A shopping guide to ready-made trousers
By Manish Puri
If my years of reading Permanent Style have taught me anything, it’s that few things make a man look better than a tailored jacket. If my years of having eyes have taught me anything, it’s that few things make a man look worse than bad trousers.
A good pair of trousers are the pedestal for the rest of your outfit to be displayed upon. A smartly assembled set of trousers will make the simplest of outfits look chic and the most elegant of outfits look effortless.
And frankly these days well-crafted trousers made from superior fabrics are neither a bespoke luxury nor particularly taxing to find. So, it’s the aim of this guide to a compile a list that helps you choose from over a dozen brands selling some of the best ready-to-wear (RTW) tailored trousers on the market.
Fit and priorities
I find buying anything RTW involves some tension between what you want (the style) and what suits your body best (the fit). That tension is something the most skilled bespoke artisans can dissipate, but in RTW there is often a compromise. We’ve all bought something that, if we’re completely truthful, doesn’t fit that well but just looks banging.
When it comes to RTW trousers, I’ve learned the hard, expensive and uncomfortable way that there is little room for compromise: you have to prioritise fit.
Even the most perfectly styled trousers will finish their life as nourishment for moths if they cut in the crotch, cling mid-calf or slice the belly after a burger. And so ‘best’ in this guide (perhaps more than any other I’ve written) boils down to what is the best fit on you – and readers’ comments on the ones they’ve tried will be invaluable here.
To help you with this, I’m a 33” waist (which is between the standard sizes usually offered) and so I tend to take a UK 34”/IT 50 and make them smaller in the waist if needed, which is something most tailors would recommend over making tight trousers bigger.
Beyond the fit, you can rely on the brands we’ve selected to make trousers with many of the hallmarks of quality tailoring: enough fabric inlay to allow simple alterations, unhemmed legs (so you can pick your preferred inseam and cuff style), a split waistband with curtain, side adjusters and some handwork.
So, let’s look at the brands, which are presented in ascending price order.
Sometimes while researching these guides I find myself lost among small differences: Brand A has slanted pockets and a 11” rise, whereas Brand B has straight pockets and a 12” rise.
Don’t misunderstand me, I know our community flourishes in these differences and many of us would fight to the death (or at least until the pubs close) over fractional changes to cuff widths and cloth weights. But sometimes it’s damn refreshing to try a product which is truly distinctive.
Kit Blake is the only brand in this guide dedicated to making trousers only. Their classic, Savile Row-inspired designs are made in Italy from British and Italian cloths. Their Aleks model (worn by André Larnyoh below in his ‘How to Dress Like’ piece) is the brand’s signature style and features:
- A high-rise - the highest of all the brands in this guide
- Double forward pleats - the only brand in this guide to favour them over reverse pleats
- A generous leg and subtle taper - the widest leg of all the brands in this guide
Simon has written extensively on trouser rise, pleats and proportion, and I’d urge readers to have a look at those articles to better appreciate how they might work for your physique and tastes.
My tastes have been dictated by my physique. If I wear low to mid-rise trousers I experience a form of coastal erosion, where the tides of my belly gently push and erode my waistband line during the day, with the only remedy a surreptitious trouser hoick. My personal conversion to higher-rise trousers was something of a ‘eureka’ moment.
When it comes to pleats, I know Simon and others have had issue with pleated trousers splaying open even when stood stock-still, but I had no such problems with the Aleks. One factor may be the depth of Kit Blake’s – at 2.8cm the pleat is deeper than any of the other brands in this guide by at least 0.8cm.
In terms of fit, the Aleks is slightly small-to-size and so, as someone who is usually between sizes, I found the larger size (34”) to be a fantastic fit out the box with only the hem needing altering. Of course, if you did need to let the waist out there is ample inlay.
Unusually, there is very little inlay in the leg. However, given the fullness of the trousers, I would, if anything, expect readers to want to take the leg in. Indeed if this is your preference, I would recommend taking a look at Kit Blake’s Grant model which, from waist to mid-thigh, is identical to the Aleks but then follows a slightly more tapered line to the break.
In addition to the Aleks and Grant models, Kit Blake carry a single reverse pleat model (Duke) and a flat front model (Caine).
- At the risk of labouring the point, there aren’t too many similar options on the market; but Thomas Farthing (£249 to £285) have a selection of high-rise, wide-leg trousers – although the styling may be too overtly vintage for some readers.
- And, although not a RTW retailer, Scott Fraser Collection has a formidable range of high-waisted and pleated trouser styles (£215 to £315).
Norwegian retailer Cavour carry a tantalising assortment of high-end menswear brands, but it’s their in-house trouser design, the Mod 2, that I was eager to feature in this guide for one reason: variety.
The range of cloths and colours is wider than any other: seven different colours of 340g (12 oz) VBC flannel, seven in baby cord, five in wide wale, five in Brisbane Moss cotton drill, three in VBC/Drapers covert wool, three in Loro Piana denim, two in Holland & Sherry Crispaire, and a partridge in a pear tree. I won’t even begin to list the plethora of linen, high-twist wool and summer gabardines that are still available in the ‘Sale’ section.
The prices vary according to the fabric; Crispaire is £400, but most of the offering retails at £275. The price point looks even more attractive when you consider the trousers boast hand-sewn bar tacks, buttonholes and pick stitching – although I appreciate that this level of finishing isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker for many people.
In short if the Mod 2 style and fit works for you then I imagine one could build a balanced and versatile trouser wardrobe with minimal effort.
I’d summarise the style as fuss-free with a sharp silhouette – mid-rise, slim fit and standard front closure. The bulk of the Mod 2 trousers come with a single reverse pleat, but some cloths (like the cotton drill) are also made up in a flat front.
I tried pairs in size 50 and (apprehensive of the slim fit) a size 52. I found 50 a little tight in the waist and crotch but not unbearably so. However, the fit through the leg was too close for my tastes. Sizing up to the 52 was an improvement in almost every respect: very comfortable across the seat and crotch with a better fit through the leg – still slim but not tight. It was (as you’d expect) loose in the waist but I’d be more confident taking in one element on the 52 than trying to let out two or three elements on the 50.
Apparently, the typical Scandinavian gentleman’s tastes is for a slim leg but, if you lean fuller, the Cavour trouser has enough inlay to widen the leg by 5cm – more than any of the other brands in this guide. Sizing indecision is also alleviated by Cavour’s free shipping for purchases over £220 and free returns.
- Natalino (£135 to £195) is certainly worth exploring if you like Cavour’s pricing and fabric selections (both brands use VBC 12oz flannel and Brisbane Moss drill cotton) but want something with a higher rise and a little more room through the leg. Natalino also sell their trousers unhemmed and hemmed, to either a 30” or 32” inseam, which is a blessing for any of the poor souls who don’t have a tailor on speed dial.
Yeah, these were good.
Over the years Anglo-Italian have built up a loyal community that values their consistency of palette, product and service; their RTW trousers don’t disappoint in any of those regards.
The palette - cloth and colour options - satisfies the requirements of most classic wardrobes: soft flannels in the winter (sometimes woven in England and sometimes, you guessed it, in Italy), high-twist wools for the summer and various weights and finishes of cotton all year round.
