Anonymous

Which article does the picture of you sitting down with the Greyish (or is the “earth” colored) crew neck?

Craig

They look nice but I’m afraid they’d get dirty so quickly. Your advice on investing in white/ecru denim, for the ease of maintenance, was spot on. I got a pair in a cut similar to dress trousers and they go with every sports coat I own.

Christopher

Dear Simon,

I have a bit different opinion about combing chinos with a tailored jacket. I guess sometimes it can be look smart casual and the combination can add a bit “sprezzatura”.
I would appreciate your idea about a more detailed view on the different kinds of chinos, maybe titled “sliding scale of chinos” – my favorite is still your your article “Which office are you”
Best regards
Christopher

Anonymous

Dear Simon,

yes, with some illustrations/photos it would perfect!

BB

Hey Simon, you are the epitome of relaxed elegance all the way in Rubato. Really impressed with what the label has to offer. Shame they have no footprints in the UK. I have curtailed all spending in Europe until taxes/duties have settled down somehow. Sorry for the moan.

Anonymous

As I wear chinos every day (read “rut”), I am enjoying your coverage of the American classic pants and have a new-found appreciation for the stone color, which I think looks smart now, especially with dark suede loafers and tan socks. So, thank you, Simon.

A number of comments on pairing chinos with jackets…..Although I actually agree with you and used to wear a jacket primarily with mid- or light-weight worsted wool, flannel, or gabardine trousers, I break that “rule” all the time now and wear chinos (preferably freshly pressed, but that doesn’t always happen, and no tie). I think a determinant of the appropriateness is where you are. For example, I probably would not combine the two in mid-town New York, but in San Francisco I think it would be just fine.

Anonymous

At this point in the pandemic probably easier for most of us to change the trousers rather than the context. Pity.

Martin

The brown of the sweater and that of the suede look almost identical in these photos (exaggerated by the the absence of any other colour in the outfit). Wouldn’t you prefer them to differ a little more?

Martin

Simon, a question regarding the BHL chinos. Do you wear your usual size or did you have to size down?

Martin

Thank you. Did it expand in the washing machine or with wear? Would you recommend sizing down for someone with average waist – bottom proportions?

John

Hi Simon, all the comments about wearing/not wearing chinos with a jacket is a great discussion. Perhaps you could add an article to your chinos series on why you don’t think cotton trousers work with jackets? There have been some articles where you have worn cotton trousers with jackets, so it would be great to have a clearer idea of your thoughts on this, as it seems it is not a strict rule for you.

https://www.permanentstyle.com/2016/08/chinos-loafers-and-a-sports-jacket-or-sweater.html
https://www.permanentstyle.com/2019/06/which-sports-jacket-office-are-you.html

Many thanks.

John

Many thanks Simon, much appreciated. I have been thinking about this and looking at how my own chinos move with my body. I think i am starting to understand what you mean by their being a lack of drape. In all honesty, trousers are not something i have thought a huge amount about, in comparison to jackets and shirts.

May i ask then what fabric would be best for cream/beige odd trousers for wearing with a jacket? Or put differently, what are the best fabrics for odd trousers to wear with jackets? Flannels and jeans go without saying, and a third trouser in cream/beige would seem to complement this.

I was reading your article on cavalry twill; would this be the natural third choice?
https://www.permanentstyle.com/2017/03/cavalry-twill-for-trousers.html

Many thanks!

Anonymous

Many thanks Simon.

Noel

Hi Simon,

I’m slightly confused. You say in the article that this is a ‘smart’ chino like the Stoffa one (is it the cut and fabric that make them so?) and that personally you wouldn’t wear it with a jacket. However, on the Stoffa article you say “ and I’ve found that the cut works with Neapolitan jackets, if not with more structured ones.” Why does the Stoffa work with jackets but not this one ? What’s the difference?
Thanks

VP

You’ve done 2 reviews of off-white chinos. Do you consider them to be an essential chino shade? How would you rate their versatility? How much wear do you get with them versus some of the more common chino shades (ie. khaki)? In what way do they add to your wardrobe that the other shades cannot? You also once wrote about white jeans. Do you prefer white jeans or white chinos?

