Many of my favorite menswear writers, such as Bernhard Roetzel and Bruce Boyer, have said they commission bespoke trousers, but purchase their chinos ready-to-wear. I, for some reason, can’t seem to find the right ones. I’ve been looking for a pair with a higher rise, as I like to have my waistbands sit cleanly above my hipbones. I find this gives a more sophisticated and masculine look, and yields better proportions between the torso and legs.
I’ve found good higher-waisted trousers at Ralph Lauren. They make a cut called the Preston, which I buy and taper to an 8” leg opening. Only the made-in-Italy version is any good, however. The downside is that they rarely make them as chinos, and when they’re available, they’re something around $350 and $450. That’s a lot to pay for ready-to-wear.
So I’ve been thinking about commissioning some to be made. The starting cost for a pair of bespoke trousers from a good, reputable tailor is about $600, but I’ve heard of men having existing trousers copied by local alterations tailors for about $150 to $200. I imagine the price could be lower if you sourced something from Hong Kong. That’s not too terrible of a price considering that good pants nowadays are start around $150.
Above is a picture of Guido Wongolini, from the much-celebrated MostExerent blog. Here we see him in a white shirt (I believe from Ascot Chang) and a pair trousers from his bespoke Solaro suit. From afar, they kind of look like chinos. In fact, very similar to the ones I’m hoping to have made: chinos cut with a higher rise.
(Photo credit: MostExerent)