Nino Corvato, New York – Bespoke Trousers Part 2, First Fitting

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Express post is a beautiful thing. Critical documents can be sent around the world in record time, kidneys can be delivered to patients in need and, most importantly, cloth can be sent from Scotland to New York over a weekend so trousers can be made.

Having seen Nino on Friday morning to discuss the commission of these trousers (that article is here) the cloth was delivered from Edinburgh over the weekend and the trousers were made over the following 48 hours, ready for the first fitting.

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Checked patterns on trousers are notoriously difficult to cut and make up, at least for tailors who care about details. Anyone who has made bespoke checked trousers can attest to this. It requires not only the alignment of the vertical lines, like you would with a pinstripe, but also the horizontal, significantly increasing the difficulty of cutting and making. Although it requires a  care when sewing the cut cloth together, it all starts and flows from the cutting itself. If the cutter gets that right, the rest of the process becomes much more manageable.

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All in all, Nino and his tailors have put a good deal of care into matching the checks, with all horizontal and almost every vertical line being matched perfectly.

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Small bar-tacks at the top of the pleats give strength to the stitch

The fit, overall, is good for a first fitting with a new client. Nino intentionally left some room in the waist and some extra length at the hem to allow them to be taken in and up respectively once we had a point of reference from the fitting. We’ll take the waist in by a couple of centimetres and the hem up by 1/1.5cm. The waist sits high (where I wanted it), above the hips with the pleats creating extra room allowing the cloth to clear my thighs comfortably and fall cleanly to the shoes.

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The fit is good through the legs, although it’s been an eye-opener to see how such a bold check accentuates my seat, something I’ll be more mindful of when choosing cloth in future. A good idea for someone with a fairly flat seat to give the illusion of shape, but in hindsight, it’s a bad idea for my shape.

The chalk mark on the rear centre seam shows where the extra room at the waist will be taken in from. The left side seam is the only line which has not been matched (or, in this case, not coming to a form a "v")

The chalk mark on the rear centre seam shows where the extra room at the waist will be taken in from as there is a couple of centimetres needing to be taken out. The left side seam is the only line which has not been matched (or, in this case, not coming to a form a “v”)

You’ll also notice something out of sync on the left pocket. The pocket bag was accidentally snagged in a stitch when sewing the side seam, which was only noticed when putting my hand in the pocket, so that will be released, the pocket bag will fall and the line around the pocket will be cleaned up as a result. Nino will also have my small fish symbol sewn in to the rear right pocket.

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With those three simple changes made, the trousers should be complete. We didn’t have time for another fitting before I left New York, so Nino will send the trousers to me once they’re finished. I wouldn’t be surprised if they may need a final adjustment (possibly in the waist) once they arrive, but that’s easily taken care of by a good tailor back at home and we’d probably only be talking in millimetres anyway.

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Andrew is an Australian born writer, covering the world's leading bespoke tailors and craftspeople in menswear, with a focus on authentic quality, over branding. He spends most of his days running his successful (god knows how) consulting company and travels frequently to Europe for work and writing. He's a passionate cyclist, former trainee professional golfer and lover of all things Cocker Spaniel. He's married to his best friend and significantly better half, Mehri. They have 2 little boys born 11 months apart, which was funny for about 2 seconds before reality set in.


  • Reply June 4, 2015


    Hey Andrew:

    Would you mind posting a followup in a few months’ time after having worn these trousers a handful of times and letting us know how the cloth holds up? I have a jacket made up using the same bunch, and always wondered how it’d fare as trousers.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Reply June 15, 2015

      Andrew Doyle

      No worries. I’ve already had the trousers for a little while now, before writing the final article, for exactly that reason.
      As a precaution, I’m going to have a patch sewn in to the crotch, as I have a feeling the cloth may wear quite quickly there.

      How have you found your jacket wears?

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