Charles Dana

Honors Member
Great stuff. Love the series. It would have to be tweaked and edited to fit the particular publication's style, but I bet you could sell what you've done to some periodical or website. Unfortunately, that was a much better market before the blossoming of the internet, but content still has some value. Just a thought.
Thank you for your supportive words! The only writing I’d consider worthy of publication would be a full narrative based on months of intensive research rather than the few weeks I have spent gathering the information I am presenting here. My goal in this admittedly incomplete history is to illuminate rather than exhaust a topic that few—if any—writers have discussed in any detail before. A more comprehensive narrative I’ll leave to the pros.

Separately, and of course, as he does so well, Ralph Lauren has found a way to bring together all the elements of Americana you just discussed in your note: Teddy Bears, Teddy Bear clothing/outfits and khaki.
That’s a great photo. I have a feeling Ralph charges more than 10¢ for that outfit.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Thank you for your supportive words! The only writing I’d consider worthy of publication would be a full narrative based on months of intensive research rather than the few weeks I have spent gathering the information I am presenting here. My goal in this admittedly incomplete history is to illuminate rather than exhaust a topic that few—if any—writers have discussed in any detail before. A more comprehensive narrative I’ll leave to the pros.



That’s a great photo. I have a feeling Ralph charges more than 10¢ for that outfit.
I understand on the writing. I used to do free lancing as a side gig and found, as the internet really took off, it just wasn't worth the effort as I could do better devoting my time and energies to my full-time career.

As to the bear, that was just an internet pic, but from memory, those bears sell in the hundred of dollars. I don't think, but never looked into it, that you can buy the outfits for Ralph's bears separately - hence, one bear, one outfit, but others might know better.
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
PART VI—KHAKI IN THE EARLY 1910s

Khaki’s popularity among civilians looking for outdoor recreational attire continued growing during the second decade of the 20th Century. Traditional “outing” trousers made of flannel, tweed or white duck remained in the line-up, but cheap, comfortable, durable trousers made of humble cotton khaki took their place alongside them. Khakis certainly didn’t have the cachet of those other trousers, but they didn’t mind. Khakis knew their value in the eyes of men and women who loved outdoor pursuits.

In this section, I’ll present a few typical newspaper advertisements from the beginning of the 1910s to show you how retailers described and marketed khaki garments at that time. (You’ll also see how relatively inexpensive the products were.) Upcoming sections will contain more ads from the rest of the decade. Afterwards, I’ll quote some newspaper articles from the 1910s in order to further document the role that society back then assigned to khakis.

*****

In the Los Angeles Herald for January 2, 1910, a sporting goods store called The Wm. H. Hoegee Co., Inc. advertised “The Khaki Suit” for women (yes, women wore khaki clothing, too). The suit was for:

“Ranch Wear
“Garden Wear
“House Wear

“We make to measure khaki, corduroy and army duck clothing for men and women.”

*****

The Los Angeles Times dated April 2, 1910 ran an ad containing the following announcement by the clothier Harris & Frank:

“Our lines of Spring and Summer Trousers are complete. Thousands of pairs here, in every wanted grade and style....”

Specifically:

—Dress Trousers, $5.00 to $12.00
—Outing Trousers, $2.50 to $7.50
—Work Trousers, $2.00 to $5.00
—Khaki Trousers, $1.50 to $2.50
—Corduroy Trousers, $3.00 to $5.00
—Chambray Trousers, for cooks’ wear, $1.00
—Overalls, 85¢ to $1.00

*****

The San Francisco Examiner, on June 1, 1910, presented this ad from a clothing store called The Clarion [keep in mind that a ‘negligee shirt’ is a pullover shirt—the front placket, where the buttons are, goes only halfway down the front]:

“GOING AWAY? We Can Equip You With Vacation Apparel For MAN or BOY

“If you are thinking of going to the seashore, fishing, hunting or camping, you can find just what you are looking for in Outing Apparel at just the price you want.

