An Abridged History: Chinos

India, 1846: British Army uniforms must evolve to fit the conditions of modern warfare. The fits are too tight and the bright colors are turning soldiers into walking targets. To meet these challenges, military personnel develop a new paradigm of uniform design, inspired by the local wardrobe.


Call it “proto-camo”. Relaxed, tapered pants built of strong, lightweight cotton provide movement and breathability for soldiers in the tropical heat. Dyed in a range of earth tones, they allow soldiers to blend with the environment. Called “khaki”, from an Urdu word for “dust-colored”, they set the stage for modern styles and camouflage design.


Philippines, 1898: American soldiers return home from war wearing “chinos” – Chinese-made twill pants – which become popular among civilians, replacing stuffy pleated pants and offering a lighter denim alternative.


San Francisco, 2015: Welcome Stranger takes the essential DNA of the classic chino and reinvigorates it with modern simplicity and versatility.  Like the original khakis in the tropics, our stretch chinos will free you up for the adventure at hand. They’ve taken us from the backwoods to the bar, to weddings, meetings, and shows, and we’ve always been stoked to have them along.


The fit is no-nonsense – mid-rise, tapered – and the fabric is military-grade cadet twill. This sturdy blend of cotton and 3% stretch looks rigid and clean but breaks in soft and comfy. We overdye the chinos to get a subtle color and feel that evolves with you over time. Buy true-to-size or size down one for a slimmer fit – if you can get them on, they’ll stretch to fit perfect.


Made and designed in the place we call home, our chinos are pre-shrunk with 2 slash pockets, 2 back welt pockets, and a zip fly. Wash ‘em cold, hang ‘em dry, rock ‘em with a cuff and no crease.


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