I suspect the silhouette will appeal to a wide cross-section of PS readers - comfortable in the thigh with a gentle taper to the hem.
I found the trousers shaped elegantly over the hips rather than hug them tightly, which makes all the difference if you’re forever jamming your hands in and out the pockets. On that subject, Anglo-Italian’s pockets are slanted with mouths cut to follow the gentlest of curves; a lovely detail and one that further benefits the pocket jammers.
But it’s the service that really sparkles. All in-store trouser alterations are free. Hemming, nipping the waist, letting out the seat, sharpening the taper: all included in the price, which makes this an extraordinarily good value product. What’s more Anglo-Italian’s turnaround time for alterations is a few days; to put this into context, my preferred central London alterations tailor currently has a turnaround time of six weeks.
What’s fascinating is how the free alterations remove, to an extent, the fit impositions from the style-fit conundrum I shared earlier.
For example, Anglo-Italian’s trousers are true to size which meant I could get away with a 48 if I let out the seat and crotch, or the 50 if I have the waist taken in. That decision can now be dictated by my style preference – do I want the slimmer profile of the 48 that sits level with my hip, or do I want the mildly fuller 50 that sits just on the top of it? Champagne problems.
- Another high-quality, Italian option is the family-run Rota (from €300 upwards). The only reason for not giving them a more prominent place in this article is that their offering is slightly overwhelming and would probably need a guide to itself. There is a cornucopia of fits, styles and cloths on their online shop as well as through other stockists such as Frans Boone, Gabucci, Cavour, Michael Jondral, The Armoury and No Man Walks Alone – many of whom have worked with the brand to develop exclusive models.
Sometimes the best way to define something is via comparison. And so, if the Kit Blake trousers are high-rise and full and Cavour’s are mid-rise and slim then I’d place the Drake’s house style somewhere in between: an upper mid-rise (is that a thing?) with a classic line through the thigh.
Made in Italy, Drake’s trousers are styled either with single reverse pleats and aged side adjusters (which I prefer to shiny silver and black adjusters) or with flat fronts, belt loops and a prong keeper - a neat way of demarcating formality. A stylistic touch is the extended tab waistband.
The cloth options are judiciously chosen for wardrobe building: grey flannel, olive linen, brown corduroy and stone cotton. Indeed, if you were so inclined, you could purchase Simon’s five smart trouser capsule wardrobe in one fell swoop from the website this afternoon – not that either of us would advocate such hasty accumulation.
I found the fit to be true-to-size; wonderful news if you’re a standard size and maddeningly close to great for an in-betweener like me. The size 34 I tried was a little big in the waist so would either need altering or a mighty tug of the side adjusters to sit right.
As I mentioned the fit through the thigh is quite classic, but it does taper quite sharply to the hem (which you can see in the Lookbook shot above). This is likely to be a dream pairing for some – comfort where you need it with the eye moving down to a sharp break above the shoe – and reminiscent of Slowboy’s utterly charming illustrations. I found it slightly too contrasting a transition and would prefer either a faintly narrower thigh or a fuller calf.
Drake’s trousers can also be bought as made to order and made to measure; prices start at around £495 for the former and up to £795 for the latter.
- With a high-rise and classic fit Berg & Berg’s Arnold trousers (single pleat) and Alf trousers (flat front with belt loops) are comparable in style and fit to the Drake’s trousers. For good measure they also sell a double pleated model, Antonio. The seasonal fabric choices aren’t as diverse as Drake’s but there’s more than enough to pair with sports coats and casual getups (from €295 to €305).
A few years back Simon looked at the various trouser models stocked by The Armoury. For this guide we wanted to focus on The Armoury’s in-house trousers which, like their jackets, are made by Ring Jacket and available in two models.
Model A is a flat-fronted trouser that is sold separately or as part of single-breasted suits. Model B is a single reverse-pleat trouser that is sold separately or as part of double-breasted suits. Both are half-lined and have a coin pocket secreted below the waistband.
Whilst most discussions on the benefits of pleats tend to centre around their facility for comfort, The Armoury’s founder Mark Cho made a couple of interesting aesthetic observations about the Model B pleats in one of his Instagram Q&A sessions.
The first is that, compared to flat-front trousers, a pleat tends to emphasise and lengthen the central crease line right up to the waistband and this visually elongates and slims the leg. The second is that whilst the pleat in the Model B increases the volume in the top half of the trouser, it also deceives the eye into thinking the trouser is more tapered than the Model A – despite both models being almost identical from the knee down.
The Armoury is unique in this guide for having belt loops on both their flat fronted and pleated trousers, which comes from a desire to position them as an accessible entry-level trouser. But, upon request, they can remove the belt loops and use the excess trouser length to make side adjusters. By the way, The Armoury don’t charge for hemming trousers, although it’s best if this is arranged in-store rather than online to avoid a trouser being irrevocably cut too short.
The fit of the Model A and B is, in my view, closer to mid-rise (although the website describes them as high-rise) with a slim leg; not entirely dissimilar to Cavour’s trousers but not as trim as the Mod 2. And like the Mod 2 I found the size 50 a little tight across the hips and in the fork.
I suspect a size 51 would be perfect were it available (alas it isn’t) and so I’d recommend anyone in doubt to try a size up. Failing that there is always the option of The Armoury’s MTO and MTM programme (starting at around $850 and $950 respectively).
Ring Jacket only use handwork in the areas where they feel it will improve quality and durability, so here there are machine-sewn buttonholes but hand stitching inside the waistband and fork.
- North American readers may want to look at Canadian brand Spier & Mackay ($108 to $228). Whilst the level of finishing certainly won’t be to the standard of The Armoury/Ring Jacket there’s no doubting the appeal of the breadth and depth of Spier & Mackay’s range: loads of fabric options, in-between/half sizes (praise be) and two trouser fits – slim (which is similar to The Armoury’s fit) and contemporary (which has a higher rise and fuller silhouette). Whilst I’ve not had the chance to try them, I have noticed an increase in the number of PS comments recommending Spier & Mackay to other readers looking for a budget option.
The foundation of Pommella remains bespoke trouser making but under the stewardship of Gianluca Migliarotti the brand has slowly developed a couple of great RTW options.
The first is Pommella RTW, which is made to the same exacting standards and handwork as their bespoke (full disclosure: I own a few pairs of the Pommella bespoke and absolutely adore them). You can also find a nice selection at The Armoury, who have developed a couple of exclusive models: the PA1 and the AUS1. I’m rarely enamoured by unorthodox waistbands, but I must confess I find the D-ring belted closure of the PA1 quite elegant – especially in the verdant Fox Brothers Palazzi flannel that is exclusive to Pommella.
The second option is PML, the home for easy-going polos, unstructured tweed jackets and, of course, trousers which are machine-made and hence cheaper.
Construction methods apart, the Pommella and PML trousers are identical in fit (size up if you’re in any doubt) and style: medium rise, nicely tapered, with a coin pocket, side adjusters, brace buttons and a waistband curtain made from Thomas Mason shirting fabric.
