Elasticated waists have gotten more and more in style in males’s trousers. And I believe they do have a spot – when they’re sensible, and do not undermine the model.
But it surely’s vital to consciously draw a line – to pay attention to when this undermining begins to occur.
A couple of latest experiences helped me draw that line for myself.
The primary was about pyjamas.
Two years in the past I had some bespoke pyjamas made by the Spanish shirtmaker Burgos (above), a course of that started at our pop-up store earlier within the yr. They have been in a pleasant, modern-feeling chambray, and I coated them on PS right here.
Over time, nonetheless, I grew to become a bit of pissed off with the trousers. They have been too excessive within the rise initially, and I had this altered. However even then, they weren’t that snug and had a irritating tendency to slide up and down.
Earlier this yr, I purchased a pair of linen pyjamas from Anderson & Sheppard, and the match was significantly better. They hardly ever moved on the waist, regardless of being ready-made, and have been extra snug.
The explanation appeared to be that that they had an elasticated waist.
Partly, I believe it is a scenario that’s distinctive to pyjamas.
Pyjamas are normally comprised of a gentle or light-weight materials, which elastic can address extra simply than a heavy one. And that lightness of fabric could make cords fairly uncomfortable – you’ll be able to really feel them tight in opposition to your physique, even when the wire is a large one because it was with Burgos.
Pyjama trousers are additionally normally lower straight up-and-down, with no tapering from the seat into the waist. This implies the elastic or wire has extra work to do than on common trousers: there may be extra to cinch in, and so it’s extra of a problem for a wire.
I believe the Anderson & Sheppard trousers have been additionally a very good instance. The stress is sweet, the elastic large, and there’s a flat panel on the entrance with no elastic – simply a few mother-of-pearl buttons – which makes them look cleaner and extra elegant than a easy elasticated waist. (I haven’t got any pictures of that waistband, sadly, simply the model pictures above and beneath.)
The explanation may also be barely private.
Proper now, I rise up round 5:30 to six:00am with my 14-month-old daughter, at nighttime.
I preserve the lights off, in order to not get up my spouse. I have to get to my daughter within the subsequent room earlier than her murmuring turns into screaming, waking much more individuals up.
So with the ability to merely slip on pyjama trousers – in frankly indulgent cashmarello cloth – is great. It’s the right mixture of sensible and splendid.
My second expertise illustrated the alternative: the place I don’t need, or want, elastic.
Final yr I acquired a pair of summer time trousers from Informale – Steve Calder’s casual-tailoring model – in olive linen (above). That they had an elasticated waist, in addition to a drawstring.
I liked carrying them: partly as a result of I’ve all the time struggled to seek out that color of linen for tailor-made trousers, but additionally as a result of they have been so gentle and straightforward to put on. However, I solely wore them with an untucked tee or polo shirt. By no means with something tucked in.
I do know others are completely satisfied to put on elasticated trousers like that, however for me it seems to be too messy. It’s too redolent of a scruffy man carrying a T-shirt tucked into sweatpants.
A clear, well-fitting waistband is a sexy factor, and shouldn’t be discarded simply. It attracts the eye to one of many slimmest elements of the physique, and supplies a pleasant transition level between unfastened materials above and beneath.
I believe the one cause to put on an elasticated waist with one thing tucked in, personally, is as a vogue assertion. As one thing just like the mannequin beneath is doing – in a De Bonne Facture lookbook.
I can see why that is an efficient look, and subverts some expectations of a shirt and trousers, but it surely’s too fashion-led for me.
Fashions which might be fascinating as a result of they’re uncommon hardly ever final lengthy. After some time they only cease being uncommon.
I embrace a picture from De Bonne Facture specifically, as a result of I additionally acquired a beautiful pair of their straw-yellow linen drawstring trousers that Summer season – from No Man Walks Alone.
They labored equally properly, however once more solely with issues untucked.
On to the ultimate elasticated expertise.
Constructing on my enthusiasm for the linen trousers, Steve despatched me a pair of his flannel straightforward trousers to strive. These have elastic across the waist, in addition to belt loops (beneath).
These didn’t work for me, sadly. (One thing I’ve already spoken to Steve at size about, as is PS coverage with suggestions – nobody is being ambushed right here.)
They didn’t work as a result of flannel is just too sensible. The slight ruching of fabric that occurs on an elasticated waist is okay on pyjamas, OK on informal linen trousers, and hidden in the event you put on one thing untucked. But it surely seems to be misplaced – for me – on flannels, and I’m not going to put on an untucked T-shirt with flannels both.
You should use a belt to cowl up that waistband, as there are belt loops, however then there’s little level within the elastic.
So that is the place I draw my line.
I’m positive others will place theirs otherwise – both disliking elastic on pyjamas, or loving it even on sensible trousers. However both manner, I believe it’s helpful to attract one, fairly than stumble right into a vogue look or one pushed purely by consolation.
I like garments an excessive amount of to be pushed solely by consolation. And I’ve spent most of my life attempting to keep away from being a vogue sufferer. I’m undecided pushing 40 with three youngsters is an efficient time to begin.
P.S. Daks-style trousers (beneath) are an fascinating side-point. They use elastic within the again half of what are normally fairly sensible trousers.
The distinction there I believe is that the elastic isn’t underneath a lot pressure. It’s solely attempting to tighten by a centimetre or two, and consequently it’s usually invisible when the trousers are worn.
It additionally helps that the elastic is just at the back of the trouser, and that there’s a pretty structured waistband round it.