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Do You Order Extra Trousers?

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
One of the things I am always in two minds about when I place a bespoke order for a suit is whether to get an extra pair of trousers. With lighter, summer fabrics the answer is easy - yes, definitely. With anything sturdier it is less clear cut. Then again, given enough time, there is always the risk that some accident will befall the trousers. It might be ten years or more before that happens, but when it does it is too late. There is no going back. Maybe then, just maybe you will regret it.

Does anyone else ponder such things every time he places an order with his tailor? How do you approach it?
post #2 of 77
Never. The theory is that you wear your suit so frequently that it requires a second pair of pants. Trust me if you actually wore the suit that frequently by the time you got around to the second pair of pants the jacket would look like #@$%. Yep I know the theory is you religiously alternate the pants. Another nice theory. Reality is that the guy with several suits alternates the suits, the guy with one suit, who is the least likely to follow the above theories anyway, wears it until it looks like @#$% and then buys another one.
post #3 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
One of the things I am always in two minds about when I place a bespoke order for a suit is whether to get an extra pair of trousers. With lighter, summer fabrics the answer is easy - yes, definitely. With anything sturdier it is less clear cut. Then again, given enough time, there is always the risk that some accident will befall the trousers. It might be ten years or more before that happens, but when it does it is too late. There is no going back. Maybe then, just maybe you will regret it.

Does anyone else ponder such things every time he places an order with his tailor? How do you approach it?

Sator I must say I did chuckle at the idea of ten years from now a waiter depositing the pot roast in your lap and entirely missing the front of your db jacket. Seems a bit like taking out an insurance policy against being struck by lightning.
post #4 of 77
Always. I am even considering getting a third pair for dead-of-summer suits.
post #5 of 77
Thread Starter 
I get serious feelings of guilt when I fail to get a second pair of trousers with my orders. After all a bespoke garment is something you hope to get a couple of decades or more of wear out of. I hate to treat my clothes as though they were disposable.
post #6 of 77
I have friends who order 4 pairs of trousers to go with their workhorse summer suits. Get your suits with at least 2 pairs.
post #7 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kolecho View Post
I have friends who order 4 pairs of trousers to go with their workhorse summer suits. Get your suits with at least 2 pairs.

As I say, with summer stuff the answer is easy. I wouldn't get more than two, as I would sooner get another couple of suits made altogether and rotate.
post #8 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
I get serious feelings of guilt when I fail to get a second pair of trousers with my orders. After all a bespoke garment is something you hope to get a couple of decades or more of wear out of. I hate to treat my clothes as though they were disposable.

I have suits, bespoke, MTM and OTP which I bought 20 years ago with a single pair of pants and they are just fine. In fact one of my favorites a db chalk stripe worsted is nearly 25 years old. I don't have suits cleaned in cleaning fluid btw it completely destroys them, but have personally and professionally had them steamed and sponged. Now in truth this means I've piled up quite a few suits of different weights so wouldn't need to wear one twice in seven days. I've never thrown out a suit for wear reasons so take some convincing that lots of additional spare pants are a worthwhile investment. Think of all the additional shoes you could buy.
post #9 of 77
Thread Starter 
I own a pair of vintage trousers which are probably Edwardian and came with a matching frock coat. They look fine despite being around a hundred years old. However, the fabric is around 18 Oz weight and very finely woven, unlike much modern stuff woven on looser weave settings.

As I say with summer weighted stuff I do prefer a second pair of trousers. They are much lighter than that winter weighted flannel. It is really only with anything over 11 Oz that I really start to wonder about the point of a second pair of trousers. Indeed, my tailor is currently working on some H Lesser 13 Oz Golden Bale - no extra trousers.

As for flannels in general, I have heard that they can start to peel around the seat with time and that extra trousers are worthwhile. While a single anecdote concerning a particular cloth may be reassuring, I would sooner be safe than sorry. I am thinking of what may happen in 21 years time.
post #10 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
I own a pair of vintage trousers which are probably Edwardian and came with a matching frock coat. They look fine despite being around a hundred years old. However, the fabric is around 18 Oz weight and very finely woven, unlike much modern stuff woven on looser weave settings.

As I say with summer weighted stuff I do prefer a second pair of trousers. They are much lighter than that winter weighted flannel. It is really only with anything over 11 Oz that I really start to wonder about the point of a second pair of trousers. Indeed, my tailor is currently working on some H Lesser 13 Oz Golden Bale - no extra trousers.

As for flannels in general, I have heard that they can start to peel around the seat with time and that extra trousers are worthwhile. While a single anecdote concerning a particular cloth may be reassuring, I would sooner be safe than sorry. I am thinking of what may happen in 21 years time.

I didn't start buying my suits in the era of Woodrow Wilson but I can only speak from my practical experience over forty years. I've got about nine suits that would qualify as tropical or lightweight and I've never felt a regular rotation was overstressing any part of them. I love flannel but basically it's too hot to wear in the US work environment, or at least heavier ones I've got are. Really like heavier tweeds. I'm considering getting a much lighter weight flannel this coming winter. I'm inclined to think you are over egging the pudding in preparing for an event in 2029. Will Chelsea Clinton be president or one of the twins. My little joke about the pot roast was based on a personal experience. A waiter did dump one in my lap and completely ruined the entire suit, it wasn't just a pant problem.
post #11 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ellis View Post
I didn't start buying my suits in the era of Woodrow Wilson but I can only speak from my practical experience over forty years. I've got about nine suits that would qualify as tropical or lightweight and I've never felt a regular rotation was overstressing any part of them. I love flannel but basically it's too hot to wear in the US work environment, or at least heavier ones I've got are. Really like heavier tweeds. I'm considering getting a much lighter weight flannel this coming winter.

