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Who else loves pleated trousers?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Poloboy, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Poloboy

    Poloboy Well-Known Member

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    Nov 10, 2011
    There seems to be a dislike of pleated trousers on style forum.
    Is this because members can not find trousers that fit correctly?
    Most RTW pleated trousers in the U S have reverse pleats. Personally I think
    this model is horrible. Trousers look much better with 2 forward facing pleats.
    The main pleat should be 11/2 inches deep. This allows the pleat not to open,
    and the trouser will drape beautifully. Unfortunately Polo Purple Label, and Ben Silver
    do not make a deep pleat any more.. There current models are shallow, and will
    gape open. The only way I can get this type of trouser, is to have them made bespoke. I believe the cost well justifies the end result. Another plus is the ability to wear beautiful braces with them.
    Who else think that a properly fitted pleated trouser is the dressiest ?
     
  2. Klobber

    Klobber Well-Known Member

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    Pleats work better on shorter and squatter people (short but round chaps) whom also wear the pants high on the waist. For a taller athletic / slimmer gent like myself, pleats are dumb and add nothing to the drape of the trousers when compared with a well tailored pair of flat fronts. Flat fronts also symbolize the modern trend - lean, mean and fighting ready. Pleats historically used to be applied for looser fitting garments and they would help with the leg drape.

    If I had to wear pleats, single pleated. The triple pleats on a typical pair of Zanella dress slacks are :facepalm:
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  3. comrade

    comrade Well-Known Member

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    I own several pairs of pleated pants with double inward facing (British) pleats.
    They are short rise and very trim. The pleats are more of style statement than
    related to fit, because the pants are about as trim as plain fronts. I am not short
    and squat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  4. Poloboy

    Poloboy Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to disagree. I am 6ft 3 inches, 200 lbs, athletic, and I think plain front
    trousers look ridiculous, when compared to a well fitting pleated trouser.
    A flat front trouser does not drape nearly as well. I believe you also meant to say that pleated
    trousers should be worn at the "natural waist", not high on the waist.
     
  5. Klobber

    Klobber Well-Known Member

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    But pleats puff out, how could they possibly be good for a taller athletic gent unless the said gent had large thighs or a big bum? I am tall and athletic, and have immense issues with pleats. They go well enough on the legs but puff out at the waist leaving a saggyness to the backside and front. Does not work for me, nor looks good.

    Of course, I made an assumption on the shorter squater gentleman being better suited to pleats, but logic suggests the roomier nature of pleats would suit better these kinds of builds.

    One should at least give a day in court to the flat fronts as tailored by Incotex, Mabitex, Kiton, and some others. It is hard to find better fitting, better draped pants than these. Certainly in my experience. I notice on WAYWRN guys like Spoo looking great in Panta, I may give this brand a try out soon.

    Yes, I meant natural waist.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  6. Sander

    Sander Well-Known Member

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    Is there even a general consensus on what purpose pleats serve?
     
  7. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Well-Known Member

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  8. mack11211

    mack11211 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, it's simple.

    Pleats came in early in the 20 c after a fashion for wide leg trousers arose. The engineering issue was how to draw that fabric in at the waist. You can dart it or pleat it.

    When the drape look came into fashion in the 30s, pleated pants allowed a leg that was narrow at the waist, wide at the thigh, and tapering slightly to the ankle. The pants were often held up with braces. This is how men wear pants in all the movies of the period.

    Pants were worn not at the hips but at the natural waist, which is the narrowest part of the body. Spoo is well turned out but note that his pants waist is lower, in the standard contemporary style where pleats have less of a point. He is still very well turned out, of course.

    Whether you wear pleats or not, assuming all choice are available to you, depends on the line of leg you want to create given your bodily materials. Are your legs thick or thin? Is your waist large or small in relation to the rest of you? Is your butt big or small? All of this goes into determining the line of leg you want, given that dress trousers should fall easily and effortlessly rather than strain and reveal the family goods as jeans do.
     
  9. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Well-Known Member

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    Uh, no. Methinks you've just never purchased well-cut pleated trousers. Any deficiency in cut is easier to mask on a flat-front.
     
  10. McBindle

    McBindle Well-Known Member

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    Another trouser style to consider is the scissor pleat. I have found that a single scissor pleat can approximate the clean line of a flat front trouser while providing the comfort when seated that some associate with pleated pants. I have not seen any SF members with this cut and am curious if anyone uses it now or has done so. But for one pair of trousers (a single pleat) all mine are flat front but I had a couple of scissor pleats in the past and they cut a good line without the billowing of pleats. I am 5'7" with a cyclist's build and wear all my trousers at the natural waist, FWIW.
     
  11. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Well-Known Member

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    I love forward pleats. Just not on me.
     
  12. Superfluous

    Superfluous Well-Known Member

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    I actually prefer pleats and I'm tall and skinny. I think flat fronts create awkward pulling in the crotch and thigh area... it also has an empty space in that region that should be filled by something. Of course, pleated are also more comfortable.

    By the way, Polo Ralph Lauren Dalton model is double forward pleated.
     
  13. JLibourel

    JLibourel Well-Known Member

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    I can live with or without pleats. I will say that Patrick Chu of W.W. Chan fame always puts a single pleat in the suit trousers he makes for me.
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Pleats, except for when I'm not feeling bloated.
     
  15. JayJay

    JayJay Well-Known Member

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    I'm thin, and usually buy flat front trousers only, but I'm having a couple of three-piece suits made with trousers that have a single pleat. I think three-piece suits look better to my eye with pleats.
     
  16. chogall

    chogall Well-Known Member

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    It's pretty tough for trousers to drape properly without pleats if they sit at waist.
     
  17. cincydavid

    cincydavid Well-Known Member

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    I own a grand total of one suit with plain front trousers...all of my wool odd trousers, khakis, chinos are pleated. I'm 6ft, 235, with a 40 inch waist. Plain front pants are too tight, to paraphrase Lyndon Baynes Johnson, it's like riding a razor wire fence. I want roomy britches that look OK when I'm standing, and aren't tight when I sit down. I also can't stand low-rise trousers...I wear mine right at my navel, as a rule.

    I also have cuffs/turnups on nearly all of my trousers. The only exception would be some casual cotton khaki pants.
     
  18. comrade

    comrade Well-Known Member

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    I am afraid that you are wrong. Pleated pants date at least from the 1840s.
    My remarks in Ask Andy three years ago:

    "I recall that in the classic movie Camille (1937)
    with Greta Garbo, which is set in Paris in the 1830s
    or 1840s, Robert Taylor, her co-star is shown
    in trousers with multiple pleats. I assume
    the Hollywood costume people knew what they were
    doing."


    http://i111.photobucket.com/albums/n135/pinkyjune/25.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  19. mack11211

    mack11211 Well-Known Member

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    OK, they weren't born in the 20th c, but the issue is the same in the 1930s as it was in the 1830s. A full thigh rises to a fitted waist. How to draw in the fabric? One way is pleats.
     
  20. Moodoc

    Moodoc New Member

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    Mar 9, 2015
    I own pleats and flats. I am 5' 11" and about 190 lbs, kinda thick through the middle. Pleats provide me with more room to sit and to put hands in my pockets and I personally think pleats look better. I like my flats, but not nearly as much as my pleats. Pleats are just hard to find. I hope they make a comeback.
     

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