Archive for the 'Pants' Category

14
Nov
16

Best Dress Pants Made in the USA

Best Dress Pants Made in The USA

Dress pants made in the United States are one of those items that are difficult to find, and especially to difficult to locate consistently. As the United States and the world has become less dressy and more casual (consider the change between now and the “Mad Man” era), the need for dress pants has lessened, however, it is still quite necessary for the professional. And dress pants look quite sharp. We will look at the few companies who still make dress pants and see who makes them the best. We will be looking only at the dress pants that are sewn and crafted in the USA.(The fabric does not have to be made in the USA – in fact, it is considered that Italian wool is still superior to American wool.)

Dress Pants Buying Guide

The most important quality of dress pants is the fabric and the fit. And if you had to put percentages on which is most important, I would say 85% Fabric and 15% Fit. You could have the best fit, but if the fabric is cheap or poorly made, it just looks bad. Now if you have great fabric and poor fit – there is always a possibility with a good tailor, that the pants will look very nice.

Men’s Dress Pant Fabrics

The consistently best fabric for dress pants is wool. For over a century, nothing has come close to replacing it. Wool can be lightweight or heavyweight, so there are wool dress pants for all seasons. Wool is a durable fabric, but it does require a bit more care. Wool pants should always be dry cleaned, but you only need to have them cleaned about every five times you wear them. You may want to store them with cedar chips or moth balls. For wool with the softest feel, look for super 120 wool or higher, because this fabric is woven from the longest strands of wool. The best fabric comes from Italy. The most expensive fabric at this time: Vanquish II which uses blends of some of the rarest fibers in the world, including qiviuk, pashmina, and vicuna.

Other fabrics: To enhance the fabric, some higher end clothing makers will add cashmere or silk. Polyester or Lycra may be added to wool for a better fit or stretch. But 100% Polyester or Rayon does not give the classic dressed up look. Cotton also has been used, but it does not have the classic look for dress pants.

Often the best dress pants are ones that goes as an ensemble with the sports coat. In the suit, the dress pants are made up of the same fabric as the sports coat. That is why high end suit makers such as Kiton, Brioni and Loro Piana, are known as great dress pants makers. Plus their tailors are awesome.

The Style or Fit

    • Pleated Front or Flat-Front Pleated front pants work well if you have larger thighs or if you carry extra weight low on your torso. One or two pleats can give a classic look to dress pants, but they can be too much on a slim man. This style requires a cuff. Flat front pants have a modern style which flatters men with slim builds. If you have larger thighs, this style may not accommodate your size.
    • With or Without Cuffs Cuffs are flattering on tall, lanky men, and pleated pants need the weight of a cuff to hold the pleat in place. Shorter men will look taller without cuffs, and cuffs are not necessary when wearing flat-front pants. If pants have cuffs when you buy them, a tailor can’t take them out without dramatically changing the pants. Men’s pants purchased without cuffs can have cuffs added by a tailor, if you’d like.
    • Slim-Fit or Wide-Leg It’s not just a matter of fashion; different styles work better on different body types. Slender men will want to choose slim-fitting slacks, so they won’t look like they’re borrowing clothes from Dad. Men who are larger on top — either with a belly or a muscular chest — will want to choose wide-leg pants to balance their upper and lower halves.
    • Lined or Not Some pants — usually those made from wool — have a lining, often from the waist to the knees. If you prefer the feeling of the silky lining fabric to the feeling of wool, look for lined pants. Besides comfort, a lining can also help pants retain their shape.

Men’s Dress Tips and Care

Hem your pants: Many men’s dress pants come un-hemmed, so you’ll need to have a tailor add a hem. Additionally, your tailor can add a break, which changes how the pants hit the top of your shoes.

Get a perfect fit: A tailor can add a cuff, which you’ll want if your pants have a pleated front. He or she can also bring up the crotch if it hangs too low and take in the waist. Men with athletic builds will want to buy pants that fit in the seat and have the waist taken in.

Always hang up your dress pants: Use either a clamp hanger and hang the pants by their waistband or cuffs or use a fold-over hanger with a wide bar, preferably with rubber of some other type of padding. Remember to empty your pockets and line up the seams before you use either type of hanger.

The Competition

Places to Find Dress Pants Made in the USA

One of the better places to find mens’s dress pants at a reasonable price (and made in the USA) is at the Mens Wearhouse.  The dress pants from Joseph Abboud are made especially for the Men’s Wearhouse. The prices can be quite reasonable, especially when the website offers discounts. Joseph Abboud’s dress pants are made out of 100% wool from Italy.

