While gentleman’s chinos are a staple on the international high street, the proportions and construction can often leave a lot to be desired. Frustrated with his attempts to find the perfect-fitting pair, Spoke founder Ben Farren decided to create his own, assembling a small design team and engaging in an intense bout of research and development, part of which included buying 100 pairs of trousers from a variety of brands, cataloguing the measurements of each and then creating three definitive blocks to produce Spoke’s interpretation.
His website focuses on a single style of washed cotton chino (£79) and shorts (£59, third picture), but offers a much bigger range than the average brand. Visitors to the site type their personal information – from waist measurements to watch-strap fastening habits – into the online calculator (a tape measure will be posted if needed), and the trousers or shorts are then finished to order.
Spoke uses high-quality fabric, and the palette is appealing – going far beyond basic black. New or refreshed colourways appear every six to eight weeks – the most recent arrivals are Teal and an update of its bestselling Olive (second picture).
While Spoke began by focusing on doing one thing and doing it well, it recently launched a range of T-shirts (£25, first picture), produced – after experimentation with 24 different kinds of jersey – in a fine, ring-spun slubbed cotton that washes well. As with their chinos, the fit’s the thing: while T-shirts are usually sold in a paltry five sizes or so, Spoke offers them in a wonderfully expansive 12.