29 April 2009

Custom Chino

The Custom Chino

The Pegged Leg


I apologise for taking liberty with the topic headline but what the heck... Who in their right mind is gonna have a custom pair of cotton chinos made up? I guess someone who can swing $500 for the labor and $20 for the material. The days of Steve Martin's fur lined sink and Tom Ford's $3,000 cotton suits are over. However, find a good alteration's tailor and you can do wonders.


I learned a long time ago that $10 (more like $20 today) to the right tailor could turn a baggy pair of fatigue or cammie trousers into a physique flattering base while adding length at the same time. Pretty much all the Army cared about was your haircut and whether you broke starch. Go the extra mile with tailored fatigues and you were a shoe in for Soldier of the Year. OK, I'm exaggerating a little but not much as any veteran can attest.


Take the same idea to baggy chinos, throw $20 to Mr Peppino who practices his affordable craft across the street from Bloomingdale's in NYC and one can walk away with the same effect. Not Soldier of the Month but a leaner figure made taller through the illusion of longer legs due to the narrow trouser opening. Here, it's seven inches. They were 10.5 inches before Peppino pinned them.

When the tailor pins your chinos he takes into consideration your basic shape and pins accordingly. This way the tailoring really is custom to you. For a lousy $20. How can you go wrong? You don't have to fly to NYC for Mr Peppino. A good local tailor should run about the same. It makes a huge difference with very little investment.

26 comments:

skorpeo said...

any tailor worth their salt will know a proper pegging begins at the mid-thigh (if not all the way up to the hip) leading down to the ankle, NOT at the knee. i have discovered the hard way to make certain my tailor/seamstress is aware of this fact before ever laying a hand on my clothing. a risk of neglecting to do so will possibly result in having trousers looking like a circus ringmaster....

Chris said...

your posts, though not as frequent as some other bloggers, are by far my favorite.

well done sir, and thank you for taking the time.

longwing said...

Trad, old sport. Never even considered having my legs pegged but does seem just the thing for some of my trousers.

heavy tweed jacket said...

Tintin, I have several pairs of trousers that have been transformed and given new life by a very gifted tailor. You speak the truth.

Anonymous said...

Tight trousers? Showing off one's physique? Not the concerns of an Ivy/Prep/Trad/WASP gentleman, sir.

Anonymous said...

Where did you find Duck Heads?! I've only seen ads, and those were years ago! I've always wanted to try a pair on.

How's the fit, by the way? Are they really high-rise and full along the leg?

Patrick

M.Lane said...

SO true. Where I live there is a mens shop that used to be big that is now small but still in business. It has a custom tailoring department for Naval Aviator uniforms. You can tell the guys that take their career seriously because they spend the money to get one of those old fellows to make them look like AVIATORS. If you get to know them, and pay the tariff, a mere civilian can get the same look. Sadly, without the gold trim.

Bravo.

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

tintin said...

Skorp- Very true. Peppino pins from the butt down keeping it in proportion.

Chris- It's obvious you're a man of erudite style with amazing good taste. Thank you for the nice words.

longwing- note the good advice from Skorp.

Heavy Tweed- It's amazing what a few bucks (in your case yen) and a decent tailor can do isn't it? In the Army I knew guys who had custom wet weather gear made up from issued water proof bags. The ideas are starting to pour.

Anon- While I no longer have a physique you need to dig deeper. Start here: http://thetrad.blogspot.com/2008/12/take-ivy-chapter-i.html
This is also a blog where you can tell me I shouldn't wear it but you can never tell me I can't. The chino in it's mid 60s glory was worn tight and usually hi watered. Check it out.

Patrick- Last year in my travels in north Florida and south Georgia I stumbled across a number of Goodys stores that were closing. Goodys bought the Duck Head brand and because of the fond memories the brand brings me from the 80's and college I could care less about the quality. Having said that- they usually $10 or so. The cut is huge although there are some older flat fronts with the small belt loops that are a narrow cut. Check this out:
http://thetrad.blogspot.com/2008/05/southern-trad.html
I haven't seen a Goodys in a while but you should be able to order on online here:http://www.goodysonline.com/Duck_Head_Clothing.cfm?pt=2&sp=2&ppc=%2BqWEgB7wUAc%3D&qs=06oENya4ZGJbKUjvjwGtnG1Krbkuoq0Q3glKJSVqkpa8YGtSlDO5TNPJ1T4vTqdqdjxKQG6ofdrhpgH6v_8iG8uprfMcDar3qelc6yT8i0Jc2lywdRU3vvwvT3Z3usScWJKpl5GVcy0slfMEZwKwpYiO-z3jy7pcfYddxU6foM4ZsD9oBMEQTsyO0yUsC9HLeDKA40yFJmf-s1YhFFoSYEH3xH5eegKhAILby4,YT0z&vid=1241092393_2X02X1272538450&rpt=1&lpt=1241092394&kt=4&kp=7&bd=-4%23768%231280%231%230%23370%23351

M Lane- Military towns are bargains when it comes to cleaners and tailors. The Navy has the best uniforms but I'm amazed how much of it is polyester.

tintin said...

