Fox re-weave my ecru cavalry twill
*Cloth now sold out. Fox are taking pre-orders for the next batch*
At our pop-up shop back in April 2017, Fox Brothers brought up some vintage bolts to offer readers, including a rather beautiful ecru cavalry twill.
I bought a length myself, and subsequently had it made up into some plain-front trousers with Pommella. Those trousers have proved very popular, with inquiries to both myself and Fox about the possibility of getting more of it.
So late last year we decided to go ahead and re-weave the cloth, and I’m happy to say that a limited run is now available on the Merchant Fox website.
There is only 14 metres available, so with men needing on average 1.5 metres for trousers, there will only be about 10 cuts on offer.
However, Fox have been careful to make sure they have access to the yarn, so another batch can be woven relatively quickly.
If you find the cloth is sold out, therefore, please follow the instructions on the Fox site to be on the list for the next batch. They will then be in touch with details. We're waiting to confirm when that next batch will be ready.
There is a drop-down menu where you can select the length you require, but if you want other options (or want to ask further questions) you can email Amy Haines at [email protected].
I love my trousers, in particular the slightly unusual double twill and the super-sharp creases it produces.
They are heavy, at 16/17 ounces, and are therefore really only for Autumn/Winter. (Think sunny, chilly days.)
And of course cream is not the most practical colour. But if you have most other colours in your wardrobe, cream is a lovely addition. It’s a way to make a statement without strong patterns or loud colours.
I tend to wear mine with dark, simple colours elsewhere - in particular greys.
In the image above they work well with a grey brushed-cotton shirt and brown nubuck jacket. It's all about texture and contrast of tone.
And in the outfit below the combination is actually quite similar - with a charcoal rollneck on top and my brown-tweed ulster coat over it.
Again, texture and contrast.
Finally, in my piece ‘How to wear trainers’ I wore the trousers with a denim shirt (which I think works particularly well, subverting the formality of the trousers) and a navy cardigan.
The lack of pattern is not coincidental.
The cloth is 450/480g (16/17oz), 100% pure new wool, code FS684-C2076/11. It costs £140 a metre.
I had my trousers half lined, and I’d recommend that - the wool isn’t coarse, but it’s not super-soft either.
Cloth on the Merchant Fox website here.
I think when you say “cream is not the most practical colour” you really mean “cream is pretty much the least practical colour”.
I have some lovely cream trousers. Experience has told me that you either accept a build up of stains over time, or use of the dry cleaner every few wears. Which, of course, means that they don’t get worn very much at all. Such is life I suppose!
Stick to cricket with that colour.
I have to agree
Beautiful fabric but overpriced: 140 pounds per meter? I noticed a huge increase of Fox pricing recently (from 92£ to 108£ for the Classic Flannel bunch). Despite their hype on the market, I don’t think it’s an clever marketing pratice and it could be counterproductive at the end.
The increase generally in price is largely from the raw materials – merino has gone up a lot in recent years.
As to this ecru, it is definitely expensive, but again that is largely down to the costs involved – small production of yarn, a lot of that yarn going into the cloth, setting a loom for just a small run, weaving slowly and so on. There’s no difference in margin across the cloths, merely in costs involved.
I always find these discussions about price interesting, because I think consumers tend to assume a brand picks whatever price it thinks it can get away with. I certainly did when I was just a consumer.
In reality, margins don’t vary much between brands or producers (until you get into the big designer names). Rather, brands look at their production and use pretty consistent and standard mark-ups that cover their costs, risk etc
Interesting explanation. One rule nevertheless when it comes to pricing issues: always motivate the increase or the customer won’t understand why he should pay a higher price for the same product without increase on quality. Personnaly I was thinking to buy few meters of a Fox classic charcoal flannel but now I tend to explore HFW options which flannels are surely as qualitative. It’s the law of competition.
