Death by Iron: What Now?

July 24th, 2014

Today’s tip is very simple: do not multitask while ironing.

A while back I was pressing my favorite unlined, unstructured linen suit when my phone rang. I took the call, leaving a hot iron standing upright on my ironing board, pants strategically laid flat.

While ritually pacing back-and-forth during a conference call about an upcoming shoot, I cut a whiff of burning. I dropped the phone and sprinted back toward my walk-in closet (the second bedroom in my apartment), but it was already too late. A gust of wind had come through the window and knocked the iron (set to max heat for linen) face-down onto the pants.

The pants were officially scorched and ruined. And of course, the Ariston fabric is out of stock, which means I can’t have a replacement pair made.

So now what?


I figure these are my options:

  • Cut the pants into shorts
  • Cut the pants into 3/4 length capris
  • Fabric-block the pants from the knee down
  • Take them apart and use the fabric to make something else…maybe a summer tie?
  • Use the iron to create an “all over print” of iron scorch marks
  • Attempt to dye the entire pant a dark shade to mask the burn mark (perhaps dark tobacco brown?)
  • Give the pants to Alex, maybe he can crop them short enough to wear


This was one of my all-time favorite suits, too…

What do you think I should do?



Thanks for reading, and keep an eye on those irons.

Yours in style,

Articles of Style


Photography by Alex Crawford

  • Boinciel

    Have the pants reconstructed and reverse all the fabric panels so they’re inside-out. If you have fusible construction in the pants or if the iron mark goes through to the other side they’re dead forever.

  • Travis

    I think you should buy a garment steamer.

  • kenny loggins

    Just rock it as is.

  • Koska23

    I’d have fun and try doing the iron print just all around the bottom of both pant legs. Then if that doesn’t work you can always cut them into shorts/tie or attempt dying them.

  • kellen owenby

    I would definitely try to dye them tobacco brown first! I’d hate to see a quality suit reduced to shorts…

  • Mike Gray

    Enter the Thom Browne world and crop them

  • Brock

    Def give them to Alex.

  • ChiStyleGuy

    1. Dye them
    2. Fabric block them, which would be hot!
    3. Try for an allover print. This will be the hardest to pull off, but go for it…if not, back to #1 or #2.

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see the outcome.

  • Drew

    Die them darker!

  • Truth

    Imprinting the iron allover to make a printed trouser will be D0PE, the burn mark looks similar to Jaws coming out the water.

  • Jim Barnes

    use the suit pocket to patch it up?

    • Dan Trepanier


  • mligon

    Wear the jacket and pants as separates. Wear the pants super casual with a v-neck tshírt and the pant cuffs rolled up with perhaps some deck shoes or low-cut canvas sneakers.

  • Matt

    Making iron print trousers would be both funny, and has the potential to look kinda cool. I say go for it, it would be a cool conversation piece. This is one if those times where you can go crazy without being worried about running a quality piece of kit, seeing as they’re already blemished

  • Khalid

    This Halloween… you are Iron Man!

  • thedot

    Cut em’ into shorts, and you’ll have the best linen short suit in the game!

  • ATK

    Just do it to the other pant leg. Before reading the article, I though that was the design and thought it looked pretty cool actually.

  • Philip

    Dye them brown ( cafe’ aux lait) they still will be suitable for spring/summer ;)

  • Joseph

    cut them into shorts then use them for casual outfits.

  • DB

    Bleach the whole damn thing. Now you have a white linen suit

    • Dan Trepanier

      Does bleach eat away burn marks too? Would be an interesting experiment.

  • Jakob Gunnarsson

    Shorts suit. This is primarily a summer suit anyway, right? It’s going to be pretty dope with gladiator sandals at beach weddings. And you can use the excess fabric to make tie and a pocket square.

    • TO

      With a cuff I think it would make a great short suit

  • mat anderson

    Simple. Wear it to Pitti, start a trend, sell it for a profit at the height of the trend cycle, buy it back for next to nothing when the trend dies and wear just the jacket as a separate.

  • Dr. Shrock


  • AdamE

    Short Suit…. Might be able to get a pocket square or tie out of the portion you cut from the non scorched leg…

    I try to avoid ironing near a window, and also make sure if I ever had something on the board, while leaving the hot iron unattended, I would make sure it was outside of any fall radius…

  • michael

    Cut them into shorts, use the jacket with other pants and use this bad event as a good excuse to buy another linen suit.

  • Brooks

    Maybe a pair of longer shorts? Take a look at Nick Wooster’s collaboration with Lardini. Maybe not enough fabric in the legs to make them the same fit, but I kinda like the look.

    Failing that, give them to Alex. He has and will continue to rock them.

  • ChrisD

    I don’t think you can hide/disguise the iron mark through any method, even if you dyed it near black.
    Give to really short person or turn em into the most baller shorts ever.

  • Unseen Flirtations

    Just wear them with the burn mark!

  • Tom

    tough to see a grown man cry

  • cam

    I’m seeing a linen scarf, tie, pocket square and perhaps bow tie…or f that and give em to Alex. Weird thing though, Alex sent me an email a couple days ago signed off as “Gust of Wind”. Must simply be a coincidence.

