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Panta: Great trousers made in New York

19 April 2010

I’ve written before that trousers can be the hardest thing for a man to source once he has gone bespoke with his jackets and shirts. It seems like a waste to have separate trousers made by a bespoke tailor – so much less figuration required. But experience of bespoke makes it very hard to trawl the high street looking for a model (or quality) that you like. (For the past couple of years I have often had trousers made with my Hong Kong tailor, but a change of jobs means I am unlikely to be there so often.)

One solution, certainly to the second problem, is the trousers being produced by Ed Morel in New York under his new label Panta Clothing. Ed wanted to be able to produce trousers of a quality comparable with Kiton, Borrelli and Oxxford (more common reference points in the US than here) that he could design himself and make more affordable, but he also wanted to highlight the great manufacturing available in New York by having them all made locally.

At over $200, they are not cheap by high street standards. But the workmanship is superb and they’re a lot cheaper than Kiton. The handstitching or tacking around the waistband, pockets and fly is impressive, and everything from the thread used for the sewing (Gutterman) to the buttons (French horn) is quality. Each pair comes with spare buttons and taping to go around the (obviously unfinished) bottoms.

I’m a particular fan of the closing at the front, which features two buttons on the inside and a long tab that slips underneath the first belt loop.

There will be both slim and classic fits, though the initial first samples (details here) are all in the slim fit. While not aggressively narrow, I did find that I needed the 34 inch rather than 32 (I am actually a 33, so either way an alteration is required) so that the space in the seat and thigh were sufficient. Then again, my tailor Russell is always telling me I have a particularly prominent posterior, so you might not have the same problem.

The colours available are slightly unusual while still classic, the brown I got (pictured) a slightly lighter tone than one would assume and equally the air force blue that I will likely get next. Lovely texture on the cashmere option as well.

Some readers of Style Forum, where Ed launched this product, have commented that they would prefer side straps to belt loops. I’m torn but I marginally prefer belt loops with odd trousers – the ability to accessorise the belt just outweighs the obvious practicality of the straps on fit over time. On suits, I always have side straps.

Eventually Ed will have product with side straps, though, as well as the classic cut and some other products like seven-fold ties. They will all appear on the website, which is under construction. In the meantime anyone interested can contact Ed on contact@pantaclothing.com or through Style Forum.

Another, earlier review here.