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American Heritage

Our Heritage

The Story of Bills Khakis

As fascinated as we are with the future, our hearts lie in the past. Old movies, books and vintage photographs are places we go to connect.

Founder Bill Thomas found a connection in a pair of original World War II khakis he discovered at an Army surplus store while in college. They were remarkably comfortable, deep pocketed, and put together to withstand just about anything, including world conflict. Today’s khakis paled in comparison. Someone had to save this small but symbolic piece of Americana.

The Story of Bills Khakis

The idea of starting a company that captured and celebrated the American ideal took on such great philosophical importance to Thomas that he quit his advertising job in Chicago and moved home to Reading, Pennsylvania to start Bills Khakis. The year was 1990.

With a few thousand dollars and a host of part time jobs (including: golf course greens superintendent, painter, ski lift operator, sporting goods salesman, freelance writer, and rock & roll band promoter), the business grew from a “trunk of the car” start-up to a full time enterprise over the next 5 years - one pair of khakis at a time.

The Story of Bills Khakis

Today, thanks to the hard work and dedication of devoted employees, and many others in factories across the United States, Bills Khakis can be found at over 500 of the best men’s specialty stores around the country and at

Bills Khakis remains committed to producing in the U.S.A. and has been named to the Inc. 100 five times as one of America’s 100 fastest growing businesses.

Who said it can’t be done in America today.

Product Development

Inspiration comes from many places. Current customers, what we see on the street, what we want to wear, and what we find when we’re simply not looking.

The work starts in the product development room. Each season brings new products, some to meet specific customer needs, and others we never envisioned. Patterns are created, fabrics selected, details refined, prototypes made. The process is more like a journey each and every season.

MFG/Made in U.S.A.

In economic terms, there are few human activities more virtuous than the act of making something. At Bills Khakis, we started producing khakis because no one cared to take a craft approach to what was clearly an iconic American product.

All our khakis, shorts, shirts, jackets, belts and shoes are produced in American factories, some state of the art, some still run by Amish craftsmen. We do not judge others who produce elsewhere, but for us, there was only one place to set up shop.


You’ve heard the term “It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it.” At Bills Khakis, it’s not just what we make, but how we make it… and where.

What makes Bills Khakis better? It’s not just one thing.

Cut, Quality, Consistency, Authenticity.

A pair of khakis is only as good as how well it fits you. Bills Khakis are available in 4 basic fits, trim fitting to full.

Quality in fabric & materials used, how those materials are sewn together and the skill of the people doing the work.

We make our khakis the same way year after year. Once you find a pair of khakis that is great in every way, you want to get them again & again, year after year.

Our khakis are based on and made the same way as the WWII originals. Good, old fashion American- made quality never grows old.

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