Absolutely – good point
To your point on HFW flannel’s quality, i agree. And a Row tailor (who shall remain nameless) told me a few years ago that HFW flannel is also woven by Fox. HFW have also increased their prices for the current bunch and Fox’s price premium over HFW is still pretty much the same, around £8 per metre.
HFW have a great choice of flannel. I’ve had two pairs of trousers made from their cloth. They seem to have a better selection than Fox.
Good point, the other mills all tend to have more variety of colours
I don’t think it sounds too expensive. The LL range hovers at around £120 on much longer runs. 1.5 yds should be plenty for the average build, so sub £200.
I dont agree. The price is on-par with a Scabal cloth of the same weight (maybe you could strike gold with something from Bower, but Im sure most British mills would offer a similar cloth to this one, around the same price point)
And it doesnt feel expensive considering its a small run.
I totally agree with Simon. Some people always assume brands are either stupid or blind. Put yourself in Fox’s shoes for a second: why in the world would they sell a cloth twice as expensive as their direct competitor’s, when their customer base is so small and 100% able to compare between options???
I’m on Fox mailing list and they announced increase of price well in advance allowing people to buy at the old price. The increase was also justified by the price of raw materials going up, which I can understand.
Dugdale’s have a lovely cream coloured cavalry twill in their white rose Caldonaire bunch nr. 4220.
It’s a heavy cloth at 600 g/21 oz, but then cavalry twill does not wear warm. You can wear this at temperatures of up to 20-22 Celsius. And it certainly is more stain resistant than one would expect. They call it light fawn, that’s what the picture suggests too, but it’s rather a dark cream in reality.
(See: http://www.dugdalebros.com/the-white-rose-caldonaire/product/4220_light_fawn_cavalry_twill/colour/light_fawn_cavalry_twill/page/145/ )
I hope this is a suitable place to ask, but what would your recommendation be for formal odd trousers around the £300-£400 mark. I’m not looking for anything stylistically special: just flat-fronted and fairly straight-legged with side adjusters.
I know Rota (via Drake’s and Anderson & Sheppard) is supposed to be one of the better RTW’s, but would you look at MTM options (P. Johnson, Anglo Italian, Saman Aman’s Toscana line etc) or even entry level bespoke like Graham Browne?
Rota is certainly one of the better ones, yes. But I would also look at those MTM options – less cheaper bespoke like GB, unless you find you have real fit issues with trousers generally.
Always worth bearing in mind what your issues are. Eg A&S has a range of styles, and can alter the waist and leg length for you. So it’s almost like MTM. But they can’t change the rise, for instance, so if that’s an issue for you better to go for a full MTM option.
I have several pairs of MTM trousers from both Saman Amel and Stòffa and I can highly recommend them both.
I have two pairs of trousers from GB, one flannel and one linen, and have just ordered two more. At £280 they’re excellent value. Definitely comparable to a pair I have from A&S.
I think the finish at GB noticeably improved over the last year as they moved production in-house.
Thanks to everyone for all the advice. I’m actually between the first and second fittings with Russell for my first GB suit, so I will find out soon how the trousers of that are and be able to make a direct comparison. In the mean-time, is there a specific one of those (or other) MTM makers you would recommend trying first Simon?
Through PS, I’ve started to understand and enjoy experimenting with jacket styles (GB will be the first English military cut) but ideally I’d like to see trousers become a bit like shirts for me – where I can stick to one style and place and order a couple of flannels every winter and high-twists every summer in a price range I’m comfortable with.
I agree, that’s usually the right approach with trousers.
I haven’t tried either yet, but from what I’ve seen I’d go with Saman Amel or Stoffa
Is it wrong to consider cream and other light colors more appropriate for summer wear? This is my reaction when I see these trousers, or white trainers (sneakers) etc. That being said, I feel this reaction less for an oatmeal jacket worn in winter. I’d like to hear the views of others on this.