“SUGGESTIONS

“FOR THE MAN—Khaki Suits, Negligee Shirts, Golf Shirts, Belts, Athletic Underwear, Straw Hats, Crush Hats, Golf Caps, Yacht Caps, Duck Pants, Stock Ties, Wash Ties”

“FOR THE BOY—Rompers and Play Suits, Rough Rider and Major Khaki Suits, Khaki Norfolk and Knicker Suits, Wash Suits, Negligee Blouses and Shirts, Corduroy School and Play Suits, Corduroy Knicker Pants, Wash Hats and Straw Hats.”

*****

In the New York Times on June 23, 1910, Browning, King & Co. advertised the following “Hot Weather Wear:”

Summer suits, all sizes, $15 to $40
French Flannel (Coat and Trousers), $20
Wool Crash (Coat and Trousers), $15 to $20
Blue Serge, two & three-piece suits, $15 to $25
Flannel Outing Trousers, $5, $6, & $7
White Duck Trousers, $2
Khaki Trousers, $3 & $3.50
Children’s Suits, $3 & up
Khaki Bloomer Trousers, $1

*****

The Los Angeles Daily Times for July 29, 1910 had this ad:

“Khaki Clothing for Misses and small women

“If there is to be any mountain climbing or horseback riding in your outing, take along the proper garments.” Then a list:

Misses’ Khaki Skirts $2.50
Misses’ divided Skirts of Khaki, $4.50
Misses’ Khaki Shirtwaists, Peter Pan collars $1.50
Misses’ Norfolk Jackets of Khaki, $3.50

And on August 5, 1910, in the Los Angeles Times, the same clothier ran the advertisement again, but prefaced it by saying, “People who once wear khaki clothing on a mountain trip will never tell you ‘any old garments will do.’”

*****

A retailer called L. B. Silverwood placed an ad in the Los Angeles Times for June 24, 1911:

“Your Play Day
—half of its pleasure and rest, and the memory of it afterwards—depend on how you dress for it—whether at the beach, in the mountains, or motoring. Forget sticky starchy collars and woolen clothes—get into the cool roomy summery comfort of a Khaki Suit, and negligee shirt, and loose, knee length underwear.

“Khakis for Men and Women

“Sturdy, roomy khaki suits that fit—the best made and minus ‘fancy’ pricing.”

Some of the items Silverwood offered:

Norfolk Khaki Coats, $2.00 and $2.50
Khaki Pants, $1.50, $2.00, and $2.75
Khaki Shirts, 50¢ and $1.00
Canvas Leggings, 50¢ and $1.00
Khaki Hats, 50¢ and 75¢

*****
Macy’s, of course, which is—or at least was—a New York City institution, hopped aboard the khaki bandwagon. The following details are from a Macy’s ad in The New York Times dated July 18, 1912:

The heading: “Men’s Outing Trousers”

And the particulars:

Gray-Striped Flannel Trousers, $2.97
Hairline Striped Flannel Trousers, $3.69
White Yachting Flannel Trousers, $4.75
White Duck Trousers, $1.59
White Drill Trousers, $1.29
Khaki Trousers, $1.29
Khaki Trousers with belt, $1.69
Army Drab Khaki Trousers, $1.98

*****

The benefit of digging up and reviewing early ads and articles about khaki clothing is that you don’t need to infer much. The source material contains smoking guns; that is, they tell you point-blank what these relatively-new-to-the-civilian-world khaki things were for.

And they sure weren’t for the classroom and office. Not quite yet.

More soon.
 
Last edited:

drpeter

Senior Member
PART VI—KHAKI IN THE EARLY 1910s

Khaki’s popularity among civilians looking for outdoor recreational attire continued growing during the second decade of the 20th Century. Traditional “outing” trousers made of flannel, tweed or white duck remained in the line-up, but cheap, comfortable, durable trousers made of humble cotton khaki took their place alongside them. Khakis certainly didn’t have the cachet of those other trousers, but they didn’t mind. Khakis knew their value in the eyes of men and women who loved outdoor pursuits.

