The most important thing about any pair of trousers is their "line": do they hang gracefully in an unbroken line (whether slightly curved or straight), or don't they? Does that line generally follow the proportions of your body, or doesn't it? Â This is what I mean by "line": http://public.fotki.com/Mattdeckard/...uit_front.html
That is a damned beautiful pair of trousers. As to specifics: there are 1) rise; 2) "crutch"; 3) fullness; 4) taper; 5) length. Â Those are the basics that make up the silhouette of a pair of trousers. Â Other factors -- pleats, cuffs, pockets, waistband, etc. -- are details. Â Important details, but not fundamentally matters of silhouette. Rise is the distance between the top of the waistband to the crotch. Â "Crutch" is the distance from the waistband in the back, down to the crotch, then back up to the waist band in the front. Â On good trousers, it is not simply twice the rise, since trousers that are a bit higher in the back fit better. Fullness is exactly what is sounds like: how big around is the waist, seat, thigh, calf and cuff? Â Taper and lenght are also exactly what they sound like. No matter the rise, the crutch should be small enough so that you don't feel the trouser against your crotch, and no bigger. Â That maximizes comfort, freedom of movement and line. In my opinion, almost everyone looks better with a high rise -- that is, trousers worn at the waist or higher. Â It lengthens the leg line and elongates the silhouette. Plus, it covers the belly bulge. Guts hanging over waistbands are not attractive. Short guys will long legs and short torsos do better with a lower rise trouser. Really short guys no matter their torso length, also look better in lower rise trousers; I think that high rise trousers tend to swallow them up. Also, short jackets need a lower rise trouser, or else the suit looks unbalanced. Â High rise trousers tend to demand suspenders, because they don't stay up so well on their own. Trousers worn with belts want to fall to the hips, where they can rest. Â The waist fluctuates with breathing and movement, and gravity does the rest. Similarly, I think almost all men look better in tapered trousers. Â The natural leg is tapered, and a tapered trouser reflects that. Â Plus, large cuffs swallow up shoes. As to pleats: four pleats, inward facing, inner pleat deeper than the outer pleat is classic. Â Works great with high rise trousers with suspenders. Â Great on thin guys, as the pleats give a nice fullness to the abdomen and upper thigh. Â Also very comfortable. Â Looks terrible on low rise trousers. Reverse pleats look lousy with suspenders, but work well with belts, which is why the Italians love them. I think they are more slimming. Single pleats (one on each side) are fine, but as a matter of personal taste, I prefer double (four). I also think four results in a finer taper, and a better line. No pleats: good for the very thin with a narror trouser and a low rise, or on the very fat with a full trouser and a high rise. By the way Hitman, double (four) pleated trousers should always have the crease running up to the waistband. The front crease should meld seamlessly with the inner pleat.