Trouser Tuesday: Toast does Harris Tweed

This is the first part of 4 where I’ll be taking a look at tweed trousers. I’ll feature a mid-range pair, a low-end pair, and rather unusual pair, and an expensive pair, which also happen to be maybe the silliest trousers around. To start things off I’ll go with the mid-range, then we’ll work our way along, week by week.

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This weeks mid-range pair are from British company Toast. I’ve previously presented one of their rather nice corduroy waistcoats. Toast appear to favour mainly corduroy and tweed when it comes to their wares, which suits me quite splendidly. This weeks pair of trousers are of the Harris Tweed variety, bought in the Toast outlet this summer. These are most likely from AW13, though variants are available this year as well, in both Harris and Donegal tweed.

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So, what do we have? A traditional 4-pocket layout with mildly tapered legs. The rear pockets are different, one with a flap, one with just a welted edge, both with quality buttons to keep them closed. One front pocket has an internal change pocket which holds a phone nicely in place.

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The belt loops are well placed, and the fly is properly designed with a tab fastening and again has proper buttons to keep it closed. The pocket bags are made of pleasant cotton fabric. The buttons even appear to be proper horn buttons, though not the most attractive ones I’ve seen.

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Standard fayre for any pair of trousers really, regardless of fabric. When you get to coarse tweed though you need to be a little careful. While it is usually beautiful to behold and warm to wear, it can also be abrasive and itchy, sort of like a scouring pad. Would you wear brillo-pad trousers? Hardly!

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So there has to be a lining between your delicate legs and the tweed. In this care the lining goes all the way down the front of the legs, to below knee level, and the seams are also wrapped in the same soft cotton. This means that you quite rarely notice any roughness of fabric.

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The tweed is the usual Harris Tweed quality. Handwoven in a shed in the Outer Hebrides off the Scottish coast. There are any number of variants to be found, this one is a navy blue with lighter vertical stripes. I have another pair in a pattern of very small checks reminiscent of the colours of the Islands. Wonderful wool, and the more you study it the more nuances you see. Plus I’m a sucker for all the lore that surrounds it, and that actual humans are so closely involved in weaving it. I would have liked the Harris Tweed label to be the actual one for the tweed used, with the pattern code on it, and not the generic label used in this case.

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Yet when it comes down to it, a trouser is only as good as it’s cut and construction. The fit of these suits me very well indeed. As mentioned they’re not baggy, but have some taper to the legs. I can’t find any issues in the construction of them either, all seams are straight and buttons properly attached. Even the buttonholes are spot on. A good, solid pair of trousers by all accounts.

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Nowhere is it marked where the trousers have been made, which is a little poor in this day and age. From the Toast website I see some things are made in the UK and others in Poland. Where these are made is anyones guess, but maybe if they were made in the UK they would have been marked as such?

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Size-wise they are marked as 32″ and measure a clear 34″ at the waist. Never trust a pair of trousers to inform you that you have lost weight, eh? Note that Toast do their trousers in 2 lengths, a 30.5″ and 32.5″.

 

 

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This is part 1 of a 4 part series of tweed reviews. The full series is:

  1. A mid-range pair from Toast
  2. A bargain pair from H&M
  3. Something different from SEH Kelly
  4. Something extraordinary from Nigel Cabourn

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