In this section, I’ll present a few typical newspaper advertisements from the beginning of the 1910s to show you how retailers described and marketed khaki garments at that time. (You’ll also see how relatively inexpensive the products were.) Upcoming sections will contain more ads from the rest of the decade. Afterwards, I’ll quote some newspaper articles from the 1910s in order to further document the role that society back then assigned to khakis.

*****

In the Los Angeles Herald for January 2, 1910, a sporting goods store called The Wm. H. Hoegee Co., Inc. advertised “The Khaki Suit” for women (yes, women wore khaki clothing, too). The suit was for:

“Ranch Wear
“Garden Wear
“House Wear

“We make to measure khaki, corduroy and army duck clothing for men and women.”

*****

The Los Angeles Times dated April 2, 1910 ran an ad containing the following announcement by the clothier Harris & Frank:

“Our lines of Spring and Summer Trousers are complete. Thousands of pairs here, in every wanted grade and style....”

Specifically:

—Dress Trousers, $5.00 to $12.00
—Outing Trousers, $2.50 to $7.50
—Work Trousers, $2.00 to $5.00
—Khaki Trousers, $1.50 to $2.50
—Corduroy Trousers, $3.00 to $5.00
—Chambray Trousers, for cooks’ wear, $1.00
—Overalls, 85¢ to $1.00

*****

The San Francisco Examiner, on June 1, 1910, presented this ad from a clothing store called The Clarion [keep in mind that a ‘negligee shirt’ is a pullover shirt—the front placket, where the buttons are, goes only halfway down the front]:

“GOING AWAY? We Can Equip You With Vacation Apparel For MAN or BOY

“If you are thinking of going to the seashore, fishing, hunting or camping, you can find just what you are looking for in Outing Apparel at just the price you want.

“SUGGESTIONS

“FOR THE MAN—Khaki Suits, Negligee Shirts, Golf Shirts, Belts, Athletic Underwear, Straw Hats, Crush Hats, Golf Caps, Yacht Caps, Duck Pants, Stock Ties, Wash Ties”

“FOR THE BOY—Rompers and Play Suits, Rough Rider and Major Khaki Suits, Khaki Norfolk and Knicker Suits, Wash Suits, Negligee Blouses and Shirts, Corduroy School and Play Suits, Corduroy Knicker Pants, Wash Hats and Straw Hats.”

*****

In the New York Times on June 23, 1910, Browning, King & Co. advertised the following “Hot Weather Wear:”

Summer suits, all sizes, $15 to $40
French Flannel (Coat and Trousers), $20
Wool Crash (Coat and Trousers), $15 to $20
Blue Serge, two & three-piece suits, $15 to $25
Flannel Outing Trousers, $5, $6, & $7
White Duck Trousers, $2
Khaki Trousers, $3 & $3.50
Children’s Suits, $3 & up
Khaki Bloomer Trousers, $1

*****

The Los Angeles Daily Times for July 29, 1910 had this ad:

“Khaki Clothing for Misses and small women

“If there is to be any mountain climbing or horseback riding in your outing, take along the proper garments.” Then a list:

Misses’ Khaki Skirts $2.50
Misses’ divided Skirts of Khaki, $4.50
Misses’ Khaki Shirtwaists, Peter Pan collars $1.50
Misses’ Norfolk Jackets of Khaki, $3.50

And on August 5, 1910, in the Los Angeles Times, the same clothier ran the advertisement again, but prefaced it by saying, “People who once wear khaki clothing on a mountain trip will never tell you ‘any old garments will do.’”

*****

A retailer called L. B. Silverwood placed an ad in the Los Angeles Times for June 24, 1911:

“Your Play Day
—half of its pleasure and rest, and the memory of it afterwards—depend on how you dress for it—whether at the beach, in the mountains, or motoring. Forget sticky starchy collars and woolen clothes—get into the cool roomy summery comfort of a Khaki Suit, and negligee shirt, and loose, knee length underwear.

“Khakis for Men and Women

“Sturdy, roomy khaki suits that fit—the best made and minus ‘fancy’ pricing.”

