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Basic Rights trousers, a heads up


Mar 17, 2015
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After reading the styleforum journal on Basic Rights trousers, I decided to give them a try. Sounded like everything I was looking for in an everyday pant: washable, nice cut, some nice details like waist adjusters and a dinner split, so I placed and order for three pairs. When I received the trousers, they were a little disappointing, but seemed reasonable for the price point. The linen was a bit stiff, the black cotton was quite thin, the cotton very heavy, a couple of minor fabric flaws, and the stitching looked a bit cheap and hurried. The fit was good, so regardless I decided to keep them.

Problem one: the trousers have extra fabric in the legs to allow for alterations (accoring to their website and included brochure.) To problem is, the trousers are already pressed at the hem which seemed like it would present a problem. Still I decided to give alterations a shot and let the pants out about 3/4" at the hem. My concern was valid, upon letting out the hem there was a very visible line at the hemline where the trousers had been previously pressed. Still, they seemed wearbale although reminiscent of high school pants, and maybe with a washing, the line would mostly disappear.

Problem two: I hand washed one pair of linen trousers and line dried. Right away, something didn't look right. Yep, the trousers had shrunk more than an inch in lengh and about an inch in the waist. Although I had read the trousers were washable here on Styleforum, this seemed obvious and egregious, so I double checked. Yes, on their label its printed the trousers are washable, as well as stated on their website.

Now stuck with three pairs of trousers that were unweable without further alterations and more pressing lines, I decided to contact Basic Rights. At first, their customer service answered right away. They had "never heard of this issue," but they were going to send me a return label, refund me for two pairs and issue credit (a "gift card") for the other pair. Not ideal, but I told them go ahead. Days passed. Nothing, so I contacted them again. This time they said they would issue a "gift card" for the three pairs of trousers. I told them that's not what we agreed to, and a gift card meant I would only be able to purchase more trousers that I couldn't wear. Too bad... I could purchase their "popular shirts and jackets."

Unfortunately, now I'm stuck. Three pairs of trousers totalling almost $600 and none of them are wearable. I understand wearing, altering and washing trousers makes them unreturnable under normal circumstances, but given the fact that I followed their guidelines and the trousers could not withstand their recommendations, I view these as defective.

A friendly warning for anyone interested in Basic Right's products.

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