In keeping with Neapolitan tradition, the trousers generally come unlined unless the fabric absolutely demands it. Pommella’s trousers are the only in this guide to have a button fly; an illustration of their commitment to quality detailing as well as something that can help the trousers look cleaner – especially when seated.
Beyond the calibre of the finishing, what I think sets Pommella/PML’s RTW apart is the curatorial eye of Gianluca. There are cloths, textures and colours here that you won’t find elsewhere: the aforementioned Palazzi flannel, a deep but muted red cotton and a Zegna off-white denim that has attained almost mythical status amongst my friends that have it. Even the staples have a point of difference - the mid-grey flannels, for example, are a couple of ounces heavier than everyone else’s.
- If it’s handmade Neapolitan trousers you’re after, then you might also consider RTW from Ambrosi Napoli (around £755). Their signature detail is a hyperextended waistband which arrows around the belly towards the leg’s side seam. They’re not widely available online but Cavour stock some as does The Signet Store in the Philippines.
The index is designed to collect the key information of each of the trouser models featured. To aid comparison we’ve shown the waist, rise and hem for size UK34/IT50 - measurements taken from the brands.
Prices are correct as of time of writing.
|Brand||Model (Size)||Price||Pleats (direction)||Zip or button fly||Side adjusters or loops||Back pockets||Waist (cm)||Rise (cm)||Hem (cm)|
|Aleks or Grant||£255 to £295||Double (forward)||Zip||Side adjusters
and brace buttons
|Two||44||26.5||22.75 (Aleks) or 20.25 (Grant)|
|Cavour||Mod 2||£250 to £400||Single (reverse)||Zip||Side adjusters||Two||44||24.5||18.5|
|Anglo-Italian||House||£305||Single (reverse)||Zip||Side adjuster||Two||45||26||19|
|Drake’s||House||£305 to £495||Single (reverse) and flat fronted||Zip||Side adjusters (on pleated) and belt loops (on flat fronts)||Two||45||25||19.5|
|The Armoury||Model A or Model B||$350 to $550||Single (reverse)||Zip||Belt loops||Two||44.25||24||20.7|
|Pommella and PML||House||€420 to €700||Single (reverse)||Button||Side adjusters||One||45||22.5||20|
Manish is @the_daily_mirror on Instagram
There are moments when one asks oneself, “do trousers matter?”.
The mood will pass, sir.
As in, plenty of people in the UK can’t afford food or fuel at the moment so why am I worrying about the rise on my pants? I can only speak for myself but that was a thought that crossed my mind as I was reading this!
2nd that… unfortunately
Different people have different priorities. I used to sleep under a table so I could afford good trousers. And my nice sweater collection got me through more than one heaterless winter. Thanks for this review Manish. You’re guidance is always a great help in navigating a complex retail landscape.
Can you clarify Aaron? Are you saying that Britain’s poor need to invest in sweaters to get themselves through the coming winter?
A bit confusing “other” options, listing natalino and spier together with expensive options.
My opinion about them,
natalino is super tapered with high rise. Great if youre skinny, otherwise not so much. And considering i had 2 pairs, 36 and 38, sizing seemed weird.
Spier, i tried shorts, slim fit. Compared to same size hackett/ralph lauren/couple brooks brothers chinos i have from tk maxx, i would characterise spier as a slim fit low rise. I mean, yes, spier is a slim fit, but from double pleated “smart” shorts, i would expect less slimness, and a little higher rise. Im sure lettting hips/tighs out will fix them for me.
For trousers my saving grace was yeossal MTO.
i differ in my opinion, i am skinny, and i thought i was swimming in natalino trousers. just too voluminous. also, the finishing just wasnt that great for me.
I have a few Spier and Mackay trousers, and am one of those commenters Manish noticed recommending them. I’m quite thin so the slim fit works for me but they do also offer a “Contemporary fit” that is roomier.
I also tried their shorts but wasn’t satisfied with them. I found them to roomy and “old mannish” on me.
really? I normally get 36 or 38 chinos/ jeans (I take Lewis 36-38 also) in brands I mentioned, got myself stone double pleated cotton shorts in 38 slim, and I would definetely not rate them as roomy… I can’t sit down without plumbers crack(not sure how to say it more politely), where all of my chinos, rise while being low, doesn’t present problem like this… I’m on watchlist for a jacket/trousers, and if I’m lucky enough to get both of them in stock, I’m definitely getting contemporary trousers… only problem with spier for me is when they restock jackets in my size, only 2 comes in… so blink and you’ll miss it…
just shows how taste and fit preferences differ…
I guess it’s my body type. They were roomy on my thin legs and made them look like sticks.
Some research selfies incoming…
Looking forward to the selfies!!
Shame I missed you in store, given tomorrow is my last day. I’m sure you’ll ensure the selfie mirror is kept in good use.
Both the drakes and the 34 Anglo look sharp IMO. Side note, where can I get a rug like the Drakes one you’re standing on? Anybody?
Ha, Simon has actually written about this before: https://www.permanentstyle.com/2021/07/how-to-buy-a-quality-rug.html
Can you please inform us about your waist circumference in cm?
What a fantastic addition to the “Guides” series.
These have been a great help to me and hopefully to many others.
Always looking forward to new Guides articles.
Many thanks to Manish and Simon for this article!!
An extremely useful guide. Thank you very much for this.
Superb post. As someone who is wanting to move up from High Street brands like Reiss and Albam this is timely. It’s like a sign posted path of temptation. Ah well will now have to adhere to the less but better quality mantra.
I’ve found Dunhill do a nice range in flannel rtw trousers. Also 40 Colori should get an honourable mention. More mtm but they also tend to carry a small selection of rtw.
A great, comprehensive overview as every.
Slightly off topic question to Simon:
Just received the Donegal Overcoat in Brown which is truely superb and beautiful, although I am slightly unsure about the way the cloth behaves:
There are some “craters” on the arm close to the shoulder, which I noticed you have too in the product fotos, for example in the front shot with the pupest button closed.
Is this to be expected or will the cloth “smoothen” and no longer cause those craters over time?
Thanks in advance and best,
PS: the grey watch cap is just sublime, finally a cap that fits as I would want it to!
Yes, that run around the shoulder should soften over time. It should also be less when the shoulder is filled out more, for example with a sweater or jacket underneath.
Quick question riding off the back of Felix’s here.
Pinnas seemed to rather butcher my donegal when I took it in for alterations. It’s not really the same coat any more. I did also slightly outgrow it in the chest, which Pinnas seemed basically unable to accomodate with their alterations. They said that was because whoever told me the chest or back could be let out was just ‘a salesman’ and that they did the best they could by letting out the waist a bunch.
I’m considering rather sadly buying a new one when I have the budget for it as it was basically my favourite item of clothing! How long do you reckon you’ll keep stocking the brown donegal for? Will there be future runs of them?
Hmm, sorry to hear that Jackson, and I’ll chat to the guys about that when I see them. The back certainly can be let out a bit, though in the front the chest is limited to starting where the side seam begins.
The brown donegal is unlikely ever to be restocked I’m afraid.
Out of curiosity Simon, may I ask why the brown one is unlikely to ever come back? Is it supply chain issues or just the fact you prefer the other colors? Because it doesn’t appear to be a shelf warmer, I’ve already read a couple of comments asking for a restock.
