How It Should Fit: Pleated Trousers

May 15th, 2015

Continuing with our “How it Should Fit” series, today we take a closer look at pleated trousers.

While flat fronts have been all the rage in menswear for the past decade or so, style-forward guys are starting to appreciate the added comfort and level of detail found with pleated trousers (especially as they get older and start to refine their fits away from the super skinny).

You can brush up on general trouser tailoring here.

The major difference with a pleated trouser is that it cannot be cut as slim as a flat front, especially through the hips and thighs. The key to an elegant looking pleated pant is having enough room through the upper leg to allow the pleat to drape smoothly and fall effortlessly into the front crease. If the pleats are pulling open while you’re in a standing resting state, then the trousers are too slim.

Traditionally pleated trousers are also higher waisted (longer rise) and cuffed at the hem for a medium to full break (although I still like mine slightly tapered from the knee down with a minimal break).

Pleats (whether they are single, double, triple, forward, backward, box, etc.) are used to make trousers more comfortable by providing more room through the hips and seat. As someone who often wears slim-cut flat-front trousers, I can safely say that pleats can make a major difference – especially in terms of roominess in the front pockets.

As pleats start to become more and more prominent in modern menswear, here are some properly-fitting examples from the AOS archives (notice the front drape, the room in the thighs, and the mature gentlemanly vibes).

As always, feel free to use the Style Guide to find more inspiration.

Mr. Ignacio Quiles

Mr. Natty Adams

Thanks, as always, for reading. 

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

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