Personally, I think it’s just a question of looking better in sunlight. So I wear paler trousers in winter, but usually on sunnier days.
Good sir, might you be able to provide information on the brown overcoat pictured above?
Also, unrelated, any thought regarding the Rapha Custom program that is forthcoming? Perhaps a Permanent Style x Rapha collaboration?
Details on the coat here.
Ooo, that would be nice. I know Rapha pretty well, used to write for them. A collab would be sweet
+1 on this! The merino pieces are great, but it’s their crossover items (like the city gloves or the jeans) that are so useful for any man who uses a bike as a means of transportation more than as a means of exercise. I have the sense PS insights could be very useful here…
Being both colourblind (and the general issue of colour in photos on the internet) and not being able to see any of the fabrics beforehand …. how does this fabric compare to that used for your recent Drake’s trousers?
Paler. That was more a light tan, this is a cream or ecru.
Hope that helps!
It does thanks.
If you were to going to get a pair of trousers made in one or the other, assuming you have nothing similar at all presently and unlikely to get anything else soon…. which would you go for?
The Drake’s, light tan. More versatile
What beautiful cloth! Cream may not be the most practical colour, but it is certainly a versatile one. It looks perfect up against almost anything, from navy to brown to grey to tan.
Is there anything in particular that makes Fox flannel fabrics superior to its competitors? Or is Fox marketing just better than rivals?
A big question, JBW, and perhaps worth going into at another time. But in short, no not marketing or anything else very different in the cloth, more the kind of fabrics they tend to produce. Generally heavier, denser etc All woven at their mill too, which of course is not the case with most other names people mention which are not mills but merchants
This outcome deserves a post indeed!
As to the time and occasion when you might pull off your trousers, I just wonder whether you wouldn’t be fairly realistic if you relied less on sunny days in London and thought instead of evening events when they could be appropriate too.
A small pernickety point so I apologise in advance but, occassionally, when describing a product you venture into the possessive ‘my ecru cavalry twill’ (vs. ‘Fox’s ecru’)…it sometimes looks ungracious or over-keen to take credit. The cloth is Fox’s and had nothing to do with you re. choice of colour or weave (unless you haven’t told us). I acknowledge that you did pick it and latterly promote it. It has been true with some collaborations where ‘my’ is oft used. Your large, loyal audience is already a convert and admires much if not all of what you do and we will always give you the credit – where it is due.
Thanks for the point, it’s a good one.
I had nothing to do with the making or designing of this and can’t take any credit.
I guess there’s a spectrum here, with this at one end and something like the cufflinks I designed from scratch at the other. In between are things like the trench coat and polo shirts where I am building on the work of others – often tweaking, but never producing from nothing.
Speaking of which… Do you know when the short sleeve polo will be back in stock?
Not until closer to the summer
With nothing to lose I emailed Fox about the future of Ecru Cav Twill. Ms. Haines (Fox customer service) confirmed today they have no plans to reweave. She kindly proposed a different worsted (more subtle) twill in Ecru (photo attached) and offered to send a swatch.
Therefore your Fox Ecru Cav Twill trousers achieved Nautilus/Royal Oak status. Oh well, there’s always the H&S Dakota Light Tan or the Dugdale Light Fawn Cav Twills.
For those interested in Fox Classic Flannel in Vintage Ecru (cream) – it’s back in stock.
The side fastener, do you source your own? Or do you go with whatever the tailor supplies? If the former, which retailer do you use?
Thanks in advance.
Ps would I be correct in assuming that a side fastener is more formal than a belt?
Yes, it is generally seen as more formal, because the fronts are cleaner and neater.
I use whatever the tailor supplies
Nice pictures clicked above and perfect dressing style. I usually don’t like the cream colour but the above fabric is looking beautiful and the price is not that expensive according to the quality of the product.
Simon on the colour which seems to have got the most attention in the comments whats your opinion of wearing cream more generally? Cream linen suits come to mind in the Summer. Is it a nightmare in terms of maintenance? Do your clothes require frequent cleaning. Be interested to hear your experience.