Realistically we can only do one colour each year – the only way we did multiples this year was through pre-order, and that was a complicated process too. I’d like to do a new colour next year, but if we did one of these again, the grey seems to get the most votes
I have found Pinnas exemplary for alterations after Simon first bought them to our attention. I’ve had a coat, numerous jackets – including leather ( collected today & perfect ) , over shirts, shirts & trousers altered to improve the fit. They have always been attentive to ensure the job is done correctly without cutting corners or doing a simpler but inferior finish. All have been taken in or shortened – which might have more flexibility than letting out.
The alternative might be, if possible, to lose weight or tone up to make clothes continue to fit especially when material runs out for adequate alterations.
I did like the piece and the series overall, but I may have one comment, if I am allowed. The brands you reported here are always the usual suspects Simon wrote massively about, with some exceptions. For instance, a trouser maker that is often a good value proposition is Berwich, which is sold as broadly as Rota.
I just feel these lists don’t really give a new take, except wrapping together a list of already covered pieces.
Agreed. From time to time, Simon should open the site to “op-eds” and let readers with views different to his own share their experience.
I would, for example, also be delighted to read Jeans Lauren’s opinion on contemporary menswear after his recent comments.
Isn’t that the point of the Comments section?
To the comment above, does this mean a review of the Rota offering is coming? It would be very helpful if only to help navigate the large range. The comparison of Rota made for other brands, also as above, would be very useful
Not currently, no, but thanks for the suggestion RDH
Hi simon out of curiosity how did you decide to have manish contribute towards your blog out of the many menswear enthusiasts out there? To clarify this is not a knock on manish’s writing and style – i love these guides and his detailed writing. Just curious!
Through meeting him and becoming friends really. These things are rarely that planned!
I like your article but feel, as apparently some other readers, that you should also have covered some cheaper options (e.g. Pini Parma).
I have a good number of Cavour trousers, which can be easily bought at 50 percent sale at the end of the season…… then they are a fabulous value.
Thanks for the article. Very helpful. I would add Pini Parma (Paris) and Claudio Mariani (Italy)
I never complain on this blog, but I’m a bit surprised after you wrote an article fairly recently titled “Why I’m Wearing More Belts” that you put up so many options for odd trousers with side adjusters and not belts. Have you gone back on that? Can you explain? I sort of agreed with your thought process in that article.
There was no deliberate attempt to feature trousers with side adjustors rather than belts. There are simply more out there among high-quality dress trousers. Which makes sense, as most people want to wear them smarter than I was highlighting in that piece.
Also, it’s worth making clear that I still wear lots of trousers without belts – at least half the time with smarter trousers such as these. As I said in the piece, I’m a little torn as I like both styles but you can’t have trousers with both options.
Thanks so much for your comment. Just to add to Simon’s reply, five of the six main brands in the guide sell trousers with belt loops (usually in their flat front models) it’s just that these aren’t the house/signature models of the brand which I what I wanted to focus on in the guide.
I hope that helps
Re: pleats staying flat, how much is it a question of construction versus the wearer’s body? An observation I owe to my friend Paolo Martorano is that I have very forward hips, and that despite being thin, that gives me the same issues that a more rounded gentleman would have with ensuring pleats lay flat.
I found this article very helpful, even if many of these brands have been mentioned before. Anglo-Italian has been my choice the last few years. I have them in cotton, linen, corduroy, and flannel. The charcoal corduroy goes with almost every sport jacket I have.
Great list with interesting fabrics, cuts, handwork etc. It would be very intetesting though, except from the clasic suspects to review some relative cheaper brands that start from 150euro.
Thanks Georgios, but that’s not really the area PS covers. In the same way as we don’t cover many RTW suits or cheaper MTM. We can’t cover everything, and have always focused more on higher qualities.
At that price level, take a look at Ede & Ravenscroft and Cordings which offer excellent value for money.
The usual suspects but a good review to refresh the memory banks. Thanks.
I am invested in Natalino’s covert wool trousers. Does anyone have experience of contacting the firm to discuss sizing? Online size guides are often inaccurate or incomplete, back rise in this case. I can’t find a contact telephone number or physical address on the website, just an anonymous contact form that does inspire confidence in the brand. IIRC there was a shop in London that Simon visited. Any further information or assistance would be much appreciated.
I’ve bought a couple of pairs of Natalino’s over the past few years – I find them absolutely great pretty much straight out of the box. I appreciate thought that they’re a style that suits my shape. I’ve found Nathan who runs the show there has always been really responsive and helpful any time I’ve used the contact form.
My earlier post should have read “interested” rather than “invested” but the spell checker changed it as I pressed “post comment”. Many thanks to Donie for his reply. I would prefer to call Nathan before committing to a purchase.
Try instagram. Whenever i messaged, they were really responsive there. Unfortunately they dont have any shops.
I bought a pair of Cavour linen pants once. The quality was horrible. Fell apart i weeks. I have also bought a few other things that never came. No information. Eventually I had to contact them to get my money back. Very unprofessional store.
Had a completely different experience with them – most stuff I bought (a dozen roughly) were excellent quality and client support was spot on. A few errors here and there (as said, I ordered a lot from them) were corrected immediately and to the best of my satisfaction. Sorry to hear your experience wasn’t good.
Sorry to hear that!
If there is anything I can do to rectify your first impression, I am happy to give it a go.
Send me your order number, and I can have a look at what happened here.
kevin at cavour dot co
Thankyou Simon for a timely article, I just never seem to get trouser style right, and as a result I neglect that aspect of my wardrobe and am reluctant to spend as much as I would on other items. So this article has basically given me a nudge into the old adage of ‘getting what you pay for’. Time to direct some money to the trouser department!
Once in a conversation I asked an attractive woman what does she find appealing in a man’s appearance, her answer was that a nice pair of sharp well fitting trousers really make a man for her. She also lamented on how rare of a sight it is these days. Simon wrote about the power of such suggestions and we men are such simple creatures…
I’d argue trousers are much more important than some people think. You wear them with everything and everyday: tailored jackets, shirts, coats, casual jackets etc. If you look at it that way the pants are really one of the most essential items along with shirts and underwear.
I’ve owned trousers by around half of the makers listed and can share these thoughts:
If I want a something specific I go to Pommella and to me they really are worth the money. That style and comfort really are something other rtw makers can’t provide me. Also they deliver fast and are reasonably reliable for a Neapolitan maker.
I’ve also own quite a lot of trousers from Berg&Berg. Those are OK fit for me and I mainly use them as daily workhorses. Quality and design is a noticeable step down from Pommella. What is important to know about Berg&Berg is that you can easily get their trousers at 40% or even 50% discount at end of seasons sales, with most sizes in stock, and then these become an exceptional value. That really makes you think about the real cost of these trousers and Berg’s business model though.
Cavour has a huge selection of models, colours and materials, in that aspect they can really provide you. Unfortunately as article mentioned the cut is just too slim, 18,5cm hem is a big no these days. Also as far as I know they moved their tailoring production to China and I just can’t endorse that. That’s not to say Cavour isn’t an amazing place to shop for many other great items.