Some of the items Silverwood offered:

Norfolk Khaki Coats, $2.00 and $2.50
Khaki Pants, $1.50, $2.00, and $2.75
Khaki Shirts, 50¢ and $1.00
Canvas Leggings, 50¢ and $1.00
Khaki Hats, 50¢ and 75¢

*****
Macy’s, of course, which is—or at least was—a New York City institution, hopped aboard the khaki bandwagon. The following details are from a Macy’s ad in The New York Times dated July 18, 1912:

The heading: “Men’s Outing Trousers”

And the particulars:

Gray-Striped Flannel Trousers, $2.97
Hairline Striped Flannel Trousers, $3.69
White Yachting Flannel Trousers, $4.75
White Duck Trousers, $1.59
White Drill Trousers, $1.29
Khaki Trousers, $1.29
Khaki Trousers with belt, $1.69
Army Drab Khaki Trousers, $1.98

*****

The benefit of digging up and reviewing early ads and articles about khaki clothing is that you don’t need to infer much. The source material contains smoking guns; that is, they tell you point-blank what these relatively-new-to-the-civilian-world khaki things were for.

And they sure weren’t for the classroom and office. Not quite yet.

More soon.
Great stuff, Charles! The prices still blow me away! I am familiar with the term Olive Drab (Indian Army usage) so I imagine Army Drab is probably something similar -- does it refer to green khaki?
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Great stuff, Charles! The prices still blow me away! I am familiar with the term Olive Drab (Indian Army usage) so I imagine Army Drab is probably something similar -- does it refer to green khaki?
Your comment encouraged me to bring up an inflation calculator and see how things compare.

All the inflation calculators I found go back only to 1913. My guess, that's probably when inflation statistic started to be officially captured. To be sure, one can build models that go back farther, but for our purposes, 1913 is fine as there wasn't much price movement (based on my memory of economic history) between 1910 and 1913. Once WWI began, prices moved up, but for us, 1913 is a good enough proxy for 1910.

One more caveat, inflation calculators are far from perfect for a variety of reasons - data collection issues, methodology assumptions, changing consumer preferences, changes to items in the baskets, etc. - but they still give us a rough something.

So, with all that said, it seems that, looking at @Charles Dana post, $2 is a reasonable mid-price for Khaki trousers in 1910, which based on the inflation calculator, is about $52 in 2020.

The last pair of khakis I bought from J.Crew (a basic pair of "770 chinos" on a regular 30% off sale) - a mid-quality/price brand - was $56 .

Pretty funny how close that turned out to be.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
Having a large number of khaki trousers, mostly Bill's Khakis, I haven't seen the need to pick up a pair in recent years. But five or six years ago, the khakis I was buying, mostly from online or eBay resellers but some on sale from Bill's, cost me, as a median price, about $50.

It's possible some of these were factory seconds, although many came with the tags intact and with no markings to indicate they were seconds. So my median is very close to your inflation-adjusted cost.

What does that tell us about the perceived value of khaki trousers? I'm no economist, but assuming prices reflect customer demands and values to a reasonable degree (I know other factors are involved), can we say that the value of this item of clothing has remained fairly constant for the American consumer?
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Having a large number of khaki trousers, mostly Bill's Khakis, I haven't seen the need to pick up a pair in recent years. But five or six years ago, the khakis I was buying, mostly from online or eBay resellers but some on sale from Bill's, cost me, as a median price, about $50.

It's possible some of these were factory seconds, although many came with the tags intact and with no markings to indicate they were seconds. So my median is very close to your inflation-adjusted cost.

What does that tell us about the perceived value of khaki trousers? I'm no economist, but assuming prices reflect customer demands and values to a reasonable degree (I know other factors are involved), can we say that the value of this item of clothing has remained fairly constant for the American consumer?
That's certainly one very reasonable way of assessing it.

The other thing I thought about is that khakis went from being a new and niche product in 1910 - one used for outdoor sports/camping activities when most people couldn't afford to do much of that at all - to a mass-market product worn for almost everything by almost everyone (yes, I'm exaggerating, but you get the point).

