Add these old Patagonia pants to the list of garments I’ll stick to admiring from afar. They remind me of the Gramicci pants that were everywhere in the early 90s in Oregon. But when I showed them to Lesli, she immediately thought of traditional Japanese monpe pants, a simple pull-on affair once worn by farmers or merchants.
Posts Tagged ‘trousers’
– Durable 100% cotton twill
Editor’s note: it’s never too early to start planning your Fall wardrobe. I’m already mentally packing up the linens and breaking the corduroy. London blogger Jim Green of Modern Day Hunting writes about his obsession with British workwear company, Old Town Clothing. If you’re inspired by Jim’s report to order something from OTC, start the process now as it takes 4-6 weeks to complete.
After recently hearing me waxing lyrical about my favourite clothes maker – Old Town, Archival Clothing have kindly asked me to give a customer review of some of their items. Living in London UK it is of course easier for me to travel up to their Norfolk showroom to get items fitted and made for me. So hopefully this might help you make a decision on giving them a try if you are not UK based.
I spent many hours perusing the site but simply couldn’t decide what to get – my main concern was sizing. They make their clothes to order so not quite like buying from a shop normally although they do cater for returns. So after much deliberation I plumped for a safe bet and ordered a straight edge waistcoat (vest to you US folks) in engineer’s navy stout cotton twill. Size wise I was unsure, I am usually a 38 so stuck to that. All of Old Town‘s items are made to order, you choose the size and fabric, pay either via the phone or the online ordering form. For overseas you will need to email first to discuss shipping etc. Their turnaround time for garment delivery is approximately 4-6 weeks. For me half the charm of buying from them is the wait.
Four weeks later the waistcoat arrived, it fitted great, the waistcoats are slightly fitted so if you want a looser fit go up a size maybe. I was now officially hooked. I managed to plan in a trip up to the showroom a few months later with a rough idea of what I was after, upon arrival and seeing all the clothes on display I immediately got flummoxed…too many nice things. Their items are all pretty much spot on size-wise. I have quite a few pieces from them now and have been ordering a few times a year for spring and winter bits. Instead of giving an extensive list here’s a few items that are worth considering and I will try to give enough info for if you wanted to order from overseas without trying on first.
I got the chance to preview the Dickies 1922 Fall 2011 line this week. We reviewed the first edition of Dickies 1922 trousers very favorably, saying that our only hitch was the historically accurate fit – a boon to some, but undesirably wide to others. Well, Dickies has answered our prayers in their Fall 2011 1922 Heritage collection. They’ve introduced a Regular fit and a Slim Straight fit trouser while keeping the beautiful Cramerton twill, impeccable construction, and domestic manufacture. I continue to be very impressed with this line.
Editor’s note: Duchess Clothier, located next to Winn Perry in Portland, Oregon, offers custom and ready to wear clothing. In addition to stock patterns, Duchess can produce custom garments based on vintage patterns or photographs, using fabrics sourced by the customer. While I continue to contemplate the perfect Duchess project, AC friend Tiffany Thorton moved forward with an order for a pair of trousers inspired by a Sears catalog circa 1933. She documented the custom ordering process for Archival.
by Tiffany Thorton
A good pair of trousers is hard to find. Elusive fits, unsatisfactory materials and disappointing color selections have frustrated my search for a decent pair of trousers for a long time. Over the past few years, I’ve expended an embarrassing amount of time and energy looking for The Appropriate Trousers. I really wanted something of quality material and construction; trousers that would be comfortable, durable, and dignified. I nearly resigned myself to existing without these dreamt of trousers, until I spotted an Archival Clothing blog post referencing Duchess Clothier.
I have long admired the cut of certain species of wide-legged men’s trousers from the 1930’s and 1940’s, and I spotted a couple of examples of such things on Duchess’ website. I was very attracted to the idea of having custom made garments that referenced these past styles, especially from a local establishment. I contacted Duchess and asked, a little sheepishly, if they could make trousers for women. Before long, I was headed to Portland, with a photocopied trouser reference from a reprinted 1930’s Sears catalog.
