It wasn’t too long ago that pleated pants were the style non grata among those who considered themselves in possession of a modicum of, ahem, “good taste.” The very term was enough to inspire involuntary shudders from style-savvy dudes who cringed at the thought of a world full of big, shapeless pants (and probably a few too many corporate-logo polos thrown in for good measure). We live in a society, people! Aren’t we better than this?!
Well, here’s the thing: We were wrong. All of us. Sure, those pleats were bad, but some pleats, it turns out, are very, very good. So good, in fact, that way back in January we declared 2020 the unofficial Year of the Pleat. And guess what? When it comes to pleats, not much has changed. (Everything else? Completely fucked.) But if you weren’t sure about the style then it’s not too late to hop on the bandwagon, because fall might be the very best time to invest in a pair. There’s something about a sturdy, autumn-ready pant that just looks so right with a fat pleat—or, hell, two of ’em!—holding the fit down (so to speak) up top.
And right now you don’t have to search far for a good pair. On the contrary, in fact. Designers of all types have warmed to the silhouette, adding pleats to pants left and right like they’re Oprah casually tossing out cars to members of her audience. You get a pleat! You get a pleat! You get a pleat! Thankfully, the pants getting the pleat treatment today have little in common with the billowy styles of yesteryear. With their streamlined shapes—or intentionally wider silhouettes—the pleated pants of this particular menswear moment are designed to complement your body, not swallow it whole.
In other words, it’s finally time to get over your fear of pleated pants. To help you get started we’ve rounded up a few of the best pairs on the market so you can prove to yourself—if nobody else—that 2020 was, is, and forever will be the Year of the Pleat. (If only, that is, when it comes to pants.)
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Organic Tapered Sweatpants
As if your favorite sweats could get any comfier.
It’s also worth noting that pleats are an ideal all-seasons swerve, so if you’re trying to get in some last minute summer stunting, a pair of pleated pants (in, say, a striped cotton) are definitely a safe bet.
Pleated Chino Pant
To be paired with everything you’d typically wear with your most trusted denim.
Houston Slim Fit Micro Houndstooth Tapered Trousers
Leave it to Topman to serve up a pair of on-trend trousers in a subtle micro houndstooth pattern, all for $65.
Standard Pleated Straight Leg Chinos
If you’re looking for something you can wear constantly, a single-pleat pair of chinos is tough to beat.
Wool Relaxed Pleated Pants
A slightly dressier trouser with a clean waistband, and in an easy-on-the-eyes navy hue, is never a bad play.
Wallace & Barnes Pleated Military Officer’s Pant
Ditto the more military-inspired (clearly) officer’s pant.
Ninja Wide-Leg Trousers
Cut big and intentionally a little baggy (with two reverse pleats, to boot), in a mid weight barathea wool.
Velvet Pleated Trousers
Because every good thing is even better in velvet.
Forest Brown Esuit Pants
The same, it should be noted, could probably be said about brown—especially come autumn.
Pleated Chino Pants
Noah takes inspiration from chino styles of yore with its updated twist on a time-honored classic.
Italian Pleated Cord Trouser
The right way to do white after Labor Day.
Tapered Pleated Cotton-Corduroy Trousers
Another corduroy take, this time in a slightly more seasonal colorway.
Pleated Cotton Suit Trousers
Army fatigue green never looked so damn, well, elegant.
Tapered Pleated Cotton Trousers
In a looser silhouette that tapers towards the ankle, Nicholas Daley’s trousers are perfect for days when you find yourself dreaming of heading into the office. (Yes, it’ll happen.)
The label’s fan-favorite trousers offer freedom of movement and comfort in spades, all done up in a handsome (and subtle) charcoal glen-plaid fabric.
Wide-Leg Webbing-Trimmed Pleated Trousers
Or, maybe webbing (?!) in a mid-weight cotton twill is more your thing.
The inimitable Grace Wales Bonner updates a timeless military-inspired silhouette with bright red topstitching and some crispy, crispy pleats.
Twill Pleated Tailored Trousers
Who says Off-White is a one-trick pony? Real heads know the brand’s more-tailored offerings are where it’s at.
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Source : Esquire