I find if I wear them carefully (eg don’t sit down on the grass, or on an obviously dirty bench) and they’re not an everday trouser (so not every week maybe) they’re fine. Then clean every season, maybe the occasional spot clean with soap and water
If these trousers got badly stained, do you think it would be possible to have them dyed to a darker colour?
I’ve no idea to be honest. Do you know anyone that does garment dying?
Yes, there are a few traditional ‘teinturerie’ in Paris (you have to pay attention because some normal dry-cleaners also call themselves ‘teinturerie’). I have seen really excellent results on stained cotton clothes, just wondering if it could work as well for wool. It would be interesting to try out, and definitely an incentive to invest in clothes in more ‘unpractical’ colours. Thanks anyway!
Good to know, thanks. At the least, I’d want to experiment with something I cared less about – or perhaps something that wasn’t going to be worn in its current state, so there’s nothing to lose.
I am thinking about commissioning a pair of cavalry twill trousers but are a little bit worried about the “sheen” of the cloth. I am afraid that it is not muted enough to work in a casual outfit. What is your opinion?
It depends how casual I think. It would be a fine with a smart blazer, and a lot of sports jackets but less so with tweeds etc
Hi Simon, I really like this cream shade and am looking something equivalent for summer. The only fabric that came close is the the cream ones from new fine worsted but I prefer lighter weight twill cotton / linen. Do you have any recommendation? Thanks 🙂
Well for linen there should be options – the Irish linen bunches from H&S, W Bill, plus the Irish themselves if you can get it.
Cotton is harder, it’s not something I’ve had much success finding (see Dalcuore piece here)
I’ve been wanting to get some wool cream trousers for autumn / winter and I wondered if I should go for this cavalry twill or a cream flannel instead? What are the relative merits of each fabric? Thanks.
I’d say flannel will look a little more casual, because it won’t be as dense and have that super-straight crease of cavalry twill. And the textures are rather different, with the clear twill vs the milled finish of flannel. But in cream they’ll both be pretty unusual and striking.
The shoes here are fairly formal (slim, thin leather sole, oxfords) in spite of their broguing.
There are those like Derek Guy who think that oxfords are only really suitable for suits or quite formal outfits (source: https://putthison.com/oxfords-for-suits-derbies-for-sport-coats-someone/). I’ve seen also this point made in other places.
I wonder what were your thoughts about oxfords in general. Are they ok with smart casual or even casual outfits if the rest of the shoe is less formal (broguing, perhaps a country shoe)? Where do you draw the line?
In general, no oxfords are best suited to the smartest outfits, so suits or the smartest jacket/trouser combinations.
This is a useful rule of thumb, but there always be exceptions, because it’s not the only factor. The colour, leather, sole, last etc also make a shoe more casual.
There is no point in drawing up a very intricate diagram with all these factors, and then all the factors of the outfit. It’s much better just to consider for yourself how formal you think something is, and whether it works. You’ll learn far more that way, and enjoy it too.
Thanks Simon. That’s sort of what I was thinking. After all, as you tend to say rules are more for guidance.
Exactly. And once you’ve understood and digested them, you’ll never really use them again. It just becomes instinct
Is there any chance this cloth is coming back for this autumn/winter season?
I don’t think so Ludwig, but I don’t run it anymore, so best to check with Fox
Recently saw your post about this cloth being revowen. This was one of my “I’m going to save up for it one day” items. However after looking at the fact price has doubled in last 3 years, to a 290£ a metre, I will just laugh about it and cross it off my wish list.
And yes, you can go on about margins (supposedly the same), cost of raw materials (funny argument after reading farmers being unable to sell wool last year because prices plummeted), difficulty of make (supposedly unchanged), amount of raw material(hopefully unchanged), fact remains fact. Price. Has. Doubled. In 3 years. 20-30% in 3 years I could understand. But not 100% increase.