VP

In your head would the hierarchy for chinos go: [Primary] Navy, Khaki; [Secondary] Off-White, Olive? Do you think I’m missing anything or is that basically it?

BC

Are these more of a fall/winter or spring/summer chino? I ask because the weight and your images suggest they’re suitable for colder weather, but you also made a reference to wearing them with espadrilles. Thanks!

Flynn

Hi Simon,
If I could ask for your personal preference – belt loops or side adjusters for chinos?
Most of the chinos you have reviewed recently come with belt loops.
Indeed, I’ve rarely seen chinos equipped with side adjusters. And despite every brand offering a selection of chinos it’s actually quite hard to find one that casual-smart gap. The closest I’ve seen are the Wellbeck model offered by Trunk Clothiers as part of their house line (belt loops).
I prefer side adjusters for tailored pants, but sometimes find they don’t work as well with cotton twill as they do with wool or linen.
Thanks.

Anonymous

Simon I am in the market for a good quality plaited dark brown belt. Re Rubato’s woven belt (dark brown), Drakes brown plaited bridle leather belt with brass buckle and Crockett and Jones very similar woven belt which is best? All 3 claim to be hand – made/woven with solid brass buckles with Drakes being UK made the other two in Italy. Is Drake’s higher price reflective of finer materials/workmanship in your expert opinion/experience? Is there any other retailer of such belts to consider?

Anonymous

Thank You

Dale

Great article! Liked that you combined the review with sections about other Rubato items.

Considering the Rubato aesthetics, would it be possible to preserve the same kind of style without the v-neck sweater? Also what kind of outerwear would you suggest with this look? Rubato website shows long overcoats which work great for models at least, but are there other options? Especially considering the coming winter.

Brendan

Hello Simon, just wondering if you’ve found anyone who does 3 cm suede or woven belt with a uncoated or antiqued brass buckle?

Joel

It will be interesting to see what you think about his work Simon. I have two belts on order with him.

Brendan

What were these issues?

Brendan

Ah no worries, didn’t realise a full article was coming. Thanks

John

Sergey made a woven leather belt for me, with an antique brass buckle; i was very happy with it and recommend him. My only criticisms are: 1) it took 3 months to receive the belt, and i had to chase him for an update, 2) courier delivery was very expensive. However, he’s just one guy working in rural Russia, so these points can be forgiven. He was very responsive, messaging by Instagram, and his English is superb. Oh, payment is abit annoying, requiring Paypal or bank transfer. Again, just a one-man operation.

I will add the materials he uses are hardy and best suited for workwear. The woven leather i have has a tendency to shed small fibers when threading it through belt loops, which i hope this will stop as i use it more.

Overall, i am very happy with this belt. Simon, what were your issues?

Ian

I have been looking for ages for a nice quality dark brown woven leather belt with a brass / rose gold buckle if anyone has any suggestions ?

Peter

I find workwear-leaning chinos oddly easier to wear with a tailored jacket than tailored cotton trousers: the dynamic feels deliberately ‘high-low’, whereas a jacket with tailored cottons often feels to me like I’ve tried to look smart, but just don’t look as smart as I would in wool trousers

AL

Hi Simon, have you tried Rubato’s cashmere crewneck under their line of “Nonpareil”? If so, what do you think about their cashmere and what size did you get? I wear the same size as you and am struggling between Medium and Large. Thanks.

Rupesh Bhindi

Hi Simon,
Which size in the V neck/crew neck do you purchase from Rubato and what is your chest size?
Thanks
Rupesh

Rupesh Bhindi

Hi Simon,
Thanks for your reply. I am aware of Rubato’s style and I find them appealing as I have difficulty in finding shorter length knitwear. You may recall I visited the pop -up shop last October and you were there with Massura. I tried on Colhays knitwear in polo and a size small 38 was perfect. Should I opt for the small in Rubato style as well or XS as they are wider in the chest.

kristoffer

Do you iron the officer chinos? They get a bit wrinkle, but tend to enjoy the crinkles – comparable to jeans.

Dani

Hi, Simon. I’ve been a reader since a couple of months ago and I’ve always thought what you tell us in this article about the formality or elegance of chinos.