Finally there is Drake’s and what has become the usual complaint related to that brand. Their products have just become too expensive for what they offer. 655€ for rtw flannels? No thanks, I’ll just go to Pommella.
Interesting point regarding Berg’s business model, but can’t the same be said for the other two examples you give? Most of Cavour’s own brand stock also makes it to 50%+ sales, and it seems you can’t go longer than three months these days without a Drake’s sample sale or Drake’s Archive webpage. Not a slight on these brands but appears to be part of their pricing and business strategy, and maybe a reaction to everyone’s desire to want a ‘bargain’.
Does anyone, seriously, spend £400 on a pair of Drake’s rtw trousers?
I think people do. If you have a look at the price point of trousers on Mr Porter, £400 is not too dissimilar.
You are right, while I don’t follow Cavour’s own lines as much, I do visit the store during sales and have noticed the same. I’ve kept a bit closer eye on Berg&Berg and have a fairly strong impression that they move a lot of product during sales. But I’m not complaining, I think they provide nice product for the price when on sale and I’m a customer myself.
Drake’s has been a long time advertiser/supporter on PS so I guess it would be rude to go at it here but yes, not a fan of some of their recent practices.
you say pommella are a noticeable step up from berg berg both in quality and design. care to elaborate why? i have quite a few RTW trousers from the (relatively) cheaper makers listed above, but not Pommella because they’re about 4 times the price. but am open minded, i want to know what im getting for that extra money (apart from hand work which may or may not be functional)
Well I have at hand two grey flannel trousers, one from Pommella and one Berg&Berg. Here is how they compare from just construction stand point:
Berg flannels somehow had an unstitched portion in one of the seams, big enough to stick my pinkie finger through. Not a huge deal as it was easy fix but my trousers from Pommella haven’t had any such quality issues.
Lining on Berg trousers comes too close to edges. For example on dark grey flannels you can see a line of light beige lining on the edge of coin pocket and on rear split. Thankfully it doesn’t show on waistband. On Pommella flannels lining is far enough inside that it doesn’t show.
Lining on Pommella flannels is softer and less rigid, most noticeable when placing hands in pocket. Not a huge deal but it is there.
On Pommella trousers buttons are hand stitched and easier to open and close. Again not a terribly huge advantage as Berg&Berg ones work just fine.
This might be personal and depend on few factors but on Pommella trousers I find waistband to be more comfortable compared to Berg and some other rtw ones. I like my trousers a bit on tighter side and with Pommella the pressure is more evenly spread out, there are less hot spots if you understand what I mean.
Seam allowances on Pommella flannels is about double of that of Berg flannels.
From aesthetic point of view Pommella has much nicer buttons and I also like their side tab buckles more. All the hand stitching and bar tacks don’t hurt the looks either. I won’t comment on shaping with iron but that is also one potential advantage.
Those are some of the advantages you get with Pommella but the most important one is that Pommella is a bespoke product. You can configure it to your liking. At similar weight the flannel used on my Pommella trousers is softer and less rigid than the one in Berg’s and it also has nicer more pronounced fuzzy melange effect. The fit on my Berg trousers is good enough but it’s nearly perfect on my Pommella ones.
All in all Pommella trousers are a luxury product. Are they worth ~5x times the price of Berg&Berg ones when those are on sale? That is a very subjective question and it really depends on the buyer. For most people probably not. For me, if I want some specific fabric made up, I consider it a little treat to reward myself with from time to time.
I agree with this and will add, sometimes I think we tend to place too much credence on pictures, i.e., the people I see in Pommella, look much like the ones I see in Ambrosi and the ones in Berg and the ones in Spier and on and on….and who cares about handwork when it’s barely noticeable. However, I don’t believe you really get to see the value of bespoke and handmade items until you see the differences between them and RTW (particularly less expensive rtw) in person. And while I’ve always had a difficult time articulating the differences, I know while all new trousers, shoes and jackets look very nice when new, some of the more expensive handmade items tend to retain attractiveness well beyond the first few seasons of wear. In fact, some of my bespoke and handmade trousers look better than ever many years after purchase and I cannot say the same thing for most of my lesser expensive. Personally, I have a particular dislike of cheap side -adjuster hardware on cheaper rtw trousers and….I’ll leave it there.
I find Ambrosi trousers the best of the RTW options presented here. When you put them on, it’s like putting on armor, with all the buttons attached to the handsewn skirt. It feels substantial. All that being said, I do own Berg trousers and I certainly enjoy them too.
right, i see. i take the difference has to be experienced in person, touched, seen, worn. and I take its the sum of all those smaller parts that sets them a good degree above berg berg. you have tempted me in taking the plunge. thanks for your detailed response.
Hello Manish, any news on whether Perro will release a new collection of trousers? They offer a formidably stylish range of the bipedal garment.
Your writing seems to lend itself well to long form. Have you ever considered writing a book?
-Simon, I already own all of yours 🙂
Agree, Manish’s writing style is joyous to read and I love the quips and commentary that is interweaved throughout.
Thank you both so much for the compliment!
Caleb C – Not until now!! 🙂
On the subject of trousers is it possible to change the rise on pair of trousers ?
I’m thinking specifically changing a pair I have from low rise to slightly higher rise .
It’s not really possible to increase the rise, no. There doesn’t tend to be inlay in there, and the cloth could mark quite easily. Also, the position of the pockets starts to look odd, as they’d normally be a set distance from the waistband.
It is easier to reduce the rise, but not much or again you have the problem with the pockets.
In North America, the very best RTW trousers I have found are from O’Connell’s in Buffalo, New York. Their classic style is very much to my liking and they will place a cuff of any width on the trousers (or no cuff at all). The fit around the waist and thighs is just right, and they offer both forward pleat and flat front models. Their grey flannels are the best RTW flannels I possess. They offer a wide range of wool and cotton trousers in many colours. The only concern for those not comfortable with Trad styling is the leg width, but a tailor can easily take in the legs to create a trimmer fit if that is needed. The price is in the $300 range, but they have regular sales when one can find discounts of 15% to 20%.
A second option, much cheaper than retail trousers, is the US Army, and Air Force surplus trousers. They are great if you like fairly high rises, a snug flat front fit around the hips and generous legs. For around $20 or so per pair, one can pick these up at a variety of online shops and auction sites. The material is usually a wool-poly mix for the USAF models and 100% wool for the (early) Army models. Perhaps the only drawback is colour — there is only a single colour, blue for Air Force and green for Army! But these colours are fairly versatile and will combine with a range of jackets, sweaters and shirts.
Excellent recommendation on O’Connell’s. Thanks!
I was hoping to find mentions of new brands that would solve my eternal trousers dilemma but I guess not. So far Cavour fits me best but they are way too tapered so have to alter that everytime, and also, it seems impossible these days to have flat front with side tabs. Almost all brands do flats with belts and pleats with tabs.
I guess it’s fairly unlikely a ready-made brand is going to hit all those factors right? Rise, leg, flat front, side tabs, in the price bracket and materials you want.
Have you found anything MTO that works?
I have not tried. Most brands at this price level, including those I have found in physical shops, don’t really offer MTO. Those that do are big brands priced like Drake’s, which is a level where I might as well look into bespoke.
