Labour Union - Pinstripe Trousers
I’ve been aware of Labour Union for quite some time having seen them being stocked by a few retailers in the UK and being worn by some fellow IG’ers. But not having had the chance to examine their garments in person I was a bit dubious about them and the quality as after all they have the stigma of being ‘made in China’ attached to them which unfortunately has come to represent negative connotations associated with it.
However, there is a new generation of young Chinese who want to remind the world of what their country is capable of and Labour Union most definitely fit in this group alongside some of their contemporaries, such as Indigohood and Club Stubborn.
I have been tempted by a few pieces that they have released but when I first saw the pictures of these magnificent trousers I knew I had to have them.
Guzhuokangzheng, the man behind the brand is trained as a tailor and you can clearly see this in the silhouettes that he employs, the heritage detailing and the choice of fabrics that are carefully selected for each garment.
The fit on these trousers screams heritage, and if we start from the top you will instantly see they are high-waisted and sit close to your belly button, the back of the trousers are slightly higher than the front giving them slightly slimming effect when you are looking at them from the front or at an angle. The back of the trousers has a lovely fishtail sandwiched between the suspender buttons, and a belt loop just below. The symmetry here is very appealing to the eye.
The waistband is also longer than most modern trousers which elongate the waist further.
Moving down you will notice these trousers have slant pockets which sightly flare out as most slant pockets do, but due to the fact that they have been moved a little closer to the inside, this means they do not have an awkward effect, which some trousers have especially when they are slimmer.
On the rear, you have a well-executed back cinch and angled back pockets which really frames and rounds off your assets in the best possible way.
From then onwards they are straight right down to the hem, which worn wear a with a small cuff as shown by Labour Union themselves gives you a perfect break to transition to your footwear. If you go for a bigger cuff you will expose the selvedge which is a nice detail on this kind of trouser.
Overall I find the fit on the trousers to be very comfortable with plenty of space in the thigh and top block but without looking too baggy or oversized.
Pinstripe or Wabash? Unlike heritage Wabash fabrics which utilise a technique called ‘discharge printing’ to create the pattern, this Japanese denim has the dotted pattern woven directly into the denim itself.
The smaller dots lend themselves to looking more formal which is why maybe Labour Union have decided to call it Pinstripe rather than Wabash.
Technicality aside this Japanese sourced denim, which uses red cast indigo yarns for both warp and weft, means you get very vibrant deep blue colour. The hand feel of this right-hand twill denim is consistent and uniform, weighing in at 14.5 oz the denim is rigid and starched giving it a formidable finish and help the trousers have a classic straight drape.
Finally, this denim being manufactured in Japan you would assume it is selvedge and you would not be disappointed as it has a classic red ID.
It will be interesting how this denim will evolve over time as they fade in colour up and become softer, I imagine at this point they will go from being more formal into the more workwear category.
These 1930 inspired trousers come with a slew of interesting details, first of we have custom hardware in the form of brass suspender button on the back and the front of the trousers. On the fly, we have oxidised donut laurel wreath buttons (WW2 inspired)
A canvas custom label can be seen on the inside, informing us of the weight of the denim, washing instructions and how much shrinkage to expect once washed. I haven’t washed mine as of yet, so cannot confirm how much shrinkage there is in this fabric. The Interior pockets and lining is made of alternating twill cotton material.
Although these trousers come with both suspender buttons you have the option to adjust the using the stitched in back cinch or use a belt with the elongated belt loops which are provided. Personally I believe these trousers look best with suspenders but it's a good option for those who are perhaps transitioning into wearing suspenders (me) or who want to have the option of both.
The construction is very clean throughout with neat overlock stitching on the inside and fairly straight and tight single needle stitchwork on the hem and on the top block of the trousers.
Tonal blue stitching is used on the outside of the trousers, and ecru being used on the inside.
There a few minor spots where the stitching has some (non-structural) faults on my pair, hopefully, this is something that can be addressed in the future.
Rugged tailoring; personally these have been a breath of fresh air to me, and given me an option to wear something more formal without opting for a full-on suit. From the denim to all the details I think Labour Union have designed a superb pair of trousers which I will enjoy wearing for years to come.
I also hope this is the continuation of well made Chinese brands who have been on the scene but have not always had the coverage they deserve.
And I will definitely be keeping a close eye on the output of what Labour Union have in-store for us next.
The Pinstripe Trousers can be found on Labour Union website amongst other great garments. https://labourunion-1986.com/