Alex Mill’s Chinos Will Make You Believe in Pleats Again

SHOP $135, alexmill.com


Welcome to The Esquire Endorsement. Heavily researched. Thoroughly vetted. These picks are the best way to spend your hard-earned cash.


Speaking in absolutes is dangerous, and that goes double when it comes to style. At this point, I can’t even count the number of guys I know who once adamantly declared that they’d never wear this or that thing—a black suit, Birkenstocks, Crocs—and now wear that very same, once-disavowed thing on the regular. That’s fine! People grow. Which is why we, as a society that once rejected pleats as a relic of a bygone era, an avatar of the very worst impulses brought on by Casual Friday culture, have finally realized that pleats aren’t bad. In fact, they’re good. No, wait, they’re even better than that—they’re great. Really.

If you haven’t caught this particular wave yet, no worries. There’s a very good chance you were indoctrinated, over the last decade-plus, into believing that flat-front pants are the only way to go. (In fact, you may have heard it from this very site. Sorry about that; we’ve grown, too.) But the flat-front merry-go-round ain’t the only ride at the menswear carnival, and it’s time to branch out. Here to help you do it are Alex Mill’s supremely comfortable, eminently wearable, and, yes, pleated chinos.

alex mill standard pleated chinos

Timothy Mulcare

They fit fantastically well

Let’s get right to it and allay the primary fear that most guys have when it comes to pleated pants: These chinos fit great. The billowing, is-that-a-sail-or-a-pair-of-pants cut you might recall from the bad old days is nowhere to be found. Instead, Alex Mill keeps a little bit of ease around the hips and thighs and then tapers things down to a cropped, slim ankle. The impression is distinctly modern, and the shape is easy to wear with just about everything in your closet.

SHOP $135, alexmill.com

alex mill standard pleated chinos

Timothy Mulcare

They’re broken in just right

There’s definitely something to be said for the kind of crunchy, burly fabric that takes ages to soften up and then feels amazing every time you pull it on. But there’s also something to be said for pants that arrive, just off the rack or out of the box, feeling exactly like that perfectly broken-in pair that took years to achieve existential perfection. Alex Mill’s chinos fall into the latter camp. They’re washed down for softness but still retain enough of the fabric’s initial toughness to know that they’re not going to give up or blow out on you. They’ll just feel great from day one, and then get even better.

SHOP $135, alexmill.com

alex mill standard pleated chinos

Timothy Mulcare

They’re a welcome departure from the norm

Some folks might not need to hear this. Cool. Some might. Also cool. But if you’ve been living your life for the past couple of years in sweats, it’s time to give ’em a rest. And if you’ve swung back to wearing denim every damn day, a little variety could go a long way to avoiding the dreaded personal-style rut. Chinos have a tendency, in modern menswear, to drift in and out of style. But they’re a true classic, and something that should be part of everyone’s rotation. Maybe you’ve already got a pair of flat-fronts in the mix and you think that’s enough. But you haven’t covered all your bases. A pleated pair doesn’t just fit different—it hits different. Which means Alex Mill’s chinos could be just what you need right now.

SHOP $135, alexmill.com


Photography by Timothy Mulcare. Prop styling John Olson for Halley Resources.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io