How much mileage can one get from suit pants?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kolecho, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. kolecho

    kolecho Senior member

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    I am referring to bespoke full canvas suit, in four season 100% wool fabric (110s-130s), steam cleaned from time to time, with minimal dry cleaning.

    In your experience, how many days of wear can one realistically get from the trousers and jacket respectively?
     
  2. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    My very first bespoke tailor said to me, back in the mid-1970's when he was fitting my first bespoke suit, "Alex, be sure to order two pairs of trousers with every suit." It was wonderful advice. Luigi's dead. The suit is not.

    Your question cannot be answered because it is dependent upon how hard you wear the suit, except to say that usually the trousers die long before the jacket.
     
  3. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    Like Mr Kabbaz, I was always advised to order two pairs of trousers with all my suits. In general, I have done so whenever possible, unless emotion has overcome reason in regards to suit choice. Most of my suits are pure wool, although two of them have a small amount of lycra or other artificial fabric for comfort and/or durability.

    Notwithstanding having two pairs of trousers for each suit, I have yet to wear out any of my suits. I tend to wear each suit about once per week on average, and both jackets and trousers are still in good condition. The oldest of my suits is about ten years old, and the youngest is three. The trousers in the ten-year old suit are beginning to look somewhat shiny and worn, however, and I can see that they will have to be permanently retired in the not too distant future.

    I have found that my trousers tend to wear in the crotch after about two years (of once or twice-a-week wear). This is quite simple to repair, as my tailor simply cuts out the worn material in the crutch of the trousers, and inserts two small, "v" shaped pieces of matching fabric. That fabric then lasts about two years, before it needs to be replaced. As long as the rest of the trousers are in good condition (not too shiny, stretched or shapeless), this procedure should be able to continue almost indefinitely.

    Of course, there are many variables to consider here - where you work, what kind of work you do, how much walking you do at work, the fabric from which the suit is made, and your physical build - all will impact to some extent on how quickly your suit wears out.

    Slightly off-topic, my father had several bespoke suits that he had made for him when he was in his late twenties and early thirties, in plain navy and black, single-breasted, two button style - quite classic, although the lapels were perhaps slightly thinner than is the fashion nowadays. Nonetheless, he was still able to wear those suits, and they were in perfect condition, some thirty to forty years after they were made for him. Certainly, he had little need to wear suits as be became older (there being little need for formal dress at universities.), but he still enjoyed wearing a suit on occasion, especially if we were going out to dinner somewhere.

    So, in short, with good care and the occasional repair, a good pair of trousers (and the rest of the suit) should last for many years. Just make sure that you guard against the depredations of moths, cockroaches, silverfish and the like.

    Regards,
    JH

    Queensland, Australia
     
  4. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    My experience with the supers is that the suit will have less longevity than the others have mentioned. For example, I bought a super 120 suit (RTW-one pair of trousers) at Sulka in 1994. Wore it about 25 times a year and it was gone about 6 years later. Pants were shiny, especially around the pockets (keep your hands out of them). Other suits, even flannel, have given me better wear. My favorite suit was a gray flannel chalk-stripe Barbera, worn once a week in winter (25 times per year), which lasted 12-13 years.
     
  5. pgoat

    pgoat Senior member

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    I'd be interested to hear more about this cut and paste method of salvaging the crotch area.

    I have an 8-yr old super 100s suit (maybe 8 oz. fabric), not shiny yet but only worn an average of 1x month so less than 100 wearings....it has two pinholes starting near the butt seam. I can get these re-woven but that's $80 and the suit is not worth dumping that much into. It IS a sentimental fave though so if I can salvage it cheaply I'd do it....just don't want to be wearing it at work and suddenly have my tighty whiteys poking through.....
     
  6. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    I'd be interested to hear more about this cut and paste method of salvaging the crotch area.

    I have an 8-yr old super 100s suit (maybe 8 oz. fabric), not shiny yet but only worn an average of 1x month so less than 100 wearings....it has two pinholes starting near the butt seam. I can get these re-woven but that's $80 and the suit is not worth dumping that much into. It IS a sentimental fave though so if I can salvage it cheaply I'd do it....just don't want to be wearing it at work and suddenly have my tighty whiteys poking through.....

    Any chance of being able to take the rear seam in 1/2" or so?
     
  7. pgoat

    pgoat Senior member

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    That's smart thinking; I was going to suggest just that for someone a bit thinner who might buy the suit from me on ebay.

    If I dropped about 25 pounds (I really need to drop more like 50 pounds!) I could see that happening......as it is I was thinking of letting it out some both to give a re-weaver more room to work and because I've never been happy with the rise on those pants (I was the same weight as now when I bought them)
     
  8. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    That's smart thinking; I was going to suggest just that for someone a bit thinner who might buy the suit from me on ebay.

    If I dropped about 25 pounds (I really need to drop more like 50 pounds!) I could see that happening......as it is I was thinking of letting it out some both to give a re-weaver more room to work and because I've never been happy with the rise on those pants (I was the same weight as now when I bought them)

    If this is that Alfani you were talking about, I think it may be time to let go of this suit. It's probably not worth fixing it. Post up your measurements and unleash the ebay hounds to find you a good cheap Oxxford or Southwick, etc.
     
  9. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

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    if you lose 25lb or more, you probably need to buy new suits.
     
  10. pgoat

    pgoat Senior member

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    If this is that Alfani you were talking about, I think it may be time to let go of this suit. It's probably not worth fixing it. Post up your measurements and unleash the ebay hounds to find you a good cheap Oxxford or Southwick, etc.

    You are right of course....I am just so CHEAP!

    Seriously tho, while it's a relatively cheap suit and I have gotten a lot of years out of it, it does fit me well....hence my reluctance to let it go. But I will be strong......snif snif![​IMG]
     
  11. pgoat

    pgoat Senior member

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    if you lose 25lb or more, you probably need to buy new suits.

    a win-win situation!!!
     

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