When I obsess, I obsess… I have been trying to find the perfect standard Army pant in herringbone for quite some time. The trick is that I would love to have as close to the original HBT herringbone as possible and a button fly. After searching for a year or so I have found a couple that are pretty close, but still no cigar.
Gung Ho Olive Camp Trouser:
The Gung Ho series is pretty close to what I have been looking for. They have a button fly, a straight cut, and are pretty heavy canvas, which should age well. The missing link is the herringbone fabric. These are a stiff 12.5 oz cotton without sheen (which I am pleased about). I am a pretty true 34 waist so I ordered them in 34 and they are a bit snug through the seat, but are starting to loosen up with wear. The price was great through Hand Eye Supply in Portland at $55.00 plus shipping. They don’t stock many of each size, but you can get an email update when they are back in stock.
I removed the annoying purple tag on the back. They also come in a nice brown color.
Denim & Supply Distressed Army Pant:
I really like the Denim & Supply distressed army pant. It has a great fit and the fabric is interesting. The fly is a button fly and the fit is perfect, although they run a tad bit large. The 34×32 fit me perfectly. They are not herringbone. The biggest drawback is that they are distressed and paint spattered. I cannot wear them too often, unless it is a completely casual event. Originally they were overpriced at $198.00, but I found them on heavy discount for $80.00 and ordered a second pair after receiving the first to be sure I had a backup pair. RRL has basically the exact pant, but they are even more expensive and do not have the distressing. You are definitely paying for the RRL name for the same pant. I wouldn’t even dare pay &198.00 for the D&S pair, let alone $265.00 for the same pant with different labels.
The RRL version claims to be herringbone, but it looks the same as the D&S to me, which is textures, but not herringbone. It does have the waist adjustment tabs but they will cost you an extra couple hundred bucks.
I know in seasons past that RRL had a herringbone version of the Korean War HBT pant that ran around $269.00. They also did a raw Gurkha version in rigid brown herringbone duck. Both pants are gone and most likely won’t return.
JCrew Wallace & Barnes Garment Dyed Herringbone Miliary Pant:
This is the big drag! I found these pants at the end of the season at JCrew, but they were sold out! They look like they checked all the boxes. I even called the customer service department to see if they could track some down for me but they were completely gone throughout the company. I am scouring the web to see if any pop up…
Maybe they will reissue them, since they sold out fairly quickly. Until then I will be forced to obsess…
Anybody out there know of any other button fly herringbone military pant I should check out?
Update: May 8, 2017
Knickerbocker MFG, Co. Utility Pant
I came across Knickerbocker Manufacturing Co.’s Utility pant the other day. It seems that it might be right on the mark. Great construction with Japanese herringbone fabric. 13 Star button fly. A little less that the RRL version (although still pricey) at $215. I might have to pull the trigger (no pun intended) on this one. If I do, I will update with fitting information.
Update: May 28, 2017
Levis Utility Pant
Another end of season winner! Levis has made a great replica. It’s not herringbone, but the rest is nearly perfect. Button Fly with hidden placket. Side adjustments at waist. Sturdy textured fabric, mimicking the original fabric of Vietnam era trousers. Fits nice and slim with a straight leg. I wear a 34Wx32L and the only suggestion I have is that you step up and order 2″ longer than usual. The inseam is slightly slightly slightly short. They also fit just right without washing at the waist and seat. Hopefully they wont tighten up or I will have to stop drinking… They make shorts in the same cut and these pants come in a few different colors. The only challenge you might have is that they are already discontinued and are on sale for $19.97 down from $79.00 at Levis.com. I ordered 3 pair in 2 different lengths.