In order to downsizing my wardrobe I was thinking of purchasing jeans in several colours like tan, cream and green, because they dont always have to be black, dark gray or different shades of blue, so I would three levels of formality:

1. smart chinos
2. smart jeans
3. casual jeans

I think tan, beige or cream jeans can work out with sweatshirts, casual sweaters and sneakers, commando soles derbies and maybe boots.

So what do you think about my approach?

It was just in order to downsizing my wardrobe, because sometimes it is just a nightmare to figure out what to wear, so I dont have to choose between smart or casual chinos, also because I think there is a thin line in terms of smartness when It comes about chinos.

Regards,

Dani

Rob

Hi – a quick view please.
So I bought a couple of these. Thank you for the recommendation. I actually don’t mind the fit but need to alter the length. In doing so should I have a permanent turn up?
Also they are delivered with a very obvious crease and maybe benefit from that. Do you think I should try to maintain the crease?
Best wishes.

Shem

Hi simon i have the old armoury chinos and they are my favourite. However i may have to replace them soon due to wear and tear. Can i ask what is your recommendation for a pair that this most similar to them? Would you say the rubato comes closest?

Shem

Hi simon its unfortunately the waist which i took too much in. Its marginal though (about 1.5 to 2cm too tight) would adding a dinner slit at the back of the trouser help?

Shem

Hi simon how does the rise of the rubato chino compare to the old armoury chinos? The latter is perfect for me so using that as a gauge

Jack

Hi Simon, although I like Rubato chinos in almost every aspect, I find them very wide. I used to wear Trunk’s Incotex Regular fit chinos before I bought the Rubato’s, and the fit was just perfect for me. They are both size 48.

I am aware that you own both of the pairs, and I was wondering whether you think the Rubato’s chinos would look fine if I alter them like Incotex?

Many thanks,
Jack

Jack

Yes, I am aware, Simon. I was asking as I think I need to alter quite a bit more than yours to make them similar to the Incotex chinos—for instance, thigh 30cm and hem around 18.5-19cm. Does it sound too much?

Jeldrik

Hey Simon,

Quick question: Have you worn the Rubato jeans? What do you think of the cut?

Kind wishes
Jeldrik

Jeldrik

Great. Thanks for the quick answer. I will probably buy them then.

Jeldrik

PS: Any advice in sizing? So apart from the size chart on the website.

Jeldrik

The jeans are here. I like them very (very!) much. Thanks for your advice!

shem

hi simon i realise i almost exclusively wear wide legged khaki trousers (i have 4 pairs – 3 from the armoury in their various iterations and 1 pleated one from uniqlo) to the point where I almost do not wear anything else due to comfort and how khaki seems to go with everything and anything else up top. I also work in a very casual environment. I am thinking of getting the rubato chinos but am wondering if it makes sense given the khakis I already own and am thinking of exploring other colours, more specifically navy, something like this (https://www.brycelandsco.com/collections/trousers/products/brycelandsarmychinonavy) from bryceland or their jelt denim. I hardly see anyone wearing navy chinos though. Do you think this is a good option?

Ibrahim

Hello Simon, one question regarding these Chinos (or Chinos in general): Would you wear them all year or only in certain seasons?
Thank you and all the best for your pop-up in NY.

Richard

Slightly unrelated Simon but I remember you mentioned somewhere about changing to a size 32 instead of 33 for the Rubato jeans. I am keen to avoid the hassle and expense of returning a possible wrong size back to Sweden so would appreciate some advice. I’m a 48 in all Anglo Italian trousers. 33 in their jeans and my waist (around naval) is 33in. I’m a slim 6ft. I take a medium in your PS shorts and they fit perfectly. What size would you suggest?

shem

hi simon I recently took delivery of a rubato (dark khaki) chino with plans for it to supplement and even replace my old armoury chinos which is slightly too small in the waist for me now. Unfortunately I must say i was very disappointed on first handling it. The fabric is shiny as hell and feels very thin but cardboardy. This makes buttoning up the fly incredibly tough. Did the shine go off on your pair and did it soften with wear/wash? Looks like I have to keep my weight down to continue wearing my armoury one.

shem

thanks simon that is a relief to hear! On the side, is there a reason why certain chinos have more shine than others? I remember my armoury pairs in their different configuration (the old HK made ones with metal rivets for fly buttons -> to the gurkha one -> and the new softer ones made by hertling) were all sturdy but had no shine. The level of shine were reminds me of the vintage/regular fit chinos sold by uniqlo which I must say fit quite well (regular-high rise and spacious leg) for a very decent price but has quite a bit of shine

Alessandro

Hi Shem,
I am similarly considering dark khaki rubato chinos, rubato website says to expect fading if machine washing, if you have managed to get rid of the shine, have you also experienced fading? if so, how significant?
thank you very much!

