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Trousers quality; What's the indicator?

la_asie

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I am looking to get my trousers made from my local tailor, and after looking at my current trousers collection for reference, I am unable to tell the difference in the quality between them. I compared my Attolini, RLPL, PRL, Tom Ford to brands that don't usually make high-quality tailored clothes like Paul Smith, Dior, etc. I do not see a difference in term of how they are put together. I mean... yes, my RLPL, Attolini trousers (love the buttons fly), and Tom Ford have nicer fabric, but that's all... The only thing that Attolini, RLPL, or Tom Ford is superior to Dior, Paul Smith, or Suitsupply is the quality of the fabric and perhaps the fit. The construction of the trousers, on the other hand, cannot be differentiated.

What could be an indicator of a good pair of trousers if the fabric is not taken into consideration?
 

Phileas Fogg

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Certainly the finishes and the fabric are what one notices initially.

What differentiates anything of quality is how it ages and and the garment behaves over time.
 

la_asie

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Certainly the finishes and the fabric are what one notices initially.

What differentiates anything of quality is how it ages and and the garment behaves over time.
With that being said, trousers that are made with any capable tailor will likely age similarly? I mean the construction of the trousers is not as complicated as the jacket (where canvas and such are also considered), and I believe that the basic process of making a pair of trousers is pretty much the same. That is, any tailor would be using the same method to craft the product.

So, isn't it like comparing two fully canvassed jackets, one is Zegna Mainline and the other is Zegna Couture. The way those jackets are assembled is pretty much the same, but the differences are the hand details in the final product and the fabric, yes? If so, then is it safe to say that the quality, which according to you is how they age, will be likely the same, but with a more nicer touch?
 

norMD

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It is very hard to judge quality. Putthison has a write up.

Permanentstyle makes some points.

If you go through your tailor you will know the fabric, you can see the fit and finishing and maybe decide if you want hand-made details.
 

Phileas Fogg

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Ask any tailor and I think that they would disagree that trousers are simple. I’m not saying it takes as much time as a jacket, but designing and making a pair of slacks takes thought. Think about the stress and load that a pair of slacks must be able to withstand. Think about the contours of you waist, hips, thighs and legs.

if you ask me, the thoughtfulness of the above and the effort to account for such things are also markers of quality.
 

breakaway01

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Construction quality is a bit overrated. Not that it doesn’t matter at all, but to me it is far behind fit, styling, and fabric in importance. The real test of your local tailor is whether they can achieve a fit better than your RTW trousers. One thing that you will not find in RTW is much in the way of ironwork—shaping of the trousers by selective stretching or shrinking of areas of fabric. Ask your local tailor whether they will be doing that in making your trousers.
 

BomTrady

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Ask any tailor and I think that they would disagree that trousers are simple. I’m not saying it takes as much time as a jacket, but designing and making a pair of slacks takes thought. Think about the stress and load that a pair of slacks must be able to withstand. Think about the contours of you waist, hips, thighs and legs.

if you ask me, the thoughtfulness of the above and the effort to account for such things are also markers of quality.
I agree with this analysis. Some trousers will continue to look beautiful as they age and some are going to look, well, not so nice. I cannot tell you what the formula is for that, but I imagine that - how the garment is made, which equates to price, at least to some degree, has something to do with it. This is just anecdotal, but you mentioned Attolini. I have Attolini trousers that I've had for 8 or 9 years and they look just as nice as when I first put them on. I have others that looked great for the first 2/3 years then I pretty much abandoned them because the drape or waistband looks off to me now. Let's just say they are missing that je ne sais quoi. So, yes, reasonable men may differ, but there is a difference in quality and, as inexperienced as I am, I can look inside a pair of handmade trousers and see the quality difference. I am certainly not saying just because a pair of trousers are expensive makes them of high quality or less expensive makes them of poor quality.
 
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papado

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Quality of the hardware (zippers, buttons, side tabs, closures, etc) is a fairly obvious one once you become aware of it as wear your garments. Interior waistband and pocket finishing is another thing which separates them (for example I'm sure if your compare your TF to SuSu you'll notice the difference). You can obviously argue some of the merits, but I think we could also argue whether handmade buttonholes on a RTW jacket differentiate 'quality' once you start factoring in fit and proportions.

I think part of the issue of comparing RTW trouser 'quality' is also that certain brands will have a block/cut that just won't work for you regardless of how "well" they are constructed. I've found Rota trousers via NMWA and have fallen absolutely in love from an OTR standpoint (like most of the other SFers haha). They have a great block with good proportions and give you some room to adjust to your preference. Of course if you have the same waist size as me but much smaller or larger legs/hips you'll have differing opinions on fit so you may not rate them as highly.
 

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