Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cut 'n Sew: These Chinos Are Four Years In The Making

This post is a long time coming, even more than that, these chinos have come a long way as well. This is the second pair of chinos in this shade I own. The first were an experiment in fit, sizing and length. Eventually, I gave them away because they just didn't work in the way that I wanted. I kept these, at the back of my closet, for a very long time. So when I decided to work some alterations on these I started with a slim, tapered fit, something not too tight, especially around the seat and thighs. The result is what you see on the right, the picture was taken about two weeks ago. The picture on the left was taken back in early 2010. It is evident that the images evince the changes that the whole outfit has undergone.

The image on the left is all baggy, ill-fitting, almost unnatural, because it seems as if the clothes are wearing me. Those chinos were fairly new then. Even the mini gingham shirt is in parachute territory because of the bulging on the sides and the arms. And the plimsolls on my feet were the rage for me back then, but, time has shown me that something a little more rounder at the toe is what would make my sneakers more versatile and stylish. Ultimately, I was oblivious to the myriad errors in my outfit. Over the past four years, however, I've had the opportunity and time to work on the fit and this is the final result.

These chinos came back from the tailor after some alterations on the length, waist and bottom opening and the very first thing I noticed was that the seat was too tight. I'll elaborate on that with the bottom image. But, what happened is that I was happy with the waist being 35 inches, the length at first was shorter than this, at maybe 41 inches, and the bottom opening was 16 inches. I took them them back because I wasn't quite happy especially considering how everything just seemed incongruent and disproportionate. This time I discussed with my tailor how I needed the length to be let out a little bit more, to approximately 42 inches, and the bottom opening pared down to 15 inches. In my mind this was the alterations experiment that would be the prototype for all my summer casual trousers. If I nailed this one, then I could always refer to these chinos as a guide. The above image, much clearer than the top one, is the final outcome. Thirty-five inch waist, 42 inch length and 15 inch bottom opening. I also had the shirt slimmed on the sleeves, elongated them about 2 inches at the cuff, and inserted two darts at the back to eliminate excess bagginess.

Late last year I did a post titled 'Tight Seat', wherein I detailed how these very same chinos had been adjusted at the waist and were incredibly tight in the seat resulting in flared pockets and making it extremely tight and difficult to move throughout the thigh region. So, I took them to The Tailor Shop, and when they checked, they found that the seat couldn't be adjusted properly because there wasn't enough fabric in the inseam so as to loosen it up and thus allow for better movement and comfort. So, they suggested that they would insert a piece of cotton fabric, and that is what the above image shows. I find that after that piece of fabric was inserted they fit much better and movement is even great. I don't feel any tightness in the thighs, crotch and backside. Aesthetically, it's not an eye sore because that strip is never exposed, even when walking, so I'm quite satisfied with the final outcome. 

It's been a journey, and it continues, because menswear and style are always evolving.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

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