Trouser Tuesday: Thoroughstitch chinos, thoroughly classic style

Another week and another review! Prepared to be truly trousered, chaps, as we head over to the Big Apple for this weeks superb strides. From a small New York based company by the name of Thoroughstitch we have a pair of truly awesome chinos.

A touch of patriotism is evident in the labelling!

Never heard of Thoroughstich? Well, neither had I until I noticed them on Instagram, and from that moment I was paying close attention to what they were up to. Formed in 2010 they are a two-man team operating in New York City, using a local and competent menswear factory in the NYC garment district to produce their items. With a combined 20 years of experience in menswear and a shared passion for vintage clothing and modern clothes that are honestly made and with integrity, Thoroughstitch is their labour of love. The basis of the brand is to make great quality and interesting products in the US.
Their dedication will become apparent as you read on.

I took photos before removing the beautiful sizing tag. Lovely detail!

There aren’t a huge selection of garments this season, the chinos and a variety of shirts, and likely the range will be different, but not much larger next season. What they make is thoughtfully designed and their effort is clearly going into doing things right rather than producing a wide range. Check out their shirts for an idea of where this is going.
Am I alone in thinking that making a smaller range of really good pieces has to be a better way of doing business than desperately making a larger range of unremarkable and uninspired garments? Knocking out the same basic range in differing colours year after year? Sorry, I digress.

Period advert for a similar style by Levi’s.

The style is a decidedly retro one, described as a “relaxed fit”. The waist is fitted, more space at the seat and thighs and a slight taper down the legs. The idea is a combination of vintage American WWII chinos and the “Ivy” style buckle-back chinos that the GIs would wear after they came home and went back to school. In the realm of style for dads I think this works very well!

General MacArthur wearing his Cramerton cloth chinos and shirt during WWII.

The fabric used for these chinos is “Cramerton Army Cloth” by the long running mill Galey and Lord. Cramerton Army Cloth is a sanforized khaki twill that will break in over time and get even softer. Not that it’s not soft already, mind you, it’s superbly comfortable right out of the box. And we all love sanforized fabric for it’s lack of magical shrinking properties. Cramerton Army Cloth has been supplied to the military from the same mill since 1929 and it saw service as the standard basic uniform cloth in WWII and later wars, which also ties back to the 1940’s origin of the trousers.
The front has two regular, canvas lined pockets and a coin pocket, all with welted edges to ensure they will wear well. Notice how there are bar tacks at all stress points, such as pocket ends and belt loops, to avoid tearing.

Coin pocket on the front, notice welted edges and bar tacked ends of both pocket and belt loop.

The rear sees another pair of pockets, again with the welted edges and canvas lining, one of them buttoned.  Also notice there are a total of 7 belt loops. This helps the waistband sit properly, whereas fewer loops can often lead to the waistband drooping below the belt. Excellent detailing!

Cotton canvas lined pockets, again the welted edges and bar tacks.

We also have a working rear cinch, so you can chose whether to go for belt or no belt. The cinch has thoughtfully been placed so that if you wear a belt the cinch will be covered. The brass hardware used is also decently engineered, so once set the cinch should stay in place.
The buttons are melamine buttons, which look quite plain and unremarkable, but are the same buttons, from the same factory, that the US military has used since the 1940’s. Although utilitarian in look and feel, they work well, and once I became aware of their significance, I rather like them. They are said to be incredibly durable, tolerating extreme pressure and heat. Buttonholes are well made as well, and any seams that would be left rough have been taped. Tidy.
All seams, including inseam and outseam are flat felled and double stitched, very tidy work indeed and a clear indicator of the dedication that has gone into making these trousers. Chainstitching gives the seams a little bit of stretch and will age nicely. The quality of the sewing work makes for durability and comfort.
Touches like the military-style hand-stamped sizing are very nice. Again hinting at the source of inspiration.
Info printed on the inside of the cotton canvas pocket. Again, very much a touch of the military. Having my birthday as one of the dates printed is extra cool!
In summary I feel that for the price asked, the Thoroughstich chinos deliver more than can be expected. At a price point where you’ll expect to find most brands offering their chinos of quite average and unremarkable quality, Thoroughstitch really goes the extra mile. And includes worldwide shipping in their price. Truly impressive.
And they even include a spare button or two in a small envelope. Perfect!
I have inside word that for AW14 they are doing a CPO shirt in Harris Tweed. No prizes for guessing whether or not I have a pre-order in place!
I measure the waist on these to 34″, so 2″ larger than the stated size. Be aware of this and double-check before ordering. A relaxed fit can be far too relaxed! These 32’s fit me perfectly, I just need to hem the legs an inch.
Production details:
  • Fabric – USA
  • Trousers – USA

Score (1-5, 3 being average):

  • Assembly: 5
  • Details: 5
  • Quality: 5
  • Value for money: 5
  • Cool-factor: 5
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  • Scratch 13/05/2014 at 15:32

    Lovely they are Nick. I have a pair of Buzz Rickson’s of a similar weight and pedigree I guess. Taken straight off the actual USAF WW2 issue chino. They are heavyweight but do not have the cinch (which I think is a nice touch on yours) but look a bit roomier or rather, less tapered, than yours.
    They have a zip fly – talon naturally – and come in a 35 inseam as standard so there’s quite a traditionally massive turn up on them.
    It took me considerable research to find a pair of really solid heavyweight chino’s – IE ones you could also wear in colder weather – pleased to see you’ve managed to get there a bit quicker than I did.
    Look good with wallabees too don’t they?

    • Well Dressed Dad 14/05/2014 at 14:07

      They do look good with Wallabees! I’ve had to have a bit of a think as to which shoes work well with chinos and from my small collection it’s probably Wallabees or Paraboot, or lighter brogues. I don’t really have much in the way of lightweight shoes…

  • Brandon 14/05/2014 at 21:24

    Really great article, I *thoroughly* enjoyed it! Thoroughstitch deserves so much more attention for what they’re doing, glad to see some well-deserved recognition. Some notes and corrections: The cotton fabric is actually called Cramerton cloth by the mill Galey and Lord. It’s also worth noting that while melamine buttons may seem unremarkable, they were used for their incredibly durability – they are extremely heat and pressure resistant. Probably as good as it gets before using metal buttons!

    • Well Dressed Dad 14/05/2014 at 22:23

      Thanks for the feedback and corrections, Brandon! I’ve edited the post to reflect my errors 🙂

      Happy to meet a fellow Thoroughstitch fan!

  • Trouser Tuesday: Whillas & Gunn “Charles”, unusually retro | Well Dressed Dad 20/05/2014 at 12:04

    […] The inside of the pockets is in a comfy blue cotton. Stitching is primarily of the overlocked type, utilitarian more than the last weeks tour de force lapped stitching by Thoroughstitch. […]


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