Shem

Hi Alessandro, i dont machine wash my trousers (i handwash only) and have not experienced any fading since purchase last year. Unfortunately there is still some shine and i have learned to accept and live with it. It doesn’t bother me that much now.

Jack

Hi Simon, do you also own Rubato’s knitwear in fawn colour? I am considering buying one but not sure whether it could be versatile as dark brown/grey.

Many thanks,
Jack

Tadeusz

I think we all agree that the Rubato colour palette is v strong. Maybe you could give advice in an article on how to pair the different colours best? Thank you.

Tadeusz

Thank you, Simon. Indeed, however Rubato’s spectrum is often quite close together–cf. camel vs natural vs fawn vs ecru–and at least I would find it very interesting to hear your thoughts on the differences and the respective pairing within and outside the Rubato range. For example, which sweater would you pair with their chinos in ivory, which on with dark khaki, and why. Just an idea!

Jack

Great thanks.

Could I ask for your size advice for the Rubato crewneck knit? As my size for knitwear is very inconsistent. I am 6ft tall and wear small for A&S and Trunk’s shetland sweaters. But I wear medium for the Dartmoor sweater. Which size do you think I should choose for the Rubato?

Jack

Okay, Simon. I decided to go for a small.

Did you have to pay import duties+VAT for the sweaters too? I thought the sweater was made in Scotland, which is subject to exemption from the duties…

Jack

Really? I knew I had to pay the VAT no matter what, but I thought the goods originating (manufactured) from the UK/ EU countries were subject to duties exemption.

Paul

Hi Simon

As with all things, its a bit more complex. You do pay duty on knitwear from Rubato. I thought it was exempt, but it depends on the classification. Basically knitted jerseys in clothing gets 12% – so the Italian knitted polo I bought got from them was 12% duty and the VAT @ 20%.

I imagine this would be the same across all knitwear.

Still worth it though, their stuff is wonderful.

Rups

Hey Jack, if you do buy would you be able to post what the duty was into the UK from Sweden? Thank you.

Jack

From Sweden to the UK, I was charged £72.

Rups

Thanks Jack) OK so for a crewneck knit … does that include VAT and Duty, but I assume not the shipping?

Jack

Yes, £72 included the VAT and the duty. Shipping cost was separately paid to Rubato, around £28,

Jack

I received the knit in small, and as expected, it fits very nicely around the chest and waist but is slightly short. It looks fine when I stand and pull it down, but it goes up when I sit. Do you also have this issue with your medium?

Rups

When did they make the change in terms of slightly lengthening them Simon?

Jack

Okay, thanks.

Ps

When altering the width of chinos, do you modify only the inseam and leave the outseam straight? Had a discussion with my local alterations tailor who was worried leg might twist from taking only the inseam in. What’s your experience ?

shem

Hi simon I recently purchased the rubato chino in dark khaki and notice that the chino tends to wrinkle quite a lot when wearing (ie you can see alot of line on the chino after some wear). I wasn’t expecting this especially when it appears to be a ‘smarter’ chino as compared to say the armoury chinos. In fact for the latter, I find it wrinkles less than the rubato one. Does the rubato get less winkly with wear/wash after softening? Not that I mind wrinkles but I purchased it with the idea that it was ‘smarter’ as you mentioned in your article and thought I could wear it with sportscoats at the top.

Shem

Thanks simon have you looked at uniqlo ans muji regular fit chinos? Those look quite shiny but are touted to laat quite long. Are those right hand twills too?

David

Is the Uniqlo review due anytime soon?

David

Out of curiosity, could you share which model it was?
I tried their 100% cotton ones a few years ago and can confirm the fabric wore through pretty quickly.

