500 wears, 150 washes, & Time Flies

I was doing some laundry when I noticed some fraying on a pair of chinos, then saw the start of a hole, and I thought to myself, “That happens quicker than you’d think.”. I took a look at the tag to see exactly when it was that I got them. The answer was spring 2017. Wow, time flies.

I have 2 pairs of these J.Crew 770 chinos that I wear casually. They are a bit slimmer than my go to 1040 J.Crew pants that I wear or rather wore to the office. These casual khakis see action several times a week and especially on the weekend. I would guess that I wash one pair every week on hot and dry hot. I am hard on them. I do this with a lot of my casual gear ala Seinfeld. Cue the quote,

JERRY: But see, look at the collar. It’s fraying. Golden Boy is slowly dying. Each wash brings him one step closer. That’s what makes the t-shirt such a tragic figure.

JERRY: Elaine, see this t-shirt? Six years I’ve had this t-shirt. It’s my best one. I call him… Golden Boy.

ELAINE: Yeah, I’m on the phone here.

JERRY: Golden Boy’s always the first shirt I wear out of the laundry. Here. Touch Golden Boy.

ELAINE: No thanks. [to phone] Yeah, yeah, I’ll hold.

JERRY: But see, look at the collar. It’s fraying. Golden Boy is slowly dying. Each wash brings him one step closer. That’s what makes the t-shirt such a tragic figure.

ELAINE: Why don’t you just let Golden Boy soak in the sink with some Woolite?

JERRY: No! The reason he’s the iron man is because he goes out there and he plays every game. Wash! Spin! Rinse! Spin! You take that away from him, you break his spirit!

Back to the chinos. Doing some bad math I have had them for a little over 6 years. Continuing with my quick and dirty math that’s somewhere around 500 wears and 150 or so washes. In actuality probably more than that, but I will let the numbers stand. The wear and tear is in all the typical places that you’d expect. The cuffs are fraying and there are some holes developing around the back pockets. Despite the onset deterioration they still have quite a bit of life left in them.

I think I paid around $50 per pair for these khakis. In my opinion that’s money well spent. I might try my hand at some mending down the road. Before I head out I thought I’d ask, “With a wider silhouette being the norm these days are these pants too slim?” See pics below. Sometimes I think yes, and other times I think not really. I appreciate the input.

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

10 Comments on "500 wears, 150 washes, & Time Flies"

  1. Cliff says:

    I pretty much have two types of khakis in my closet: 1) my 80%ers (I can wear these 80% of the time) rough and tumble pairs that I machine wash/dry 2) my more tailored ones with a 1.75″ cuff that I dry clean only (no crease). For my 80%ers, I really enjoy the all-cotton RL Polo classic fit chinos, and do my best to remove the logo above right rear pocket. My more dressy khakis I buy from my local men’s store. While I am glad to see the fit of men’s pants coming back more in line with the classic fit of the 90s, I think someone with a slim frame like you can go too wide, just like a heftier person like me can go too slim. It’s all about balance, and really a big part of that is the rise of the pants. If the rise is too low, it will throw your proportions off, similar if the rise is too high. Personally, I think you pull off the 770 quite well. You should check out Jack Donnelly M3/Ivy fit chinos. They’re a bit pricey, but made in America (buy once, cry once). I’ve have a couple pairs- they break-in nicely.

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      Cliff, thanks for the comment. Your fit feedback is right in line with what I was thinking which is that proportions are everything. Sounds like you have a good system. I tried the M# but I need to size up and try again. The legs were a touch too slim in the calf area.

  2. Sean says:

    I think mending is the way to go with these! You could go with a visible mend and make them a companion piece to the contrast-thread collar repair OCBD you posted about a while back.
    As for the fit – based on the pics, I don’t think these are too slim at all. I agree with the previous commenter that you pull these off well.

  3. Barbara says:

    Too slim? Absolutely not! I agree with Cliff – it’s all about the balance, and they look perfect. A classic look.

  4. Spencer S. Cowan says:

    Chinos look great. Question about the washes though: how many wears do you average before washing? I’m washing after every wear, but maybe that’s too aggressive?

    • oxford cloth button down says:

      Thanks! For my casual chinos I don’t have a hard and fast rule. For example, I might throw them on to go to the store and change back into sweats afterwards. In this case, 1 hour of wear doesn’t require washing imo. It all depends on how much I wear them and if they get dirty or if I sweat a lot, etc. I wear my work chinos twice before washing (work shirts I wash after 1 wear).

    • Tie Clip says:

      Spencer, this depends on the colour of your chinos. White chinos need to be washed often. Mid toned stone/beige or khaki chinos don’t need to be washed very often. I wear mine, then hang them inside out to aerate them. After a nights hanging up they feel fresh enough to wear the next day. In terms of small stains you can spot clean your chinos with some dish-washing detergent and an old toothbrush.
      I probably machine wash my chinos once every fortnight to once per month if I’m not working face to face with people (a bit grubby, but I wear chinos like others wear jeans, just washing them when I need to).
      If you want a formal trouser, try a pair of wool tropical weight khakis or flannel coloured khaki slacks MTM for a more elegant look with better drape then chinos can offer.
      Hope this helps

      • JDV says:

        Have not worn J Crew, as the rise is likely too small for me. But Jack Donnelly makes a fine pair of khakis. My 1s for me. People reading sites like this talk about Bean and Lands’ End, but theirs are non-iron, treated with who knows what. Too unnaturally heavy and uncomfortable, which is sad for such formerly respected American providers. Donnelly is a good way to go. And they have good sales during the year. Another good and less expensive provider at about $89 per pair is Al American Khakis, based in Georgia. I find their Cramerton fit too heavy for warm weather, even in Colorado, but in cool weather they fit the bill. Donnellys are similar thickness, but their poplin version is just right in summer, and the twills for year round.

  5. This fit is perfect for you in my opinion, I would not go any wider

  6. Ted Forbes says:

    Hi Jerrod.
    Yes, you should definitely go wider.
    We’re not teenagers anymore.

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