The problem with altering the leg line, by the way (which I have done with Cavour), is that it leaves marks, at least on cotton, which although fairly faint never really went away. I suppose wools would be safer.
Yes true, much more of a danger with cotton
I presume this is mainly a problem when taking the trousers out – rather than takng them in – e.g. on the leg line?
indeed, which is why it’s annoying they default to skinny hems instead of slight large ones
Great article Manish, thank you.
Something I don’t quite get here though. You say that you have to prioritise fit when it comes to trousers, which I agree with 100%, but then effectively mitigate the compromises that inevitably come with RTW.
At the price points you quote, why would you not just go for MTM? There are plenty of options in this area, and that’s where I spend my money.
Thank you so much. That’s a perfectly fair challenge! The hope is that this guide is useful to those that don’t have the access, appetite or time for MTM.
Have you tried the Kit Blake Caine trousers?
– Flat front
– Side adjusters
– Not as tapered as Cavour
I have not. I was considering them just a couple days ago, but isn’t real high rise uncomfortable without pleats though? Cavour’s are really mid rise which is why their pleats aren’t very useful and I wanted to do away with, but I have a Berg&Berg cord and an Italian brand in real high rise and flat front (though no tabs) and they in fact are very uncomfortable when seated.
The Caine is much closer to a medium rise than the other Kit Blake trousers so might we be worth a go 🙂
Good to know, thanks.
if you’re based in London I can recommend Casual Fitters in Spitalfields that do MTM trousers with some minor hand touches here and there. I am satisfied with their service and product. However, their fabric selection is very very limited…but basics are always there.
I am not, I’m in Italy. I am considering MTM, which I could actually get for the price of many of the trousers presented here (when not discounted, though really I mostly buy from end of season sales), not because I have a strange build but really mostly as a way to get a MTO + my usual tailoring fee built in (widen leg, hem, sometimes bring waist in).
However I am very wary of it, since I have no one to ask for recommendations (no one in my social circle buys expensive clothes), and in general in retail I have seen a concerning level of disregard for details, strong difference in point of view on style and fit to what I consider good (or what most PS readers would consider good either, which is fairly close), and very pushy sales assistants who actually know very little.
A 300€ experiment is fairly expensive for what I can afford, so for now I have been sampling many RTW brands: Cavour, Natalino, a couple local ones. Although in Italy it’s extremely hard to find non-skinny legs (even including inlay), same for side tabs, and the intersection is as of now empty among what I’ve been able to try on. So maybe it is time I take the risk indeed.
I think Brooks Brothers should be mentioned as well. In my opinion they are the best low end option for chinos and flannels. Slim but not tight fit, with a medium rise and relatively heavier fabrics, without elastane. Of course the make is not at the same level as most of the brands mentioned, but i’ve had them for years without anything falling apart, and they go on very deep sales.
Can someone comment from experience on William Crabtree and Cad & The Dandy’s RTW trousers?
I have just bought a pair of William Crabtree flannels and I’m very pleased with them. There are a nice winter weight and the cloth has a lovely fuzzy texture and a nice melange in colour. I would have preferred a slightly wider leg but that’s being really picky.
I measured my 36” waist trousers this morning. 19.5cm at the hem* and 25cm rise (crotch seam to below the waistband):
*I’m 6’3”: given the taper for less tall folk it’d probably be 20cm.
given that fit is so important for tailored trousers, i don’t think i would ever want to buy RTW trousers that are more expensive than a good MTO trouser – in my case Stoffa. although it has a limited number of options (both in material and color), i found the quality of the make is quite impressive, the material feels very luxurious, and they seem to be open to different styles (i also received good advice from the person who took my measurements in the NYC showroom). not sure what their pricing is currently, but i believe this would only leave Kit Blake, Cavour and Anglo-Italian as their competition from this list.
Stoffa also makes RTW so it would be perhaps a good addition to this list.
Thanks Bogdan – they do, although not much of a range. We tried to include brands that had a fairly large range of options
Thank you for another wonderful article.
For those of us looking for a slightly cheaper option that still maintains quality, I would recommend Meyer, RM Williams and Cordings. The style is robust rural, but the value is good, and they can do duty for some smarter outings. Stoffa is the usual suspect I would include at the higher end.
Great article Manish,
For Berg and Berg, I found the Arnold trouser a little tight in the thigh and the pleat not very deep. The Antonio is pretty nice and classic but I taper mine a bit out the box. Natalino is a good classic option with a little taper and great value. Spier and Mackay are a little inconsistent but I have had success with theirs and they have a pretty extensive custom program for a good price.
I’ve been a loyal and enthusiastic supporter of Anglo Italian for about four years and can vouch for their trousers, especially the ability to get them tailored to just how you want. Relatively high waisted for me, especially compared to my previous trouser obsession, Incotex. Also I think AIC have designed some exceptionally nice outerwear.
Meanwhile I have just got a pair of Berwich flannels via The Local Merchants. I’m very impressed with the fit, quality and value so far, for a pair of navy flannels that are apparently machine washable(!) – I’m a little nervous to wash them, we shall see.
Thanks for the useful comparative guide. Along with chinos, good RTW trousers (and some denim) are an essential part of my wardrobe and I’m always pleased / relieved to find a brand that works for me.
Thanks Matthew, very useful.
If the flannels are machine washable, I suspect they’re not made the same way as some of the trousers on here (eg canvas lining on the waistband), aside from what the flannel itself is
That was my thought, re: the waistband, plus how well will they retain their crease, or will it require skillful ironing?
I will leave cleaning for as long as I can l, as I would with dry cleaning, then report back!
Definitely a fair price though, £175.
Plus a small plug for the shop that sold them – The Local Merchants, in Leigh on Sea in Essex. Definitely trying to do something different in that part of the world. Also an Informale stockist. Good to see a new bricks and mortar shop open these days.
Thanks. Yes, the pressing will certainly be key! There will be no crease left (or if there is, I’d be more worried!)
Of the brands mentioned here, I have trousers from Rota, Anglo-Italian, Ring Jacket for the Armoury (pleated), Berg and Berg, Natalino, and Spier and Mackay. Here are my thoughts. (For reference I am probably a 36 or 52 waist but size up in all of these for extra thigh room and then get the waist taken in. I mention this because I get the impression that many of these brands don’t do the best job of maintaining consistent proportions as you go up in size.)
Rota: The best made of these. Mine are from Michael Jondral in a double-pleated fuller cut–at least fuller for Rota. They are still quite a bit more snug than I would like. Based on my experience with these, I think most Rotas wouldn’t work for me at all. The leg line is also pretty slim throughout, which I’m not the biggest fan of: if I wore them with either a jacket or a sweater, I look a bit too top heavy. I am a firm believer that the jacket should flow into the trousers. Still, I enjoy these and they fit pretty well and cleanly.
Anglo-Italian: An interesting and unique leg line characterized by a wider thigh and a very slim opening (they once sent me a size too small and I’m not even sure I could get them up my calves). You don’t get quite the vertical lines on these that you get on others.
Ring Jacket for the Armoury: Well made; nothing too exciting or interesting but also not really anything to complain about (as is the case with RJ in general). Lower rise than would be my preference.
