Cad & The Dandy, A Comprehensive Review

There have been many questions lately from many sides, about my experiences with London tailors Cad & The Dandy. Many of you who follow my own blog will be aware that over the last year or so I’ve had three suits made by them, marking my rite of passage into the bespoke world. So, given that I picked up the latest of these three just last month, I thought that it might be time to set the record straight and offer you a comprehensive insight into my dealings with Cad & The Dandy.

Let’s begin at the beginning then, because Cad & The Dandy are to all intents and purposes, a rather controversial tailors, as far as the London tailoring scene goes. Many gentlemen (me included) are initially drawn towards Cad & The Dandy, because they offer an accessible entry into the world of bespoke tailoring. Personally tailored suits start at £550.00 and full-bespoke at £950.00. All their suits, regardless of whether they’re machine made or fully handmade are cut from a paper pattern in true bespoke tradition which, as with the genesis of a bespoke fitting suit, hugely increases the fit of any of their suits from the outset.

My first order, around a year ago, was a navy blue gabardine three-piece suit, made using Cad & The Dandy’s half-handmade service which I can confirm provides exceptional value for money. For a first suit, the fit achieved without a basted fitting (basted fittings are only available when using the fully handmade service) is quite frankly remarkable.

The marvellous thing about Cad & The Dandy’s half handmade service is how much the jacket feels like a full-bespoke piece. The jacket is made by a coat maker, rather than on a production line (as with their machine made suits) and this allows the lapels to be hand-padded, giving them a lovely roll and body – they come out looking and feeling precisely the same as full-bespoke lapels. The chest is still padded and canvassed by hand too, to give it the curvature and body in the chest canvass, which only a bespoke suit can offer. These benefits are hugely noticeable and I would always recommend this service over Cad & The Dandy’s machine made service, although that too offers a very good entry-level option.

The only thing to be aware of is that the half-handmade canvass feels rather heavy on. With my three piece suit, made up in a thirteen ounce, double-milled cloth, I find on occasion that it can get quite hot – something I haven’t experienced on either of my fully-handmade suits, which no doubt about it, do breath better and come out lighter. Even my double-breasted jacket (which is cut in a 14oz cloth) feels less heavy and it must be said to the full credit of Cad & The Dandy, I’ve been extremely impressed by how the suit breathes, I haven’t felt uncomfortably warm even once!

My other two orders have both been fully bespoke commissions. In both cases, I have found that the fully bespoke service produces a wonderfully form-fitting suit, with plenty of shape (which you have lots of control over – there are no fixities of house style to deal with) and the amount of hand finishing used is fantastic. Cad & The Dandy’s fully handmade service has all the handwork expected of a Savile Row suit and its handmade in England, with much of the work taking place on the company’s premises in Savile Row and the City of London. The chest and lapel are hand-padded as before, trouser waistbands and waistcoats are also canvassed. Sleeves are set by hand, pockets are finished by hand, the lining is finished by hand, all buttonholes are beautifully hand-sewn – you get the picture. The result is extremely handsome; the attention to detail that goes into the fully bespoke suits is clearly noticeable, both when you look at them or wear one – they really do feel handcrafted somehow.

The other huge plus point to a fully handmade suit, is the benefit of a basted fitting, which helped improve my own personal pattern hugely. Thanks to the flexibility of the basted fitting for the chocolate cocktail suit (my second commission), we managed to improve the drape of the rear vent, the shoulder pitching and sleevehead position over the blue half-handmade suit, and my chocolate suit really does fit like a dream. The pattern improved again with the new double-breasted suit. It fitted so well at the forward fitting that a further fitting wasn’t required. After some minor tweaks (which took a mere hour to turn-around) I walked out of the shop wearing it that day!

You can read a more detailed review of this last suit on my own blog, but for this review, I’d like to offer some advice on cloth choice.

Having had the chocolate suit in a lightweight 9-10oz lounge suiting and the double-breasted suit in very solid medium-heavyweight worsted, I’ve come to the conclusion that the chocolate brown cloth was, on the whole, a poor choice. I supplied the cloth myself because I wanted something dressy but had a limited budget. The cloth is a very lightweight super 160s, its super-soft and super-glossy. However, unlike a lot of English lightweight cloths, it’s rather floaty and has quite a lot of stretch which has meant that it drapes poorly.

