never behind

Senior Member
887
United States
IN
Zionsville
So far in my sartorial journey, I’ve sourced jackets and trousers from O’Connell’s, J Press and Dapper Classics mainly. One shop that I’ve also seen is Ben Silver. I did some searching and the old threads were basically “nice but too expensive.” Looking at their flannels, moleskins and cords, they seem inline with O’Connell’s pricing. I am considering giving them a try and would like to hear opinions on their quality, esp vs O’Connell’s.

I am also curious to try them since they have forward pleats. I’ve actually never owned a pair of forward pleated trousers.

One edit - just realized O’Connell’s has forward pleated trousers. I’ve never ordered them as the plain front cut was plenty roomy for me. I have been afraid to try their pleats thinking the legs would be gigantic.
 

richard warren

Senior Member
685
United States
Louisiana
covington
The way I look at it is:

Ben Silver sells a Ben Silver tie for twice as much as an O’Connell’s tie. Now, if it sells a jacket for the same as an O’Connell’s, I figure the Ben Silver is worth half as much as it’s price, on the theory they sell their products for twice what they are worth.

Plus their entire sales schtick gives me the creeps. Although I may be an old geezer, I do not want to be “that guy.”

On the huge pants front, yesterday I pulled out and wore a pair of khakis (flat fronted as it happens) from maybe 20 years ago, went up to my belly button and stayed there and and the legs were, well, gigantic.

It was great.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
24,325
United States
New Jersey
Flanders
So far in my sartorial journey, I’ve sourced jackets and trousers from O’Connell’s, J Press and Dapper Classics mainly. One shop that I’ve also seen is Ben Silver. I did some searching and the old threads were basically “nice but too expensive.” Looking at their flannels, moleskins and cords, they seem inline with O’Connell’s pricing. I am considering giving them a try and would like to hear opinions on their quality, esp vs O’Connell’s.

I am also curious to try them since they have forward pleats. I’ve actually never owned a pair of forward pleated trousers.

One edit - just realized O’Connell’s has forward pleated trousers. I’ve never ordered them as the plain front cut was plenty roomy for me. I have been afraid to try their pleats thinking the legs would be gigantic.
I've never bought tailored clothing from Ben Silver, but my impression is pretty much what you've been told, nice, but too expensive. That they carry nice Harris, and other tweeds each season is a big plus. However, some have not been wild about Nick Hilton's stuff, and the jackets to me have an awkward look to the extent I would not want one. One consistent issue I've noticed is divots, and since the jackets on models aren't too tight overall, I think that they're not cutting their upper sleeve full enough for the padding.

I have no experience with the trousers either, and would be concerned that they have enough rise. They've followed Brit/Yank tailoring into the skinny lapel fashion, so if they've shrunken the trouser rise, as often accompanies this, it's bad juju.

Forward pleats are my preferred mode. Properly cut and fitted I find them flattering for both the girthy and slender. For those of gravitas, they offer needed ease, for the lean, a clean drape. They fit properly when the pleats are closed standing erect. Cut properly, it is fuller, with fuller legs, especially compared to the misfortunes that have been fashionable for several year. But if well tailored, they're very handsome once you understand their aesthetic.
 

challer

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
458
United States
Virginia
Alexandria
Very nice, trad, overpriced stuff. Been there and cataloged there. Good for basics if you’re willing to pay. Now, getting to O’Connells in person is a thing and for tailored clothing that’s also a thing. For my in person trad, I used to haunt Guffy’s (Atlanta) and Boyd’s (Philadelphia). Easier to get to, no better prices.
 

never behind

Senior Member
887
United States
IN
Zionsville
I've never bought tailored clothing from Ben Silver, but my impression is pretty much what you've been told, nice, but too expensive. That they carry nice Harris, and other tweeds each season is a big plus. However, some have not been wild about Nick Hilton's stuff, and the jackets to me have an awkward look to the extent I would not want one. One consistent issue I've noticed is divots, and since the jackets on models aren't too tight overall, I think that they're not cutting their upper sleeve full enough for the padding.

