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Thursday, July 13, 2017

CALIFORNIA CHINOS

Brave Star Selvage: Los Angeles-based Brave Star Selvage is my favorite selvage brand.  Their Tapered Selvage Chinos are handmade from 8.8-ounce, selvage Cramerton Army Cloth.

Citizens of Humanity: LA-based Citizens of Humanity makes well-cut, well-stitched twills for urban wear.  Based on my experience with COH’s jeans, I suspect that their chinos are ephemeral pleasures – COH’s fabric is manufactured to drape right, not to last.  But they probably look great for the year or two before they tear through.

Volcom: Orange County-based Volcom is a one-stop shop for skater/surfer/snowboarder fashion, from chinos to board shorts to two-piece suits.  Because they target skaters – who shred clothes quickly, no matter how high quality – I did not expect Volcom to put much effort into the second-thing-to-go elements of clothing construction.  After all, why double-stitch a garment that’s going to be rags within weeks regardless?  But I was pleasantly surprised.  A few years back, I bought a Volcom button-up. It was a good purchase.  The shirt had a clean silhouette, but with slightly skewed seams that bent people’s eyes just enough to prevent them from looking past me.  And – because I do not lead a tear-through-fabric lifestyle – it lasted for years.

Chrome: When I lived in the real Bay Area (i.e., the Bay Area in which you can see the Golden Gate and/or Bay Bridge with minimal effort), Chrome was the most ubiquitous brand of messenger bags and backpacks.  Now, they've expanded their line to include everything a bike-messenger-type urbanite needs for day-to-day living, including chinos.

DSTLD: Los Angeles-based DSTLD is an online-only, direct-to-consumer designer and seller of chinos.  They are one of the few companies I've found that make selvedge chinos. 

Honorable Mention -- J.Crew: Despite my best efforts to find a Californian substitute, I keep coming back to buy my chinos from  J.Crew, which is based in our fellow Blue State New York.  They fit my slender frame well, they're made of substantial cloth with just the right amount of stretch, and their construction is passable (except for the fly buttons, which I keep having to sew on more securely). 

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