Shorts in union hopsack in malt

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Shorts — quite long shorts, please note — made in London, with a hopsack of cotton and linen from a mill in Lancashire, and with horn buttons and a brass buckle from the Midlands.

More of this sort of thing

There's not many of these left, by the looks of it. Still, don't despair. Email and perhaps something can be done about it.


If in doubt with sizing, ignore what your current shorts say they are, and measure them instead. Lay them out flat, run the tape-measure from one side of the waistband to the other, and then double it. That's your size.

Waist 30 32 34 36 38
Waist when cinched 28 30 32 34 36
Leg 13 13 13 13 13
Rise 13 13½ 13½ 14 14
Top of thigh 11½ 12 12½ 13 13½
Hem 8 9 9
These are shorts of the old school, in that they're made in very a sturdy fashion, and are cut to a traditional — high-rise, full-leg —shape. Plenty of room, in other words, for comfort and movement, and with the leg and seat shaped so that they don't ride up or stretch when you sit down or stand up.
Exactly where the waistband extension ends is a dart, which runs downwards from the waistband, blossoming into a pleat. A single-pleat front, then — which gives the shorts a little more shape up top. The shorts have a short fly-guard (below) which helps to keep everything orderly at the front.
The shorts have slanted pockets, which are deep and satisfying to plunge hands into. Inside they are finished in a very clean and tidy way. The way the pocket-bag is sewn together also makes it much stronger than a standard pocket. Same goes for the strengthening tacks at the pocket opening.
Round the back, meanwhile, is an in-seam pocket — barely visible, as can be seen (or not) on the left.
There is a cinch at the back, too, which can be fastened as tight as a wearer wishes — but, realistically, by a maximum of an inch — with a brass buckle. Below, meanwhile, is the little notch on the rear waistband. It is strengthened at its base with a bar-tack: the same also goes for all other points of stress on the shorts.
The shorts are lined to the knee, front and back, with lightweight cotton. The lining makes the shorts pleasant to slide on, and helps a little to preserve shape around the knee. The shorts also have French seams (above right) on both sides of the leg — a pain to construct, but very, very, hard-wearing.
The cloth is a union of cotton and linen: equal amounts of both. It is a hopsack of middling weight, with pronounced texture, and slubs here and there. The cotton provides rigidity; the linen irregularity. It is a sturdy material, but also crisp and breathable, and with its jumble of qualities, good all year round.

As worn

He, here, is 6'1". But, more pertinently, he has a waist of 33". He is thus wearing the shorts in M, knowing as he does that, if between sizes, it is always better to go up rather than down.

Makers of

The shorts are made in London by a factory which — since several aspects of them are much sturdier than your average shorts — specialises in outerwear. What you get, then, are shorts with turned seams, a reinforced seat, and several other qualities, which see they are built to last.
The cloth is woven by a mill in east Lancashire: in a region of the country which was once red-brick cotton-mill chimneys as far as the eye could see. More or less the last of its kind, the mill has forgotten more about cotton than most will ever know — a fact born out by the quality of its work.
The brass hardware is made by a foundry in the West Midlands, which was founded in the 1800s. It is the last such foundry in an area once heaving with them. Its sand-casting method — which sees 940°c molten brass poured by hand from a crucible into sand-made moulds — is ancient and infallible.
The horn buttons were cut, shaped, and polished by the last such factory in Britain (now defunct). It was part of a tradition in the Midlands first linked to the meat industry of the 18th century. "It is no easy task," said William Hutton in 1780, "to enumerate the infinite diversity of buttons here in Birmingham."

So they say

The shorts are splendid. The workmanship is beautiful.

Heavy burlap shorts in navy pleased this gent greatly in May of 2017.

I just received the shorts today and they are lovely indeed.

This kind man is referring to the linen shorts he purchased back in June 2016.