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Banana Republic’s chinos are some of the best known chinos in the menswear community. They compete directly with chinos from brands such as Bonobos and J.Crew. In this detailed Banana Republic chinos review we take a look at their newer Rapid Movement Chino as well as their classic 100% cotton chino and let you know if they are worth buying.
Interested in suits? Read out review of Banana Republic Suits.
Banana Republic Rapid Movement Chinos Review
In typical BR fashion, the chinos feel well constructed. One feature in particular that has impressed me is their dress pant inspired design. Unlike other brands, which typically offer a button closure (which makes the chino more casual), these have a metal clasp similar to traditional dress pants. This elevates the formality of these chinos and allows them to be worn seamlessly with business casual attire. Add to this the fact that these are machine washable unlike most wool dress pants (which require dry cleaning, another annoying expense), and you have a chino that can easily act as the core component of your business casual wardrobe.
Material and Quality
Unlike traditional 100% cotton chinos, BR’s Rapid Movement Chino’s feature a blend of cotton, polyester and spandex. This material has a welcome rigidity and stiffness which gives the impression of durability, yet offers excellent comfort and stretch. These are advertised as having exceptional stretch and recovery properties. In my experience they do stretch out a bit with prolonged wear, but still retain their overall shape after a wash and dry cycle.
Their stain and water resistant properties, initially at which I was amazed, has degraded with wash and wear. This would make sense, since the stain and water resistant finishing on the pants is probably a coating on top of the fabric and not something intrinsic in the fabric itself. Another annoyance is that the water and stain resistant finishing also attracted plenty of lint which has to be removed every now and then.
Banana Republic Chino Fit Guide
BR offers multiple fits for their Rapid Movement Chinos all the way from skinny to relaxed. In other words, if you have human legs, BR probably has a version that fits you. I personally wear and love the Aiden fit which has a mid-rise and slim tapered leg. The Aiden fit is comfortable, yet streamlined for a modern look. Furthermore, Banana Republic offers plenty of waist and inseam combinations for you to find your perfect fit.
Click here for the Banana Republic Chino Fit Guide
Wondering How Chinos Should Fit?
The retail price for these Chinos is around $100, which is not a competitive price. However, BR routinely has promotional offers/sales ranging from 30-60% off so you can easily find a pair for around $50 to $60. This is a fair price considering the pros and cons. Moreover, considering they offer core colors of navy, charcoal and khaki, you can easily build a core business casual pant collection for around $200 if you shop smartly.
- ‘Dressy’ chino with dress pant like metal clasp closure
- Durable material
- Retains shape and color well after multiple wash cycles
- Comfortable due to built in stretch
• Fabric wrinkles quite easily
• Stain and water-resistant finish wears off over time
The Classic Banana Republic 100% Cotton Chinos Review
Banana Republic’s classic chino is made from 100% cotton. As such, it has little to no stretch.
Similar to the Rapid Movement Chinos, these chinos have a metal clasp closure which makes them more formal than regular chinos that have button closures. As such, these are are also perfect for business casual attire.
As far as the design is concerned, these are identical to the Rapid Movement Chinos. You have a metal clasp waist closure with a good quality zipper at the front. There are two angled pockets at the front and two buttoned pockets at the back. Overall, these are your typical dressy chino.
Material and Quality
This is where the major difference lies between BR’s regular chinos and their Rapid Movement chinos. Unlike the Rapid Movement Chinos which are incredibly comfortable to wear due to built in stretch, these 100% cotton chinos have practically no stretch at all. As such, they are not as comfortable to wear as the Rapid Movement Chinos for longer periods of time.
Moreover, when holding both chinos in hand, I felt a difference between the fabric weights. The Rapid Movement Chinos have a more substantial fabric which feels more durable. The 100% cotton chinos on the other hand did not feel like they would last as long as the Rapid Movement Chinos. The fabric felt lighter (not in a good way) and thinner.
Furthermore, the Rapid Movement Chinos have water and stain resistant properties while the 100% cotton chinos do not. I think this is a negative for these 100% cotton chinos because even if the water and stain resistance does not last forever, it still is a plus for however long is lasts.
These 100% cotton chinos retail for $70, but with promotions you can easily get these for around $30-$40. This brings their price close to the Rapid Movement Chinos and with frequent discounts and sales I would definitely go for the Rapid Movement Chinos over these regular chinos.
- The fabric does wrinkle but to a lesser extent than the fabric on the Rapid Movement Chinos
- Slightly lower price compared to Rapid Movement Chinos
- Dressier chino that goes well with business casual attire
- Fabric feels thinner and not as durable as on the Rapid Movement Chinos
- No stain and/or water-resistant finish
- Little to no stretch means not as comfortable as the Rapid Movement Chinos for prolonged wear
I hope you enjoyed this Banana Republic Chinos review. Banana Republic makes solid chinos. They would work great for someone who wants an easy to care for durable pant that is dressier than the typical chino. With that said, they do have some faults. Personally, I would go for the Rapid Movement Chino over their classic 100% cotton chino because of the stretch fabric and water/stain resistant properties.
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