So you’re looking for a pair of trousers. You want them to be perfect. What do you look for? Here are my perfect 7 tips.
1. Triple point waist fastening
A pair of jeans typically has single point waist fastening: a single central button at the waist above the zip. Less informal trousers may have double points waist fastening: in addition to the central button an additional flap is buttoned inside the fly to help keep the front of the trousers flat. However, the best trousers have at least triple waist fastening. The central button is replaced by a hook or an internal button and there is an overlapping tab which buttons to the waistband offset from the centre line.The more fastenings there are the greater the chance of keeping the fabric flat. In addition, there is less stress on any single point. Triple fastening means that it takes a little more effort to get into your trousers, especially if you’re in a hurry for whatever reason, but apart from this you’ll be glad you did. They simply fit better. In addition, in my view, having the waistband button on a tab offset from the centre line just looks better than a single button above the zipper.
2. Sufficient rise between trouser seat and waistband
Perfect trousers are tailored to fit at the waist rather than the hip. This takes a bit of readjustment because we rarely wear trousers that high today and so they initially look too high, especially if worn with a belt and without a waistcoat or jacket. However, particularly for those who want to give the impression of longer legs try trousers with a sufficient rise so that the waistband sits just below the navel.If you are wearing these trousers with a jacket it will mean that the waist of the trouser should fall just below where your jacket is buttoned and if wearing a waistcoat the waistcoat will cover the top of the trouser.
This will take some getting used to if you have been wearing your trousers hanging from your hips for the last decade. However, failure to do this can result in an unfortunate look as below, with unsightly gap between the waistband and the waistcoat.3. Speaking of Waistband, a good quality construction waistband
The ideal waistband in my view should about 1.25 inches in width. Too narrow and the trousers look undernourished. Too wide and they look unbalanced and slightly 1970s. At just over an inch wide they look just so, as in the grey trousers above. Good construction means that the waistband has some heft and doesn’t simply fold over on itself as you move, resulting in a horizontal crease running through the front of the waistband.
4. Slanted hem
Ideally the trousers will have a slanted hem so that it is slightly longer at the back than the front. This just means that the trousers interact with the shoes a little more neatly. Most people won’t notice it but it means that the trousers break a little more naturally where they meet your shoes. I confess that it is a bit of a mystery to me why all trouser hems aren’t this way by default. Typically, you don’t get slanted or ‘guardsman’ hems unless you request this when hemming your trousers yourself.5. Angled pockets
Similarly, angled pockets of sufficient depth means that you can access them easily and can get your hands into them sufficiently deeply that your hands fall to nearly their natural point. Some trousers have the pockets parallel to the seams which looks neat but makes them less natural to access.
6. Quality fabric
Depending on what kind of trousers you are after you’ll want them made in different fabric. You don’t want your suit trousers made from the same fabric as your chinos, your moleskins or your cords. Whatever the type of fabric used to tailor your trousers, you want it to be a quality fabric that drapes well and is comfortable against the skin. Anything less and it is not the perfect pair of trousers.
7. Excellent fit
Even with all these things in place if the trousers don’t fit well all will be undone. For me the perfect trousers fit snug on the waist and hip, loose on the thighs, slight flared at the hem and long enough that there is a slight break where the hem meets my shoes. The current fashion among some is for trousers barely to kiss the top of one’s shoes so that socks are visible. On me this looks like my trousers are too short so I prefer a break. With a slanted hem the rear of the trouser ideally reaches to the heel of the shoe.