Out shopping for menswear? You might notice an offer like, "Buy a suit, get another trouser pair at a discount." It's good for business, but it actually comes at a great benefit to you. Why? Check out the reasons below as to why a second pair is a good investment.
First, you double the life of your suit. Trousers are typically the first item to show wear and tear in your suit. Making a small investment in a second pair reduces the amount you wear a single pair.
Back in the day, men couldn’t necessarily buy suits off the rack. They stopped by the tailor shop, the tailor had fabrics to choose from, they’d measure the customer and when it was all said and done, the customer had a jacket and two pairs of pants that were custom made from the fabric they chose.
Secondly, trousers are a wardrobe's most heavily used part. They get stretched and flexed more than jackets as much of your weight rests on the trouser seat. Dress cuffs can collect dirt and retain moisture. Their seams get stretched because we sit on the seat of our trousers, stressing them.
Third, a suit only works when both pieces are in good shape. If one-piece tears or fades, it's no longer a suit. You might be able to pass off the jacket as a sport coat, and wear it with contrasting slacks but, it's different. Without a matching pair of trousers, it becomes a painful loss and a new game of mixing and matching.
Approach with Caution
Can skilled tailors make trousers stronger? Maybe, but there is a limit to what they can do. You’ll be hard pressed to find matching fabric to patch a hole or add to the waist. Excellent stitching can give a little more life to a pair of trousers but will still fall victim to the same wear and tear fate eventually.
The striped suit is a special kind of loss. Any pinstripe suit that does not come with a second pair of slacks should be worn sparingly, if possible. It is the most difficult jacket pattern to pass off as a sport coat. Most other patterned and solid color suits can make due, especially if you change out buttons to more casual or fun ones.
Rotation & Care
Alternate wearing the slacks each time you wear the suit. It gives equal wear and tear time to the slacks and one won’t fade more than the other.
Dry cleaning fades the fabric over time as well. Remember to only dry clean your suit and it’s slacks once a season, if possible. Even if one pair of the slacks seems clean, dry clean all three pieces at the same time, everytime.
A great suit is a significant expense but also an investment. So consider getting a second pair of matching trousers the next time you buy a suit. It might cost 20-30% more, but it will make the suit last much longer.