So, despite a massive increase in demand today relative to 1910, the market was able to meet that demand (increase the supply of khakis) without a "real" (purchasing power or inflation adjusted) price increase. That's a pretty impressive performance by producers to meet an explosion in demand without increasing the real price. For our economic geeks (like me), (oversimplified) the supply and demand curves both shifted right a lot.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
That's an interesting analysis. I think the critical thing for producers of such goods is to asses a low enough price point that will guarantee them sufficient profits through a decent sales volume, while making it not too high for the average consumer. That's the kind of price titration that seems quite sophisticated, at least for a non-economist like me.

A second question I have that is tangentially related to the popularity of khakis, is the issue of that other type of trousers worn by a substantial segment of people, not just in the US, but all over the world, namely denim jeans. I wonder if jeans and khakis are seen as being in competition with each other for everyday wear.

Are khakis a bit more versatile in terms of everyday use, so that one can lark about at home or in the yard wearing them, and also go out to dinner with a sweater or odd jacket thrown on? Are jeans equally amenable to multiple uses? Are khakis seen as slightly more upmarket or sophisticated than jeans? Maybe with his recent extensive research on khakis, Charles Dana might be able to shed some light on these questions.

A general point: It is striking how the whole business of dressing is so deeply psychological: Self-image, the image you project to the world, and especially to the group(s) to which you want to project your image. It's a set of signals that you give to others, and it can be identifying, or sometimes aspirational. Many writers on clothes and dressing have written about these aspects, including Bruce Boyer and Alan Flusser, and perhaps George Frazier.
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
I wonder if jeans and khakis are seen as being in competition with each other for everyday wear.
These days there’s no competition; jeans have clearly won that contest. Men, women—young, old, or inbetween—for them, practically everywhere they go, jeans are the preferred casual trouser (except when they are wearing shorts). Jeans are the universal casual trouser now.

Are khakis a bit more versatile in terms of everyday use, so that one can lark about at home or in the yard wearing them, and also go out to dinner with a sweater or odd jacket thrown on?
Khakis are a lot more versatile than jeans, especially now that clothing retailers sell a hierarchy of such trousers, ranging from relatively expensive “dress” gabardine cotton khakis down to cheap, basic, everyday khakis. The thing is, a lot of people have no interest in stepping up their sartorial game; they wear jeans by default.


Are jeans equally amenable to multiple uses?
The de jure answer is no; the de facto answer is yes.

Are khakis seen as slightly more upmarket or sophisticated than jeans?
I believe that khakis are significantly more upmarket than jeans. But other than the comparatively small number of people who have a keen interest in clothes, nobody cares. For them, jeans are good enough.

[T]he whole business of dressing is so deeply psychological: Self-image, the image you project to the world, and especially to the group(s) to which you want to project your image. It's a set of signals that you give to others, and it can be identifying, or sometimes aspirational.
True. However, people today are more inclined to dress down rather than aspirationally. They dress to please themselves without regard to whatever signals they might be sending. (The sartorial landscape isn’t as bad as the preceding sentence implies. Yes, many people don’t care how schlumpy they look in public, but a lot do make an effort to look neatly put together, albeit within decidedly casual bounds.)
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
These days there’s no competition; jeans have clearly won that contest. Men, women—young, old, or inbetween—for them, practically everywhere they go, jeans are the preferred casual trouser (except when they are wearing shorts). Jeans are the universal casual trouser now.



Khakis are a lot more versatile than jeans, especially now that clothing retailers sell a hierarchy of such trousers, ranging from relatively expensive “dress” gabardine cotton khakis down to cheap, basic, everyday khakis. The thing is, a lot of people have no interest in stepping up their sartorial game; they wear jeans by default.




The de jure answer is no; the de facto answer is yes.



I believe that khakis are significantly more upmarket than jeans. But other than the comparatively small number of people who have a keen interest in clothes, nobody cares. For them, jeans are good enough.