Now that the suit is a few months old and has been worn on a number of occasions its developing a little bit of stretch across the front when the coat buttons and the suppression in the waist is giving a little. The moral of the story here, is to invest in mid-weight cloths and if you are buying a lightweight cloth, make sure it’s nice and crisp and that it doesn’t have much stretch in it – give the swatch a good feel when you take a look at it. Cad & The Dandy will be able to advise on such things, but unfortunately on that occasion I didn’t give them a chance.

I have one further piece of advice too; make sure that if you want a particular gorge height or a lapel cut with a strong belly, specify it when you place your order. Foolishly, I neglected to when I ordered the chocolate suit and it came back with a lower gorge and a straighter lapel line than on my blue number, because in the absence of my own specifications it was of course shaped to Cad & The Dandy ‘s house cut. I have grown to like the shape, but it wasn’t expected and I do still prefer the higher gorge on my other two suits.

The last thing to emphasise is that in my experience Cad & The Dandy really do offer an excellent service. I set a very tight completion date on my last order (in order to wear it to a wedding) and the company pulled out all the stops to ensure that it would be ready in time, the whole service was undertaken extremely quickly for a bespoke suit without complaint. They were similarly accommodating of my other previous orders too.

Furthermore, perhaps the most important thing to emphasise is that always feel welcome and a valued customer when I go in there. I think it is also worth mentioning that I was yet to become a blogger when I ordered my first two suits – so please do not fear that I may have been given preferential treatment because of my status as a reviewer. In fact, thinking back, when I went in to place my first order I made it very clear that I was a student with a limited budget and at no point did I feel anything but valued in just the same fashion as any other customer who could have been spending thousands.

Overall then, I can attest to a very enjoyable and satisfying experience with Cad & The Dandy and to the quality of their product. I would like to re-emphasise that there is, in my opinion, relatively little that separates Cad & The Dandy from other more expensive London tailors. It is true, that more expensive or exclusive tailors offer more fittings and can refine the finer points of the fit, beyond that which is feasible for the kind of price that Cad & The Dandy offer. This is not the same kind of bespoke process that Huntsman or Norton & Sons use, but it nonetheless is a thorough service which yields a suit of impressive quality, with all the hallmarks of British bespoke tailoring.

With this in mind, perhaps the greatest worth of Cad & the Dandy is in its extremely impressive value for money. I do not know of anywhere else where you can get a fully canvassed bespoke suit which fits superbly, with a hand-padded chest, lapels and hand-set sleeves for under £1000.00. I always leave feeling extremely privileged to have worked with them, and that have an extremely precious piece of clothing in my possession, which a lot of care and skill has gone into producing. That, I think, is the essence of the bespoke experience and Cad & The Dandy have got it right every time.

When a Tailor Says No…

I attended a wedding last month, and at the reception was introduced (amongst many delightful people) to a gentleman with whom I predictably began to talk tailoring. We were talking about what makes brands (particularly menswear brands) feel truly special and one of the many interesting points that was made by the other party, was that he likes to be dressed (and I gather have suits made) by some friends of his at Hackett, because the staff there are confident enough to say ‘no’ to his requests when they don’t think he’s right.

We both agreed that, contrary to what you might think, this is a valuable commodity. Every salesman aims to accommodate his customer and ultimately to sell their product, but should a salesman advise against certain things – this often is an indicator of real expertise and integrity – a sure sign that you’ll receive the best service by staff who really understand what works for their customers. This is hugely important with menswear, because, as the gentleman I was chatting too put it ‘it gives you the confidence to walk out in style, knowing what you’re wearing is right’ and you can’t put a price on that.

With the best will in the world, even the most obsessive customers (myself included) can come up with a wealth of ideas and inspirations for how we would like to dress, but barely any customer can claim to be an expert. Finding a service which can offer true expertise and the confidence to say ‘no’ to a customer when something isn’t going to be right, rather than just make an easy sale, is therefore a real boon.

For the gentleman I was chatting with, the latest ‘no’ was a refusal by his tailor at Hackett to slim down his trousers. The tailor did not wish to spoil the line of the trousers by making them too skinny, and the trousers had been slimmed down by him already. I myself find that my tailors politely say ‘no’ and direct me to alternative ideas on a frequent basis, and it has helped me to learn about what works and what doesn’t.

The first time I walked in there, I ordered a three piece, and requested that the waistcoat have full-darts – the answer came back that I didn’t need them, as full-darts are a means to enable waistcoat to sit on fuller figures, and so half darts it was. Similarly, the trouser pleats I asked for would look better as twin pleats, rather than single. On my latest suit (a review is coming soon) I requested 5″ lapels – thankfully I was beaten down to 4.5″. It seems then, that luxury menswear is one of those few remaining industries, where you really can’t put a price on expert advice and it is a real privilege to find an outfitter who is prepared to say ‘no’ in order to offer a service with true integrity and get things right.