Berg and Berg: I got their widest fit and the thigh is still slimmer than I would like and the rise maybe a touch lower. There’s also a weird ripple near the pocket on one side that doesn’t have to do with the fit, but rather with the make I think. Still, I got these because of the fabric (a heavier taupe flannel) and I enjoy the fabric. I also really like the silhouette (probably the best of the bunch for wearing with a jacket). Just wish there was a touch more room.
Natalino: My favorite of the bunch. Others are better made, but these fit the best and have a nice silhouette. Higher rise, plenty of room in the thigh, and clean, long leg line. I think the cut is also pretty versatile here. The top is wide enough to go well with jackets and knitwear (unlike Rota) and the hem is the right width to go with a variety of footwear (some are either too narrow or too wide to go with certain things). I think the cut here also looks sufficiently nice to look stylish with just a shirt up top in the summer. Decent fabric selection too, wide variety, and consistent availability.
Spier and Mackay (higher rise–only talking about the tailored trousers): Spier is good at making tailoring that fits a wide variety of people in reasonably contemporary yet not overly trendy silhouettes, and I think their trousers are no exception. I think all the other options above are better made, but make isn’t my highest priority with trousers. Good room throughout, yet not overly wide. Decent rise that could be a touch higher. The pleats are a bit shallow. Customer service is meh.
I have got corduroy trousers from Anglo-Italian and find them bizarrely slim at the opening/ankle.
Maybe good to know that Rota is currently offering a “comfort fit” option when using their trouser configurator. Meaning around 1,5 xtra cm in the thigh and around 2 xtra cm at the opening. For me, their sizes also always looked a little slim, but I think I’m going to try them now with this option
I want to echo your observations about anglo Italian and natalino. The AI leg opening is absolutely tiny. This creates a lopsided effect if you fit the waist.
I have 6-8 pairs of natalino in flannel, cotton, corduroy. Big fan of them clearly. The silhouette works for my body type (wider hips and thigh) being roomy at the seat and thigh and tapering down slightly to a 7.75”ish leg opening if memory serves me. The overall effect is a long and elegant leg line IMO.
Thanks for the great insights, EL.
Can I ask the Anglo-Italian wearers, are these trousers a couple of years old? I agree, I think their older trousers were a bit more tapered but this has been relaxed slightly in the past couple of years so I didn’t note any issues – particularly when I tried the size 34/50 (there’s a couple of photos higher up if that helps)
Yes, older. However, the measurements they have listed for the leg opening on a 54 is still rather narrow (probably about the same). I agree that the ones on you look good, but–as I mentioned above–I think some (most) brands struggle scaling up for larger sizes and keeping proportions good.
Nice piece, btw. I wish I had something like this to reference when I was getting into these things (though most of these options didn’t exist then).
Good to have good qualify RTW options given everything is so expensive at the moment. Some of us have mortgages and school fees to pay and can’t afford bespoke stuff.
Has anyone tried Scavini trousers before as recommended by Sartorial Talks? How do they compare to the above recommendations ?
I have only tried their one-pleat cut and they are great – well made and a non-exaggerated, flattering cut. Some of their fabrics I don’t like but there are always classic options as well.
Thanks Ferdinand, which fabrics do you like from them? I’m interested in their S3 one pleat model. I might try their chinos. They don’t seem to do flannels so might get those from Berg & Berg or Anglo-Italian.
Their website has some issues – if you do the selection on materials (e.g., wool), you see different options than when selecting on cut first and vice versa. They do flannels as well in any case (https://www.scavini.fr/produit/s3-une-pince-flanelle-laine-cachemire-loro-piana/?attribute_pa_couleur=gris-moyen). I have a heavy cotton chino and a high twist wool, those are subtle and good. I would prefer they do more of these understated fabrics, but maybe the French have a taste for unusual checks etc.
This is an excellent guide and certainly chimes with my experience of many of the brands. My additional thoughts are:
Cavour – brown fresco trousers – nice construction but too slim at the leg opening and calf area. Wasn’t convinced by the quality of the fresco fabric (a bit shiny and thin).
Natalino – sizing changes hugely between different releases of seasons. You need to be super vigilant on the size charts. I love the wide thigh and the gentle taper. Over the past 2 years though two pairs of Flannels I’ve bought the fabric itself has slightly decreased in quality but not a biggie. If you are very slim the sizing gives lots of options but the jump in waist size for slightly fuller guys like me means that it’s hard to find the right size. Big guys don’t even look as the 54 is only 47-48cm half waist!
Berwich – great quality fabric choice but again the sizing seems to vary despite ordering exactly the same size and fit. For example I have two pairs in the Mauritius fit which is meant to be a gentle taper with a moderate thigh. My flannel pair seem true to size but a wool/silk/linen pair are much tighter around the thigh. To me this smacks of poor quality control in manufacturing. However the flip side is the choice of fabric itself which is top notch.
I’ve had a MTM fresco from Brown in Town Atelier and these are a perfect fit and tbh not much more in cost than a rtw from Anglo or drakes. For me this is the way forward for now and just ordered a fox mid grey flannel .
Thanks for the in-depth article, Manish. I find these overviews with relative comments very helpful. Especially useful as I too fall between 32” and 34” (and often M and L in other items).
For some reason, perhaps because I have to buy online, I find trousers to be the thing I dread – just too many variables in size and fit and then often the inevitable hassle of returns. I’ll pull myself together and order the Anglo-Italians I’ve been eyeing up!
Hi simon i think you can consider tossing in uniqlo on the cheap end in here. I recently tried their vintage/regular fit chinos and they are pretty good! Mid-high rise and a pretty full leg. I was even more impressed with their new pleated office trousers. It has a high rise above the navel and a nice full leg. The only downer is the fabric but for that price i think it nails the silhouette for men on a budget or thosr who just want a nice knockabout trouser.
Thanks Shem. Yes I will cover the chinos because they are very interesting, though not the material we’re covering in this article (not a dress trouser).
I haven’t tried their office ones, but I’d suspect the material would be a big issue. It is possible to use quite cheap cotton and get a decent chino, as it is meant to be robust. But even the cheapest worsted materials I know would cost more than the final price of the Uniqlo tailored ones.
Hi simon i forgot to add on that i also recently bought the uniqlo u pleated cotton chino which is fantastic. Its cut is identical to my armoury army chinos but with cool forward pleats. The colour is a very nice shade of khaki, identical to the rubato dark khaki. Fantastic value proposition i must say and i can see myself wearing it alot
Ok thanks Shem
Wow this is a good tip. Big uniqlo fan myself but the materials usually keep me away from the trousers.
Sorry if this may be irrelevant but please can i get some opinions on light brown suede loafer? I am looking to step out of my comfort zone for the cavendish polo brown. Please can you guys suggest if this shade of brown would be versatile and worth it ?
Unless you’re going to wear them with jeans a fair bit, I think you’ll get a lot, lot less use out of them than darker browns. I’d say get two of those before a tan/polo brown. They look exciting, but are particularly limited as being best suited to lighter trousers
Thank you for you opinion Simon, since you mentioned jeans. I believe this may be a color i should go for as i personally wear jeans 5-6 days a week.
