Friday, March 2, 2012

Nantucket Reds from Murray's Toggery Shop


It was time for me to buy another pair of Nantucket Reds. While the Men’s pants seem fairly straight forward to buy, I have found the Women’s fit to be a bit trickier.


On the originals, the waist comes up higher than is comfortable for some.  So one can give their Poplin Low Rise pants a try.

Although the rise is, as the name suggests, lower, it is by no means too low. In fact the fit in the waist turned out to be very comfortable, and the front pockets nice and deep.

If only they were US made instead of in China...
From the knees down, however, it was a different story. They were very long,  too much fabric; and the bottoms flared out.  The solution is to take them to the local seamstress to have them shortened and the legs taken in from the knees down.


This is how they looked straight out of the bag.
The result worked. Next,  breaking in until they achieve that perfect Nantucket Red pink.




A  summer of salt and sun...
...to get them properly seasoned. 
See also: What to Wear with Nantucket Reds

43 comments:

Entre Nous said...

Gee whiz, finally a clue where to find a pair of decent pants with an appropriate inseam (hopefully). Apparently my Mayflower ancestors were quite tall... :}

Tammy B said...

Waist too high! I bet it is not too high for me. My waistline is fairly high. (Yes, I will probably be of those little old ladies with her skirt up under her armpits) I have trouble with pants. I may have to order me a pair of those. I've wanted a pair for several years, but have been afraid of the fit. How does the fit compare to LL Bean twills?

Muffy Aldrich said...

@Tammy B - I am not sure to which twills you are referring, but I actually took in my favorite, older Bean twills so she could make the legs exactly the same. I have yet to try Bean's newest twills and will probably do it soon in person in Freeport.

Patti said...

Ah, thanks for this post. I've come close to ordering those and would have shied away from the low rise. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Your tailor did a beautiful job, and they look splendid on you! The fit is just perfect - I love the tailored, tapered style.

Kate said...

Wow, huge improvement after the trip to the tailor (in my opinion). The pants look great.

Grace said...

Thank God for tailors! I think I need some new shorts from Murray's.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Never could figure out why they create pants that are so full at botttom....same with many khakis etc. I guess we have to build in the cost of customizing trip to tailor.

Zenas313 said...

Love Nantucket Reds - glad you mentioned that you bought them, that should keep the FTC police away from your door.

From the looks of the fresh from the store photo, you could have made two pairs from one!

christine said...

The colour already looks fabulous and what a clever idea to have had them altered ! I agree with you re : the "made in China". We have the same problem here in France. I looooove your blog, by the way! Although I'm sure I'm older than you are, I wish I'd had someone like you around to guide my choices when I was young, your taste is impeccable.

Elizabeth H. said...

Thanks for the reminder, time to buy a new pair of shorts!

Amy said...

Thanks for the review, Muffy! I would have skipped the low rise as well, so this is good information. I'm also puzzled by the oceans of fabric below the knees trend -- I've had to have several pants altered to correspond a bit closer to natural contours. I'm just 5'2" and look like a baby elephant in wide-leg pants of any ilk, even boot-cut. Thank goodness for decent tailors!

TropicalSunbird said...

The pants are beautiful! I am unfamiliar with "nantucket red". What colors can you wear it with? Thank you.

Cranky Yankee said...

I grew up calling them Breton Reds, but I guess I'm in the minority. Do you hear both Nantucket and Breton in your travels? Any regional differences?

Muffy Aldrich said...

@TropicalSunbird - The colors one can wear with them are limited. I usually stick to navy, white and (as shown here) natural.

@Cranky Yankee - Breton Red is of course the progenitor of Nantucket Reds. Here is an Orvis link. I buy the Nantucket Reds as I have not yet found Breton Reds made for women.

WRJ said...

A huge improvement! I had the same problem with the men's reds. I ended up hacking them off into shorts, which (while less elegant than your remedy) solved the ballooning issue and the annoyance that Murray's shorts' inseams are way too long. I'm 6ft, and they manage to droop well below my knees. I've had very good luck with Murray's Nantucket red cotton sweaters and sweatshirts, though (including achieving the cherished fade).

John said...

Nantucket Reds made in China? The world really is coming to an end.

The tailoring is perfect on you, but I have to admit that initial flared look has a certain appeal. Obviously I've been listening to too much Led Zeppelin lately.

@Tammy B--Waist too high? There's no such thing. :)

oxford cloth button down said...

Muffy, compliments to your seamstress. Those pants looked so good after having them altered. Also, the combining them with blue shirt and natural white irish fisherman's sweater looks perfect.

Marie said...

Murray's is well worth a visit. A few years ago I was able to get a cotton sweater there that has held up remarkably well (considering that it is just thrown in the wash machine). Just had to go and check where it was made-U.S.A.
Love the reds and like other readers will have to try the low rise -just that phrase has often brought terror to this middle age woman.

Anonymous said...

Muffy, thanks so much for a post on the reds. Now a couple of questions: what color top does one wear with them? In your pictures you are wearing a neutral cream sweater, but are there any other color or texture options? I'm guessing blue gingham will work, but I find myself frustrated working with this color without looking overly masculine. Please help!

Katey said...

I love these pants and the color combos. I know that the inseam is long, but how does the overall sizing run? I typically fall between two sizes depending in the brand. What other brand are the comparable to?

Meg said...

What a great look. I love the entire ensemble, and like others who have commented, agree the tailoring makes all the difference. Bravo!

I keep looking at your fisherman sweater. It looks like it is the perfect weight and size. Can you please share where it is from? Many thanks, Muffy. Wonderful blog!

larsd4 said...

I bought them, read the "Made in China" label, and sent them back with a letter. Not classic anymore.