David

Thanks, Simon. I haven’t been able to track those down. Could you say a little more on why you thought they were such a nice cut?

J

I just noticed the price of these have gone up to £272 (though they remain put of stock in many sizes). How do you feel about the sudden increase in prices? I do not wish to be quick to judge but I feel these days that a new brand comes up, gets some exposure and suddenly the prices go up so much. It’s now about the same or perhaps even more expensive than RMC.

J

Hi Simon,

The price was including VAT in the EU. Without VAT it is showing 217, so just a couple of pounds lower than RMC. Perhaps the price you shared was without VAT, my apologies for mixing them up. I am not too focused on the price without VAT as the final price I pay is always including them.

And thank you for sharing your thoughts on it. I am sure you are right about that, the price increase is also not much over a year now that we clarified this bit about the VAT, taking inflation and all into account. Perhaps because I have a business background, I think sometimes inefficient costs of doing business are not something I should foot unless it’s something truly special like Stoffa fabrics. And adding in the fact that I am of a slightly lower income range than most of your readers I tend to ponder over these a bit more. Also I have seen chinos from Studio D’Artisan and at least two other Japanese brands for a noticeably lower price (though the style is different).

I meant these just to clarify my earlier thinking and by no means questioning your judgement, always appreciated – that.

J

Great point, I will try them or the very different Casatlantic one of these days. Thank you for your thoughts!

BC

Is this chino, in either the ivory of the khaki, smart enough to pair with a sweater like the Luca Faloni cashmere cable-knit, or is it a touch more casual than that? Thanks in advance.

Magnus

Hi Simon, do you prefer the Rubato Officer’s chinos over The Anthology Civilman trousers?
https://www.permanentstyle.com/2021/10/autumn-winter-top-10-wax-ivy-and-secateurs.html

They seem to have some similarities in terms of style.

Shem

Hi simon im going on vacation soon and am packing trousers to bring. I initially planned for a dark denim, rubato khaki chinos and an olive chino from muji which is quite wide legged and straight. However while trying combinations i noticed the olive chino is not that great and any combination up top will almost look better with khaki chinos. Eg tshirt with denim trucket jacket/jungle jacket/navy overshirt/dark brown sportcoat etc. I now swapped out the olive chino for my armoury ones to make it 2 khaki chinos for trip. Am i missing something? Even in day to day work i rarely wear my pair of olive chinos as it is too casual for work even in a quite casual work setting

Shem

Hi simon have you come across a pair of chinos which is high and wide, similar to the rubato one perhaps in cut but in darker/”drab olive? I find alot of brands do a lighter olive chino colour which i think is not as nice as a drab olive which i think sits better with denim tops than ligjter colour olives

Shem

Hi simon. Been wearing my rubato khaki chinos for couple months and given it 2 washes. Its still relatively stiff with the dreaded sheen unfortunately but what’s bothering me more is the seeming diaper lines (crotch to hip that follows the innee thigh to forma triangle diaper on the trouser) that emerge when i wear and move around through the day. Do you experience this as well? Im thinking these lines remain as the fabric is stiff.

shem

Hi simon. I handwash the chinos – not sure if that makes a difference as compared to machine wash. But no i don’t iron them!

Shem

On the topic of chinos simon im meaning to get an olive chino but i cant seem to find the right shade. I think most brands sell chinos which are more green than drab olive. I think the shade in the picture attached is most versatile. Have you seen any brands selling such colour?

Screenshot_20230316_175120_com.instagram.android.jpg
Manuel

Hallo Simon,
have they been taken in at the inseam or the outseam?
Thanks,
Manuel

Shem

Hi simon, 2 questions
1) does tbe dark brown rubato chino have that sheen like the dark khaki one?
2) i notice the rubato chinos crease alot while wearing (unlike the old armoury pair). Does this creasing go away overtime as the fabric softens?

Shem

Thanks simon. On that note what size do you wear in rubato workshirt?

Martins

Any chance for “how great things age” on the fade? After washing wrinkles? Whiskers like jeans? After washing wrinkle fade was why i stopped wearing dark coloured chinos.

