So, pleats will make a fuller person seem slimmer from the front
Reverse pleats will, to a point, I think. Â The really, really stout persons is, I believe, better off without pleats, but with waist-rise (or slightly above) trousers that are full enough to hang more or less straight from the belly before beginning their taper.
Perhaps I should get pants with pleats since my thighs are much larger than my oh so thin lower leg
From that description, I would say that pleats would help you.
How should the trousers be cut to make a person a person's bum seem less, erm, pronounced when seen from the side? Perhaps having the trousers cut wider sideways? But then the overall legs will look full as a result, but my lower legs are not full... What can be done to produce a reasonable balance?
Yes, this is a real pickle. Â I'm not sure there is any trick that will simply "solve" this problem. Â Perhaps some tailor can cut a taper that perfectly masks the rear without any "contour" over the buttocks, and that tapers diagonally in a more or less straight line to the cuff. Â I'm not sure that's possible, and I'm skeptical that it would look good in any case. Â I prefer the trouser taper to have some curve, for one thing; for another, I suspect that method would result in a taper that is too dramatic, and a cuff that is too small.