Buying clothes online can be a risky affair – sizing can be variable and it’s hard to judge which cut will actually work from a picture. However, once you’ve nailed down a brand that works for you, e-commerce and the ease of repeat orders truly come into their own.
If there’s one area this particularly applies to, it’s trousers. And boutique menswear store The Armoury carries more high-end tailored trousers than almost anyone, including labels rarely found elsewhere, such as bespoke maker Osaku, Pommella Napoli, Ring Jacket (an Italian-influenced brand made in Osaka) and Italian label Rota. For those wanting to find that perfect fit online, here’s how they break down by price, make and cut.
The brands vary most obviously by price, with Pommella Napoli trousers the most expensive at around $800-$850 a pair, Osaku the next level down at $495-$550, Rota at $465-$495 and Ring Jacket at the $350-$400 mark.
Pommella’s higher price is basically down to the hand-work involved. These are bespoke-level trousers for those who want the finish of bespoke, though without the fitting element. The buttonholes are hand-sewn, as is the skirt on the inside of the waistband, and there is visible pick stitching around the edges. Personally, I’d prioritise fit over finishing, but I know there are those who love that level of finish and don’t want to wait for trunk shows and fittings.
Osaku is my favourite trouser of the four. It’s primarily a bespoke maker but creates ready-to-wear for The Armoury. It offers a precise, clean finish and uses fine materials, including the shirting on the inside of the waistband. The leg line is similar to Pommella – slightly tapered – but pretty much everything else is different: a mid-rise, a thin waistband and belt loops or side adjusters for the fastening.
The other two labels, Rota and Ring Jacket, aren’t that different in make, though Rota is a little more expensive. The fits do vary, however. Rota is a fairly standard modern cut, perhaps best described as mid-rise. Ring Jacket, on the other hand, is carried in a Model A cut developed exclusively with The Armoury and, like the Pommella trouser, is rather higher in the rise. Rota is also slimmer in the leg, and this is something I struggle with in terms of its fit. Of the two, therefore, I’d suggest more tailored dressers err towards Ring Jacket. Its trousers also come in a greater range of materials, including cottons, flannels and corduroy.
Simon Crompton is a men’s style writer and consultant. He is the founder of the award-winning website Permanent Style and author of Le Snob Guide to Tailoring (Hardie Grant Books, £8.99) and The Finest Menswear in the World (Thames & Hudson, £24.95). To read more of his columns, click here.