On the day of my appointment, I was greeted by Seyta Selter, one of Duchess’ friendly and knowledgeable founders. Seyta asked if I would like a reproduction of those specific trousers, and seemed as excited by the prospect as I was. We looked through the sample books, focusing on heavy weight wools, and I selected a dark brown herringbone fabric and an anthracite grey flannel (the anthracite flannel later turned out to be unavailable). We discussed fit as I was being measured, and talked about details like wide waist band that could handle a fairly large belt, a zip fly with three functional buttons on the waist band, and cuffs. I had never felt so supported in my sartorial preferences before.
I was really pleased with the first pair of trousers I got, and decided to commission more. I love the fit and form of these trousers. They are my favorite among the garments I have owned. They seem durable and sturdy, and I’m not worried that they’ll incur a lot of wear or weather damage. Wool is known for doing pretty well in most weather conditions, and Duchess has a large sample of wool fabric to select from. However, I wanted to try an experiment. I wanted to see if the trouser pattern that Duchess had constructed for me could be applied to a super heavy weight wool fabric that could be worn in truly awful winter weather conditions.
After conducting some research, I decided that 100% wool melton fabric would be an interesting choice. I had a conversation with Ariel, another of the Duchess ladies, about bringing fabric for them to use, and she advised me on the amount of fabric it would take to construct a pair of trousers using my pattern. The next task was to find some. In the interest of supporting local industry, I felt that Pendleton would be a good source to tap for the melton wool fabric. It took a couple of e-mail inquiries to get a phone number for fabric sales, and when I finally made the call, I was pleasantly surprised to be told that the black melton wool I was interested in was on sale, and yes, they could ship it to Eugene. In July, I brought the wool fabric to Seyta, and we finalized a few details. It felt a little strange to be carrying around a bolt of heavy black wool in the summer heat, but any mild public humiliation is worth it; I can’t wait to put these trousers to the test.
David Morgan is one of the few remaining mail order companies that still sends out a print catalog. As far as I can tell, the catalog has not changed in appearance since I first started receiving copies in the early 90s (requested during my first search for a filson wool cruiser). While a David Morgan 1999 catalog may look like a 2009 catalog (same typeface, same layout, same grayscale photography, same brown cover) much has changed in the last ten years. The Bosca coin purse is now made in China and costs 43.00 (it used to be a 24.00 staple). Nova Scotia textiles and Alpendale are now out of business. Filson no longer offers Oregon-made wool whipcord or moleskin trousers and some of the original Filson styles have disappeared.
Nevertheless, the catalog continues to offer many worthy archival garments and accessories.
Renewing my austerity vows, I’m trying to locate items from my own home closet to sport for the new Fall fashion season. It helps that I’m an epic pack rat with still unopened boxes from my last two moves (souvenirs from 2001 trip to Tokyo or a genuine Rosie O’Donnell barbie doll w/prop microphone anyone?). For the most part, austerity shopping consists of visiting the laundry room and unpacking a new box. Today, I made two major purchases: one for me–a pair of double tin Filson waxed trousers, tags intact–and one for Sara–a barbour quilt vest with polarfleece lining. The Filson pants were purchased off ebay some time ago. I originally bid on them because the gallery image implied that they were the more user friendly, unwaxed, single tin version. I ended up winning the pants on a superlow bid because they were already ready tailored to my oddball dimensions: adult waist, childish length. Though I’ve never actually worn the pants I’ve kept them around, for one, because they’re lovely artifacts, and two, because they might have future use value under post-apocalyptic conditions (the fabric is so rigid, so profoundly two dimensional, almost thing-like, that it took me a full five minutes to work myself into both pant legs)(an experience akin to having a complete wax casting made of your lower body). Anyway, I’ve decided that for the sake of austerity I’m going to push forward and start wearing these pants (on a daily basis?) especially since they feel like body armor and clean up with a soapy sponge. In a future entry, I shall report on the futility of my austerity program in the likely event that I develop some sort of fatal waxed fabric friction rash.