What to look for in wool pants?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by swiego, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. swiego

    swiego Senior member

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    I tried several searches and didn't quite find something about the following:

    When shopping for high quality wool pants, setting aside style and fit issues (which vary from person to person) what are the things that I should be looking at or for to assess the quality of the garment? What are the signs of quality construction, durable design and long-term pride-of-ownership that I should keep my eye out for, and what are the signs of shortcutting that I should be wary of?

    With dress shirts, I've come to recognize certain qualities that set apart higher quality items from the rest, but with dress slacks I'm not so sure. The next time I go to a NM Last Call or Brooks Brothers or wherever, and spend some time looking at different slacks, what are the things I should focus on?

    (As an aside, I really wish there were a "signs of quality construction" sticky here with photo illustrations for various articles of clothing. That would be a tremendous resource.)
     
  2. Achilles_

    Achilles_ Senior member

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    To be honest its all about fit/cut to me. And of course materials.
     
  3. Klobber

    Klobber Senior member

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    avoid wools that make your skin itch
     
  4. OTM

    OTM Senior member

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    Good question, OP! Hopefully there will be some enlightened answers after the sun kills the trolls
     
  5. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    :slayer:
     
  6. Fred G. Unn

    Fred G. Unn Senior member

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    Obviously feel the quality of the material as others have said. Cheaply made pants try to cut costs by eliminating non-essential features that most better made pants keep. Fabric is expensive so check the seat, is there ample material to let out? If unhemmed is there sufficient length? If hemmed check the length and finish of the hem. Is the stitching visible from the front or not? Every added seam adds to the expense so check the waist, does the back of the waistband have a seam or not? (Some even have a V seam there, I don't remember what it's called.) This seam allows for easier tailoring should you need it. Count the belt loops, 8 is obviously more expensive than 5 and require extra time to sew on. (Unless they have side tabs which are usually signs of higher quality too.) Check the fly and front closure. Extra buttons or tabs here are an added expense but can help the appearance of the trousers from the front. Check the stitching too, some pants will have extra pick stitching which is obviously an added expense.

    A cheaply made $25 pair of pants that fit will look better on you than a $250 pair that doesn't fit, but these are just some of the things I look for when shopping. The presence or absence of any of these details isn't a deal killer for me if I like them and they fit, but they are some guidelines of "signs of quality construction" for me anyway.

    Fred
     
  7. Achilles_

    Achilles_ Senior member

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    I wish, inco are far too slim in the thigh for me!

    I would like to add that I prefer flat front pants as opposed to pleats :)
     
  8. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    there are some differently cut ones that are wider in the thighs and flat front.

    I usually buy a size up and have them taken in as needed =)

    Let me know if you need any help sourcing some!
     
  9. Bowtiedlad93

    Bowtiedlad93 Senior member

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    I always look for the twist anything below 120's will not do for me. I also look for the cut and ft of the trouses as well.
     
  10. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    A tag that has '100% Wool' on it is probably a good thing to be looking for in wool pants. Don't want any of this polyester stuff do we?
     
  11. Klobber

    Klobber Senior member

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    And to ancient israelites, wool / linen blends were against the law, punishable perhaps by stoning :devil:. Dont know what they would think of wool / poly blends? A slow drawn out stoning using only gravel or little rocks?
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  12. swiego

    swiego Senior member

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    Thanks Fred, that was exactly the sort of information I was looking for.

    I realize that fit, style, materials are key qualities, but when those meet a certain bar I still wish I knew more about pant construction to recognize signs of quality work, or signs of shortcuts.

    Some other questions,
    - What should I look for vis-a-vis lining? I assume silk? Minimum to the knees? How should the lining be finished?
    - Anything to look for with the zipper?
    - Is there anything special I should be aware of regarding how the pockets are stitched?

    That sort of thing...
     
  13. ThinkDerm

    ThinkDerm Senior member

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    Incotex makes some great wool/cotton blend pants. If you need something specific, let me know so I can help you out!
     
  14. swiego

    swiego Senior member

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    I know they do, or that everyone says that they do. I am trying to learn what it is that makes them so great, in terms of construction.
     
  15. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Senior member

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    Silk is rarely used for lining; it is expensive, wears out quickly, and does not breath very well. Usually Bemberg/Cupro/Acetate/Rayon (all different words for similar things) will be used.
     

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