Ok, much safer then
Could we move on from turn-ups flying at half-mast above a bare ankle please?
It looked silly when the fashion crept in and really hasn’t got any better over time…
Thanks for the opinion Nick, but just saying you don’t like it, or it looks inelegant, would suffice. Saying people are silly doesn’t encourage anyone to listen
Simon, my comment may appear trite but I think you are taking it out of context.
I make no judgement on the individual or their character, should they choose to dress in this way. Indeed, I would respect their choice. But I do maintain that, personally, I think the look is silly.
In a similar vein, I could never endorse the practice of wearing one’s trousers below the hips with a good two inches of underpant peeking above (not the regular habit of Permanent Style readers, I’m sure).
Inelegant may be the more diplomatic word but, to my mind, ‘silly’ covers more ground. Time will tell whether these fashionable faux-pas (again, my personal view) have the permanance this site aims to reflect.
Thanks Nick. I understand and it is your personal view, I just think these conversations are more interesting when people explore a little more why they think something looks silly, for example. Otherwise there’s nothing much to the comment that will be of any interest to others – which is the point of them. It’s not about being more diplomatic, but being more substantial
I agree Simon. And perhaps the backwaters of the comments section isn’t the most suitable venue for a substantive debate.
Perhaps a future article on how we wear, rather than what we wear, might make for interesting reading and a wider contribution of views?
Nice idea, yes.
I’m actually quite proud of how good and substantive the comments on PS are, certainly compared to the vast majority of sites and social media. I also know readers value them a lot – and say how much the comments add to the articles, bringing different perspectives and fleshing out the points. Some readers specifically just track the new comments that come in,
Hi Simon – I think you should be proud of the quality and tone of the comments section – it is almost unique in maintaining a helpful, interesting and not derisive tone compared to other fora. And you as the moderator are the main reason for this, quickly calling out people when the comments are more flippant and very much setting the standard for this. Thank you!
Pleasure James, thank you
Great to have this article – and all the op-ed comments – many thanks! To ask a question I guess I know the answer to: Any RTW solutions out there of this kind of quality for someone with 40” waist and 38” inside leg?
A thoroughly enjoyable and informative read, Manish. I can relate to your description of the “coastal erosion” experience with low rise trousers 🙂
Having touched on a lot of them already, can I ask for opinions on the Trunk Hollen trousers? Slightly higher rise it seems with a single pleat, labelled as year round. Does anyone have experience regarding fit and quality?
They are quite good. A medium rise and a rather “wide” leg, a tad bit wider than an incotex regular cut. Enough length to go for turn-ups if desired. Not cheap, but a decent model to consider, which I can recommend
will there be one for RTW shirt?
No current plan, but we can certainly work on one – that’s a pretty big category!
Thank you…really helpful piece. I am a huge fan of Berg and Berg personally. I am a 32 waist, tall and skinny but find my Antonio flannels both comfortable and flattering. Agree that high rise was a gamechanger – never looked back!
Thank you Manish and Simon, for featuring our trousers!
I see that many would like to see trousers with more space, and a higher rise.
Which is being introduced in our Spring/Summer 23 collection.
I have been working on the sample for a while, and now it just arrived two days ago. It is significantly wider and has a higher rise, compared to our Model 2. I had the first non-Cavour employee try them yesterday, and he seemed to appreciate it.
Styling-wise quite similar to the current Model 2, with side tabs and reverse pleats.
Will be made in three shades of grey in VBC four ply tropical to begin with, and then more fabrics for Autumn/Winter.
Slightly off-topic, but reverting to a previous Manish post: Are the shetland jumpers on the Natalino website made by Harley? They refer to using wool from a 200 year-old Scottish spinner (as do the Harley sweaters on the Bosie website)
Wow. Fantastic, what a helpful guide Manish. Many thanks
I’d be interested to know where P Johnson trousers fit into this spectrum of brands in terms of overall quality.
Yes, and Incotex , too.
What is the importance of the little v-split at the back of the waistband?
Do I need to look for trousers with that waistband split when buying a pair?
It’s intended to make the back more comfortable, so you can expand into it a little but the trousers are still held. To be honest I’ve had them and never seen a difference, so I’m happy to go without
I have a question regarding the fit. Simon often in various guides, suggests wearing straight leg. I’ve recently purchased high-twist trousers from Berg&Berg and jeans from Full Count and straight leg feels old style. I feel like the trousers cover too much of a shoe, bulky. At the same time, I can’t purchase slim fit due to larger thighs. The remaining option is a tapered fit and it feels much better than straight. To me it appeals modern, showing more of your shoe, giving enough room in the thighs but following the shape of the leg more closely. It feels tailored compared to a straight leg.
What’s you opinion on this?
Spencers trousers in Yorkshire offer a made to measure service at £150-160 a pair. They are very flexible in terms of fit. The turnaround is 10-14 days last time I checked. An incredible bargain, when compared with the likes of Drakes.
Hi Simon, I have noticed that many RTW brands offer their trousers in single pleated rather than flat front, and as far as I am aware, achieving good pleats isn’t easy, especially when they are RTW. Do you have any idea why this is the case?
How hard it is to fit pleats depends rather on the person – how big they are in the hips and seat. The brands offer it because it’s a smarter, more tailored style I assume
After embarking on an expensive de-tour trouser journey (I should have followed Simon’s advice and bought quality instead of quantity from the beginning), my positive experiences with two brands:
ROTA: Best quality (according to my tailor), quite classic fit, but be careful where you buy (as I understand ROTA works with different suppliers and the cut can vary from supplier to supplier). I bought my ROTA trousers from Michael Jondral (Germany, but delivers worldwide) and No Man Walks Alone. I can recommend both platforms. Big sales are difficult, but 30% is possible at both platforms at the end of the season (up to 50% for ROTA Sports = chinos). I buy size 46, which fits perfectly.
CAVOUR: Good quality (according to my tailor), very good value for money if you buy with 50% discount (which is possible with most models at the end of the season), as written by Manish, Mod-2 (their standard model) fits rather narrow through the leg and I had the width changed by my tailor at the calves (I have slim thighs but quite muscular calves), the sizes are different from ROTA and 46 is rather small for me even at the waist (I take size 48 with CAVOUR, which – on the waist – is similar to ROTA’s 46).
Thanks Markus. Just a note on Rota – they are the supplier, they’re a maker and make for lots of other brands as well as under their own name. The models they offer do vary, however, and they’ll make different cuts for different customers.
Thank you, Simon, for the clarification.
Because of my positive experience with their trousers, I think I will stick with buying trousers bearing the ROTA brand (sometimes the brand is “ROTA exclusivly for [insert name]”. Otherwise, one can never be sure, at least as a normal customer like me sitting in Vienna and having no insight
A PS: Sorry, I have gotten the term “supplier” wrong (I am not a native English speaker). By “supplier” I meant seller (like “No Man Walks Alone”), as compared to “maker”. But from your comment, I understand that “maker” / “supplier” is the same, namely the entity that produces the trousers.
Ah, sorry Markus. Yes that is probably the more common way of understanding the term, though in some ways the shop is the supplier to you as well