Stop my suit trousers from wearing out between the thighs!
February 11, 2005 4:35 AM   Subscribe

How do I stop my suit trousers wearing out so quickly? The area between thighs always seems to pill up and eventually wear out, especially on pure wool suits.

My thighs are a bit on the large side, I'll admit. Blended fabrics seem to fare much better.
posted by viama to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Wool is not a fabric that does well with friction, the individual fibres pull loose and pill up. That's the effect you're seeing when your pant legs pill and wear out. It's worse for people of large thighs (trust me on this one, I have thighs of immense size) because they create more friction, an effect that's exaggerated even more if you wear your pants too tight. Synthetics and blends are created smoother so there's less friction and less ability for the threads to pull loose.

If you're primarily worried about the wearing out, you can sew (or have sewn) semi triangular patches of synthetic fabric that guard the worst hit areas from damage. If done carefully, you can do this so that they won't show as you sit or stand, but you'll be out of luck if you're a sit with your legs splayed open kinda guy.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:54 AM on February 11, 2005

Reinforcing the area with sewn-in patches is vital for any man who's not at the 7th Avenue standard of svelteness, particularly if you walk around a lot on your suit-wearing days. However, the patches are on the inside, not the outside, so you really shouldn't worry about anything visible. The main function of the patches is not to prevent pilling -- which they can't really do -- but to prevent tears.

Fit is also critical. Bigger people tend to have an attitude that business attire is forgiving -- when the truth is that it can be, but only with proper choices, sizing and tailoring, and it definitely is not without it. The wrong choices can easily add 30 pounds to your look. I often wonder how the wives of six feet tall 240 pound men -- who could otherwise look quite decent -- let them walk out of the house wearning double breasted suits with trousers tight enough for 2" gut overhand. Unpretty.
posted by MattD at 6:12 AM on February 11, 2005

I'm thinking of a different wearing problem than you are, I think, MattD. I pants where the fabric itself has worn thin through pilling. I also have pants that have torn and had seams wear out. Patches on the inside deal with the second problem very well. Patches on the outside deal with the first better. In either case, visibility is an issue, because of the stitching line for the inside patches.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:57 AM on February 11, 2005

Investing in fully- or partially-lined suits might help, too. (I don't know many specifics about men's suits . . your local Brooks-Brothers-esque place would be a good resource for advice.) I second the advice about proper fit. If you get a suit tailored to your shape -- even if it's not the 'ideal' shape we're supposed to feel guilty about being or not being -- the drape will be normal, and the fabric will move and wear more evenly. The clothing will work with instead of against you, I suppose. You really will look [even more] terrific.
posted by oldtimey at 7:31 AM on February 11, 2005

If you take the pants to a tailor they should be able to install a slippery comfortable lining (satin?) in there -- that should help cut down on the friction.
posted by jennyjenny at 12:16 PM on February 11, 2005

I always get a second pair of trousers to go with the jacket for this reason. The trousers wear out much more quickly.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:47 PM on February 11, 2005

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