So your suit pants are shot and that means your favourite suit is good for nothing! What can you do?
First, let’s back-track a little.
We won’t dwell on this piece of advice, valuable though it is – we do realise it’s the sartorial equivalent of closing the gate after the horse has bolted, but here goes…
We always recommend buying two pairs of suit pants to prolong the life of your suit and make it last twice as long – not because we want to sell you an extra pair, but because it gives your investment a longer and happier life.
Suit pants take way more wear and tear than Jackets. We sit in them a lot, causing stretching of the fabric and seams as well as flattening or abrasion of the fabric when it comes into contact with the variety of surfaces we encounter on a daily basis.
You should rotate your pants daily and ensure that you send them to the cleaners, along with your Jacket at the same time to ensure consistent fading, which is an inevitable by-product of cleaning your suit.
That little gem of advice is clearly for next time, and we know that doesn’t help you right now, so here’s a few ‘do’s’ and ‘probably-best-if-you-don’ts’ for solving the missing suit pants conundrum.
DO FIND A REPLACEMENT PAIR OF SUIT PANTS
First of all, have a look inside your suit pants and locate the label. You will find a style number there, along with your size and colour code.
Try typing that code into Google and you might find it will appear in the search results for retailers stocking that style. Many of our customers find us this way because we go to the trouble of adding style numbers to all of our product descriptions.
If your suit is a Joe Black, Gibson or Cambridge, or one of our own H+Co Hunter or Classic collections, you’ll be delighted to hear we carry stock on most suit pants – even when we no longer stock the suit in question. And if we don’t have them in stock we can usually order them for you, have them altered to suit your measurements and delivered to you free of charge with a week or two.
You can type the code number into our search bar in the first instance, which will direct you to the relevant page if they are currently in stock. If not, just fill out the form on the re-order page or call us with the code number and we’ll do our best to track them down.
9 times out of 10, we can locate the desired item.
DONT TRY TO PASS OF A MIS-MATCHED PAIR OF PANTS
Try not to make the sartorial blooper of aiming to match your jacket to a new pair of pants. It will almost never work and your style credibility will suffer greatly.
If you’ve ever tried to match up, even what you think is the easiest of colours, you will have realised that black is not just black, and navy or grey, well, forget it!
Even if you get a match on the colour, the chances of finding the same fabric is highly unlikely.
DO or DON’T USE YOUR YOUR JACKET AS A SPORTS COAT
We’re on the fence with this one!
We’re sure you will have had this advice from lots of friends and colleagues, suggesting you ditch the suit pants, buy a new suit and just use the jacket as a sports coat.
Well, that could be a “YES – THAT COULD WORK” or an – “OH-MY-GOD-NO! THAT’S A SARTORIAL DISASTER!!!”
The fact is, there is a measureable difference between a suit jacket and a sports jacket that could make or break your casual style.
Here’s what to look out for to help you decide …
First, take a look at the lapels
Sports jackets are traditionally a little less formal than their suit jacket counterparts. Suit jackets often feature a peak lapel, which is inherently dressier than a notch lapel. At H+Co, we don’t have too many peak lapels on our suits as they have been a little out of vogue, but they are on the rise again with more coming through. The image above right is what you’re looking for. If your suit jacket features a peak lapel it’s probably not going to be a candidate for repurposing as a sports jacket.
As a general rule, the wider your lapel, the more formal the look.
Consider the fabric
A suit jacket is usually made from a lighter, finer fabric than a blazer or sport jacket, which is why it looks incongruous when teamed with more casual pants.
The more rugged the fabric, the easier it will be to pull it off as a sports jacket.
Understand the construction
A suit jacket is usually fully lined and canvassed, well structured, with shoulder pads and buttons that blend in with the suit. All of these details give it a more formal look. Sports jackets are a little less structured and often unlined, which makes them look much more at home with T-shirts and casual pants.
Check out the fit
Suit jackets tend to have a slimmer, tighter fit, as they are intended to wear only over a shirt. A sports jacket will generally be a little roomier and can accommodate a sweater too. Try your jacket on with a sweater and see how it feels around the arms. Suit jackets are often cut longer too, which is what invariably creates that indefinable lack of congruence you might see when guys try to pass off their suit jacket as a sports coat.
Colours and patterns
Lighter colours, like grey, navy or stone are more likely to work as a sports jacket, where black and charcoal are more likely to look like you lost your suit pants.
Generally, pin stripes are a no-no, unless the fabric and the stripe has a substantial quality to it. Heavier or textured fabrics like tweeds and linen blends will be easier to pull off.
If you’ve ever seen someone wearing a ‘sports jacket’ with their chinos or jeans that looks just a little bit off, these will be the reasons why.
The details are subtle but they add up to a look that is just not quite right.
If you’re not sure and want to drop into the showroom with your lonely jacket and get a second opinion, we’ll be happy to oblige.
So to summarize:
- Next time, take two pairs of pants with your suit.
- Use our suit pant reorder service to locate a replacement pair (or pairs).
- Ditch any notion of trying to match up a random pair of pants.
- Drop into the showroom with your redundant jacket for advice on repurposing.