First Fit: Banana Republic New Dawson and Gavin Chino
Banana Republic has made a pretty big deal about the newly launched re-design of their two most popular chinos. Through email blasts, store signage, and the massive discounting of their old stock of the previous Dawson and Gavin Chinos, Banana Republic went to the wall to let everyone know that these weren’t the same old pants.
I took a field trip to my local Banana Republic to try on the newest incarnation of both fits. Here’s what I found:
Banana Republic New Relaxed Dawson Chino – $49.50
I’m not much of a relaxed fit kind of guy, but I was surprised at how decent these looked. The rise is reportedly lower than the previous model, but it’s still plenty high to comfortably tuck in shorter tail shirts like the Express 1mx. The overall shape was good with nice lines, but these are a relaxed fit pant. They’re “Easy” through the thigh, meaning if you’re used to wearing trim tailored fit clothes (myself included) you’re going to feel like there’s a lot of cloth there. Plus if you wear trim fit shirts, you could end up looking a little unbalanced.
Banana Republic New Straight Gavin Chino – $49.50
Banana Republic is targeting you, the style conscious male with these pants. They’re advertised to be “more tailored” in the legs, with a lower rise. So I was pretty surprised to find that to me… they weren’t that fitted at all. Plus the position of the on-seam pockets (another advertised “advantage”) actually caused the pockets to bulge out whenever you weren’t standing straight up and dead still. I’d rather my hips not look like they have ears every time I tuck my shirt in.
The cotton cloth on both the Dawson and Gavin is a soft, solid medium-weight fabric that felt very nice to the touch. The zipper and hook & eye closure they use is top notch. But when it comes to the actual look of the pants, I’d actually be more inclined to wear the Relaxed Dawson Chino. And since I don’t wear Relaxed fit pants, I guess that means I’ll be skipping these two pairs of pants for now.