If shirts are the items in a man’s wardrobe where he wants most predictability and consistency, then trousers are undoubtedly second.
In that spirit, over the past year I have regularly commissioned odd trousers (‘odd’ as in separate, so not part of a suit) from Whitcomb & Shaftesbury, in their Classic Bespoke programme.
I have used them for several reasons:
- One, I liked the subtle style of the trouser than John cut for me, and so there is no fiddling around to do there (precise measurements in an upcoming post)
- Two, they are good value at £444 (ex-VAT) for Row-quality make, though partly made in India
- And three - more subtly but I would argue rather importantly - the service has been very consistent. We did one fitting with each pair, but barely had to bother, the results were so good each time
Here are the six pairs I had made, plus why I chose them, where they fitted into the wardrobe, and what I’ve thought of them since commissioning.
Design-wise, they were all: flat-fronted, with a mid-rise, slanted hip pockets, one rear (buttoned) pocket, and 5cm turn-ups.
1 Heavy grey wool
Holland & Sherry
986034, Overcoating bunch
This is the same cloth I had cream trousers made out of in 2016, and that used to be part of the H&S Pardessus bunch, until it was discontinued. Fortunately, a few colours are still available in the ‘Overcoatings’ bunch.
I would never have commissioned these had I not already tried the cream, given how heavy the cloth is. But the cream didn’t feel heavy, merely warm, which is lovely through the colder months. And it held a lovely shape.
The grey has been exactly the same, although the mid-grey colour makes them much more versatile. I've also found that, although they aren't milled like flannel, they have enough texture to make them just as able to bridge formal and informal combinations.
They were featured in this duffle coat shoot.
2 Khaki-green linen
Huddersfield Fine Worsteds
9255, Cotton and Linen bunch
Those grey-wool trousers were made at the tail end of the winter last year, and as a result didn’t get a lot of wear until the next winter.
I did rather better with the timing of this second pair, made in linen just before the start of summer 2017.
Although I can see the appeal of a lightweight linen for a jacket or suit (such as my tobacco-coloured Langa), I would always pick a heavier, Irish linen for trousers.
This is usually around 11oz, as here, and I find this weight (as with my Dege suit) holds its shape for longer and rumples more than creases.
I already had dark-green, cream and stone-coloured linen trousers, but had only found the last to be versatile across a range of odd jackets.
So I hoped this khaki-green would fill a gap there - and it did. It's great with navy and brown, and even dark green given how pale the colour is.
It has also proved to be particularly nice with a range of brown shoes, from dark chocolate all the way through to tan.
3 Green winter cotton
350g (12/13oz) cotton twill
C056-4, Linen e Cotoni bunch
I’ve long been a fan of green trousers in the sartorial wardrobe - because they can be very versatile, and because they don’t come up much in discussions of greys and tans.
I had found my khaki-coloured trousers from Cerrato very useful, and so decided to try something greener, here from Ariston.
They have been good, although not quite as nice as the previous pair. I think if I had the choice over again, I would go for that heavier cotton (15oz rather than 12/13).
A key risk of such cotton trousers is that they can look a little ‘old-manish’ and I think the heavier cotton is better in that regard.
I also used this pair of Whitcomb trousers to try some of the extra detailing they can offer through the India workshop - here some brown cotton piping on the pockets.
I’m not sure it worked. I don’t mind the colour - it doesn’t look flash, unlike say a yellow buttonhole - but it’s not as sophisticated as the brown-suede details you often find on Italian knitwear, which is what I had in mind.
4 Heavy Fox cotton
22oz cotton twill
These trousers came out of a conversation with Douglas at Fox Brothers about the heavy cotton they used to produce for the British Army, for puttees among other things.
This khaki cotton was a close cousin of that, and in some ways is similar to the vintage ecru cloth that they re-wove recently - a tough, steep twill with an indulgent amount of raw material in every yard. Unfortunately it is currently sold out.
I wore this pair regularly through the winter. The thickness of the cotton and the strong colour gives them a casual, military flavour which meant they were particularly good with leather jackets, such as my Chapal flight jacket.
I would suggest a paler tan or beige for a dressier cotton trouser, however.
I’ve found the colour to be slightly limiting as to jackets it can go with, often requiring something equally dark and strong on top.
As with the grey Holland & Sherry trousers, these had buttoned or Daks-style side adjustors rather than buckles, as buckles can struggle to function with heavier cloths.
In picking buttons for those side adjustors, I found I liked horn on paler colours (as with this pair), and mother-of-pearl on darker ones.
5 Blue-tinged green flannel
640055, Winter Flannel bunch
In the same vein as the green cottons above, these were an attempt to expand my range of green trousers for winter.
My other pair, in a Holland & Sherry flannel and made by Elia Caliendo, had been worn very frequently. I wanted something similar but perhaps a little darker - closer to charcoal, and smarter as a result.
These, in a Loro Piana cloth, have done well in that regard, although the colour is slightly odd. It has a slightly blue cast and I find it’s not great with jackets that have much colour in them (eg my Richard James herringbone) but fine with pale greys (such as my Steven Hitchcock).
I would also not normally pick trousers with cashmere in the mix - I missed that on the description. Ideally I’d also have something heavier than 11oz, but there are rarely many green flannels to choose from.
6 Vintage Fox navy serge
25oz wool twill
This is a vintage piece of cloth I bought from Fox Brothers (anyone interested in vintage Fox will need to come to our next pop-up shop, presuming Fox are there).
It's a pity that it - like the heavy cotton - is no longer available, because it’s a wonderful wool twill that makes up with a great drape and sharp crease.
I don't normally wear or recommend navy odd-trousers, as I don’t think they work well with odd jackets. They too easily look like one half of a suit, where grey usually doesn't.
But these will be largely worn with knitwear, under a casual jacket such as my M-65 field jacket.
Pictured at top and above, by the way, is Sian at Whitcomb & Shaftesbury, who was hired last year to help out John McCabe on the cutting. She cut the latter half of these trouser orders, and has done so extremely well.
Pictured below is Bob Bigg, the coatmaker who helped set up the India workshop where Whitcomb & Shaftesbury has these pieces made.
Photography: Jamie Ferguson @jkf_man
In the top image with navy trousers, I am also wearing: Edward Green Top-Drawer boots, and Anderson & Sheppard charcoal cashmere polo-collar knitwear.
That looks like a collection any man should take as a model. It’s nice to see a proof that a life without denim is possible.
Best regards from the Continent
A life without denim, now that’s an inspiration!
444 pounds for made in India, what a joke…
It really isn’t Alfred. Given how much of the work is done in the UK, including all the consultation, measurement, cutting and fitting. And the Row-level quality (indeed, in some ways such as fine finishing, even better) that takes many hours of work wherever you are.
It’s also plain lazy to generalise across a whole country for anything like quality or standards. That kind of attitude for any developing country, whether India, China or anywhere else, died a death years ago.
Just to add that a Savile Row / West End tailor charges £1000 and upward for a pair of trousers these days. With a finer cloth (from likes of Fox which is on expensive side) probably looking at £1250. That makes these half the usual price. In either case it’s a lot for most regular people. If it is a lot of money then you’re better off just going to m&s and paying £35 for a pair of trousers. Most people in London and most capitals dress in an anything goes manner now which means nobody will notice or care too much anyway. No big deal.
What is their suiting price inc VAT? I thought it was too distant from G.Browne but their £533 for a pair of trousers is close to double that of Browne’s (not commenting on if one is over priced or one underpriced, just the notable difference in cost ratios)
No, it’s always been a good deal more than GB. It’s £1540 starting price ex-VAT
Ok, so a 15% increase in the two years since the article you linked to and its stated price of £1,350
Yes, an increase by £190
Well it’s all relative but Luxire will make you a pair (in India) to a very high standard and fit (once they have nailed your pattern), using the best Yorkshire cloths, for less than half that price.