Martins, I completely accept your view, but as ever I think you’re too strong.
Did you consider, for example, that the previous run just didn’t have a high enough margin and no one made any money?
And the point about farmers is irrelevant. That’s a different grade of wool.
It is a very high price. But there are no designer brands here trying to rip you off and laughing behind your back. Just small brands trying to make very special things in very small quantities, that no one else sells – usually with good reason.
Hmm… on one hand, not high enough margins on previous runs could be a good point… but I could swear I read you mentioning, when arguing about price of the same cloth couple years ago, that no matter the price, margins are the same? Soo kind of opposing arguments…
But on the other hand, can you name any other brand that figured doubling the price in 3 years is ok, without turning into a fashion brand and without resorting to seasonal 50-70% off discounts?
And well, if I’m being too strong… it’s just about after 3 years looking, finally getting ready to pay 200-300£ per trouser cloth finding out it’s now minimum 450£, was… unpleasant! For this price I’d rather order couple shirts from Luca and stick to my cream corduroys for spring/winter cream trousers.
The thing is, Martins, it’s easy to assume that brands, or rather makers, know everything and make precise, predictable decisions. But often they don’t. Margins change quickly when material costs change, or there are issues with batches, with processes, with suppliers. Doubling the price is certainly a lot, but it’s just useful to jump to assumptions based on very little information.
I’m sorry if it was a disappointment, but I don’t think it’s that hard to control that kind of response. Cheers
and actually fox responded also about price increase. to put it short, yes, material price has gone up, but batch one done with stock yarn, batch 2, still learning what and how, and now batch 3, hopefully “normal” price.
I think this is more to do with Fox itself rather than anything else. I remember a few years ago, classic Fox flannel used to cost £92 per metre (including VAT). I wanted to buy recently and now it costs £185 per metre. Again, doubling in price. They have been making flannel for over a 100 years, surely they know the ins and outs of its manufacture and couldn’t have been caught out?
Hardy Minnis has also increased prices but by about 20%, not by 200% like Fox.
It may well be about Fox as a company to an extent as well, but I wouldn’t assume that last point about manufacture. The same people haven’t been running it for 100 years, and it’s been a long time since they’d done a cream twill like that. I’m not saying that accounts for everything by any means, but the point about longevity isn’t really that relevant.
I was talking about the classic Fox flannel. Of course, the same people haven’t been involved all along, but the organisation is the same. Similar arguments for increasing the price of classic flannel can’t hold in the same way as for the cream colour.
The company is the same Omar, but it has been bought and sold in that time. There are many staff who have worked there a long time, but the longevity of the business doesn’t really indicate anything. (Despite what most marketing would have us believe.)
Had a pair made up by Ambrosi, Unfortunately they seem to be a bit see though (i.e. you can see the pocket lining from the outside and a bit of my boxer shorts). Have you had this problem ?
Thank you very much for your help. Kind regards,
Really? No I didn’t to be honest. I wonder if a darker pocket lining was used?
No it’s actually quite a bright white. Maybe the cut is a bit tight?
I have a sample of this Fox Twill and it’s a beautiful swatch.
More recently, I’ve acquired two beautiful cream cloth swatches from Dugdale’s Invincible Bunch which may be of interest to you.
The are :-
INV022-a 15oz Twill weave
INV026-a 17oz FINE Cavalry Twill
They have a very nice hand and finish.
I feel that that these are quite unique cloths for their weave and weight.
I’ll leave it with you Simon!
Thank you Lindsay, that’s useful
Do you know if there are any plans to have this re-weaved again in the future? I am looking to have a pair of cream/ecru trousers made; and find that this fabric is ideal.
If not, do you have any other fabrics you could potentially recommend?
No, sorry Daniel. I really recommend the Zegna cloth that Pommella sells though – have you seen that?