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End of Bills Khakis

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by 89826, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The original Bill's concept was excellent (except the fit) and, in my opinion, could still be a brand with value but it will take some work. I agree with @LA Guy that they need to attract a younger, premium audience. If they began by releasing a WWII khaki, true vintage reissue, Made in America, but with Japanese fanaticism about detail and production, they would have a great story, reflect their heritage and offer a better quality product to attract a new, younger audience. Then you follow up with a leaner, trimmer model, followed by guest designer models with interesting details. (like a Nigel Cabourn). You make a move to place these into the best of the online retailers and specialty shops.

    However, brands like this are most often in recent years purchased and then sublicensed to manufactures who in turn place it directly into outlet malls or a specific mass channel. There might even be an attempt to "flip" the brand ASAP to a Target or Khol's who would buy it and make it a house brand. At that point the whole DNA of the brand changes. They cut corners at every turn to offer a profitable low cost consumer item. It might be OK and a good value but it won't be a better Bill's Khakis.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    In my mind, this would have to be done without alienating their core audience, so they are stuck in a position that very few companies have been able to navigate well. I think that marketing of the different products will be key.

    The original BIll Khakis, which is sold as "MTM" and often sold alongside brands like Tommy Bahama in the many mens boutiques across middle America, in chains like Patrick James and very traditional stores like Anderson and Emami (catering to the older Spokane professional - you've seen the stores - they have some Polo, some Jack Victor, maybe some Canali for their big spenders - often some Alden shoes alongside some completely forgettable Italian brands) needs to remain more or less intact. That could be called "Bill's Khakis", maybe.

    The younger line could actually have a more "heritage" name, hopefully not in the "noun+noun" naming convention that will be soon outdated. Maybe something like... "Bill's Khakis Archival Clothing" or something similar, marketed in a similar way to RRL, but at more accessible prices, and with clothing that appeals to a wide demographic, and could also be sold in more convervative stores as well as in more directional boutiques. Engineered Garments seems to be able to do this well. Those boutiques, though no younger person will shop in them, give the brand an air of authenticity that a trendy boutique cannot.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. cc808314

    cc808314 Senior member

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    Hello everyone.

    Having never tried anything from Bills Khakis, I am having a hard time figuring out, which size and fit will work best. I have been trying to contact customer service, but I am put on a perpetual hold.

    As a reference point, for dress slacks I prefer the Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald cut in 32 waist. I won't wear anything wider than the Fitzgerald cut for dress pants. For chinos I wear Banana Republic Emerson fit in 30/30. So I do prefer the trimmer fit, but don't like super tight fits with very low rises.

    I ordered couple of the M3 wool gabardine pants in 32 waist, hoping that they will fit. I would like to also add few khakis in the various materials that they have, but I am hesitating to pull the trigger in a blind.

    Lastly, I would like to add few sweaters, as well. I usually go with XS in J Crew and Banana Republic (some styles I can pull off S also). BB Red Fleece I can also do S. Do you know how BK’s sizing stacks up against these brands? It seems they only go down to S.

    Thank you for any advice that you can provide.
     
  4. BagleyBrown

    BagleyBrown Senior member

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    Location:
    North NJ
    Can't help with sizing but check out the Barnett belts. Not available on site during current sale until this morning.
    I bought 2 at 70% off last week and they are INCREDIBLE.
    (Usually $245, made from Bull shoulder, with BKTHANKYOU20, they are 76% off at $60)

    Sizes are becoming scarce, but anything you buy at 24cents on the retail dollar will sell on eBay for more, in my experience.

    To see the items that are hidden from most shoppers, do a 'generic' site search for Bills, or Pants.

    Avoid M2 pants (my preference), and focus on M3s, since they are a bit slimmer. M4s are the true trimmer fitment, but they only have the overdyed twill in M4. (at about $60 a pair!)
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  5. cc808314

    cc808314 Senior member

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    Thank you. Did you go with your actual waist size on the belt or 2 up? Looks like there are two colors available. I am thinking whiskey might be too light.

    Which khakis do you have? I am deciding between Bullard, Chamois and/or Vintage.
     
  6. BagleyBrown

    BagleyBrown Senior member

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    North NJ
    I bought the belt in Whisky and Brown, LOVE both, in my pant size +2 sizes.

    And I own some of every pant Bills has in my size. Of the 3, I LOVE the Bullards if you have chill weather. You would not wear Bullards or Vintage- Bullards are 10.2 oz, Vintage are 7.6, there are 4 pant weights in between. Since the Bullard field pants are maybe the more rare item, as are the Cramertons, these are the 2 that I'd closet first. But at current prices, you can buy those three pairs for less than 1 new pair anyway...PS I like but do not "love" the chamois.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. peppercorn78

    peppercorn78 Senior member

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    Brooklyn, NY
    Received one of the two pants I ordered, despite the shipping invoice staring two were included. What's that about?

    Anyway fit is....quite roomy. Not sure if I will be able to actually pull off this look in public. Construction appears solid, though.
     