I know where I would go.
Thanks. I’m going to try Luxire, but from what I’ve seen on the finished results there isn’t really any comparison. I am also happy to pay a little for a permanent, London location where I can go and see cloths, have a personal relationship with the maker, and have fittings.
Trousers are my biggest issue when buying clothes, as I’m quite a hard fit. I agree having somewhere to see and touch cloth is very valuable, as is having personal fittings.
Whether Luxire is a great fit from the get go I think depends a lot on body type. I’ve seen great results from measuring existing trousers or taking body measurements at home, but I’ve also seen some pretty bad fits. The most consistent and best option seems to be to send Luxire a garment for replication/pattern making.
Having said that once you have a pattern nailed (trousers, shirts etc) they are amazing value for money.
Ironically, I was measured by them at a trunk show and the result was the worst I’ve ever experienced. However, after providing my own measurements taken from a well fitting pair of trousers, the results were a lot better. Plus, they offered to remake the original pair for me free of charge, just haven’t gotten around to sending them back yet.
Looking forward to reading your views on Luxire.
Stòffa and Saman Amel are still my goto for trousers though.
Compared to £365 for Anderson & Sheppard RTW I’d say it’s pretty decent value!
I’d like to get more odd trousers, given I work in a ‘business casual’ office. How do you care for them, particularly the cotton? Hand-wash at home?
I dry clean everything tailored like this, but as little as possible. Brush down and steam or press them, and avoid dry cleaning until you absolutely have to.
More casual trousers, like RTW chinos, are usually fine on a delicate machine wash
Got it. Thanks!
I’ve tried dry cleaning on two pairs of bespoke trousers, heavy cotton and moleskine, both cream white. It didn’t work. At all. Water cleaning was the final (and sole) solution. But, as predictable, thet stretched at the first washing. Not anymore the following.
@Simon – is there a particular steamer you recommend? I believe years ago you’d mentioned a Fridja. Thanks
That is the one I have and use, yes. However, I haven’t tried any others, and it isn’t the most expensive or best on the market I don’t think
Thanks on this nice overview!
In regard to buckle versus button side adjustors, latter ones failed for some summer cottons I have, as they were slipping through.
Now I am thinking of buttons to be used on a light cotton summer trousers. Would you recommend those?
Sorry Axel, are you saying the cloth slipped through the buckle? Look at the type of buckles you’re using, this shouldn’t be happening.
But yes, you can use buttons on summer cottons too. Some people dislike it because you have elastic at the back, and that elastic will need replacing after a few years, but they do look a little cleaner
I had this problem with a pair of summer gabardine trousers – the lightness of the fabric combined with the smoothness of the gabardine cause the adjustors to constantly slip. I took it back to the maker and they inserted a thicker interfacing inside the side adjustors, which fixed the issue.
How do they differ in terms of fit, style and make from your Italian trousers from Cerrato, Ambrosi et al.?
Do you have any preference for Daks or metal side adjusters? And why would the latter struggle with heavy twill but not with flannel?
See other comments for why I prefer one or the other for adjusting – and it’s just a question of whether the fabric is too thick to get through the buckle.
There is a lot that could be said about comparing these to the Neapolitans, but by far the biggest point is finishing. The latter will pick stitch down the outside leg, use various bearers inside, more tack stitches than you can count, and so on. Fit doesn’t vary much, and style not hugely either – though the Neapolitans are more used to different waistbands designs and so on.
Too bad you didn’t post this yesterday! I commissioned two pairs of grey odd trousers (H&S Crispaire – 337053 and 337053) but would have liked to have some inspiration from your collection when selecting cloths… There’s always next time.
How do the waist adjusters with the buttons work? I’d assume some sort of elastic in the waistband but that doesn’t seem like something you’d go for. Aesthetically it looks great but If elastic I’ve found it doesn’t work as well as side tabs.
It is elastic, yes. The elastic is hidden behind the rear of the trouser, and there is no bunching because it is pulled taught when worn.
I don’t mind it as visually there is no difference – I’d still prefer side tabs, but this is more practical with heavy or coarse cloths
In a previous post you commented that you generally prefer 18.5”/16” for formal trousers and 18”/15.5” for informal pairs. Have you stuck with those guidelines in this recent set of commissions?
I ask so as to better gauge the overall style and line of these trousers. In addition, would you consider taking more photos from various angles, to better showcase the cut and style?
I’m planning on post running through these points, so will leave this for then, if that’s ok.
This piece was more about the cloths than the trousers themselves (on the photos point) but yes I can plan to do that in the future
Glad to hear that W&S are still doing well by you. Based on your previous posts, I tried out their India service earlier this year, and walked away very happy.
To the doubters who sniff at a “Made in India” product, I suggest you try the product firsthand. I’m a longstanding Dege customer, and W&S India is TRUE Savile Row quality at a fraction of the price.
Simon – aren’t the much-lauded 100 Hands shirts made in India as well? Is Madras the new Naples for the iGents???
They are indeed, and I was actually there a week ago! Report coming on that on Monday.
Only problem with India is it’s massive – W&S and 100 Hands are on different ends of a very large country!
Konrad, very interesting. As a fellow (not so longstanding) Dege customer, how did you find W&S compared in terms of (a) cut (b) turnaround time?
James – I found the cut to be fairly similar, with the exception that the W&S make is perhaps a bit softer than Dege (more Poole than Andersons though). They were meaningfully better from a turnaround perspective – I am based in New York, and W&S visits ever 2 months, as opposed to 3-4 annual visits by Dege. Customer service is good w/ both firms.
KP – I used to visit Madras with some frequency years ago. I just can’t bring myself to say Chennai when Madras just rolls off the tongue so nicely!
Much glad to see my city being referred by the name given to the eponymous pattern. Brought a smile.
I saw that you don’t like cashmere and wool-blend trousers. I have my reasons for not liking this either, but what are yours? And why are wool and cashmere blends so common, either in flannel or in smooth suitings?
It makes minimal difference to the feel of the cloth, and undermines the body you want for drape and crease.
I fear its prominent because it sounds luxurious and is relatively cheap for a small percentage
Thanks for the response. That’s what I feared.
Superb blog post, Simon, many thanks for giving this overview and sharing your process. I’d be interested to know how you choose to wear any of these as an alternative to grey flannels, which from so much of your writing appear to be a ‘go to’ option.
The best thing though is that your investment in bespoke trousers helps me justify an increase in my clothes spend!
Simon do you have some principles that guide in matching the green trousers to jackets? Particularly if you use them with a sport jacket?
The dark greens? I tend to wear them with light-coloured jackets, which largely means grey. Sometimes tan (like my Richard James herringbone)
What about navy jackets or coats (for example a duffle coat)?
I’d generally avoid it
At a much lower price level, I ‘experimented’ with a ‘winter weight’ M&S trouser from their Sartorial range in a very similar shade. They’re nice enough, but I have indeed struggled to pair them. I was in ‘capsule mode’ last winter and thus they didn’t feature; they were on the edge of going into the charity shop, but I think I will make an effort this winter to get some wears out of them.
In practice, this means build a small capsule wardrobe around them – which I think means orange-tan duffel (JW/Gloverall), Cashmere mono POW (Brioni) jacket (It was 2nd hand with trousers for £50, but the trousers are what you might expect), Charcoal Rollneck, White shirt, very pale green denim shirt (advertised as white fwiw), black brogues (none of my brown shoes are quite right, for whatever reason).
All sounds rather fun, but will be a bit of an effort as I say. I think navy trousers are a wee bit underrated; most people don’t think about whether you are wearing half a suit!