True. However, people today are more inclined to dress down rather than aspirationally. They dress to please themselves without regard to whatever signals they might be sending. (The sartorial landscape isn’t as bad as the preceding sentence implies. Yes, many people don’t care how schlumpy they look in public, but a lot do make an effort to look neatly put together, albeit within decidedly casual bounds.)
It's gotten to the point where I've shown up in khakis (the casual not dress kind) - to events like an outdoor birthday party or meeting friends in a bar for drinks - and have been asked why I wore "dress" pants. Jeans or sweats or (I guess) yoga pants are what most people wear to most events today.
 
Last edited:

TKI67

Super Member
If by "more upmarket" one means something along the lines of more refined, I imagine most of us view khakis as more upmarket than jeans, but I am not sure the fashion world agrees. You can drop $50 on a very fine pair of khakis, and you must search to find a pair topping $140. It is astounding how limited the $50 jeans offerings are, and it is easy to drop $200 (or much more).
 

drpeter

Senior Member
It's gotten to the point where I've shown up in khakis (the casual not dress kind) - to events like an outdoor birthday party or meeting friends in a bar for drinks - and have been asked why I wore "dress" pants. Jeans or sweats or (I guess) yoga pants are what most people wear to most events today.
Just today, I was going out to a weekly lunch with retired colleagues and friends, and as I walked out of my flat, a friend saw me, and said "Boy, you're all dressed up!" I was wearing old khakis, a checked sports jacket and loafers.
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
[A] friend saw me, and said "Boy, you're all dressed up!" I was wearing old khakis, a checked sports jacket and loafers.
In fairness to your friend, he’s accustomed to seeing you around town in just old khakis and loafers. When you put that sports jacket on over your bare torso, you did look comparatively “dressed up” to him.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
In fairness to your friend, he’s accustomed to seeing you around town in just old khakis and loafers. When you put that sports jacket on over your bare torso, you did look comparatively “dressed up” to him.
LOL, I did take precautions and have a shirt on. But what you say is basically my point. A sports jacket over one's shirt (minus a tie) used to be a casual style, not dressy but that may have been in the days when people wore suits and ties everywhere. To take the other extreme, it is common to see people now wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts in shops, in movie theatres, and even on airplanes. The natural extension of this approach might be to wear pajamas everywhere.

I've also heard that when the COVID lockdown started, the most frequently asked question on Google was: "Where can I find a place to sell all of my pants?"

BTW, here in Wisconsin, the classic comment when people see you dressed up is: "You clean up real good".
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
PART VII—KHAKIS FROM 1913 THROUGH 1917

In the second decade of the 20th Century, civilian khakis—suits, shirts, and trousers—continued to be staples of outdoor recreational attire. But as the decade progressed, the role of khaki trousers and shirts expanded; they also became—and started to be explicitly advertised as—work clothes.

In this section, I’ll present some advertisements showing khakis’ ongoing popularity as outdoor leisure clothing in the 1910s. Ads from that decade portraying khaki garments as work attire will be in an upcoming section.

The New York Times for July 2, 1913 ran this ad from Saks:

“SAKS SUMMER CLOTHES FOR MEN

“If George the Third had listened to reason there might never have been a July the Fourth. The trouble was, you couldn’t tell George anything about either Clothes or Colonies. He believed in taxes, but denied any rights to those who paid them. And there are a lot of George the Thirds in the tailoring business, too, who tax you for clothes and deny you any right to style. Saks is one clothing shop that is an exception to this rule.”

(I’ll list the specific items that Saks was purveying so that you can see where khaki trousers stood in the outdoor-garment hierarchy.)

Two-piece suits in flannels, tropical worsteds, crashes and homespuns, $15 to $28
Linen suits, in regulation and Norfolk models, $5 to $11
White and striped flannel suits, single-breasted, double-breasted, and Norfolk styles, $20 to $25
Mohair suits, $15 to $25
Flannel trousers, white and fancy stripes, $3.50 to $6
Khaki trousers, perfectly plain, for outing, $2
White duck trousers, for boating and tennis, $1.50 to $2.50
Pongee and Rajah silk suits, plain and in stripes, $20 to $25
Blazer coats for men, in all stripes and colors, $4.50

******

In the Los Angeles Times on November 9, 1913, a clothier listed the following items as being in stock:

“Outing Clothing”

“Ladies’ Khaki Skirts, Waists and Leggins. Men’s Khaki and Whipcord Suits, with Full Length or Riding Trousers. ‘Hiking’ Shoes, Boots and Puttees. Imported Angora Sweater Coats.”