I have no experience with the trousers either, and would be concerned that they have enough rise. They've followed Brit/Yank tailoring into the skinny lapel fashion, so if they've shrunken the trouser rise, as often accompanies this, it's bad juju.

Forward pleats are my preferred mode. Properly cut and fitted I find them flattering for both the girthy and slender. For those of gravitas, they offer needed ease, for the lean, a clean drape. They fit properly when the pleats are closed standing erect. Cut properly, it is fuller, with fuller legs, especially compared to the misfortunes that have been fashionable for several year. But if well tailored, they're very handsome once you understand their aesthetic.
I was going to call and ask about the rise since their sizing doesn’t say. They offer S/R/L rises but only on a couple types of trousers. We will see what I can find out.

I started working in the 90s and everything was reverse pleats and voluminous in my small neck of the woods. I honestly thought that’s what dress clothes were until I decided to start learning about clothes and visiting places like this board. Even didn’t realize there was such a thing as forward pleats. I’ve been buying flat front pants for the past few years because it has been more prevalent (maybe trendy) and if I’m right, more “trad.” I have come to enjoy the trad look. But I’ve found I need to buy fuller cuts such as O’Connell’s for comfort in flat fronts. I’m ready to go back to my pleated friends.
 

Mr. B. Scott Robinson

Advanced Member
2,403
Atlanta, Georgia
United States
Georgia
Atlanta
I have generally concur with the opinions expressed above.

My family have bought me a few gifts from BS, but I am far too “value motivated” to buy anything from them at full retail.

I met Chip Ervin at Grady Ervin in Charleston, having bought some guns from his gun room during this years SEWE. If I were to frequent a Charleston shop for essentials, it would probably be his.

Cheers,

BSR
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
32,305
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
I love Ben Silvers catalogue(s). I've purchased a few pair(s) of shoes/boots from them, I think three, but maybe four ties from them, and I did pick up one of their sport coats, on clearance I think...it was deeply discounted. There is a third pair of their shoes that I've been jonesing for for a couple of years, but I haven't pulled the trigger because, frankly I cannot seem to justify spending $800 for a [air of shoes that might get worn perhaps a half dozen times before I shuffle off this mortal coil. Bottom line...I've just got way too many shoes/boots! LOL. ;)
 

peterc

Super Member
1,358
United States
california
san francisco
I only have one item from BS, a shirt, but I love it. Guess what? It actually fits, looks great and comes in exact sleeve lengths. Only one criticism: they are frequently sold out of what I want to buy. I am NOT one to place an order for something that's "back ordered." It's not that I mind paying for it up front. I just refuse to deal with the so called "back order" as it has rarely worked out for me.
 

fishertw

Advanced Member
2,004
United States
North Carolina
Boone
I’ve bought a number of things from Ben Silver over the past 30 years. Mostly on sale. They carry high quality merchandise and full retail is pretty pricey. I have trousers, sport coats a number of ties and socks and a couple of shirts. All have been bought on sale and all are exceedingly fine items. If you can find your size when the sales are on, go for it. AND , I’ve worn their LaFont round tortoise shell glasses frames for years.
 

FJW

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
294
United States
New Jersey
Belmar
Pretty much agree with all about Ben Silver. I've bought several sweaters,pocket squares and ties through the years but always during their annual warehouse sale. I've been to the store a few times and was happy with their service.

One plus for me is that offer pre-folded linen pocket squares. :)
 

Dhaller

Advanced Member
2,273
United States
Georgia
Atlanta
I first encountered Ben Silver at a discount store (Filene's Basement, now defunct), so it kind of damaged my view of them; constantly seeing "70% off" will devalue a brand. Fair warning to those whose stuff falls to the discounters.

I never even knew they were semi-well-regarded until many years later!

That said, they've always struck me as not having any particularly unique value, so I never saw the need (I'm a minimalistic sourcer) to add them to the rotation.

DH