Interesting that you chose to have only one back pocket. Do your Italian trousers have two? And is there a difference in formality?
Looking at the pictures of the trousers hanging in a row I could swear the turn ups look different in length.
More pockets is probably less formal, but it’s marginal. No, all of mine have a single, buttoned pocket on the rear right
Any particular reason for that, as it’s marginal? Wouldn’t symmetry be more pleasing?
In general with tailoring you want as clean a look as possible. So you don’t want too many pockets etc cluttering things up. But having no pockets can also look a little exposed, and it’s practical to have one.
Symmetry doesn’t matter that much – you could have a coin pocket on the trousers or ticket pocket on the jacket, for example, on only one side
Green is typically difficult to work with unless for blue collar workwear or for accessorizing. Interesting you spent so much money on essentially an experiment.
Thanks G, but that’s not my experience. I have had and worn green flannel trousers, green linen trousers, green sports jackets, and even green suits over the years, and loved all of them. There are plenty of images around the site if you’re not a long term reader and want to see examples.
It’s always a matter of personal taste of course, but for me green is a country clothing colour, think cords, moleskins etc, and absolutely not something I would wear in anything more formal.
If you do see greens in tailored outfits, it may be a Ryder cup team or a driver from Arriva trains.
Love articles such as these. Out of interest why do you commission with turn-ups – most of my informal (unmatched) trousers are cut without, beyond personal preference what are the practical advatages? On the blue serge trousers (they look great) what will you be matching them with beyond the M65… your green overcoat? Lastly, as with another comment (the importance of cloth and colour not-withstanding) more images showing the cut please. Why? Because images of well cut trousers are too few (anywhere, not just here) and it helps to educate the eye and the sensibilities. Thank you.
Although views on them have varied over the years, these days turn-ups are probably a little more casual than plain bottoms, which is one reason I like them for trousers like these. They are also a nice subtle style point, though that’s more personal and subjective.
The blue serge would go with lots of types of outerwear, yes. Grey, green or brown coats, with knitwear underneath.
And noted on the cut, thanks.
Re. turn-ups, i’ve recently bought a pair of grey flannels, to be worn with brown brogues. I can’t make my mind up whether to have the them finished with plain bottoms or with turn-ups. Given your comments above, do you think a plain bottom would look too formal with this trouser / shoes combination, or is it ultimately just a subjective choice?
Thank you, Peter.
Both would look absolutely fine. It’s very personal – nice to be aware that cuffs are a little more casual, and a little.more fashionable, but that’s about it
It’s a relief for me to learn from Simon that the cuffed/plain bottoms choice is personal . I almost always wore, and still wear, cuffed pants. I have very few pants with plain bottoms: four RTW, and the ones, by A. Caraceni, that belong to my tuxedo (very seldom worn in the last thirty or so years), my morning coat (which I have worn only at a few formal weddings in the past) and a gray suit (that I wore on my own not-so-formal wedding 48 years ago – after all, it was the seventies!) and still wear whenever I attend a ceremony and for the only reason that, being a ceremony, more formal pants are, or should be, required (i.e. plain bottoms and oxford shoes). Since we leave in a much less formal world, and I am not a billionaire neither a royal or an Instagram celebrity and style guru, my question for you, Simon, is: could I wear for these contemporary ceremonies a different gray suit (which, by the way, I like more) with cuffed pants instead and just derby shoes? Thank you.
It’s hard to say much about appropriateness at these events, given there is little strict code at most, and certainly little that is universal today. I’d only say that I think the vast majority of people wouldn’t notice if you were wearing cuffs or not, but also that if in any doubt I would personally always err on the safer and more formal side.
I’d assume information regarding the workshop in India is confidential. The reason I ask is I am working in India and if a visit is possible, would be very interested. I’m located in the South.
Not necessarily, no, but it’s not really my place to say whether you’d be able to visit. Perhaps ask Whitcomb yourself
In the last year I have had an overcoat and a single breasted flannel suit made at W & S, both cut by Sian and I can attest to the excellent quality and friendly service offered by this wonderful establishment.
I like your trousers Simon.I usually purchase Cordings chinos and cotton pants in the summer.They are well made and are tremendous value compared to most brands.
On a shirt note I cannot recall you purchasing any Frank Foster shirts.I think a barrel cuff with a high collar would suit you down to the ground.Sir Roger Moore’s high collar Foster shirts always looked fantastic.Let’s support British brands whenever we can …!
Thanks Harry. I haven’t used Frank, no, but have used others like Sean O’Flynn, Budd, T&A. Personally I don’t like those styles as much, but I am having something new made at Budd for some variation
I know of late you have been tending towards more subtle and subdued colours, and these trousers are that way, and I see the attraction. But I was wondering if you might be missing a trick, by not using trousers as a inexpensive way to play and experiment with some slightly more adventurous colours. I had some duck egg blue and burnt orange trousers made up, which I like to throw in to the mix occasionally to spice things up. Your thoughts?
Interesting point Fred. As you say I generally dislike strong colours, largely because I aim for something that is well-dressed and fitted, but so understated as to pass almost unnoticed. Not to have any part of your outfit, or even aspect of it, that you can obviously point to.
Having said that, it might be nice in summer – particularly a bright blue like my A&S jacket.
Simon, how useful do you find dark brown as a trouser colour? I’m thinking of crispaire as the fabric.
It’s tricky – see this post for thoughts. (In comments as well)
Do you plan on commissioning trousers from Stoffa?
Not at the moment, no. I am trying some from Saman Amel though, which I have a fitting for tomorrow.
Can I ? I’ve noticed you adopted a metal hook instead of hole and button, for the waistband. This is peculiar of many famous taylors as Caraceni, Cifonelli, A&S, but – in itself- it is not sartorial at all. I’ve seen few stilished fellows taylor using the buttonhole cutted only into the inner part of the waistband end, towards the button, invisible outside. Personally, I find it much more adequate than industrial metal hooks on an entirely sartorial work. But is just an opinion.
I’m surprised that burgundy never features in your odd trousers! I can understand people’s aversion to red and that a man’s legs are hardly the place he wishes to draw attention to!
Could it be that they are difficult to pair with dark brown shoes and that only black or burgundy shoes really work with them?
Yes, I think so. I think it might also be difficult with jacket combinations? I’m thinking greys, and maybe navy, but not sure what else
Excellent suggestions regarding the weight of the cloths and the corresponding choice of side adjusters (buttons or buckles). I will certainly pass them to my tailor here in Chicago for my next trousers. I have two questions: do you use the same buttons of natural materials for the fly? and would you consider using a button to secure the trousers instead of a hook? Thank you.
I always a zip, not buttons. I’m tempted to use the line, ‘If it was good enough for the Duke of Windsor, it’s good enough for me.’
And yes, some of my trousers use a button instead of hook, but I don’t mind that much either way.
Only trouble with a button closing is that it is visible, whereas hook and bar is not, thus looking a touch cleaner.
I’ve only ever been able to get a burgundy trouser to work well with tweed coats, but this gives you all the fun of cloths that were picked up in a recent thread.
And chestnut or darker on the feet, either leather or suede, but never black with burgundy.
I recently had a pair of trousers altered, and i found the fit was slim, with no long clean line, rather slim (though not tight). As a younger man, should i go for a slimmer look, or a wider leg with less creasing.
It obviously depends on what you consider slim or wide, but for a smart trouser you really should have a clean line. Have them wider
I have recently had a bespoke suit (my first!) made, and would like some advice. I originally wanted belt loops on the pants, but decided to change to side adjusters (after reading some of your posts) at the time time of my first fitting, which was with a suit made from trial cloth. At the second fitting, the belt loops were still there, so I reiterated the change to my tailor. One week after the second fitting, I now have the finished suit, still without side adjusters. I have reached out to my tailor about this, and he said he can change the pants, but that there may be some residiual scarring from removing the belt loops. What would you recommend?
