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Purpose of "Sartorial Waistband Split?"

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have seen this question posed before, but I have not seen anyone really answer it definitively enough for my satisfaction, so I'll ask again:

What is the purpose of the split in the back of the waistband that you see in many high-dollar trousers? (I've seen these on Incotex, Brioni, Barba, Borelli, and doubtless others.) If you had to have the trousers taken in or out an inch, wouldn't this pose troubles, particularly for your average dry cleaner tailor?
post #2 of 18
Brooks Brothers took in the waist in a pair of pants I purchased recently by simply closing the split; I was not impressed. Nonetheless, I think their primary purpose is for aesthetic reasons.
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
What is the purpose of the split in the back of the waistband that you see in many high-dollar trousers?

In my experience, it is comfort. The waistband is more flexible as you move or sit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
If you had to have the trousers taken in or out an inch, wouldn't this pose troubles, particularly for your average dry cleaner tailor?

They are likely to close it.
post #4 of 18
My limited understanding is that it's primarily for movement and comfort. But then again, maybe this belongs in the overrated thread. Unless it's in there already...I can't confirm while at work right now because there were references to Anna Hathaway and the hershey highway last time I looked.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spatlese View Post
I can't confirm while at work right now because there were references to Anna Hathaway and the hershey highway last time I looked.

post #6 of 18
I think the V split in the back of trouser is another marketing gimmick that is associated with highly priced dress pants, IMO. I feel no difference when I wear a trouser that has V split at the back.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by chorse123 View Post
In my experience, it is comfort. The waistband is more flexible as you move or sit.

I think that is an added rationale. I think the real origin is that brace top trousers must be made this way, because there is no way to join the waistband at the fishmouth. High back brace-top trousers pre-date straight-waist trousers. When trousermakers who were used to making brace-tops started making straight-waist trousers (on SR, this began in earnest after WW2, with the influx of American clients), they kept that fishmouth. It subsequently came to be seen as an old-world detail.

FWIW, almost none of the bespoke taloirs/trouser makers I have used put a fishmouth on a straight-waist trouser.
post #8 of 18
The small V in the back is a functional detail which allows the waist to give a little - for that extra little bit of girth, or "muffin top", if you will, especially when sitting down.
post #9 of 18
"muffin top"
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
I think that is an added rationale. I think the real origin is that brace top trousers must be made this way, because there is no way to join the waistband at the fishmouth. High back brace-top trousers pre-date straight-waist trousers. When trousermakers who were used to making brace-tops started making straight-waist trousers (on SR, this began in earnest after WW2, with the influx of American clients), they kept that fishmouth. It subsequently came to be seen as an old-world detail.

FWIW, almost none of the bespoke taloirs/trouser makers I have used put a fishmouth on a straight-waist trouser.

This is right - the fishtail split was originally for braces. I asked my tailor a while ago and he confirmed it.
post #11 of 18
I'm not sure I buy the comfort argument. If you're cinching your pants with a belt, that is the major constraint on their "give," not whether there is a 1/2" V in the back of the waistband.
post #12 of 18
I too asked my tailor and he said it was for the suspenders. Though I never felt a difference, when it had the V or not. (?)
post #13 of 18
Another candidate for the "overated" thread.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by chorse123 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas
If you had to have the trousers taken in or out an inch, wouldn't this pose troubles, particularly for your average dry cleaner tailor?
They are likely to close it.
I understand that the average alterations tailor is likely to close it, but can a waist alteration on these be done without closing it? Can seam allowances be left if you are taking in the trousers? I've got several Incotex that need to be taken in and I rather like that detail.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dah328 View Post
I understand that the average alterations tailor is likely to close it, but can a waist alteration on these be done without closing it? Can seam allowances be left if you are taking in the trousers? I've got several Incotex that need to be taken in and I rather like that detail.

Yes, definitely. All of my trousers that were altered at the waist were done while keeping the split.
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