  8. reidrothchild

    reidrothchild Senior member

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    Did you receive shipping notification? I ordered a pair of shoes last week during the 70 + 20% sale and have not received any shipping info yet. I figured Rancourts for $90 were worth the risk.
     
  9. BagleyBrown

    BagleyBrown Senior member

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    Sorry to hear about fitment issues, because returns are not Bill's current forte. Did you buy the M2 or M3? Bills seems quite committed to the 4 models definition of body types.

    Let us know if there are any CC games, my packing slips have accurately noted what is and is not in the package.


    When I have ordered online, I have received shipping notification. The orders that were just called in have not received any notice before they arrived. I fear shoes were not properly inventoried on the site, so hope you get them. (Curious/Let us know?)
     
  10. peppercorn78

    peppercorn78 Senior member

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    Reviewing my cc statement online, it appears I was only charged for one pair.

    Regarding fit... I did order final sale for 70% off, with full awareness of the stated fullness of the M1 fit. So no one to blame but me. However, I just wasn't quite prepared for THIS level of room.
     
  11. peppercorn78

    peppercorn78 Senior member

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    Actually, once I realized that the waistband was supposed to reach up to my naval, the pants actually fit pretty well. Haha. Still not sure I can pull this off.
     
  12. cc808314

    cc808314 Senior member

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    It's been just over a week since I place my order. I received the order confirmation right away, but have yet to receive the shipping notification or the items.
     
  13. reidrothchild

    reidrothchild Senior member

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    I'll update if/when I receive them. If not for the reports of issues on receiving items in this thread, I'd have ordered more stuff.
     
  14. BagleyBrown

    BagleyBrown Senior member

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  15. reidrothchild

    reidrothchild Senior member

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    As of yesterday, I hadn't received the shoes or shipping confirmation. I checked my account to confirm the amount Bill's charged, and the charge was gone. So, no 75% off Rancourts for me.
     
  16. BagleyBrown

    BagleyBrown Senior member

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    Jul 31, 2014
    Location:
    North NJ
    Of the items they do have left, including jeans, weathered canvas jeans, Bullard jeans and similar items, today running these at 80% discount.

    None of these items fit me (36 inseam) but lol at the weathered canvas jeans for $28 and the Bullard jean for $33 (add bkthankyou20 coupon to 75% on website discount) and other assorted jean prices.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  17. redmusic1

    redmusic1 Senior member

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    Apr 15, 2015
    I was surprised by how much room was in the M2 until I got them about a half inch higher than I normally wear, so I can imagine. Depending on the model, mine got noticeably less roomy as I have washed them. Some shrinkage, but also due to break in and changing drape.
     
  18. redmusic1

    redmusic1 Senior member

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    I originally had a pending charge that disappeared, but BB has done the same thing to me several times when ordering pants that are being altered. I won't be horribly disappointed if I don't get them soon, or at all, but more than likely those that are having their pants hemmed are just in a long line that is backed up due to the sale volume and the days off for the employees.
     
  19. McPryon

    McPryon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    May 27, 2012
    I've made a few purchases over the last month and the process goes about like this:

    1. Place order and a temporary charge appears on your card for the full amount.

    2. Wait a few days, checking order status every few hours and every time see that it's "processing" or "in process" or whatever.

    3. Finally forget about the order.

    4. Remember order, check card and the temp charge has expired. Assume you're out of luck.

    5. (optional) Spend money elsewhere.

    6. Receive an email telling you your order has been updated. Assume that the order has been cancelled and they are letting you know. NOPE! It has shipped! Check tracking data. Check invoice to see what actually shipped after you realize the new charge on your card is less than the original temporary one.

    7. Keep checking tracking data, which seems to never change.

    8. Package finally arrives. Hesitate before opening, wondering if it's just wadded up newspapers and a brick inside.

    9. Revel in the fact that you got (most of) your items at 50/60/70% off with an additional 20% off with the bkthanks code as you head to the sewing machine with a beer/soda/tea/whatever to start hemming. Pour one out for Bills Khakis...

    That's how it's gone for me. My last package is supposed to arrive tomorrow. I picked up a pair of the loafers. I only wish I'd seen the peacoat before all of the sales ended. I thought I'd scoured the site enough times, dunno how I missed it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. BagleyBrown

    BagleyBrown Senior member

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    Location:
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    That is my experience as well except-
    all orders online since 12-1-15 are accurately viewable in my account -they show either complete or processing accurately.

    Novembers orders are still screwy, they say completed (when they were not) and processing (while I have been told they will not ship).

    I expect the equity buyers to shut down the liquidation at some point, so expect prices to crank low again on whatever is left, and the website inventory levels appear to have been corrected, i.e., if you now try to order an item they d not have, it will say sold out.

    I have about 3000$ of items sitting in cart, waiting to see if they run a 80% or more final sale, and I will grab that cart full - $600 is comically low prices for the quality and quantity of product.
     

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