Daniel

Hey Simon,

Have you had a chance to try out the new Dress Chino’s? I know you aren’t usually a fan of dressy chino’s (and also pleats), but would love to hear your thoughts if you have handled them.

The Oak color looks gorgeous, not sure if I can resist.

Shem

Hey simon can i ask how the new khaki colour for the rubato differ to the dark khaki in person? Does it have more yellow in the tone (like the old armoury chinos)?

Im thinking of adding another chino to my dark khaki one. Would you recommend the dark brown or new khaki to go with a wider range of shirts?

Shem

Simon on thr topic of old armoury chinos my pair is now too tight in the waist and am looking to replace them. Have you tried any pair perhaps from the Japanese brands where the fabric is similar?

TF

Hi Simon,
Alterations question: I originally tried these chinos in 48 and was very happy with the leg line and fit up through the seat but unfortunately they were slightly too tight in the waist so I exchanged for size 50. However if possible I would like to get them slimmed down to something closer to 48. Do you think it would it be reasonable to ask a tailor to slim the waist and hip measurement down by half a size, and the thigh, knee and hem measurement by a full size? Asking because I dont have a good sense for when/if too big changes will make the trousers start looking plain weird.
Cheers,
TF

TF

Thanks for the advice!
Unfortunately 48 are just barely too small in the waist so just getting a new pair wouldnt work. I guess I will try the alterations, knowing that it might not work out. If it doesnt that would be motivation to lose some weight if nothing else..

Markus

Hi Simon,
Do you know of another brand that makes Rubato like chinos.
The reason for my question is that they look great but I would also prefer the chinos to be slimmer: Rubato seems very wide cut, bordering on an extreme (I bought one of their shirts and it is very wide so that I will have to get it altered).
Kr

Rob

In the spirit of the be useful request ….. I recently bought two pairs of the new khaki colour chinos. Knowing that some people are concerned about the invisibility of taxes/exchange rates, I can relay that for a UK delivery these cost £526 for the items themselves and then a further £169.84 in duties charged by the courier.

Lyse

Hey,

Thanks for the writeup.

What are your thoughts on wearing these cuffs and creases for a dressier look?

Thanks

Keshav

As you are not a big fan of grey chinos, would you say the same about tailored cotton trousers in dark grey and to only stick with brown and greens?

Gonis

Hi Simon,

Did you end up altering/narrowing your other pairs of the officer chino? Or did you keep those as is?

Thanks

Gonis

It has? Interesting. How did they tweak it? Thanks.

Alex

Hi Simon, I was wondering what colours you find most useful of the four?

ayush

i am able to understand the difference between a regular workwear chino and tailored cotton trouser, in that the regular workwear chino has been garment washed to give it a casual look as well take away the shine. Rubato chinos are not garment washed and so would you be able to elborate on the difference between a regular tailored cotton trouser and the Rubato chinos?

Martins

For me the best way to think about the difference in material is that workwear chino is much closer to differently dyed jeans. At least thats the impression i got comparing soundman clarke to my brooks brothers/ralph lauren chinos.

Gonçalo

How did you slim down the leg? In the article about Whitcomb & Shaftesbury chinos you said that chinos and jeans are cut in a different way that dress trousers: “the outside seam of the (chinos)trouser is a straight line, and only the inside seam is shaped to the style and the wearer”.
So I imagine that the alterations tailors in order to let in the leg of a chino will only touch the inside seam, am I correct? 

Marvin

Do you find the Rubato chino is a regular in your rotation of causal leg wear? I remember reading a while back you weren’t too sure due to the higher rise.

Also, do you know if Rubato clothing is subject to UK import taxes? Thanks

Marvin

That’s good to hear. Thinking the rise will be similar to the Joe McCoy chino, albeit they’re on workwear end of spectrum.

Have dropped Rubato a note as it’s their officer chino interested in.

As always, thanks for the quick response.

Marvin

Thanks for the comparison, I have the McCoy’s too so gives a good guide.

Another question if I may, do you continue slimming down the Rubato chino or have you succumb to their own sizing? Cheers

Mike

Hi Simon,
Weird question, but what are the socks in these photos? Are they taupe in color?
I think I’m seeing a pattern with dark socks w/ dark trousers, but lighter with lighter trousers.

Mike

Another useful rule of thumb.
Thank you!