An Interview with Christopher Modoo, Creative and Buying Manager at Chester Barrie Savile Row

Let me introduce you to Mr. Christopher Modoo, Creative and Buying Manager at Chester Barrie, who’s work in transforming the brand’s tailoring (and casualwear collections) in recent years, has led to Chester Barrie’s fast becoming one of the most desirable names in luxury British tailoring. Chris was kind enough to invite me to his Savile Row office, which adjoins the company’s flagship store at No. 19, so that we could chat about his style, his influences, and what it is that drives him to create such impeccable British clothing.

After a quick look through some of the exquisite pieces in the Chester Barrie showroom, we settle down with a coffee and Chris begins to enlarge upon the development of his career; it makes for fascinating listening. Despite a passion for tailored clothing from a very young age, his route into fine tailoring was an unusual one: ‘It was never a career option, no one picked it for me – I spent the first few years of my working life as an unhappy, overdressed bank clerk’.

Clearly, something had to be done. After only a few months in the bank, he accepted a job in Selfridges’ accounts department solely for the 40% clothing discount. A few months in, he realised that ‘I could get the same basic salary and clothing discount, plus commission on the sales floor’. Chris went straight into the men’s shirting department, introducing him for the first time to the world of high-and menswear retail, and a year later at the age of 21, he was asked to take on the role of Thomas Pink’s Selfridges Concession Manager – a dream job – ‘I couldn’t believe I got paid for it, ‘it was so refreshing’.

After some years working as a Manager with Thomas Pink, Chris moved to Ede & Ravenscroft, taking on the task of developing the brand’s then brand new ‘Personal Tailoring’ service, no small feat as it turned out. In addition to adding this string to his bow, working in such a formal house has given Chris an expert eye and understanding of British formalwear. ‘I’ve always been passionate about formalwear, I loved learning about its etiquette, conventions, rules and history. I have respect for French tailors, Italian tailors, American tailors – they all have their own strengths and aesthetics, but the British just do formalwear so well’.

Clearly, Modoo knows what he’s talking about: ‘I got to style formalwear for the Royal Household, I used to go to Windsor every year, I’ve dressed most of the Orders of Chivalry in morning dress, I’ve provided clothing for academic awards and OBE ceremonies at Buckingham Palace. When you see formalwear worn in that environment, you see how its done at its best, worn in a comfortable way – you see how it really works’.

Having moved on from his successes at Ede & Ravenscroft, over the last few years at Chester Barrie, Chris has worked in buying and designing the company’s handsome off-the-peg collections, a role in the company which has been highly informed by his extensive, personal experience with bespoke tailoring. Shortly after taking his job at Selfridges, Chris started to have things made, and very quickly gained a comprehensive technical understanding of the art of tailoring, and an eye not only for what worked well and what didn’t, but what worked well with style. ‘I tried everything; over-accessorising, too much use of colour, huge peaked lapels, high gorges, low gorges, double-breasted waistcoats, turn-back cuffs on everything, trouser waists too high, trouser waists too low, trousers without pockets [he pauses]… don’t try that!’

With this in mind, as we talk through the cut and shape of a Chester Barrie jacket, Chris waxes lyrical about his own personal philosophy of designing a tailored garment. ‘Its all about balance. All the garments we design have to balance perfectly; I look at a jacket block and I know that if I want big peaked lapels on it, then the shoulders need to be strong to carry them, and the pocket jets need to be in proportion.’

Indeed, between Chris and his co-designer, the venerable Edward Sexton (who acts as Tailoring Consultant for the brand) everything is meticulously crafted, measured and tested. Lapel gorges, pocket shapes, the fullness of the chest, the strength of the shoulder, the suppression of the waist and the rise and drape of the trouser. This is a philosophy of precision which informs everything Modoo designs. ‘Its all about mixing colours and textures, shirts and ties also need to balance against suits – not just in terms of shape – but also stylistically. Just mixing it up a little bit using pops of colour to add some creativity – always in good taste.’