Ask him to remove them and see what the marking is like. If it’s visible, he should remake the trousers, as it was his fault not to make the change you asked for between the first and second fitting
You mentioned that you did one fitting. Could you please clarify whether it was one fitting after initial measurements were taken or they just took the measurements and no further adjustments were required.
To be clear, for the first pair of trousers we ever made, there were two fittings – measurements, then one fitting, then another, then received them finished.
For all subsequent pairs, we already have the measurements, so I pick a cloth and then have a fitting in the trousers almost finished, and then they are finished off. This is pretty standard practice across bespoke – you would rarely have trousers made without any fitting, and certainly not a first pair.
Thank you, Simon. I am aware of this procedure but since I am not lucky enough to live in London I was hoping to get all done within one visit 🙂
Ah, I see. I’d avoid that with bespoke to be honest, otherwise you miss out on a big part of the benefit
Same issue here, I don’t live near a bespoke tailor and trunk shows are almost non-existent. I can try to travel to a bespoke tailor like london, Italy etc occasionally, just probably not too often. Should I avoid having a bespoke trousers like this entirely? Are my options for a well made & fitted trousers limited to RTW brands like drakes, anglo, A&S (after seeing your review)? What do you think?
Yes, I think so. Altered RTW or, if there are any shops you have access to or can travel to, then good MTM.
A nice thing about MTM is, if you create a fit you like, then re-ordering after that could be just online or by phone.
Thanks for the advice. I’m assuming some of your preferred RTW brands are drakes, anglo and A&S. Any preferred MTM brands?
Thank you for the advice. I know you don’t cover a lot of MTM brands. But do you have any preferred MTM brands? And what do you look for when you are choosing between MTM brands?
I have tried a few, and there are points in the articles on what I like and look for:
– P Johnson
– Saman Amel
What is the bottom width please
The cut of the trouser looks great. What is the width of the leg opening at the cuff? The width looks good paired with the 5cm turn-ups. Also, what are the benefits of having trousers made bespoke rather than MTM? I understand the benefits of having a jacket made bespoke due to its 3-d nature, but does that apply to trousers? It seems to me that the lack of that 3-d aspect in trousers does not necessitate going bespoke. Thanks.
I’ll go into all the proportions on a separate post if that’s ok, as mentioned.
You’re absolutely right though, there is less benefit in bespoke for trousers than for jackets. Often the make is better – the handwork on the waistband, pick stitching etc – but there’s no reason you can’t have that on MTM as well, and it’s not a functional addition.
The biggest downside with MTM is just that the service itself varies so much – in terms of what the brand can change, and in how good the staff are at changing those things. I’d be confident a high-street MTM for trousers would be nowhere near this level of fit, but than Saman Amel, for example, would be.
On a related point to this, would it be fair to say that if one were to use a much inexpensive tailor (~200 pounds for trousers), but still get a bespoke piece with a couple of fittings, the major disadvantage would be in aesthetic details and opportunity to appreciate the craft?
I’d also worry about the quality level generally at a price like that. Decent cloth alone would be almost half of it.
As with shirts, the quality details with trousers at a basic level are large about precision and strength. I’d worry that these might sacrifice something there as well.
Thanks, I mis-wrote earlier–it’s about 200 GBP without cloth; 275 GBP with cloth.
Nonetheless, a very helpful response to watch out for precision and strength (presumably functional handsewing and quality materials?).
Yes, though quality materials is not always easy to identify, and there isn’t much functional hand sewing on trousers – more on shirts
As I’m a novice in this sartorial world, thank you for such a useful article. Apropos of this article and the previous one regarding your seasonal cloths of choice I’d like to ask questions relating to how you go about choosing a fabric:
1. Do you choose the tailor first for a particular item of clothing and then be guided by their suggestion for fabric/fabric supplier?
2. Or do you find the cloth first and then work out what to do with it?
3. How do you decide whether, say, a linen from H&S is better than one from Cacciopoli?
Many thanks and best wishes.
The answer to 1 and 2 is, somewhere in between. I would have an idea of what material and colour of suit I want before going to a tailor. When I’m there, their guidance is certain helpful, but it’s also driven by how the colour and pattern looks to me in the light etc, and how it feels. See our intro to selecting cloth here for more.
In that article you will also see that I generally say there is little difference in the quality between different bunches – and you should go on the more important things of colour, weight, feel etc. Particularly as most of these bunches aren’t from mills that actually produce themselves – they’re just sellers and designers. More details on that here.
Re. odd trousers: do you know who makes Drakes’ spring-summer 2018 trousers? Rota, perhaps? I’ve recently bought a couple and I am very happy with their quality. Thank you.
I would assume Rota, yes
Many thanks again Simon.
Hi Simon. Thank you for the very informative article. Would you mind sharing what is the rise of these trousers to have a sense of proportions? Front and back?
I love that Sian is wearing a pleated front shirt, loose and open, and wide suspenders. Menswear, but she made it her own.
Thank you for this article, Simon!
Your odd trousers presented here all come with cuffs. Is there a kind of “ruling taste”, like it looks better with taller folks than with shorter ones? In my tailor’s opinion cuffs are ok for people taller than 185 cm.
Yes, it does tend to suit taller men just because it breaks up the leg. But that’s only one factor and I wouldn’t allow it to rule them out. If you like the style you can go for them still, just be aware of that effect.
I’ve noticed, or maybe haven’t noticed, that you do not generally comment on whether your trousers are lined, half-lined, or unlined. What is your “rule-of-thumb” in this regards?
Nearly always half lined
What is your reason for not having them fully lined?
Do you fully line heavier-weight trousers to shield yourself from the cold?
I’ve tried fully lined trousers and find them a little annoying and slippery. They also become a little less about the material of the trouser itself. And I’d just have heavier trousers for the cold if I needed it. Plus wool (always over the calf) socks
Simon, what are some recommendations you have for creme trousers in wool for 3 season? I am looking for something similar to the calvary twill ones you had from FOX, but those are way too hot for Hong Kong
It depends on the look you want Ivan. There are certainly lighter weight cavalry twills, cream flannels that are lighter (more casual look perhaps) and cream gabardine for a much smarter look. I don’t have any cloth numbers I can recommend off the top of my head though I’m afraid
I own several pairs of trousers (followed your advice and love the collection—cream, brown moleskin, indigo jeans, etc.). But I don’t own grey, yet. I know you’ve praised flannel (Fox Flannel is especially wonderful), but I’m looking for something more year-round wear for my first purchase, and ideally something that has a bit of resilience. I know worsted wool will feel a bit too crisp for business casual wear (almost as though it’s incomplete without the corresponding jacket.
I’m looking for something for wearing with odd jackets. Came across this, for example, on Drop93. Thoughts? https://drop93.com/products/copy-of-ring-jacket-s166-grey-wool-core-trousers
This looks like a nice worsted wool – as long as it has some texture, which it looks like this does, then it won’t look like half of a suit
Would high rise trousers sit on or above the navel? Also, do the mid-rise trousers above sit just on or above the hip bone?
High rise pretty much on the navel – or more importantly, above the hip bone. The mid-rise ones are on the hip bone
Hey Simon – I’ve got a pair of charcoal flannel trousers I wear with knitwear lots, but sometimes struggle to find the right sport jacket for. Any tips?