Muffy Aldrich said...

@Anonymous 2:44 - Blue gingham would be great as would blue and white stripe, plain blue, navy or white. The color combinations are limited, but I think, very good. The most iconic combination is shown in this Town & Country picture.

@Katey - I am a standard size 10 (L.L. Bean, J.McLaughlin, Lands' End) and these in a 10 were just right.

@Meg - The sweater was brought back from Ireland (for my husband when he was younger)by my mother-in-law. It is extremely densely woven and is my warmest sweater, although it is a little oversized.

Zenas313 said...

Muffy:

Do you consider NRs suitable for winter wear? I tend to think they are a "summer only" item, best worn with the cuffs rolled up, Sperry TS and no socks (obviously).

Muffy Aldrich said...

@Zenas313 - I think of them more as three season pants. As long as it is not too cold to wear my Topsiders (without socks, as you say) then I am okay with the pants. It is kind of like the summer season on the Vineyard or Nantucket - every year the "summer" season is extended. When we were kids summer officially kicked off on the Fourth of July weekend. Now it is all but the dead of winter.

Zenas313 said...

So true, everyone wants to have the "endless summer"! Appreciate the tips on colors to wear with NR too. I once thought my NRs would wear well with a yellow RL shirt. My fashion-centric 13 yo immediately and accurately dubbed it my ketchup and mustard outfit. In retaliation I promised her that I would only wear it again when her friends were around, to embarrass her.

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Anonymous said...

For the many people commenting on wide leg pants: I know it is frustrating to have to take pant legs in, but at least the company is not skimping on fabric to save money. Wider legs are a bit more flattering on those of us who are not quite slim (especially the pear shaped ones) and/or tall and we generally appreciate the option of having a bit more room to work with. Again, easier to take material away than to add it. I would be thrilled to have the problem of needing to have my pants tailored in!

ms. mindless said...

The pants are great! I have a tricky time with chinos because I am unfortunately, very pear shaped. Slim pants are too slim, boot cut pants often look like bell bottoms and anything labeled "classic" makes me look like I've borrowed my grandmother's pants (and not in a good way). I've yet to find a pant that fits me well off the shelf. The quest continues for me.

Anonymous said...

By the language that you, Anonymous 10:11 AM used, I suspect you are from Murray's. If so, then thank you for sharing the thinking behind the decisions. I also think it is great you are on Muffy's blog and reading our comments.

Meg said...

These pants are ubiquitous at our Long Island beach club each summer. But seriously, they are being made in China?! That kills me. I hope you continue your focus on products that are made here in the good ol' US of A.

debi said...

The ankle diameter and lenght of your pant appears to be that of the modern ankle pant, but the fit seems classic in the sense of decently loose! Would you mind sharing the measurement of the pant
alterations made? Thank you. debi

Holly G said...

Muffy, I love how the finished product, post-tailor looks but have you come across slacks that are off-the-shelf with a conservative, preppy cut? I'm particularly thinking of ones with straight legs (no boot cut, no skinny cut), well-constructed waistband and pockets, and what I suppose is now called "medium" rise--not granny pants, but not muffin-top-inducing rise. Like Bill's Khakis for women. Any thoughts

Anonymous said...

As one possessing both brick red trousers and Bermuda shorts that are among the few if not only pairs in California, I may have to take steps to preserve my pre-Sino editions.

Geo. said...

I have a pair of the "Made in China" men's NR canvas shorts. The quality is actually quite high, both in material and sewing. The shorts are identical to the pair I had 20 years ago to the best of my recollection.

Tidewater Terrier said...

This is Anonymous 10:11 am. I am also the Anonymous who always says I need to get a user name! Well, I finally did. Anyway, I'm not from Murray's (sorry to disappoint) but I have worked in retail before so maybe that explains it!

Patsy said...

It appears they've changed the fabric on the low rise pants, also.

tara said...

Dear Muffy
I've recently found your blog. I've enjoyed reading through it very much.The lastest Barbour post was very interesting, having grown up living in wax jackets!
Can I ask your thoughts about your Terry top sider shoes? There seems to be two types of Billfish shoes- regular and 'gold' style. The gold ones being three times the price over here in England! Have you any thoughts or experience as to the differance?
Thanks very much in advance.

Anonymous said...

Muffy,
Have you tried "The Nobby Clothes Shop's" Breton reds? They say they are the original, and were marked "made in the USA" until they updated their website. They also have a lesser price point than Murray's. I haven't ordered a pair yet but thought they might have a better fit than Murray's. Any thoughts on them?

-Frank

houseandcamp said...

The wide leg, or "bell bottomed" trousers may be made because of the same reason that the Navy makes their trousers:

"The wide leg of the bell-bottomed Naval trousers was a style pragmatic to the sailor’s needs. The flare at the bottom allowed the sailor to pull the pants over boots while also allowing him/her to roll the hem up high or remove them with facility in emergencies. Sailors could also use the pants as a life preserver, tying the wide legs in knots and filling them with air."
I think this is what makes them "preppy". If you ever see pictures of Katherine Hepburn, her pants were almost always flared at the bottom. She walked with such great stride, I think she liked them flared, they moved with her. My mother always said that they were flared so they wouldn't catch on things on the boat. I just wanted to add my two cents to this great conversation; I loved it.

Muffy Aldrich said...

@House and Camp - Thank you for such a wonderful comment! Are you the same House and Camp as this one?

Wasp Decor said...

Yes! That's me. It's been so long since I've been on. I've gotten confused to 'what's what' on my accounts. I've had cancer and am trying to get back into the swing of things. It's good to be catching up with your site! I enjoy it very much!