Talking of good taste, we get onto Chris’s own personal style influences. ‘My father was a huge influence on my dress – he was a Mod. The Mods were truly fastidious. Every element in their dress was considered, it wasn’t just about throwing on an expensive suit. He always cared about his clothes. He taught me to look after my own clothing and value personal pride in appearance. He was so fussy he used to wear starched collars’. In keeping with his young love for tailoring, Chris also thoroughly enjoyed dressing formally for sixth form: ‘Sixth Form was also an important time for me – we had to wear suits – and the most exciting part of the day was deciding what to wear’.

The conversation turns to Savile Row itself and Modoo is filled with nothing but optimism, ‘I’m a huge fan of Savile Row and its a good time to be on the Row right now. Savile Row has become a part of London fashion – the decision for Savile Row to exhibit at ‘London Collections: Men’ was brave, but an excellent move’. He does however, have a word or two to say about the broader London tailoring scene. ‘Savile Row is the pinnacle of English tailoring, and so it should be, but I’d like to see a London tailoring scene that isn’t marginalised by Savile Row. There are so many good city tailors, and presenting a united front to the customer would help make the tailoring market seem less niche.

‘Also, alterations. Department stores should invest more in good alterations tailors and offer a real service. The experience of an alterations tailor shaping and pinning a garment with a customer – not just hemming trousers – increasing interest in tailoring making alterations a natural part of buying a good suit off-the-peg.’

Having sat in conversation with him for over an hour, evidently Chris understands his business, and understands the need for Savile Row to continually develop and evolve. Likewise, dressed in his impeccable royal blue suit, with a crisp white tab-collar shirt, perfectly standing slim checked silk tie, and subtly contrasting paisley pocket-handkerchief, Modoo truly understands fine tailoring and understands British style.

The Trouser Department III: Pleats and Pockets

Thus far in this trilogy (part I, part II) we’ve covered the various different elements of the trouser silhouette; comprising leg width, hem line, rise, turn-ups and the possibility of plain hems. Now I’m going to draw all of these elements together (hopefully), through a discussion of the much overlooked subjects of pleats and pockets.

Pleats are a somewhat complex subject, so I’m going to try to keep this concise. As you will doubtless know, there are two types; forward facing, which face into the middle of the trousers; and reverse facing, which face outwards towards the sides of the trouser. You can see examples of both in the photographs of myself below. Pleats can be combined in a number of ways, arranged as either single, or double pleats on either side of the trouser fly to add interest to the trouser itself.

The fundamental consideration with regards pleats is the way in which their shape will influence the shape of your trouser and therefore the silhouette of your body. Pleats of any kind will add extra cloth and fullness to the leg, so will suit larger frames.

They are not however, as is popularly believed, solely the preserve of those of us with large thighs – such as my unfortunate self. In reality, pleats can help to sculpt the figure, but forward and reverse facing pleats tend to do this in different ways. The reverse facing pleat creates a pleat which runs very squarely through the centre of the leg and into the trouser crease. Given the way the pleat is sewn, it has little give and it essentially produces a boxy shape across the front of the trouser, as you can see happening on the trousers of my double-breasted suit below. This shape of pleat compliments boxier cut jackets, and given that it creates a very square, crisp shape, it can juxtapose nicely against a soft trouser cloth (moleskins and corduroys for example) which will often produce softer lines running down the legs, given their soft drape. Alternatively, pair them with very crisp, structured wool (as below) to add some very interesting angular lines to your trousers.

Forward facing pleats are perhaps the rarer style of pleat seen today, despite the fact that for decades forward facing pleats were the ubiquitous choice for tailored trousers, seen repeatedly in sartorial British tailoring periodically between the 30s and the 80s. The forward facing pleat is my personal favourite, and well worth experimenting with, because unlike the boxy shape of a reverse-pleat, forward facing pleats fall outwards from the trouser waistband, draping smoothly over the hips and falling elegantly through the leg. The effect of this is to create the bottom half of an hourglass shape (this shape being the aim of all good tailoring, running downwards from the waist of the wearer; it’s a sophisticated shape and very striking.

In order for pleats to have these desired effects however, I have two key rules for pleated trousers which really are worth bearing in mind. Firstly, pleated trousers ought ideally to be worn with turn-ups, as the focal point turn-ups provide at the bottom of the trouser, balances that of the pleats at the top. Secondly,(and particularly relevant to forward facing pleats) pleated trousers really do benefit from a higher rise, this gives pleats the space to drape properly, and the closer the trousers sit to the waist, the more they can help to define an hour-glass shape running through the body.

