The case AGAINST pleats of any kind: Like the tri-corner hat, pleats had their time, but that time has passed and they should stay relegated to the dustbin of fashion history. There are still far too many men walking around in bulky pleated khakis that make them look like they’re packing a diaper edged with an accordion. Flat front pants have finally anchored their rightful place. We wear our pants on our hips now (until we reach the age of 70) and if you do that, pleats will bunch up and give you an MC Escher staircase lap.
The case FOR rethinking the zero-tolerance policy on pleats: You must be new here. Look, there are always exceptions, and when done right, a wool suit pant or trouser with a single pleat can look terrific. Pleats are the flying buttresses of the style world. Sure, not the cleanest looking design, but they serve a real purpose. Your hips, yes, even as a guy, are wider than your natural waist. So the higher up your pants go, that fabric needs to taper and come in. Pleats get that slight tapering done in an organized manner. Of course we won’t be wearing our pants as high as men did during the early to mid part of the 20th century, but the ultra low rise days of the early 2000s are over. Especially when it comes to suit pants and business ready wool trousers. Wearing your pants just a little higher (but not too high) makes your legs look longer. Combine a lower-rise suit pant and a modern cut shorter jacket, and all of a sudden you risk looking like you’re 70% torso. Are pleats necessary to look balanced? Not for most. But they shouldn’t be completely cast aside for those who want to wear their suit pants a little higher. Meanwhile, when it comes to chinos and other more casual pants… keep em’ on your hips. Leave the pleats to fabric like wool.
Your turn guys. Do you think pleats, when used sparringly, might have a place? Leave it all in the comments.
Top Image Source – Proof that Mr. Grant can look great even while being chased down by a biplane.