Navy would be the classic, though not much contrast with the trouser. Paler colours would be nice, like a lighter yellow or green tweed, or an oatmeal cashmere maybe
Great, thanks Simon. I was looking at the below image as a point of reference for the charcoal/navy duo – do you think having metal/brass buttons on the jacket make it easier to combine with a not-totally-contrasting trouser?
Yes, that always helps
Long time follower, first time poster.
Like many others I have had a lot of problems with trousers. Off the peg jackets tend to fit me really well with only minor adjustments usually to the sleeve length but I really struggle with trousers. I have a 32″ waist (5″10″ height) but a slight belly which means most of my trousers after a short walk fall down to my hips and looks saggy. I am endlessly pulling them up. One solution was to go tighter on the waist band but this just makes them uncomfortable. I can use belts but that cause’s bunching of the waist band. Braces aren’t an option either as I often wear my odd trousers without a jacket. Someone recommended pleats might be a solution but I’m just not sure. I have never bought a bespoke pair though but am wondering if there is some magical solution to this problem that bespoke would fix?
Do you have any advise that could help? Many Thanks
PS. I have been considering going to A&S or W&S to get a couple of pairs. Do you have a preference of one over the other?
If you haven’t tried bespoke before, I’d go to W&S as you’ll be paying less and it’s a nice entry point given there’s no guarantee bespoke will solve the problem. But if you tell them the problem, and show them, and talk through the options, then you should know from the resulting pair whether that is the right way to go. And they will certainly fit better than any RTW
Thanks for the advise. Will give W&S a go. Now just need to decide material and colour. Probably charcoal, cream, navy in that order. Would like all three but will see how the first one fits before pulling the trigger on the others.
On the green ones – what is the colour of the mother of pearl buttons and more in general what colour would go well with green fabric?
It’s a grey pearl and I think that works nicest – still with the iridescence but not as shiny as a white
Hello, I’d have a few questions concerning winter trousers and linings. I am in the process of ordering some flannel and corduroy trousers for winter. (Flannel, Twill from Dugdale in 14oz and corduroy from luxire in 15-16oz). I am now a bit confused what to choose for lining and if I should go for lining at all. Of course lining always means warmer but I am unsure if a 14oz flannel/15oz corduroy fabric itself will be warm enough for autumn/winter.
Perhabs you could give me a quick Reply on your opinion with my choice of fabric and if lined, what lining I should go with. I’d appreciate your advice and opinion.
Nice to hear from you.
I wouldn’t pick lining in order to be warmer. Lining helps make the trousers easier to get on and off, and prevents pulling on the fabric (particularly useful with flannel). It’s usually seen as a downside that it can make the trouser warmer.
If you’re unsure, I would go with a half lining on both trousers. This is pretty standard and will mean they wear better in that way.
Thank you for your quick reply. In this case I’ll go with half lining until the knee.
One more thing concerning fabric weight and side adjusters. From what fabric weight onwards would you stay away from metal size adjusters on the waistband?
I’d go with the tailor or maker’s advice, as it depends on thickness and weave as well as weight. As long as they say the side adjustors will still function, then go with them
Hi Simon, im in the hunt for a stone colored linen trousers or biscuit colored linen trousers. Are there any particular fabric brands/makers you would reccommend for the stone or biscuit colored linen trousers. What fabric maker was your stone linen trousers from? Would mid green be a versatile linen color colour?
Have a look at our Guide to Linen bunches… That runs through them all
Are the trousers featuring side straps half an inch higher in the rise than the daks ones? I remember you said having the side straps on the seam meant the rise would be a bit higher, that’s why.
On a related note, why don’t you systematically require those to be on the seam, if it’s a better solution for you? On several recent pairs, they’re positioned on the waistband. Any reason for going with that in some cases?
Last question: how many pairs of chinos do you own and in which colors?
Good point. No, the Daks adjustors are on the waistband, because position is less of an issue with elastic.
When I don’t have them on the seam, it’s usually because the rise is a little from that maker higher anyway.
For chinos (washed cottons, so not bespoke) I have five, all classic fit from Incotex: navy, taupe, green, stone, taupe cord
Very useful post Simon. I have a question. I am always a huge fan of linen, but I can hardly find a linen fabric of great dark green color for trousers. If it happens that you have a great green linen trousers, would you please let me know the maker and the code of that fabric?
Sure Ben. It’s always been a struggle for me too. I have an old RTW pair from Paul Stuart that are the best green I’ve found
Thanks so much Simon. How about any dark green linen fabric for bespoke trousers? I like high waisted and pleated trousers. So I mostly go for bespoke.
Sorry, I haven’t seen anything
what do you think of a dark green wool pant (something like fresco)? highly breathable. Or you still prefer the texture of cotton or linen for green trousers?
Do you have any recommendations for fabric books that have brushed cotton?
For trousers you mean? So soft cottons like moleskins and others? I’d suggest Brisbane Moss bunches, and some of the Holland & Sherry range
Thank you for the helpful recommendations!
Awesome! Thank you the helpful recommendations. Yeah I think I’m looking for something like moleskins. I also remember seeing some fantastic green winter cotton trousers in the post on Alan See’s style.
I find matching my odd trousers with appropriate sports coat to be challenging from a texture/finish perspective. What do you match flannel trousers with? Tweeds (herringbone or otherwise)?
Lots of things, just not the worsted wool suits are made of. So tweed, cashmere, hopsack, lots of other woollens. Basically anything that has enough texture to be a sports jacket in the first place, and then is different enough from the trousers in colour, texture or pattern. A little pattern in the jacket, like a herringbone or a check, helps
As regards turn-ups, do they match well with all styles of semi-formal trousers? For example, would you choose them for cotton, linen, or wool-cotton trousers (not chinos/jeans)?
Yes I’d have turn-ups on all those less formal trousers
Simon, I am 6.2” tall, recently I bought myself RTW Rota Sartorial sand cotton twill trousers (19.5cm bottom) and now I am wondering what in your opinion would be they best turn up size 3cm/4cm/5cm? Ps. I would wear them mainly with brown suede penny loafers and navy blazer. Many thanks in advance
Well, I would reconnect 5cm even if you were shorter, so at that height is definitely go for it
Hey Simon, I know you’re a fan on green trousers. I’m personally not convinced as yet but am thinking of trying them out. I’m wondering how useful would a pair of green wool trousers be in a smart casual work setting? I’m asking in the context of humid Singapore where we often just wear shirt and trouser without jackets. Also what color socks would you wear with green trousers and brown shoes?
Hey Shem. I think they would be very useful for smart/casual. It adds a little interest to the outfit if you’re not wearing a jacket, avoiding being the same colours as everyone else.
If you’ve never had green trousers before, aim for darker and more muted colours as much as possible. With brown shoes, I’d wear green socks, but it’s not always easy to find shades of green sock that go well with the particular trouser colour. In that case, go with brown.
Hi Simon….I’m about to commision some cavalry twill trousers from Luxire; if I was looking for a versatile cloth weight that work in all but the warmest summer or coldest winter days would 11/12oz be a good weight and secondly would you suggest they be half lined? I couldn’t tell whether any of your Whitcomb or other trousers are lined? Thanks
Yes, 11/12 ounce is a good weight, and yes have them half lined
When considering odd trousers (in my case: brown cords, beige/stone cotton, cream linen), is there a pair for which cuffed hems would be more advised/appropriate? Do you have a general rule of thumb as for height? Thanks
Cuffs could work for all of these. Generally they’re considered more casual, though it’s a minor point. I’d go more on just whether you like them or not.
Same with height. Some will say go with a smaller cuff if you’re shorter, but I’d always have at least 4.5cm. Personally I have 5cm
Interesting how you didn’t include any trousers with pleats. My impression is trousers with pleats tend to have fuller (less slim) cut and therefore more suitable for heavier body types. I have a slim figure with narrow hips, would you think it’s best to avoid pleated trousers? Any examples of pleated trousers that maintain a nice and slim silhouette?