Mike

Hi Simon,
If I may, I have a question about the tailoring of these trousers.
I recently had a pair of Levi’s 501’s altered to be narrowed. I had the tailor go from the knee down (I have muscular thighs/quads). She pinned the outside seam.
When I got them back, I found there was a sort of saddle bag effect happening above the knee where the narrowing was done.
Is this due to poor skill, or slimming the outseam instead of the inseam?
Thank you!

Mike

I see, thank you.
Is it OK to ask a tailor specifically to narrow from the inseam, or are they likely to push back and prefer to stick to their methods?

Jack

Hi Simon, I have a quite narrow waist (29-30 inches) relative to my height (6 feet), so I end up buying low-rise RTW trousers when they are intended to be at least mid-rise.
For instance, the Rubato Officer chinos in size 44 fit me perfectly around the waist and thighs, but the rise is quite low for me. If I size up to a 46, I will get an extra 0.6cm rise, but the waist and thighs would need to be taken in. Do you think going up a size could be worth it in this case?

Many thanks,
Jack

Michael

Hi Simon,
How did you had the hem finished? With a turn up?

Michael

Should I expect some minor shrinkage in length after the first wash even though they were cold-mercerized?

Michael

How do you wash them? 30 degrees water, cotton setting for 2hrs?

Tom

Simon, could I ask you or Manish to review a chino brand like Jack Donnelly, which are made in the USA? >$400 USD seems like a lot for chinos; I’m sure that’s just my bias coming in. But someone must make good quality chinos for around $200 USD. Thanks so much. Tom

Tom

I guess my question put another way is: how much value does one get for this >$200 price point jump? If we compare these to say Kent Wang’s (a brand I believe you guys have looked at); theirs are made with W Bill cloth (which I know you have looked at, and is beautiful quality), hand stitching, and horn buttons. Are we just paying to have chinos made in Japan? For example a Brunello Cucinelli polo is 3x the price of PS polo, for no increase in value whatsoever.

Juan

Hello Simon, wanted to ask for your opinion on Rubato’s Dress Chino (https://www.atemporubato.com/products/dress-chino-in-sage?variant=46547021037907)

1. What do you think of the style of the chino generally?
2. What do you think of this specific Sage color? Do you think it would be versatile?

Thank you very much in advance.

Juan

Thank you very much, Simon!

Joshua

If I may ask how to differentiate between a workwear chino and a smart chino?

Manish Puri

Hi Joshua

It’s not that different to differentiating between smart trousers and a pair of jeans:

– Weight of cloth (WW might be heavier)
– Handle of cloth (WW might be robust and more washed)
– Buttons (WW might have metal or plastic)
– Number of pockets (WW might have more pockets)
– A crease (WW probably has no crease)
– Pleats (WW probably has no pleats)

That’s not to say that a smart pair of chinos will have all the things a Workwear pair doesn’t but there should be enough attributes that help you distinguish them easily enough.

Cheers!

Jackson

Hey Simon

Wondering if you find the pockets on your chinos flare slightly? I have a pair and despite being wide fitting in the thigh and leg, and actually a tad loose in the waist and seat, the flat front seems to result in the pockets flaring out a bit. Wondering if that’s just standard for these kids of chinos or if thats the result of a poor fit for me?

Jackson

Ive had them for a couple of months now and though they have softened a lot the pockets flare a bit. Nothing extreme, but just leaving me deciding whether or not to get another pair. Do you think future alterations, like getting the waist taken in a bit could make flaring worse?

Alexander

Dear Simon, please let me borrow some sizing advice from you. I tried the chinos yesterday and was a bit surprised about the sizing. Rubato jeans in 32 are perfect for me in the waist. But the chino in size 48 is way too loose for me at the waist. Measured flat across the waistband they are more like 42 cm compared to the 40 cm on the jeans. Did you take in the waist on the chinos? I was confident about ordering the 48 because I thaught we had the same waist size (84 cm). I will try the 46 and hope they will not strangle my hips and behind. If the 46 should come up a bit snug, according to your experience I could hope for a tiny bit of expansion there? Thanks!

Alexander

Sorry, I was referring to the expansion at the waist. You said there will be a bit of that?