How to tailor the perfect trousers

How to tailor the perfect trousers

Dress to slay

How to tailor the perfect trousers

Made-to-measure pants are bang for the bucks as they are slimming, flattering and allow comfortable movement. But it’s not easy to get them right. Sanjiv Shroff gives you a few pointers

A pair of trousers that fits and flatters is a wardrobe essential for every man. To get one, however, is not always an easy task. There are many elements to take into consideration while getting trousers tailored – the cut, the fall, the fabric, the occasion. Here we look at the important elements of a trouser and how you can tailor them to best suit you.

Start with the length

With the length of your pants, you should be most concerned with the ‘break’. This refers the part where the pant leg meets the shoes. You can have a full, medium or short break depending on your height and fashion-forwardness. Generally, it’s safe to opt for a medium break where the trousers stop at the highest point of the instep. Expert tailors are well trained to match the fall of your trousers with your body type and fashion choice to allow the best of fit and comfort.

Fit at the waist

It’s very important to have the trousers sit just above your hip bone, so that they can stay up even without a belt. With handmade trousers, you can expect better comfort with a floating canvas construction on the waistband that offers a perfect balance of rigidity and support.

To pleat or not to pleat?

Pleats, which are the fold of fabric just below the waistband, offer extra flexibility around the front and a classic, elegant look. It’s your best option for a formal or classic look. For a more casual, slim finish you can try a plain-front.

Cuff it up

Trouser cuffs are a great way to add a bit of extra weight to the fabric and help the trousers fall perfectly. This is a good option for your formal trousers, as it also adds an elegant embellishment. Generally, pleated trousers are paired with cuffs, and plain-front without cuffs. This also translates to the occasion, with pleats and cuffs picked for more formal wear.

In the pocket

Generally, formal trousers will have a straight up-and-down slit to conceal the pocket as much as possible. A slanted pocket is generally seen in casual wear.

Picking a fabric

The fabric of your trouser is most important when considering the occasion that you’re looking at. Woven wool or luxurious wool blends (with silk, cashmere etc.) are your formals that work best in muted tones of black, grey and navy blue. Heavier fabrics like these will help create a smoother drape and let the trousers hang neatly. Of course, this is not always comfortable in warmer weather, for which it’s always good to try light weight wools in a plain weave, cotton or linen blends.

À la main

As with any piece of clothing, nothing fits better than those made-to-measure and the best choice you can make for your trousers is to have them hand-stitched. Hand-sewn seams, waistbands and buttonholes help your trousers perfectly frame your physique. What you will get in return is a garment that is slimming, flattering to your height and allows comfortable movement. What better return on investment.

How to pick the right shirt or your trousers?

  • Contrasting colours: The first ruling in paring is contrasting colours between trouser and shirt. If you’re wearing a light shirt, then pick dark trousers and vice versa.
  • Picking patterns: Matching the right patterns can be a little tricky and the easiest way to do it is to always pair patterns with solid colours.
  • Fabric combinations: There are times when both trousers and shirts can be of the same fabric – in general for cottons, wools and their blends. However some fabrics like denims or silks are generally worn with a different fabric.
  • The universal white: The wonder of white is that is can be paired with anything for both shirts and trousers. And that’s all you need to get yourself the perfect pair of trousers!

(The author is director, Camessi)