Yes, pleats can help that kind of figure, though it does also depend on other body aspects (eg they rarely work on me because I have big seat and thighs, relative to my waist).
In your case, either pleats or flat front could work probably. Pick based on style. Pleats have a bit more character, but can also look a little old-fashioned.
I am thinking of ordering a pair of herringbone grey donegal tweed trousers (probably WS) which I would wear with navy knitwear and a Barbour, what do you think? Or would it look too much as if it was part of a suit and I’d simply forgotten the jacket?
I think there’s definitely a risk of that Nick, and it’s a good sign you’re already considering that.
However, I have a pair from Whitcomb and they’ve worked well. The only issue is they only really work with knitwear. They look too out of place with a jacket. So be aware their use might be a little limited.
Looking at ordering 4-5 pair of trousers for fall/winter. I work in a professional consulting firm, but I get by most of the year with a tweed sports coat in winter and linen/silk/wool in summer, flannels/cords in winter/ fresco/cotton in summer, but have been wanting to experience with colours and maybe new materials.
On the materials front, I was thinking covert cloth, would you say that these are wearable in professional settings? As for colours, any recommendations? I wouldn’t mind steering away from grey and navy!
As for flannels, I was thinking something similar to your green flannels from Fox, but was also thinking of something like cream/oatmeal, something in those colours. Again is that acceptable?
Keep you the great work with the blog, you have a great pen, I enjoy reading you
Thanks Simon. Have you read our other posts on trousers for jackets? Try a search. I can send some links if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
Generally I’d say covert is nice yes, as is cavalry twill. Try the material first in a safe colour like charcoal, and then look at dark greens and dark browns
Hi Simon…..I had a chat with the guys at Whitcomb last week about ordering some trousers and it was suggested that I wouldn’t need anything heavier than 11oz for the English climate, which I found a little strange given some of your orders are between the 22-27oz range. Any thoughts on the suitability of those heavier cloths in England or are you finding you are not wearing them here? Thanks Colin
Hi Colin. They’re right that most of the time in the UK, you don’t need more than that. You could make an argument that 13-15oz would be better suited to the winter, but that’s about it.
The reason I get heavier cloths is not because I need them for the weather, but because I like the way they perform and feel. They hang really well, they soften really nicely, and they’re often more robust. Some of the time a lighter weight would be more practical even, but I’m used to wearing them and those other things are important to me.
If you haven’t had much made before, do start with 11oz or 13oz. Experiment with something heavier further down the line.
I’ve noticed you and the subjects of your articles wearing pleated trousers more frequently in recent postings. Are pleated pants gradually replacing flat-fronts? Are flat-fronts out of fashion again, or does “fashion” (current trends) take a back seat to “style” (how something is worn from a personal perspective) in this regards? I would hate to think that I have to start replacing a major component of my wardrobe.
Pleats arent really a significant fashion, no. You’re not going to look out of place with them – more the other way round if anything. Most men don’t wear pleated trousers.
But yes, I’d say it’s mostly personal style
What’s your view as to cuffed trousers versus uncuffed trousers? Stylistically, what’s the advantage of one over the other? I’ve always felt that uncuffed made my legs look longer (a good thing for me since my legs are on the short side).
Cuffed trousers look a little more casual, without cuffs a little smarter. And yes, cuffs certainly shorten the legs a little bit, but I know short guys that also wear cuffs a lot – it depends how much that shortening matters to you.
Perhaps more importantly, it’s also a fashion thing a little. Cuffs look modern and contemporary at the moment, but they might not in a few years. Importantly, you can take them off though, while it’s hard to put them on.
Are cuffs more appropriate to pleated pants, or are pleated pants equally fine without (and is the converse true of flat-fronts)?
No correlation between the two, really
Simon on the daks adjustor trousers you had made, I wondered if they had the elastic running though between the tabs so the whole thing tightens up as you button them? If trousers have this system on them, are they difficult to adjust later on in terms of taking in or out in the waist?
They do, yes, and good point it does.make adjustments a little more complicated
On picture #4 showing your blue trousers and shoes, do you have both daks adjusters on those pants and an extended clasp in the front?
Do you find that an extended clasp and belt loops look too busy/stylized?
Yes, and no I think it’s fine with belt loops (though I don’t use them much myself)
Hi Simon. Are the cuffs of the grey pants on the far right of the third image (picturing five pants hanging) 1.75 inch tall (4.5 cms.)? The cuffs of the other four pants seem to be a bit taller, I assume 2 inches (5 cms.), which is the preferred high by many contemporary tailors and young stylish gentlemen as yourself. Some traditional tailors still favor the 1.75 inches high (as I still do).Thank you and enjoy the rest of this Sunday.
No, they’re al 5cm
Now with daks adjusters– stylistically do you prefer a slightly extended waistband ending in a point with a button? Or having an extended waistband ending in a point with a hook? Or just no extended waistband with daks?
I don’t think it makes a big difference to the front closure whether you have Daks or side adjustors personally. I’d have my standard of an extended waistband with squared end and hook
I have been looking for some good quality pair of trousers from synthetic materials as I do not like the elastane added to every RTW trousers in today’s leading brands if not 99%. I am firm believer in 100 percent cotton trousers or whether its wool/linen/denim. I am now contemplating on going down the MTM route as its becoming an arduous task in London to find nice cotton trousers that are pure material and can experience the true characteristics of the material over time after wearing. Please could you recommend some brands that I could potentially pursue whether MTM or RTW. I have tried placed like Drakes and anglo Italian but their RTW blocks are high waist which doesn’t suit my body type. my preference is mid waist rise and slim cut. I think you should collaborate with a few Italian brands to create staple trousers to have in a man’s wardrobe in classic colours beige and navy to feature on your website for consumer to buy.
Rupesh, have you tried Anderson & Sheppard? Also Rota, through their site or through others?
It’s also worth maybe reading some thoughts of others on this post if you haven’t already.
Hi Simon,any suggestions for summer casual trousers?
Linen is an option but I tend to wear linen shirts, and cotton sometimes makes an old man look.
Thanks very much.
Hey. Have you looked at the Summer Trousers section of our Guide to Cloth? Maybe have a read of that and leave questions there if there’s anything I haven’t addressed?
Hi Simon. I am looking to buy some wool fabric for my trousers in London. Do you have any recommendation ?
London doesn’t have many places to buy cloth really Dylan. You’ll find a bigger selection at most tailors than you will from visiting someone like Holland & Sherry on Savile Row.
In general, would you recommend having flannel trousers lined, or unlined?
Half lined (which is what most tailors mean when they say lined – very few people would have them fully lined)
I’ve referred back to this post several times for trouser inspiration, though I personally have a very hard time finding the right fit in trousers. (In the world of RTW trousers, my thighs are apparently disproportionately larger than my waist, and sizing up to accommodate my thighs usually means having a waist that’s too large. Even a good tailor has trouble taking the waist in to make it look right.)
Would you comment on what’s a reasonable expectation for range of motion in a pair of dress trousers? For instance, should you expect to be able to squat down completely in them without fear of ripping the back seam? Or should you expect that your range of motion will be a bit more restricted? I recognize that this is partially a matter of preference and of keeping in mind what you’re going to be doing in the trousers. But I’m curious about the various tolerances in fit that one might expect between, say, dress trousers, chinos, and denim.
I think you should be able to squat down in them completely, yes. Though you might pull the bottom halves up slightly to avoid stretching the knees too much
Hi Simon, I am trying to order a pair of summer linen trouser. Which shade would you prefer between the two listed below?
