These trousers are part of a suit made for Jimi Hendrix circa 1967 by John Crittle of Dandie (aka Dandy) Fashions, 161 Kings Road, London SW3. The matching suit jacket was sold at auction in Bonhams, London in 1994.
Along with his revolutionary sound, Hendrix also brought to London his idiosyncratic sense of style. Kathy Etchingham recalls that ...Right from the beginning he had a style of his own, wearing satin shirts with voluminous sleeves, army jackets and bell bottoms with scarves tied around the legs long before anyone else. Even Brian Jones was still wearing suits when Jimi first arrived in London... Hendrix's management, however, in the form of Chas Chandler was not overly enthused by the musician's original and flamboyant sartorial tastes. Chandler was keen to promote a clean-cut image for the Jimi Hendrix Experience more in keeping with the style of other contemporary groups. Hendrix would ....politely go along with whatever Chas said, but once we were alone he would raise his eyes to the sky. 'I hate mohair suits', he would wail. 'I had enough of wearing those stupid suits when I was on the Chit'lin' Circuit...doing all those dumb dance moves... Hendrix was a frequent visitor to the new boutiques springing up in Carnaby Street and the King's Road spending what little money he had ...on clothes and taxi fares.
In Mark Lamarr's Celebrity Relics, Kathy Etchingham confirms that these trousers were Jimi's and that she may have been responsible for the repair. These trousers seem to have been a particular favourite of Hendrix's, appearing in many photographs ranging from the performance of Purple Haze on Top Of The Pops, 4 May, 1967 to a free concert in San Francisco, June, 1967 after the Experience's concert at Monterey on 18 June, 1967. The trousers were worn with a variety of different jackets, most frequently with a hussar jacket and a heavily embroidered three-quarter length coat, his two favourite pairings.
Photograph courtesy of GAB Archives/Redferns.