All good things must come to an end, and this column marks the end of my latest bespoke project, two pairs of grey mid-weight mixer trousers by my usual London tailors Cad & the Dandy. In embarking on this project, I wanted to continue to build a capsule wardrobe of affordable and durable staple tailored pieces, cut in honest, hardy cloths and fitted beautifully. I'm pleased to report that as with the double-breasted suit they cut for me most recently, Cad & the Dandy have not disappointed.
In terms of fit, these are not only the best trousers I own, but also pleasingly the best trousers that we've achieved together as tailor and client. As outlined in the posts on the first and second basted fittings, I have a difficult posture for fitting trousers, and getting the trousers to hang both cleanly across my front and around my rather rotund seat is a real challenge for a tailor. The addition of an extra basted fitting has ensured that both pairs sit fantastically cleanly around my seat - the sweeping line through the rear of the trousers is immensely pleasing. The pleats also fall and hang beautifully and the weight added by the two inch thick turn-ups on each pair helps the trousers to drape nicely through the thigh and calf.
The other great pleasure of these trousers is the sheer amount of hand-work that's gone into them; the lining to the waistband has been visibly inserted and stitched-in by hand, the pocket openings have been both tacked and top-stitched by hand and I love the way that the tops of each pleat have been very cleanly and tightly tacked in with a dense little bar of hand-stitching.
I am also very pleased with the choice of cloths for this project. Initially I had a slight reservation about using a cavalry twill from the Holland & Sherry Dakota Plains bunch; I've often thought that it can look somewhat old fashioned, but I love the impressive weight, solidity and texture that it brings to these trousers. I have worn them day in day out for the last few days and they wear beautifully - they're the perfect workhorse trouser. Credit must also go to Holland & Sherry for producing a cloth with such sheen and variety of tone in the yarn, because the mixture of pale, mid and dark grey yarns makes the cloth look considerably more modern than it otherwise might. The light grey twill by Dugdale Bros. creases a little more than I was expecting, given that my two suits in Dugdale Bros. cloths are awesomely resistant to creasing and wear effortlessly. This cloth is slightly lighter however, weighing in at twelve ounces as opposed to fourteen, and it hasn't been double-milled (a process which provides a denser cloth with a light nap, as with my navy bespoke suit) and the slightly lighter weight is just what I was after to keep the trousers versatile. I also love the different mottled grey textures in the cloth - which again adds depth and visual texture.
All the boxes are ticked then. Its been a time consuming process with two fittings, but I am pleased to report that Cad & the Dandy have produced two pairs of quintessential grey worsted trousers which have not only satisfied my brief and arrived at the ideal time with autumn around just the corner, but which also on a personal note, have set a bench-mark in my working with them. These are the best fitting trousers they've made for me and they will set the standard for future commissions - they are a truly excellent shape and fit, sitting cleanly around my waist and hips both front and back; presenting the elegant, smooth lines that only bespoke tailoring can achieve. I feel very privileged to own them and the team at Cad & the Dandy should be proud of what they've created.
Fully handmade bespoke trousers start from £240.00 per pair (a distinctly affordable price for bespoke trousers) and take around seven weeks to produce, including a basted and forward fitting. Extra fittings are available if necessary but will of course increase the length of the process.