 

Joseph Abboud Charcoal Gray Slim Fit

Joseph Abboud
Charcoal Gray Slim Fit

Brooks Brothers Making clothing since 1818, Known best for their suits, they do have a small number of dress pants made in the USA under heir Golden Fleece label or even more rarely under the Brooks Brothers name. (Make sure you read the label, most of Brooks Brothers clothes are imported – but using my link on Brooks Brothers takes you to the Made in USA section, then, scroll down and hit Tailored clothing). The Golden Fleece is Brooks Brothers high end label. Their fabric is made in Italy of 100% wool or sometimes wool with cashmere. Golden Fleece is, also, sewn at their top end facility in Haverhill, Massachusetts, called the Southwick facility. The other Brooks Brothers labels: Madison, Fitzgerald, Regent and Milano are made with 100% wool from the United States called Saxxon Wool. It is a shame that they ended their high end Black Fleece label last year.

Brooks Brothers Gray Flannel

Brooks Brothers
Gray Flannel

Golden Fleece Single Pleat made of wool and cashmere

Golden Fleece Single Pleat
Made of wool and cashmere

Hardwick Clothing Making clothing since 1880 in Cleveland, Tennessee, also known as a maker of Men’s suits, probably has one of the best selections of dress pants for men and they are offered at a reasonable price. (All made in USA). Hardwick’s fabrics vary. It can be 100% wool from Italy, it could be 100% wool from the USA, It could be 97% wool and 3% Lycra or it could be other, depending on the suit, pants or sports coat that you are purchasing.

Hardwick Charcoal Flannel - stretch wool pants

Hardwick Charcoal
Flannel – stretch wool pants

Haspel has been a maker of suits in New Orleans since 1909, Sometimes they have some suit separates – dress pants, very small numbers to choose from. (All Made in USA).

Haspel Bernard Trouser - Blue

Haspel Bernard
Trouser – Blue

Hart Schaffner & Marx  Maker of suits in Chicago since 1887, also makes Dress pants. (Some not made in USA). Hart Schaffner Marx suits can be found in department stores like Dillards and Nordstroms. The suits and pants (separate pants are difficult to find) are 100% wool from the USA.

New York Fit Black suit

New York Fit Black suit

Hickey Freeman Long time maker of Men’s suits, Hickey Freeman still makes many high quality dress pants, made in the USA. They make some of the best dress pants in the USA. Their fabric is made of a combined cashmere, wool and silk from Italy or 100% Italian wool. (Not all apparel from Hickey Freeman is made in the USA).

Hickey Freeman Flat Front Charcoal Trousers

Hickey Freeman Flat Front
Charcoal Trousers

Black Tasmanian Formal 100% Tasmanian 150 wool, fabric from Loro Piana

Black Tasmanian Formal
100% Tasmanian 150S wool, fabric from Loro Piana

Joseph Abboud – One of America’s most famous designers, still makes clothing made in the USA, also it sends much of its wares to the Men’s Wearhouse. The prices are about the same as at the Wearhouse, but there is more variety on their website, and often there are sales. (Not all apparel from Joseph Abboud is made in the USA). See above, Men’s Wearhouse for description.

Oxxford  Since 1916, making suits in Chicago, they sometimes have suit separates. (All made in the USA). Difficult to find – they have only two stores – one in Chicago and one in New York. Sometimes you can find them at Nieman-Marcus. They have some of the finest quality suits in the USA, if not the finest. Dress pants are hard to find without the full suit. Made from 100% wool, from the USA.

Oxxford Super 150s Flannel

Oxxford Super 150s Flannel

Patrik Ervell Newer USA maker of men’s clothing, based in New York, very few to choose from. (Not all clothing made in USA).

There are other brand names that sometimes make dress pants in the USA or Canada, however it is very inconsistent – one time they are there and the next they are not. These brands include: Hugo Boss, Riveira by Jack Victor, Bloomingdale’s, Sach’s Fifth Avenue, Ted Baker and Niemen-Marcus.

The Winner of the Best Dress Pants Made in USA

The choice of Best Dress Pants Made in USA was not difficult because there are so few choices of companies who consistently make dress pants here. If you had noticed that nearly all of them were the same clothing companies that make suits: Brooks Brothers, Hardwick, Hasper, Joseph Abboud/Men’s Wearhouse, Hart, Schaffner & Marx, Hickey Freeman and Oxxford. The problem then becomes which companies regularly sell dress pants separately. And this can vary from year to year.

The Elimination Process 2016

The first company, I eliminated is Patrik Ervell, In the past they made a few more pants for sale and some could even be considered dress pants, but, for 2016, there were no offerings. Next, I would eliminate Oxxford (even though they make the best pants), because they are so difficult to find and really do not make much in the way of offerings of separate dress pants. I, also have eliminated Hasper and Hart, Schaffner & Marx because although they make suits, they make very little dress pants, made in the USA, separately. This leaves just 4 companies. Two companies: Hardwick and Joseph Abboud have very good prices but their quality does not stand up to the remaining two. Brooks Brothers make some fantastic pants especially with their Golden Fleece brand, however, I think it was a fluke to find Golden Fleece pants separately. Therefore, the winner of the Best Dress Pants Made in the USA goes to Hickey Freeman. Congratulations to Hickey Freeman.

Remember to Buy American, it it is good for our workers, it is of better quality and it avoids Slave Labor.

 




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