Originally Posted by Cantabrigian
In this particular case, the comparison is with regards to construction since you cant judge the fit of trousers without a person in them.
Fit is (clearly, I think) tantamount. But with regard to construction, I'd say that - within reason - more handwork means higher quality. That is largely because I much prefer the look of hand finished seams.
I suppose you can debate the merits of mediocre handwork vs no handwork but that seems like a rather dull discussion. And, in this specific example, irrelevant since the stitching on Ambrosis is quite nice as it is on The Modern English Tailor's example.
To a certain extent, my statement was about the SF gestalt/arrogance and how it does not always match up with the statements of the craftsmen/women who make such thing. I'll agree that handwork can be an indicator and that in general a certain amount of handwork can differentiate between the mediocre and the good, but towards the top I get more dubious. To keep things on pants, IIRC the long seams on the trousers I have from Despos are sewn by machine, and I think I remember hearing something about it providing a stronger, straighter, more even stitch? At the same time I have pants by Attolini, which if I recall are lauded for their handwork. They're beautiful pants, but I am certainly of the opinion that Chris' are better constructed. I know that comparing RTW to bespoken is dubious, but this example highlights what I see as a flaw of the heuristics being touted.
To bring things back to Ambrosi/David, the part of relevance in my post goes back to the last statement about the layman's ability to identify whether or not something is done by hand. My understanding is that there are machines and manufacturing techniques for producing stitches that resemble hand work. Pick stitching is the easy example. Additionally though, I've got seams and other things I know are hand stitched, but would not have guessed as such unless I had been shown how to identify them.
Even so, I would not place a large amount of faith in my ability to discern one way or the other in a garment I was handed at random. Having spent some time looking at these things myself and also observing the misconceptions that even some of the most prolific of custom consumers may have, my skepticism regarding my own ability couples to leave me with a naive skepticism regarding the general ability to discern whether or not something was done by hand simply from photos when there may exist both hand and machine techniques that produce very similar results. This goes back to your statement that the Ambrosi pants have more hand work than David's. I don't know how much hand work David's pants may contain, but until the man says something to determine what the state of affairs is, I remain capable of imagining hand techniques and identifying things from the pictures that put into question the process used for any particular part of the garment.Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Also, the logician in me - as part of the mathematician - always hates the term "within reason" because its ambiguity really sort of sets things up so that the person saying it has all the wiggle room they need to find a corner to defend. Until we agree upon what is reasonable it's rather meaningless and leaves itself open so that the whole thing defines the person making the assertion as correct. This is neither here nor there though, and certainly nothing about trousers. It's a personal pet peeve that I've tried to accept because not everyone views conversation from the same perspective that I do. Other phrases are things like "common sense" and "back of the napkin."