A word also must be mentioned about how to ensure that pleated trousers hang neatly. I would suggest that if the trousers are formal, wear them with braces, as these will not only suit the classic style of the trouser, but help keep the waist of the trousers sitting nice and high, without being uncomfortable. Belts can feel terribly tight and constricting around one’s waist, which is a fundamentally more fleshy part of the body than the hips, where your bone structure gives the belt something solid to tighten around.

Many gentlemen are not keen on braces, so if you can’t face wearing them, then try to find or order trousers with waist-adjusters, as more often than not (although they’re traditionally worn with braces) they will do a fine job of keeping your trousers sitting neat and true on their own.

All styles of trouser pockets in simple terms are welt pockets. The welt pocket is simply an opening in the side (or the top) of the trouser, through which the pocket is accessible. The shape of this welted pocket however, can take a number of different forms, which can radically alter the image that your trouser presents. The most common and perhaps understated design is a simple slanted pocket. This will go with most pleat formations and is (by the standards of modern tailoring), the most conventional pocket shape.

However, I would suggest that there is a subtle, yet nonetheless immensely satisfying alternative option for your tailored trousers: the vertically cut welt pocket. Here, as opposed to the opening of the trouser pocket slanting, the pocket runs through the side-seam of the trouser vertically, keeping a clean, neat line through the side of the trouser. This pocket has its genesis in the Edwardian era, but was popularised first and foremost during the 20s and 30s. The reason for this is simple, the pocket runs parallel to trouser pleats, and doesn’t jarr against their shape. The vertical-cut welt pocket is the perfect compliment to pleats; it keeps the trouser looking neat and linear, as well as giving pleats the space to become the focus of the trouser.

Using vertical, as opposed to slanted welt pockets on your trousers is (in my humble opinion) a seriously smart move. It’s a very subtle change from a slanting to vertical opening, but in an understated way it makes a huge difference to the cut of your trouser. The line of the trouser simply looks neater, and the pocket looks cleaner. It works equally well with a flat-fronted or pleated trouser and also gives the impression that you’re simply a confident dresser – choosing something different, understatedly stylish and out of the ordinary, but which also will have no impact upon your comfort, or the functionality of the pocket itself.

I do have two other suggestions for you though. If you’re into retro style, or simply fancy something different (and pleats don’t appeal), then why not opt for either Jodhpur or frog-mouth pockets? These two are similar in design, and essentially are two separate takes on the classic type of pocket found on jeans; as opposed to sitting at the side-seam of the trouser, the frog mouth pocket slants away down the side of the trouser front, whereas the opening of the Jodhpur pocket is slightly higher and runs horizontal to the waistband, as can be seen in the images below.

Both these shapes are highly unusual by today’s trouser-standards and make a very sharp, modern statement. As is the case with the vertical welt pockets, these shapes have their origins in the Edwardian era, and also enjoyed a brief spell of use in the early 1920s, (as can be seen from the Gatsby tailoring on show – which made heavy use of frog-mouth pockets) before becoming the fashionable pocket of choice in the 60s, making them a cool and contemporary feeling option. Note that for obvious reasons of cut, these pockets cannot be cut with pleats, so are there to satisfy the demands of those of you who feel more comfortable in a flat-fronted trouser.

Drawing all this together then, I’ve suggested a number of things to you; formal trousers suit a higher rise than the high-street would have us believe, trouser legs look more elegant if fitted properly, and turn-ups can help balance any trouser and add a touch of panache. The thing to do now, is to experiment! I find old photographs and old fashion plates the ideal source of inspiration to try new trouser styles, as the unusual selection of photographs provided show. The key is just to remember the basic rules; certain pleats do certain things, different pockets will produce different effects, and turn-ups need to be certain lengths to flatter certain figures. Otherwise, the possibilities for a diverse and different trouser wardrobe are quite simply endless!

The Trouser Department II: Getting the Silhouette Right

For the sake of brevity this column is going to discuss a number of things, namely trouser rise, leg width and the trouser hem-line. In other words I’ll be focusing on trouser fit, something which I think suffers from a distinct lack of attention in modern fashion.

I wrote in my first column on the subject how trousers have a bad-deal, and what I meant by that, put simply, is that we don’t think about them enough or pay nearly enough attention to them. Its understandable why not; each of us wears trousers every day of our lives, they’re easily overlooked and taken for granted, and as the bottom half of your outfit, they don’t receive as much attention as the altogether more intricately crafted blazer on the top, that most of the time feels far more of an event when you slip it on.