******

On May 15, 1914, in the San Francisco Chronicle, Roos Brothers (“The House of Courtesy”) advertised its “Outing Togs” as follows:

Outing Suits:

Norfolk suits in cotton khaki, $4 and in woolen khaki and light fancy tweeds, $15 to $20
Linen dusters, $3.50
Khaki dusters, $5

Outing Shirts:

Tennis and golf shirts, in white Oxford, “with deep-pointed collar, half or full sleeves,” $1.50

Outing Neckwear:

Printed foulards or crepes, “with wide flowing ends in those marvelous new colorings, are ‘IT’ for Outing and Street Wear, 50¢“

Trousers:

In white, gray, or striped flannel, $5
White or striped serge, $5
White Duck, $1.50
Corduroy for young men, $2.50 and for men, $4
Khaki riding and hiking breeches, $3

******

On June 12, 1914, a Saks ad appeared in the New York Times:

“Saks Outing Garments for discriminating men“

“Clothes designed especially for the great outdoors—for golfing, tennis and motoring—for active participation in sport or for hanging around in the role of looker-on.”

The particulars:

Mohair coats and trousers, $15 to $23
White flannel coats and trousers, $20 and $22
Linen coats and trousers, $5 to $15
White and striped flannel trousers, $3.75 and $5
London-made white trousers, $9
Blazer coats, $3.50
Silk coats and trousers, $17.50 and $20
Norfolk coats and trousers, $17.50 to $25

[...and, at the bottom of the heap, the humble...]

“Practical khaki trousers, $1.50 and $2“

******

The New York Times, July 1,1914, ran a Gimbel Brothers ad:

“Summer Clothing for Men”

(I will list the specifics, with the sale prices in parentheses.)

Suits, $35 to $47.50 ($24.50)
Suits, $27.50 to $32 ($19.50)
Silk-faced or plain-edged overcoats, $25 ($15)
Balmacaan overcoats, $20 and $22 ($15)
Norfolk coat-and-trouser suits, $25, $30, $35 ($18.50)
Striped worsted trousers, $6 and $7 ($3.75)
Tennis trousers, plain and striped, $5 and $6 ($3.50)
Mohair two-piece suits, $20 ($14.50)
Blazer coats, $5 and $7 ($3.75)
Khaki Breeches, $4 and $5 ($3)
Motor dusters, $10 and $15 ($8.75)
Khaki trousers, with or without belts, $2 ($1.35)

******

The Los Angeles Times for April16, 1916 carried an ad from W. S. Kirk Army Store:

“REAL SPORTSMAN’S GOODS”

In addition to camping equipment, clothing-related products were available, some of which were:

Army Shirts
Army Shoes
Army Pants
Army Puttees
Army Blankets
Army Hats
Khaki Shirts

******

The San Francisco Chronicle for June 17, 1917 carried the following ad from the Hastings Clothing Company:

“Hiking Suits for Men—$7.50”

“We are showing a big display of cotton khaki suits, the very thing for hiking, camping and roughing it—we have them in brown and tan shades, with long trousers or with tramping (or riding) breeches—$7.50. For general vacation wear we offer in great variety the new pinch-back models in olive auto and forestry green, also in natty tweeds, homespuns and blue serges—$20 to $35.”

*****

Coming soon: In the 1910s, khaki trousers go to work. Then some stories from the 1910s that help illustrate khaki clothing’s place in civilian society during that decade.
 
Last edited:
Your email address will not be publicly visible. We will only use it to contact you to confirm your post.

IMPORTANT: BEFORE POSTING PLEASE CHECK THE DATE OF THE LAST POST OF THIS THREAD. IF IT'S VERY OLD, PLEASE CONSIDER REGISTERING FIRST, AND STARTING A NEW THREAD ABOUT THIS TOPIC.

Deals/Steals