The cloths from 40 years ago were more solidly woven than many modern summer weighted fabrics. 40 years ago 13 Oz would have been considered a light weight suiting. Even 20 years ago it would have been considered pretty light. Back then they just didn't have 10 Oz flannel or 8-9 Oz summer weighteds. And it's not just a matter of weight, clothes from 20-40 years ago are just much more solidly woven with so much more body than modern cloths woven on looser machine settings.
post #12 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
The cloths from 40 years ago were more solidly woven than many modern summer weighted fabrics. 40 years ago 13 Oz would have been considered a light weight suiting. Even 20 years ago it would have been considered pretty light. Back then they just didn't have 10 Oz flannel or 8-9 Oz summer weighteds. And it's not just a matter of weight, clothes from 20-40 years ago are just much more solidly woven with so much more body than modern cloths woven on looser machine settings.

You're obviously much more expert than me. I've been buying light and medium weight fabrics in the super 100's wools for probably 25 years now and none of them seem particularly heavy or dense. My flannel suits, I only have one now(the other a fantastic dark choc brown with chalk stripe got eaten by moths) are not very heavy flannel of the sort you describe, rolls of which I sometimes see remaindered in these fabric stores. Even then it's got to be worn selectively. Even if you had two pairs of pants you couldn't wear the jacket two days on the trot. In fact I'm thinking of replacing the choc brown this fall so I'll be scouring the sample books over the next month or two.
post #13 of 77
I started to order a second pair on MTM suits for only those suits that I know will be workhorse ones just b/c it is cheap insurance. Frankly, I don't wear my jacket arouind the office so to say it is exposed to as much wear is a fallacy. Other suits, either unique ones that I can't wear more than once every few weeks, or ones that are more focused seasonally, one pair will do. The better solution is to get more suits. I am up to 30 suits now and when I factor in rotation during a season, I can go at least 3 weeks between wearings.
post #14 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirk diggler View Post
I started to order a second pair on MTM suits for only those suits that I know will be workhorse ones just b/c it is cheap insurance. Frankly, I don't wear my jacket arouind the office so to say it is exposed to as much wear is a fallacy. Other suits, either unique ones that I can't wear more than once every few weeks, or ones that are more focused seasonally, one pair will do. The better solution is to get more suits. I am up to 30 suits now and when I factor in rotation during a season, I can go at least 3 weeks between wearings.

After the arms race the suit race. I basically agree with you on the solution. More suits. I've got about 26 plus several blazers and linen jackets which pass muster as formal wear in some settings. Basically I'm at capacity storage wise plus the fact my wife will divorce me if I buy anymore.
post #15 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sator View Post
One of the things I am always in two minds about when I place a bespoke order for a suit is whether to get an extra pair of trousers. With lighter, summer fabrics the answer is easy - yes, definitely. With anything sturdier it is less clear cut. Then again, given enough time, there is always the risk that some accident will befall the trousers. It might be ten years or more before that happens, but when it does it is too late. There is no going back. Maybe then, just maybe you will regret it. Does anyone else ponder such things every time he places an order with his tailor? How do you approach it?
I think with Summer suits in hot humid cities this isn't a bad idea because the pants have a higher chance of getting sweaty/dirty with the weather and summer activities. dont think this has to do with the pants wearing out as much as the need to rotate the pants more often. For the heavier or harder fabrics whether they are Harrison's fine classics, lessers 11 or 13 oz book, either firm's frescoes an extra pair of pants really aren't necessary. I think this is more a worry over having a tailor to get a new suit from ( a valid worry) than cloth getting worn out. From what i have seen from cloth from the English merchants, there is very little wear over time. The cloth is many times in a completely different league than the great bulk of suits found RTW. I started out treating my tailored garments as if they were more fragile than the RTW items and found that they are solid and can take a beating without showing the slightest signs of wear. How you treat your clothes makes a bigger difference in how long they last. I say this because I notice trends about the quality or the weight of the cloth. Cloth is important but it isnt the whole story about why things wear. I have a suit made from a super 100s 10oz cloth I thought was more like cardboard than fine wool. It has not only withstood incredible hammering but it still looks new. It is comfortable, easy to wear etc... and of course, the mill is no longer in business so i cant get more. You cannot tell how cloth is going to react until you put it through its paces. There are some things to consider. Except for Barbera, English mills make sturdier wool than the Italian ones. The cloth merchants that serve the tailoring trade like Lessers, Harrisons, Smiths (to name but a few) offer superior cloths because their reputations hang on every tailored garment made. If a suit doesnt perform well, they hear about it. That's why, a 150s from Schlomo suits may be prone to tearing but one offered by Harrison's wears well. Weight of the cloth is important but only between same weaves and qualities can you truly make an informed comparison.
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