Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: Aris Allen Wide Legged Trousers

I've been on the search for wide legged trousers for some time now, either vintage or modern. I'm talking about Oxford Bag wide.

click images to enlarge



Vintage trousers with such wide legs are rare to find, especially in my size and in good wearable condition. That's why I went with the Aris Allen wide leg trousers from the Dance Store. They were a birthday gift from Cassie and I chose the brown unhemmed version, allowing me to tailor the inseam and cuff depth to my desires. They are also available in black but other colors are unfortunately limited.



Once ordered, communication was good and the trousers arrived in a timely manner.

The trousers themselves, as it states on the website, are 100% polyester. That had me worried at first but once they arrived I was pleasantly surprised. The material, though polyester, feels and acts a lot like rayon. It is soft and drapes very well. While the material is lighter weight and more of a summer fabric, it drapes and acts like a heavier material. Unfortunately the trousers can only be dry cleaned or handwashed; no machine washing.


I had my alterationist hem them at the desired length and add a 2" deep cuff to the leg bottoms. These deep cuffs would ensure eye-pleasing proportions and maintain the excellent draping characteristics of the material. I always enjoy a generous cuff.

The trousers are pleated and come with a regular waistband and beltloops, including the interesting double beltloop shown below.



However, they lack suspender buttons but that is easily remedied. I would have prefered the more unusual wide waistband like the second catalog illustration posted above or even a Hollywood Waist but it's not a big issue. The pockets are voluminous and do not negatively affect the drape of the garment.


Before writing this review I wore the trousers on several occasions. Below are a couple casual kits I put together around the trousers.
The trousers are chocolate brown in color and the photo below accurately shows that color:




Note how well the trousers drape when movement is introduced. They don't wrinkle like other modern lightweight trousers, they flow:


Unfortunately, being Winter, it was fairly cold outside and as I said before these are warm weather trousers. That didn't stop me though and I found the trousers to be comfortable and attractive. These trousers are very straight-legged with no flairing towards the hem. At the cuff the legs measure 23" in circumference, definitely in traditional Oxford Bag territory.



Not to mention they nearly cover my size 12 feet!


Here's an overall shot of them being worn with suspenders, my prefered way to keep my pants up when drape is in mind. The 2" deep cuffs really help the proportions of such wide-legged trousers stay pleasing to the eye.






In closing, I'm quite happy with these trousers. They are very economical at $40 and really do look a lot like Oxford Bags. If you are looking for wide-legged trousers but are unable to find anything vintage that suits you I would recommend checking out these Aris Allen trousers. The material is surprisingly nice, the trousers drape well, are comfortable and look great when worn.

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