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Cape Authentic

Puritan Cape Cod launches the Chatham Chino Company, their own clothing brand interwoven with classic Cape details—and the story of their family’s American dream

Photo by Dan Cutrona

Following in the footsteps of L.L. Bean, the Chatham Chino Company was born, featuring a full line of well-designed, classic Cape Cod men’s clothing and accessories for relaxed outdoor living. “When we started Chatham Chinos, there was one word that kept coming up over and over—and that was ‘authentic,’” says Rick.

“We started with a men’s line because it was easy for us,” Jim continues. “Chinos were the uniform of the Coast Guard on Cape Cod; it’s an iconic image and one we know. We spent a ton of time researching authentic fabrics and finishes for the fabric; looking at the right zippers. We even went through lots of buttons to get the right ones.”

Jim says that the fit of the Chatham Chinos—which are made with soft, stonewashed, yet sturdy 100-percent cotton twill—was very important. “We worked with different designs to establish leg openings, knee openings; it was a very detailed process,” Jim explains. “Establishing the right fit for pants is the most difficult thing for a clothing company to do.”

Each pair of chinos includes the Puritan story, which is embossed on the inside pocket of the flat-front pants. The Coast Guard’s famous bright red and blue hurricane double flags were chosen for the Chatham Chinos logo. “It just made sense that the flag is on everything—the hats, polo shirts, sport shirts, belts—everything in the line,” says Rick.

The Penns were so committed to the quality of their brand that they returned the first shipment of 1,000 pairs of Chatham Chinos in 2012, losing an entire summer of profits. “The chinos arrived for our June launching—we were all excited and the labels were right, and everything looked just great,” says Jim. “But we tried the pants on and they were the wrong fit, the wrong silhouette—so we sent the entire order back and waited to launch the line in September.”

“We worked hard with our team to put this all together and we believe we have something very unique with Chatham Chinos,” says Rick, of the line which is showcased this summer in all four of Puritan’s Cape stores and online soon. “This is a real story and one we are proud to tell and share—every shopper gets their own piece of true Cape Cod with Chatham Chinos. It all goes back to something Abraham used to say; if you live in a community, you should give back to the community. This is our way to celebrate the core values our grandfather instilled in us.”

Cape Cod LIFE would like to thank our male models (lifelong Cape Codders and brothers, Will and Charlie Rice), the Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham Light and the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Chatham Pier Fish Market. We would like to give a special thanks to Solstice Day Spa for hair and make-up for all the models.

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