Monday, August 23, 2010

A Case For Pleats

Nowadays you'd be hard pressed to find pants with pleats. It's as if pleats have been done away with on men's pants. The question is, WHY..? I understand that men's fashion has become and fully embraced slimmer and more fitted lines on suits and the ilk. What I don't understand however is why and how flat front (pants without pleats) have become the standard in men's tailoring. I understand fully and, embrace, individual choice, taste and preference, what I can't comprehend is why flat front pants have taken over at the expense of pleats.


The above image illustrates the subtle but marked difference between flat front and pleated pants. The standard rule is that; if your pants are pleated then they should have a turn up as well. Coversely if they are flat front then a turn up is not advised. I consume a lot of GQ, Esquire and online material, and, a lot of them advocate flat front pants, even when they form part of a suit. Page through one of these mags and you will see that even the advertisements show men in suits with flat front pants.

I also contend with people who say that pants with pleats are too spacious. That is simply not true. It is a case of comfort. I go for pleats because they allows for movement and the pelvic region feels less constricted. That is the main challenge with flat front, they make me feel contricted around the pelvic region. To such an extent that even putting my hands in my pockets is not an option because everything feels so tight. The image below illustrates how movement is allowed and mellifluous with pleated pants.


Research has enlightened me to the fact that pleats go from single to quadruple. Yes, you read right. There are some pants with four pleats.

The single pleat

Double pleat

Triple pleat

Quadruple pleat

Pleats are practical as ever. I appreciate how they give room in the crotch and derriere. Aesthetially the crease emanating from a pleat allows for a seamless line down the leg to the turn up. I feel that with men's fashion pleats have to be accommodated and built into designs with slimmer pant legs as opposed to the baggy effect that was/ is still pervasive, originating in the 90s. One thing I know  I can never do and have never even given the time of day is pleated khakis and chinos. That's just uncalled for.




PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

6 comments:

Speedmaster said...

Great post, though I'm generally anti-pleat. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I like flat fronts because they give me a sense of trimness and helps me slim my legs so I can look taller. During the 90's I suffered a lot because everything was pleated. Then during the 2000's the slim trend because not a passing fashion but the rule for well dressed man, now I am happy.

Orlando DFree said...

I discovered the pleasure of pleated pants when I took up swing dancing. The pleats are much more comfortable, and allow me to move freely. Plus, I think I look better in pleats. Now, all my dress pants have pleats, and I wear them even when I don't need to kick, swivel, boogie, suzy q or do bee's knees.

Balor's Evil Eye said...

Flat fronted trousers are for lads who aren't so generously proportioned in the gentlemanly areas.

While I am not of gigantic proportions, I find flat fronts to be seriously uncomfortable. As a rule, I don't tuck things back and away, so I don't want my trousers to do it for me.

Pleats are an essential. I have put off buying a suit for the last year because all I seem to find are flat fronted tubes of discomfort.

In the movies from the 20s to the 80s the obscenity of flat fronted trousers was never seen. (If they were present, they were properly hidden away). This is because they are for schoolchildren, not grown-ups.

The sartorially elegant man always opts for a pleated pair of trousers, because he knows they are fundamental to understated style - as fundamental as a good pair of shoes.

Most men rely on their women to emasculate them. Flat-fronters do it for themselves.

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Anonymous said...

No man should wear pleated pants. Unless they are going to interview for Ronald McDonald's job.