One of the online menswear community’s favorite retailers, Epaulet in NYC, recently loaned me some samples from their made-to-order trouser program. Their trousers are a popular recommendation for posters on StyleForum, as they’re aggressively priced, well made, and stylishly cut. Surprisingly, even with the growing menswear market in the last ten years, finding all three of these things in one package – particularly in trousers, for some reason – is very difficult.
The swatchbooks here are impressive. There are just enough options to satisfy whatever you might want, but not so many that you feel lost in the choices. In linens alone, for example, there are five different shades of brown, all of which would be great for summer. Epaulet also has some tropical wools, which are often hard to find off-the-rack (tropical wool being a lightweight, breathable fabric that’s very useful for hot days). After selecting their fabrics, customers can choose some basic design details, such as how they want the waist to be styled (with belt loops, side tabs, or suspender buttons) and fly closed (zippered is easier to use, but buttons will help you avoid fly tents).
As it goes with most custom clothes, these aren’t returnable, so you’ll want to be sure of how their trousers fit before you go made-to-order. Which perhaps is my only reservation. Epaulet has a wide range of ready-to-wear trousers you can try, but those are returnable only for store credit. Which means if you know you’ll be shopping there for some time, trying out some trousers can be less of an issue (and subsequently going made-to-order easier), but otherwise, you’re taking a bit of a risk. For what it’s worth, I found their Walts to have a slimmer thigh than most pants I’ve tried on, but things fit nicely once I sized up from my regular 30 to a 31 (they also have a slightly fuller cut Rudy, but on that model, as the thigh expands, so does the seat).
If you do find that their pants fit you well, then this made-to-order program is a great way to get what you want quick-and-easy. No more searching around endlessly for that right pair of trousers you have in your mind, as there are enough options here to make almost anything you’d want.