  • Al Bizzy

    That cloth is too nice to do anything too experimental. I think making shorts out of them is the best decision. They’d make great separates.

  • dnm

    only an asshole would point out the burn mark. so keep wearing them as an asshole acid test.

    • FD

      By a wide margin the funniest statement of the year. dnm for president.

  • Alex Crawford


    • Jorge B.

      You have enough clothes to last 3 lifetimes Dan, give them to my htown homie here! I’m genuinely interested in seeing what he’d do with them.

  • JoeFromTexas

    Give them to Alex. If he turns out to be not that short, cut em into shorts (maybe that works, maybe not?) and make a tie/square out of the rest. If not enough material for a tie, use the whole pants and ditch the shorts idea.

    • JoeFromTexas

      But most important… Where’s that hat from? Stetson?

      • Dan Trepanier

        Yup. Hat by Stetson

  • Robert

    All the “cool kids,” as you so eloquently put it, are wearing short suits…might as well cut them into shorts, and go about your merry way…..since afterall, you have labeled yourself as one of the flock.

  • khordkutta

    dye or fry

  • Miguel

    Man, what a bummer but I think options 1 and 4 are your best bet, make them shorts and do a Linen tie with the extra material left.

  • Tee

    I like the idea of dying them to make them darker to blend with the iron mark or using the fabric to make something else useful tie, pocket square, etc….

  • E

    Doesn’t your iron have an “undo” button? :)

    • Dan Trepanier

      Hah. If life had an undo button we would never grow!

  • Kevin

    burn the right leg at the exact same spot. I think it will give the suit a uniqueness. It would make it a bit quirky but not so much that its not longer stylish.

    Problem is trying to burn it with the same amount because any deviation in the shade would make it look very off.

    • Dan Trepanier

      That’s clever! I wonder if I can scorch the entire bottom and create a gradient…

  • TO

    I think the shorts or dying are your only viable options. Like many others I would love to see the before/after of dying them! Alex is probably mad I am not including the option of giving it to him, but I don’t think the suit would ever fit him, right?!

    • TO

      Btw, how many times do you think you multitasked with the iron on before this happened?

      • Dan Trepanier


    • Dan Trepanier

      We’d have to recut them…but yea, it probably wouldn’t work ;)

  • Ike S

    Turn them into a nice pair of summer shorts

  • Ali Naaseh

    Ditch them.

  • Jeanscuffed

    Well aren’t you always talking about linen garments having character and things look better worn in. Keep the burn mark, they have PLENTY of character now lol.
    All jokes aside, either one of those would be a great idea. I smell a Pt. 2 for suiting shorts coming soon. It’s been so long since you had a post on dressing up shorts……Wuddaya say??

  • Jack

    I think you should either try out the new “short suit” trend that’s going on, or dye it a different color to mask the burn. Nothing lasts forever, not even our favorite suits…

  • Andrew G.

    I would suggest to either:

    1) Dye them brown
    2) Cut them into shorts, then use the excess fabric to make a tie and two pocket squares (one for me)

  • cuponoodles

    Have you tried ironing over it with hydrogen peroxide? Since this happened so long ago it might not work, but worth a try.

    • Dan Trepanier


  • luca P

    I think a friend of your 8-9 cm lower than you will be the happiest person in the world :D!!

  • Khalid

    An all-over print would be too much. Even from the knee-down, it would look odd.

    However, you could make one matching mark on the right leg. Or better yet, a set of matching marks just around the circumference of the leg opening. They will look like flames — an appropriate symbol for what happened, for the scorching weather you’ll wear this in, and for your hot-rod style. :)

  • Nick_L

    That is a terrific suit first off. So terrific I’d say wear those scorched pants like you would a scar from a bar fight with pride.

    • Dan Trepanier

      I’ve actually worn them and nobody noticed. Keep it extra dapper as a distraction.

  • Josh

    I like the dye idea, and tobacco brown would be cool. You could also try for an indigo or dark navy dye.

  • VitaminCM

    That’s a tough break. I would say NO to the Capri idea though. At least you still have the jacket, which should work with any number of ensembles.

  • Sergio Arteaga

    This is the suit I remember you wearing when we did my shoot, definitely one of my favorites as well. If Alex can salvage them by hemming and wearing them himself then do that. Other wise turn them into shorts and although I don’t like the look it can be a “shorts-suit” I guess.

    • Sergio Arteaga

      Actually scratch all that…

      Dye them. Talk about an awesome post.

      • Jeanscuffed

        Suit Dye WOULD be a great post!

  • Jack Theodore

    i think it’s time to invest in a steamer! Went to the store a month ago to purchase one as a wedding gift and walked out with three- one for me, one for the newlyweds, and one for my folks. Our worlds have changed!

    • TO

      Dan has a steamer. I still think an iron is better- I have a steamer myself, made by the same brand as his, and am a little disappointed with it. Though I don’t think it is the same model. You seem pretty happy with yours, what’s the make/model?

  • Andrew

    I think the fabric would make a wicked good pair of shorts