El Principe

New Member
Hello all

Just a quick Q on this probably "done-to-death" topic.

Trying to rebuild a smart wardrobe: built a wardrobe between the ages of 21-25, and by the time I hit 30 none of it fit anymore, including the suits (I've gotten bigger, broader). Past few years I worked a job where we had to wear a rather unfortunate "uniform" (black trousers, white shirts) so I hadn't been wearing any of what I previously built - and coming back to it, I realized I needed to size up.

I haven't got the money to invest in new suits right now, so it'll probably be various odd trouser/jacket combos to begin with. I've got all my shirts sorted easily enough, but I really struggle with trousers.My legs / posterior are large and athletic. Nowdays I won't wear trousers w/o stretch.

I've already got some odd trousers in grey/navy wool (stretch) but also diversifying into chinos in a smarter cut, to pair with navy blazer jacket. My go-to is Dockers, as my jeans are always Levi 501 with stretch. I picked up some "Signature Khaki Classic Fit" (98% cotton, 2% elastane) in dark pebble/khaki. I'm a 36" inch waist and these fit perfectly in the waist and thigh but are a touch tight in the seat. A touch tighter than the 501 jeans fit.

I know that the general rule for adjusting trousers is "find those that fit in the thighs, adjust the rest accordingly".

But unlike smart/suit trousers, the problem with chinos is they generally have no spare fabric to adjust (though I've come across jcrew bowery in the past which did). It'd be a quick fix otherwise. Very frustrating.

So I guess my question is this: should I size up to 38" and bring it all in to get the "perfect" fit? Or is sizing up a whole waist size and tailoring this a bad idea and a waste of time?

Many thanks
 
Last edited:
G

Guest-579541

Guest
While partially size dependent, fully tailored trousers with with a split waist band and an 1" plus extra cloth on each side of center seam can be let out or taken in about 2" without needing to recut, which is an issue anyway because of rear pockets.

Chinos lacking these attributes are a lot more problematic. You'd need to remove and shorten the waistband, before opening the rear seam and taking in the excess cloth.

What I've always done with such trousers is to get as close to a good fit as possible, and then live with it. It's generally just not worth the bother or expense for comparatively inexpensive pants even if (Big if!) the work is performed competently.
 

TKI67

Elite Member
That is pretty much what my tailor (Vanessa at Ace in Austin) said. Beyond two inches the time and cost go up enough that it would not pay on khakis but might on very expensive flannels.
 

medhat

Super Member
With so many available brands of chinos around apart from Dockers I'd see if there was a brand with a better fit through the thighs/seat. Bonobos comes to mind, but I think in the UK they're only available through resellers and maybe not worth it price wise.
 

never behind

Super Member
There are some chinos that have split waistbands, but will cost a little extra. Bill’s, Jack Donnelly and All American Khakis come to mind. I really like the M2 fit at Jack Donnelly - room in the hip/seat with a taper.
 

Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
I haven't got the money to invest in new suits right now, so it'll probably be various odd trouser/jacket combos to begin with.
Unless your job/career requires a lot of business-level dressing up, then I'd say forget the 2-piece suits and stick with odd jackets and odd trousers. These days if you both both very carefully you can put together a really great looking & visually interesting, but also very dressy, look. Better than plain 2-piece suits, to my eye. If you must wear a suit, get one with conservative pinstripes or something.
I know that the general rule for adjusting trousers is "find those that fit in the thighs, adjust the rest accordingly".
I have never heard that one but there are tons of rules out there. Basically, forget the rules with fit, and just ask yourself: "am I comfortable wearing this?" If your answer isn't 100% yes, then it doesn't fit. And to be honest, most of the time no amount of alterations is going to achieve 100%. Although I have not had many alterations made over the years, my (limited) experience has taught me that it's usually best to forget alterations and just hunt around and find the pants that fit you best without alteration. They exist.
 
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