The second one, the cream, is immediately more appealing, but I think you might find you’ll get more use out of the first, more biscuity colour. It’s less showy, and less formal, and yet would still go with most things.
Thanks Simon! I noticed you consider the cream linen trouser on the formal spectrum, which i assume you prefer to pair it with formal dress shirts. I do wonder how well it will go with casual shirts like indigo linen / denim? If you want to dress down the cream linen, is there a certain point that you will consider the pairing would be too casual? Cheers.
Yes, probably. Linen can still look really nice with a denim shirt, but you’re playing with contrast in the looks and materials there
I would like to know when do you wear your linen trousers and when shorts in summer?
In general, when do you wear odd trousers without a jacket and when more casual pants like chinos or jeans?
Mostly the choice is formality – eg I only wear shorts at the weekend.
And the same on odd trousers. Those are work clothes for me, and I wear them during the week.
What is your reason for having a single rear pocket on a pair of trousers?
This is discussed a little here Rupesh
The grey trousers in the overcoatings bunch do seem very heavy. I just wondered whether you wore them much over the two subsequent winters – one being quite cold whilst the other was very mild – and would buy them again with hindsight?
I did wear them, yes, but I’d probably recommend heavy flannels now instead. These are still nice, but a little but spongy
Simon for summer cream trousers, do you prefer to have them in linen or cotton? Thanks.
It depends. Cotton will be more casual, linen smarter generally. Perhaps have a look also at the Summer Trousers chapter of the Guide to Cloth
I’ve just received my first suit from Whitcomb and they’ve done a lovely job. I am now looking to commission a basic ‘capsule’ set of odd trousers—probably four pairs.
I really am at that starting point of developing my wardrobe, and excepting a perfectly decent pair of charcoal flannel trousers, will be looking to replace the trousers I already have as opposed to adding extra pairs, so starting from scratch, in other words.
I wonder what you might suggest as a solid ‘starting four’ to cover most of the year. I live in Oxford, and am rather conservative in temperament when it comes to clothes.
I am currently thinking of commissioning the following:
Darker grey flannels with a hint of green or brown
Stone or khaki Irish linen (for summer)
… and am rather stuck on a fourth pair. Perhaps something spring-y or not so wintry as flannel.
Anyway, I would really appreciate your advice before taking the plunge. Ordering four at a time is a little daunting as the choice of cloth is so immense.
I have another question about a first sports jacket commission but this might not be the place.
I’d suggest ordering no more than two at a time, just to make sure you’re happy with all style, cut decisions etc?
But I think a great starting set would be:
– Mid-grey flannel, as you say
– Either dark green or dark brown flannel
– Linen for summer, sure, though that could be delayed a few months I guess
– For the fourth, perhaps a beige cotton, unless that’s too casual, or a corduroy?
Many thanks, Simon. I appreciate your taking the time to comment so widely and expeditiously. Beige cotton does seem a little too casual for me, but corduroy is a brilliant idea! I would naturally lean to a warmer dark brown here, but perhaps another colour might get more wear. What do you think?
As to commissioning more than two pairs at once, I take your point. However, I am quite sure on the style points (buckle side adjusters, flat front, slanted pockets, turn-ups, one pocket in the rear, etc.). Would you still recommend going slow here with two at a time?
A final question which is relevant to me though not to this thread, so please feel free to ignore it: I want to commission a first sport jacket pretty soonish. I work and teach at Oxford, where the dress code dictates that anything too sleek or smart looks out of place except at dinner (despite the famous advice given Charles Ryder in Brideshead). So I think navy might be out. Taking that into account, do you think a rough tweed with some depth to it or a slightly slicker herringbone would be better for a first? Or something else entirely? Many thanks again.
Yes, I think a dark brown cord would be good, or dark olive. Maybe the opposite of the flannels you go with?
And yes, I’d still recommend just two at a time.
On jackets, I’d go for a grey herringbone tweed like the jacket of my Anthology suit, or a dark brown tweed/wool. The Wardrobe Building section of the site (under Style) is useful on all these things if you haven’t looked there already
Thanks so much once again. Hopefully other readers will get something out of your answers to my questions too. Cheers!
The price seems very reasonable Simon inspite of some of the negative comments. From the makers point of view trousers are great until they go wrong!! Calculate one third of the price of a two piece suit for the cost of your trousers. From a provisional tailor that probably represents £900 – it’s a lot of money but if he makes a mistake involving comprehensive alterations he is making less money than if he were flipping hamburgers.
I really like grey trousers and I do have a lot of flannel / high twist trousers in grey. However, I think these are rather formal, definitely not casual at least. Given that I do have a lot of navy tops, I do want something more casual in grey for weekends year round (that i can wear to casual pubs) but I find that grey denims / grey chinos do not carry the same appeal of flannel / high twist trousers and they just look a bit awkward in my opinion. In this case, are there any fabrics that you would suggest for casual grey trouser? Cheers!
Corduroy is the only one I’d recommend. Then you should go into dark browns and dark greens
Which trousers do you think are more suited to be worn casually? I am thinking bomber jacket, M 65 ,peacoat, knitwear, Oxford shirts,plain T shirts with suede chukka boots,maybe some calfskin wingtip?
I haven’t tried these Michael, so I can’t really comment that usefully. Sorry
If I own a pair of cream linen trouser, should I get a pair of cream twill cotton trouser or a pair of cream jeans next? Thanks.
That’s mostly a style decision – the jeans will be relatively more casual, so it’s a question of what you’ll wear them with.
Hi Simon, I recently commissioned a pair of linen pants with wbill wb61314, a very light oatmeal colour. After getting the pants, I find the fabric colour together with the texture looks very much like one of those eco bags we bring to shopping. Does it matter? Is it something I should be concerned about? Thanks!
I don’t think so, no, that just means they have gone for a more ‘natural’ look. It’s not quite as smart, but still very nice
The Linen 9255 from Huddersfields Fine Worsteds (https://shop.hfwltd.com/collection/80) looks a lot darker in their website than in the first trouser in this post. Is it possible that a merchant uses the same number for different cloths if you know, or is it just the photo looking darker? They also name it “olive” instead of “khaki-green”. Just wondering if it’s the same cloth, as I want to follow this guide for separates to a T.
Yes, it is the same. Pictures online for these clothes aren’t always that accurate
Thanks you Simon,
I’m thinking instead of olive, to get brown linen (9243 from hfw) and a taupe linen (9246 from hfw). I find that brown linen has a “havana” look that I like and the taupe as just a paler linen albeit not as showy as cream. I’m looking to wear these with chambrays and pale blue or pink shirts without jackets in the summer.
What’s your opinion on these colors?
I think they’d be nice. Brown is indeed lovely. Just make sure you know what shoes you’d wear with it (likely not a similar brown)
Hi Simon, do you have a picture of the Fox woollen 13oz flannel in soft/light grey made as trousers, jacket or suit? I’m trying to see how light the grey it. Thanks!
See today’s post! They’re pictured on there
Hello Simon, my question is regarding trousers linings. Some of the bespoke makers using it, and some not .For example my both linen trousers from Graham Browne is lined, and now I consider some new pieces for summer unlined. Do you think it will be correct, and how it will affect linen trousers. Thanks for answer and for your great job.
It’s not a big deal, as you can take lining out of trousers and put it back. I’d try it without if you want, and see which you prefer
How many grams would you recommend for a cotton trouser for summer and also for autumn/winter?
Perhaps around 9 and 13 respectively. But there’s some wiggle room there – you can often wear cotton in warmer weather more easily
You mean that heavier cotton can be worn during summer?
Yes it can, though of course it depends how hot or humid your summer is. In the UK it’s generally fine
What is the width of the waistband on these pants?