In consequence, for the majority of men, the trouser simply hangs round your hips, and covers your legs – job done. Not so however, because a well cut and styled trouser can truly become the focus of your outfit, or at least prevent the other (often more thoroughly considered) elements of your outfit from being let down by sloppy attention to detail or an unremarkable fit. Trousers with shapeless legs that sit on the hips do nothing to flatter one’s figure, when with some subtle adjustments they can actively sculpt and slim the lower half of your body.

Let’s begin at the beginning then. My biggest gripe with trousers is just how low trouser rises are these days; even the most sartorial tailoring manufacturers are cutting trousers to sit around the centre of the hips, just above the seat and crotch. This is fine; it’s become modern convention and it’s supposedly the most comfortable way to wear trousers. We also associate the lower rise with having a more casual and ‘easy-to-wear’ appeal, but personally I don’t find painfully low-rise trousers much of a style-triumph.

The low rise of modern trousers is a very recent development. Right up until the late 80s you could expect to find trousers with a high rise designed to sit either over the tops of the hips or around the natural waist, more or less across the belly button. Previously, even those suits that we consider to be super cool; the slim, modern pieces of the 1960s for example exhibited a proper rise, designed to sit on the waist. Why we would like our trousers to sit around our seats then, when this tailoring is clearly the essence of super-cool, remains a mystery.

Think about it, it is worth grounding all your trouser style decisions in what the trouser is actually designed to do. It was never intended to perform a solely practical function that the modern trouser so often does; to cover your legs and sit on the hips. It was designed to contribute to the masculine, yet flattering, elegant hourglass figure that a well-tailored ensemble will inevitably provide, flowing out beneath the jacket, waistcoat (or even knitwear) over the hips and then falling down the leg, acting in effect as the bottom half of an hourglass. The trouser sat on the waist and draped beautifully down the lower half of the body providing a waisted silhouette. The only way a trouser can achieve this is by sitting on the natural waist, otherwise it can’t flow over the hips. The photograph beneath illustrates the point.

I know that having your trousers around your waist will sound both radical and unappealing to most readers, but I would urge you sincerely to experiment with giving your more formal trousers a higher rise, even trousers that sit at the tops of the hips as opposed to the bottom provide a huge improvement (as you can see from the photograph above), they look both more masculine and more elegant.

If looking for off-the-peg tailored trousers, I’d suggest buying them in a ‘long’ length, and having the hems taken-up. This will provide you with the extra rise you need, as most retailers will lengthen the rise by a good one to two inches for ‘long’ length trousers. This will also give you the excess cloth in the leg to add a turn-up should you wish. (For more on turn-ups see my first piece on trousers.)

This leads me onto the second issue of the day, the silhouette of the trouser leg itself. All too often there is simply too much cloth in the leg of an-off-the-peg trouser for most men’s frames, purely because an off-the-peg trouser has to fit every customer’s body. Unless you’re wearing some deliberately full-cut trousers, bags or trousers with heavy set pleats, excess cloth in the leg seldom drapes properly and produces an ungainly and inelegant silhouette running through the leg. Consequently, I’d recommend paying attention to the width of your trouser legs, keep them slim and get your trousers altered if needs be to remove excess cloth in the leg.

I am aware that many of you reading this will be sitting there thinking ‘but I don’t have slim legs’, so please do not misunderstand me: when I say ‘slim’ I mean that your trousers should be fitted to your legs, and taper from thigh to calf in line with the natural shape of your leg, producing a comfortable, yet shapely fit and allowing the cloth of the trousers to drape neatly. This will slim-down the line of your legs and make them appear longer and leaner.

I myself have huge thighs, so skinny trousers are out of the question, but because I have to accommodate for my thighs, without a fitted leg, my trousers would be huge, baggy things that would positively sway in the wind – making my legs look unflattering large and more boxy than they are.

Now, for the hemline, I covered this briefly last week, so a short note will suffice: for the cleanest, most elegant and simultaneously modern look, trouser legs should sit on the top of the shoe, or exhibit only a small break at the front; any bunching or gathering at the bottom of the leg because its too long is simply wrong and it looks hideous. Any alterations tailor will hem a trouser for less than ten pounds, it takes minutes and is just about the most simple alteration there is; there is no excuse for a bunched lower leg on your trousers.

Well, that’s the silhouette covered. For the final piece in the series next week, I’ll be drawing together all these component parts, through a discussion on pleats, pocket shapes and trouser drape, presenting ideas which I hope will ensure that the humble men’s trouser will receive considerably more thought than it has hitherto…