Q: I bought some trousers a few years ago when I was just starting to dress myself like a grown-up. They're wearing out now, and I was wondering what brands you recommend for wool slacks in the $150–$200/pair range. It seems like all I can find while I'm searching are recommendations for budget brands for poor college newly-grads.
A: Bryson, we suspect J. Crew is in the process of sending you a catalog a week for the next 20 years, because you sound like exactly the sort of customer they hope to corral. And truth be told, while we have railed against the Ludlowization of the Millennial suit market, we really have no objection to below-the-waist Ludlowization. The pants are fine once you eliminate the crease and there are a number of iterations in your price range.
But rather than be like everyone else, make your own path and try a brand like Maison Margiela 14. They make terrific trousers, and while their standard 100% wool pant would easily win a fistfight behind a gym against the Ludlow, try this 60-40 wool/cotton blend, which will reduce itch by at least 40%. And go with the sneakers.