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A Trouser’s Waistband: A Blueprint for True Quality

October 5, 2009

Although many brands are touted as quality garments, it may be difficult for some consumers to decipher the true signs of excellence from the pretenders, especially since both share similar pricing and luxurious fabrics.

The fail safe way to select a quality trouser is to examine its waistband inside and out. Of course, there are other details to look for, such as laser-edged silk linings, cotton pocketing and the absence of crotch pieces, but most of them may be found around the waistband.

Starting with the outside, notice if the belt loops are tacked onto the waistband or sewn into the top of the waistband. Many collections have tacked on belt loops because it requires less time and labour. However, this method detracts from a trouser’s quality for two reasons. The first is simply that the waistband doesn’t look clean or cared for but more like an afterthought. Secondly, by tacking them on, the loops sit lower than the top of the waistband. Therefore, when a belt is threaded through tacked belt loops, it can’t fully support the waistband because it doesn’t reach the top edge. Eventually the waistband will experience an unsightly rollover, meaning that it will lose its integrity and wilt over the belt.

Antonio Valente Belt Loop

The Antonio Valente Trouser Belt Loop

 

On fancies, an essential quality feature should be matching. Even some high-end labels would rather sacrifice matching to minimize fabric usage. At Antonio Valente, we ensure that each waistband and belt loop is matched. For example, if making a pinstriped trouser, the stripes on the waistband will align perfectly at the back seam and each belt loop will have a stripe on it. When properly matched, a trouser is aesthetiaclly pleasing and you can be assured that corners were not cut.

All belt loops and back wiastbands match on all Antonio Valente trousers.

All belt loops and back waistband match on all Antonio Valente trousers.

Turn your attention to the front of the waistband. There are two buttons for fastening, one on the outside and one  inside. The outside button should be accurately placed so when the extension is buttoned, it will line itself up with the waistband. More importantly, the hook and bar, which fastens above the zipper, must be aligned with the zipper to avoid puckering around that area. If all the fasteners are out of whack, then so too will the trouser.

This button sits on the inside of the trouser lining, and keep the three points of contact for the two sides of the trousers in line for a consistent look.

The French fly button sits on the inside of the wiastband and keeps it in line for a consistent look. This photo also shows the strip of rubber inlay, Snugtex, which anchors a tucked shirt in place.

Puckering on the trouser’s fronts may occur if the inside button, otherwise known as the French fly button, is not correctly anchored. To expedite the sewing process, the inside button is typically attached to the waistband’s curtain, which loosely hangs underneath it. By securing the French fly button to the waistband itself, where it can resist being  pulled, a properly sized trouser will hang cleanly on any gentleman.

This next quality feature requires the sense of touch. Again, to save on the cost of materials and labour, the majority of labels will omit something that we like to call our Inner Flex Foundation. At Antonio Valente, a strip of flexible mesh is put into each waistband, which gives it life. That is to say, the Inner Flex Foundation helps maintain a waistband’s original integrity by infusing it with a tendency to spring back to its original shape thereby preventing its gradual collapse. When shopping for trousers, if you don’t feel resistance between your fingers when compressing a waistband, then that trouser doesn’t have any internals and will lose its form over time and look sloppy.

Antonio Valente Trouser Flex-Band

The Antonio Valente Trouser Flex-Band

 

Any label which professes a commitment to quality should always strive to reach new heights through exciting innovations. To address consumer concerns regarding comfort, we added a rubber inlay to the waistband and pleats to its curtain. The rubber strip, known as Snugtex, runs the length of the waistband and securely grips a tucked shirt in place. This small detail helps maintain a man’s overall tidy appearance throughout a busy work day. Moreover, Antonio Valente acknowledges that each man is an individual and as such needs a tailored fit around the waist. The waistband’s pleated curtain increases comfort as it expands to conform around the contours of various body types. Our most recent innovations are embodied by our Sartorial trouser. Each pair is a statement in style, form and execution. For a more in depth presentation of our trouser’s quality features, please click to the last couple of pages of our look book.

The true meaning of quality is to find a great fitting trouser that was made without cutting corners.

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