SPOKE has christened these Bulletproof chinos as performance and it’s not hard to see why with all the features they have packed into them.
They repel water, stretch in two directions and are naturally breathable due to the 8 oz technical fabric made from 97% cotton and 3% elastane. There’s a discreet zip pocket inside the right-hand main pocket to keep valuables safe, while for cyclists a Hi-Viz flash dart can be untucked from the back pocket. And If you happen to be a fan of Hi-Viz orange, you can also turn up the bottoms to reveal reflective piping which I’ve got to say adds a dash of style even if you’re not a biker.
What they don’t do of course is, as the name suggests, deflect bullets; as SPOKE is hilariously quick to point out declaring “we’re not idiots.”
No, they most certainly are not. Puzzling name for chinos aside, SPOKE is taking online retailing and changing the game as far as I am concerned. Founded by Ben Farren, his clear customer-fit business model is seemingly shaking up online men’s fashion retailing. As I mentioned in my previous review of SPOKE’S Storm Denims, this is a retailer that is not only obsessed with made-to-fit garments but also provides a no quibble 200-day exchange or refund and free delivery. It is the kind of future thinking that breeds brand loyalty without a second thought.
Having said that, the merchandise must stand up to scrutiny, and for me, buying a premium product that you can get almost custom-fitted but without the stellar price tag is a stroke of genius. Add to that, quality fabric and stitching and a clutch of inventive product lines and it makes online fashion retailing a pleasure instead of a pain. Farren has proved there is a middle ground between bespoke and ready to wear and has dived in headfirst to fill it.
These Bulletproof chinos ticked all the boxes for me. They were delightfully comfortable straight out of the box (thanks to SPOKE’S online fit finder guide where a few questions about your size and shape determines your ideal fit) and the finishing is excellent. It’s all been meticulously thought through, the wicking around the inside waist, the pocket lining, even the metal fastener has style and personality. They’re smart enough for the office, and hardy enough for weekend outdoor wear too. These trousers have long-lasting quality written all over them.
The simple beauty of getting fitted for wear, is now my size is registered with SPOKE I can order any new product and colour knowing the trousers will fit perfectly each time. And if they don’t, I can always rectify it through SPOKE’S return system.
I found an added surprise waiting in the box when they got delivered; a book of vouchers entitled SPOKE Recommends, giving me discounts with a number of online partner suppliers such as Pasta Evangelists or Craft Gin Club. Very clever that.
SPOKE Bulletproof chinos certainly qualify for performance. They just might get an encore too.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT SPOKE BULLETPROOF CHINOS
Every pair of SPOKE Bulletproof Chinos is hand-finished to order in over 200 sizes.
With SPOKE’s online Fit-Finder, men can select their perfect size in just 60 seconds. Delivery is free and there is also a bulletproof 200-day returns policy.