Patrick- Sorry. The Duck appears to have left the building...again.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what happened to granpa Amos, Luke, SugarBabe, Cassie and Little Luke? Tater

tintin said...

Tater- I heard when the Goodys in Brunswick laid 'em off they all got jobs at the Polo outlet in Darien.

Ben said...

Brilliant idea. Wish I learned of it sooner.

And of course, the appearance of the Duck Heads tickle me.

Giuseppe said...

Hear, Hear!

Being an avid thrift shopper, I've even learned that even a pair of seventies era flare bottoms can be made respectable if the cloth is worth the trouble.

tintin said...

Ben- It's never too late - - although it would appear too late for Duck Heads.

Giuseppe- I hear you. I've seen lots of Batik bell bottoms worthy of a $20 fix.

Anonymous said...

To anon who arched an eyebrow at the incongruous nature of an Ivy/Trad/Prep/WASP gentleman tailoring his clothes to show off his physique...Is it possible you don't get the tongue-in-cheek humor in this blog? Tintin is not now, nor has he ever been, any of these. Like Ralph Lauren (nee Lifschitz)he has invented himself as an authority on "Trad" style. Ralph did it for economic gain. Thankfully, Tintin does it for our amusement. He (obviously) does it to poke fun at nouveau, wannabe "Trads." Get it?

Real "Trads" know the "auction house" is not the best source for "Trad" furniture; they inherit it. Real "Trads" go to prep/boarding schools, especially if their "Trad Dad's" are military. Mine did. Then Real "Trads" go Ivy, not to some unnamed school in Florida? Georgia? Wherever. Tintin calls UNC "Ivy." Hilarioius! My husband went to UNC after finishing LAST in his high school class. Noooo ivy growing in Chapel Hill. Real "Trads" wear Barbour waxed cotton in the early morning hours patrolling from the duck blind, not strolling up Madison Avenue on their lunch hour. And they wouldn't dream of wearing patterned party pants to work -- in Tintin's acknowledged field of commercial insurance. Don't know his religious affiliation, but based on his comments I suspect he's not a confirmed member of the Anglican Church.

This is all a joke!!! He's as far from genuine "Trad" as possible.

As Joan Cusack's character said to Melanie Griffith's character in Working Girl, "Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear. It don't make me Madonna." As Tintin says, "People only change in the movies." Tin ain't no Trad. Just pokin'fun. Relax and enjoy it. He is!

tintin said...

Anon - Thank you for your comments. The Trad has always been about fun. Why else would I wrap Hermes ribbon around my head. But the Willis Geiger parka did see pheasant hunting on the IL/WI border.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

I just opened a footlocker in Mom's basement and will never have to buy khakis again... if I can break the starch outta 'em, I'm having them tailored. Even the ones with the button flies and small holes around the front pockets. turn's out I'm the same size Dad was somewhere around 1955 to 1965.

tintin said...

Fortune has smiled upon you. Please do me a favor and take some pics. And include close ups of details. Belt loop size, laundering instructions, buttons and flys. You know what to do...then post it. It will go through the design world like a wild fire on the Serengeti.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Instructor Tintin, Yes Instructor! They're not too different from my Bill's Khakis, believe it or not. But there is something about the twill or maybe the weight? Could be decades of starch. I could barely get a couple of pair open. But man, was my posture great that day?

Anonymous said...

how can we leave out LL bean 1912 natural fit chinos. The fit, quality and price ($29) make them the best value I have found.

Anonymous said...

I love this blog!!!
I thought my husband was the only one who put a Hermes ribbon 'round his head!!!!

Do you do the T shirt morphing into the Pharoh's headdress as well?

tintin said...

Anon- No, but I can do a mean shapeshift.

Anonymous said...

i hate peacetime soldiers. only a wanker pogue would tailor his uniform, as other vets could attest to.

cockhead!

tintin said...

What? No tailors in Toowoomba?

Anonymous said...

Ankle-hugging chinos? Can we say 'fussy in the extreme'? Who in their right mind would give a shit how tall they look when wearing wrinkly cotton trousers intended for digging ditches in the heat and dust of the tropical Pacific? You've ruined an excellent pair of comfortable and practical pants, sir.

tintin said...

Anon-
I- When you're five eight and three quarters, you'd give your right nut to look an inch taller.

II- I wore khakis in the army from '76-80 and no, it was a dress uniform not a fatigue, dig ditches, kind'a trouser.

III- I ruined, according to you, my khakis. Not yours. And don't call me, sir. I work for a living.