Off The Cuff Bespoke Trousers
This post is about bespoke trousers, and let me tell you, making good quality and well fitted bespoke trousers is not as easy as you think. How many times have you seen men that have a fairly decently fitted coat but lousy fitting trousers with a mega baggy bottom ? The big garment manufacturers with all the latest singing and dancing sewing machines and the most expensive pressing systems known to man even struggle to make a half decent pair of well fitted trousers. So how can ‘Bill’ the local cheap tailor down the road stand a chance of even coming anywhere near making you a half decent pair of trousers !
I believe men are now at the stage where they care what their suit looks like, and actually now look at the seat or their trousers. There was a time when men never looked at the rear of their trousers, and to be honest it was a good job they didn’t, for if they did they may well have had a bleeding’ heart attack with the state of the trousers at the back !
Trousers need to be cut right, note to self “come on Des stop stating the bleeding’ obvious now old boy” but more importantly they need a liberal use of the tailors iron, and I mean liberal, not the type of liberal that wears that funny little yellow badge and knocks on your door asking you to vote for them. The heavy tailors iron plays the deciding role in the outcome of the fit and hang.
The picture to the right shows a bespoke trouser leg laid on my vac table before setting. You can see my two irons, a normal steam iron, and my 16lb heavy tailors pressing iron. If you look at the trouser at this stage you can see the leg is actually quite shapeless and rather parallel.
The picture to the left shows the same trouser leg. But this time the picture shows the leg partially shaped with the heavy iron that you can also see in the picture. I have stretched and shrunk the cloth at the crucial places on the trouser and set the trouser creases front and rear.
Trousers when worn, should hang straight down at the back of your legs and fit nicely around the seat of your ……. err ……. arse !
There should be no creases, folds, pulls, drags or whatever more terminology I can use to describe an abomination of badly fitting trousers.
If you paid good hard cash for someone to make you so-called bespoke, or made to measure trousers and your trousers posses any of the above symptoms, then in a heart beat high tale it back to said twit from whence they came and demand they sort them out for you because they are not right. Don’t be shy in asking, nay, downright demand they rectify the problem, then maybe the outcome is that you will have them rumbled as a non tailor. ” Luke, I feel many refunds coming on within the Empire”
The picture to the right shows clearly now the effect the iron has had on these trousers. Don’t even dream of asking me to explain pressing to you sunshine ! I can’t, it’s a feel a touch a clear understanding of the medium you are working with. It’s like a Samurai in a state of Zen before he goes into battle. It’s like me before I take the head off a pint of John Smiths cask bitter from my local …….. Where are we at ?
Ah yes, pressing, in a nutshell it’s down to EXPERIENCE and lots of it, simple.
The picture on the right shows the left trouser leg looking down it. The front of the trousers is to the bottom of the picture, ( no zip added yet ) and the seat of the trouser is to the top of the picture.
The picture on the left now shows you the leg fully shaped out. You can see the impression of the full leg inlay showing on the seam in the middle of the trouser leg, I ‘blow’ this impression out later when the trousers are finished when I will then fully press them off.
The fold or bump you can see is the leg lining and the pocket bag sitting inside the trouser leg.
If you compare this picture to the first picture in the article, then I hope you can see the difference through the sequence of pictures to get the bespoke trousers to this stage. The trousers have gone from being fairly flat to something that actually resembles a leg and the backside of a man.
Incidentally, these trousers are now finished and are for a client of mine in London. He is tall and very lean. Tall men are obsessed with trousers being too short and too narrow. So these trousers have been cut a little wider through the legs for him which is what he asked me to do.
As a little add-on item, the picture to the right shows the finished hem of the same trouser I have been describing prior.
LOOK at your trouser hems ! The hem shouldn’t have any stitches showing through when it is finished. If you can see the stitches then its been finished by machine, and badly done.
The trouser hem on the right has been hand felled by me ( hand stitched ) no stitches are showing through, and I have left a good amount of turning underneath to allow for any increase of leg length.
The picture to the left shows a portion of the top section of the bespoke trousers.
You can see in this picture the ‘extension’ portion of the left front waistband laid on my bunch of Fyffes bananas. The extension is as clean as you like, its square and straight. The run into the top of the waistband is also straight, as is the seam portion onto the actual trouser.
You can also see the zip, bespoke tailors use metal zips not PLASTIC !! Unless the cloth is a very lightweight cloth we may use a plastic zip. If you look closely you can also see the hand stitching down the front portion of the trouser, and the actual fly portion is finished by hand. Look at your trousers and you will see this is probably machined.
You need to be looking at all these sections of your trouser to find out if you have been mis-sold a factory made, or poorly made trouser that was sold as bespoke or made to measure. If you have, then get your hat and coat on and beat a path back to the ‘tailor’ ! For more information look on my website www.desmerrion.com