Sandeep Gonsalves, Menswear Design Specialist, serial sartorialist and founder of Mumbai-based, SS homme
Trousers should be thought of as an investment. Imagine buying a car or a house or a new phone without doing any research — it’s incomprehensible and trousers should be thought of in the same way. Selecting the right pair of bespoke trousers requires thought and attention.
So let’s break down the steps to choosing an appropriate pair of trousers.
Let’s talk style — Though in the 80s, loose-fitting, higher-rise, pleated pants were very much in fashion but, since the mid 20th century, flat-front trousers have made it to every man’s closet with a lean, low-rise, slender silhouettes. Nevertheless, men with heavier derrières and broader waists should still consider choosing pleated pants to give themselves more room for ease and comfort.
Essentially, all trousers are similar — they all have a waistband, a front fly, front and/or back- welted pockets and an inner lining. The only thing that changes over time is the design layout and it’s sartorial elegance.
First and foremost, the most significant characteristic of a good quality trouser is it’s skillful and detailed tailoring. Ask your tailor for adjustable waistbands and additional detailing that speak your personality.
Look for pants that have lined waistbands. It gives a clean finish; meaning fewer stitch lines should be visible. And while on the topic of waistbands, the norm largely advocates that if your trousers have belt loops, you ought to wear a belt. As to whether to buy cuffed or hemmed pants, I personally would favour cuffed pants because the turned-up margins act as stylish embellishments that add a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to your overall look.
The way your trousers break (the point where the pant touches the shoe) is one thing that can rescue you from looking sloppy. If you want to be conservatively stylish like that cigar-smoking businessman, then go for a full break. But if you are a fashion-forward with an up-to-date wardrobe, then a short break is ideal for you.
The choice of colour totally depends on an individual’s styling aesthetics. However, when it comes to the choice of fabric, it needs to be chosen with function in mind. Though wool is often blended with other durable fibres, many brands use blended fabric because of its elastic and hygroscopic nature. Then comes cotton and polyester, while other fabrics like velvet, tweed and corduroy are seldom used. My pick for the season would undoubtedly be worsted wool because of its comfort and breathability.