Review: custom dress pants by The Red Thread Collection

Front, side, and a detail shot of the front pocket zipper and stitched "crease" 

I've been served an ad for The Red Thread Collection several times on Instagram and the company's claims struck me as either super exciting or maybe too good to be true: send them three selfies and receive a bespoke garment drafted to fit you perfectly...WITH POCKETS?!

Because they have an option to pay only the shipping and return the item if it doesn't fit well, I decided to give it a try. $4.99 was a decent price for the opportunity to test it out (and then write about it in this blog, of course). So, I checked out their styles--of which there are only a few classic pieces--and chose the Essential Ankle Pant.

Like most consumers of off-the-rack fashion, pants are a fit challenge. Historically, when I find a brand that fits well through the hips and thighs, I buy several pairs and then make alterations to the waist and hem. If the pants have inadequate/shallow or false pockets, I put in the size of pockets I need. Because I've been sewing since middle school, that's not a huge hardship for me, but if I weren't a trained stitcher/patternmaker, I would either need to rely upon an alterations shop or would have to just wear poorly-fitting clothes. I wondered: has garment-making technology advanced enough that the folks at Red Thread could change that for the non-sewist?

When I placed my order, I had to answer a series of questions before sending in my selfies, about how ready-to-wear pants tend to fit me poorly (tight in the thighs? baggy in the seat? long/short-waisted? etc). I then sent them three photos of myself (front, side, back) and a fourth image of the room I was standing in for the pix in but without me in it. Then, I provided my height and that's it. Seven days later, my pants arrived. (See above photo.)

Because they make the pants from a knit material with significant stretch, they have a fairly wide window of tolerance in terms of fit, and these pants do in fact fit me well. I can definitely recommend the style and the customization experience--if you see a garment on their site that you like, give it a try.

For myself, I'm torn, because the pants ARE the best-fitting most flattering dress pants i've ever owned, but at the same time, because i do physical labor for the better part of my job (standing over a dye vat, operating industrial machinery, etc.), i don't really wear dress pants very often (mostly cords/jeans). If i had a corporate job or waited tables in a nice restaurant, i can see myself owning five pairs of these pants. As it is, I'm keeping the pants because I do have occasional need for nice dress pants, but they aren't my new everyday pant. I still need to find work pants that fit or continue to alter off-the-rack ones.

I did not receive any payment or incentive from The Red Thread Collection to write this review. I did so because there was a discussion about the feasibility of the company's claims on a professional costumers' forum and wanted to see for myself if the claims were true.


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