4cm, which is pretty standard
Hi Simon, would you advise against strap side-adjusters for heavy moleskin trousers? In your experience, would straps that are so thick not fit through the buckles? I have trousers made of a hefty 18-oz cavalry twill that work well with side straps, but the moleskin is thicker.
That would certainly be a risk, yes. Although if it’s a question of whether the cloth would fit through the buckles or not, I’d ask the tailor’s opinion. They should have experience on what thickness of cloth will work.
My main brand to buy trousers is Berg&Berg but they don’t sell high twist trousers this year and I do not have any. I don’t want to spend too much (less than 400 euros, but it’s hard to find in Paris…) because I know that trousers doesn’t live long when we don’t have as many as you do. So what do you recommend, to buy 2 or 3 MTM Crispaire or Fresco trousers (mid-grey) because it’s versatile and resistant to tearing (not sure about tearing) or to buy different trousers, one tailor advises me to go for “Dakota Holland&Sherry Calvary Twill”, I don’t know if i’m going to wear it a lot because i’m not sure it works with smart jacket.
I think it’s definitely worth having a pair of cavalry twills – they will be better this time of year, and harder wearing. Try a pair in grey from that bunch, and see how you like them.
Start with one, not two or three!
I’d like to have a pair of navy casual trousers. I tend to agree with your often expressed view that navy trousers too often look like part of a suit and I’ve tended to avoid them for that reason. However, I quite like the look of your serge ones here, but I don’t think that Fox are still doing the cloth. I’m not quite sure that navy flannel would be an adequate replacement, but I’ve been looking at the char-navy https://www.themerchantfox.co.uk/collections/classic-flannel/products/370g-char-navy-fox-flannel and wondered if that would be ok. I have the char-brown, which I like a lot. Have you come across the char-navy, by any chance, and if so, do you think it would be good for casual trousers?
I haven’t seen it I’m afraid, but I agree with all your instincts and reasoning, that it would probably be very nice – a similar tone to the char-brown and just as useful
I have both the char-brown and char-navy. I always find myself preferring the char-brown exactly because the char-navy looks like a suit trouser. It suffers less from this particular problem than a regular worsted navy because it’s char-navy and flannel; but at the end of the day it’s still a navy tailored trouser. If I could choose again, i’d go for char-brown again but perhaps a shade of grey instead of char-navy.
PS: The char-brown is an amazing colour.
Hi Simon, i am going to commission my first pair of linen trousers – in time for the summer – and was hoping for your opinion. I only want one pair, at least for now, and cannot decide which colour would be more versatile: stone, or the khaki-green you went for here. Which have you found to be more useful? Many thanks.
Hi Simon, I’m looking to have a pair of odd trousers made in a bone/ecru pale wool twill. Maybe whipcord or cavalry twill. I’ve looked at some bunches online but can’t seem to find something suitable based on these articles.
Could you possibly share some pointers on where to source?
I’m afraid I don’t know anything Matthew, which is why I point people towards the roll Gianluca at Pommella bought. I’m afraid I haven’t seen anything else as good – but let me know if you do!
Can you recommend a green/charcoal flannel cloth for this season?
Sorry, you mean a green that feels a bit like charcoal – as in darker, greyer? Or did you mean one or the other?
Sorry Simon I should have specified! I meant a green-tinged charcoal, or a dark/cold green. Looking for something that could go nicely with a mid-grey herringbone jacket that’s a bit like your Caraceni. I know olive/cold greens work well — just struggling to find a good fabric to do so (whilst also respecting your advice that it’s worth going >13oz)
No worries Pete. It can be a difficult shade to find. Do you like the flannel I used here? Not sure if that’s still available or not
Thanks Simon, that’s stunning. I’ll look into it. Greatly appreciated
Sorry for double-comment. You also once had some green-tinged grey flannels by Elia, which I remember you showed with an oatmeal jacket. They were mostly grey but with a subtle green cast – a fantastic shade. Perhaps less colour-intense than this one? do shout if you’ve seen a similar bunch anywhere this season – totally understood if not, I appreciate it’s a slightly random and niche request. One of the many great things about PS is that lots of us benefit from your expert eye on these things. Prevented a lot of expensive mistakes, no doubt.
Lovely to hear, thanks Pete.
Those Caliendo ones were probably slightly less rich, yes. But they were a touch lighter and greener I’d say. I wouldn’t describe them as mostly grey.
I haven’t seen anything similar I’m afraid – these kind of recommendations are a little dependent on me looking for something similar! Or at least doing an article on something in that area
Hi, Simon. Nice post everyone should read to have the perfect trousers wardrobe!
I was just wondering if you have “better”pics. I mean, the first one looks great as we can see the shape and the fit, but is hard to see It with the latters. Maybe is there some other link to other posts where we can you see wearing them?
Thank you kindly.
The trousers are all the same in terms of shape and fit – exactly the same!
Or was there something else you were trying to see with the other pairs? Let me know if there is, what and why, and I’ll try and find another post that helps.
There is nothing special I want to see. It is just that I prefer to see the trousers wearing to have a better idea about how It looks like! I’ll try out to find them on other articles. Anyways, I had a question about loafers and tassels, but I don’t think this is the right place, so I’ll find an article about this issue.
Simon, is there some general idea of which heavyweight fabrics are suitable for trousers, and which are not? I would assume that anything soft will not be suitable, even if very heavy. And can you suggest any place where I can current buy some fabrics similar to the ones you used in this collection? I know Fox have some heavyweight flannels, but I haven’t seen such heavy cottons or wool twills on their website.
Yes Kirill, in general it’s not the weight that matters, but the body, the firmness. That’s why an overcoating might be heavy, but soft and baggy for trousers.
On buying fabrics, no I can’t because most mills still only sell to tailors, not directly to customers. Do you not have a tailor that could source the fabrics?
How do you tell if a fabric is firm enough for trousers?
I work with one tailor in Chicago, but he didn’t seem to have similar fabrics available.
It feels dense, harder, like it would create a sharp line if you ironed a crease in. But really, Kirill, in the end what you do is buy from trouser books – sometimes mills aren’t great at highlighting this, but books are usually made for suits, suits/trousers, jackets or overcoats
If I may, Simon, which of the types of side tab are your favourite?
Why do I ask?
W&S are a tailor very high on my shortlist and the quality of the side tabs are important to me.
I like the look of the button style side tabs but if they are elasticated,I would fear that the elastic will “doze” in the long term, especially if the tension is not released after wearing.
The buckle style, which are used on my current trousers, I assume don’t use elastic and more durable and will last longer? Is this correct?
I imagine that it depends in the thickness and type of trouser cloth used which then dictates the type of the side tab used?
The most durable and strongest are what I’m looking for.
Can you advise me accordingly please?
In that case Lindsay, I would go with the buckle style, unless the material is so thick that the buckles won’t work for that cloth (which is rare)
Fantastic, it’s the buckle type on my trousers.
This is a great article.
Let’s take the Whitcomb & Shaftesbury Classic (Indian) Bespoke as a benchmark here if I may.
I don’t know what their current price, inc.VAT is at this moment in time.
Waist size is my problem …45-46”…and very difficult to buy RTW.
At the very cheapest level, I currently use Peter Christian who do an excellent range of men’s apparel including a fantastic range of trouser types and very generous sizes but…
…I’d like to move up a rank or two.
Now, if we leave out the RTW and MTO and go up to MTM.
Simon, can you recommend anyone for Made to Measure trousers?
Can be Italian (or European) or ideally British to avoid expensive travel arrangements.
London or even online would be ideal.
I’d check out places like Drake’s, Anglo-Italian, Anderson & Sheppard, who do really good MTM – but also any good MTM tailor that I’ve covered