An important part of preppy culture is the joy of buying quality things and using them until they are practically unusable. There are several interwoven values here including frugality, an appreciation and fondness for old things, and security in one's social status not to need the newest and shiniest. Whether its a pair of ducked-taped loafers, a threadbare Persian rug, a favorite sun-faded green polo shirt, or your rusted out Volvo, there might also be a touch of pride that the money's been around long enough not to feel the need to show it off.

Bill Thomas, founder and CEO of Bills Khakis, has built his company on the principle that things ought to be made like they used to be made, well enough to last a lifetime. He also wanted to capture an important part of American culture.

An excerpt from a 2006 article in Inc. by Mr. Thomas illustrates these points well:

"How long should a pair of Bills Khakis last? If they've made it to the point where the wearer of the pants is mowing the grass in them or painting a fence in them, they've done their job. They've stayed in the starting rotation long enough to be worn out. That's when someone is realizing the value in our product."

The article goes on to say "We are makers of authentic American khakis. It's part of our story and part of what we believe."

In an email to PMH, Mr. Thomas said "We consider ourselves custodians of a small but worthwhile piece of American history, so we attempt to live up to this self-imposed responsibility." He then reiterated that all Bills Khakis are made in America.

Part of the Americana Mr. Thomas refers to is the increased popularity of khakis brought about by an entire generation of WWII soldiers returning home in their khaki uniforms after the war.

A bit of trivia about the company's name according to Mr. Thomas's article in Inc.: the apostrophe was left out of "Bills" intentionally. Why? He felt that it should not be possessive; that "what the brand attempts to capture or celebrate belongs to a generation--to an era--but not to us, or to me."

For decades, khaki pants have been a staple of the prep wardrobe and since the 1990s many have chosen Bills exclusively. ~

Bills Khakis can be purchased online at the company's website.

Bills Khakis Built on Traditional Preppy Values
Photo provided by Bills Khakis
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