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Whitcomb & Shaftesbury Trousers: Review

Updated: Sep 15, 2019

You know the feeling that when you've been waiting for a bespoke garment to be completed for a while, that you start to wear it very often once you've received it?

Well, it's not something which I would recommend you to do; but this has been the case for me with the trousers which I've commissioned through Whitcomb and Shaftesbury earlier on.

Overall speaking, I am quite satisfied with the result of this lovely pair of trousers.

To begin with, it has very a clean front which is complemented by the sharp lines from the inward pleats down to the turn-ups. On top of that, it also has a rather firm waistband, thus having no issue of it collapsing in any manner.

The turn-ups, by the way, are made specifically with a width of 4cm, akin to the ones made by Tai Pan Row earlier on. Really, it is a little trick which I personally use for my tailored trousers to create an impression that the leg line is elongated alongside the high-waist design.

Anyway, the aspect that worths highlighting is the width of the thigh.

In the piece on the first-fitting, I mentioned that one of the changes I've made during the process was to actually take in some extra fabrics from the seat down to the thighs. This was to avoid the trousers from looking rather old-mannish to some extent.

Then of course, I was also cautious about not to over-do it in a way which would damage the appearance of the pleats.

In any case, I would say the end result is still closer to the comfort-oriented end of the spectrum.

For instance, by comparing them to my tailored trousers from Tai Pan Row, it shows that there is a slight difference in the width with the former accounting for 29cm in diameter and half a centimeter less for the latter.

A more dramatic comparison would be with the trousers from my recently completed Suit Supply MTM which is just 27.5cm in diameter around the thigh. (Full review in a later article)

To be fair, the width for all of these trousers works well for me, without necessarily causing any discomfort or restricting my movement in any sense.

Fundamentally, however, it goes back to the aesthetic and the fabric of the trousers.

Playing with double pleats and more importantly cavalry twill, you would automatically assume that it would always cut in a more generous manner than your regular no pleats or single pleated worsted suit trousers.

Looking at the bigger picture, this is also the exact reason that allows for more room to play with different style in the area below the thigh.

Running from a 29cm at the thighs down to ~17.5cm at the knee and then going back up to 18cm at the bottom, the trousers certainly create an impression of a rather narrow leg (as demonstrated in the picture above) in contrast to those that are slim all the way through.

Speaking of the fabric, I should also mention that because of the heavy weight of these Permanent Style cavalry twill (16/17 ounces), I was able to throw in some features which could usually be unavailable for a lighter cloth.

One of my favorite features of the trousers is, in fact, the double flap pockets at the back.

It is a little bit unusual, especially with the lack of a flap coin pocket in the front; but because of the formality of the fabric, it works surprisingly well.

I think some of the biggest concerns out there with regards to the 'Classic Bespoke Service' offered by Whitcomb and Shaftesbury (meaning the pattern, cutting, fitting, and the alterations done in London and the rest in India) would mean that there would be a downgrade in quality.

I would say there isn't really a big difference especially given the fact that the majority of the stitching is still sewn by hand, and the operation is still overseen by the same people.

I suppose if you really try hard to look for tiny details of execution to see what could have been done 'better', then perhaps it would be the rather minor spots that would otherwise be neater, such as the markings of handwork in some hidden areas of the trousers.

But this is really secondary, in contrast to the overall result of the trousers and perhaps even more so to the value and the efficiency of the 'Classic Bespoke Service'.

Needless to say, I would totally recommend Whitcomb and Shaftesbury as a solid option for having a pair of tailored trousers made there.

Meanwhile, I am also having a polo coat commissioned at Whitcomb and Shaftesbury at the moment.

I'll reflect more on the overall handwork of their garments on my later piece about the fitting processes as well as the review of the final product.


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