YES, PLEATS! Your guide to wearing pleated pants

YES, PLEATS! Your guide to wearing pleated pants

April 22nd, 2020

Pleated pantsPleated pants are back in a big way.  

We've been seeing more relaxed trousers take the lead over the last couple seasons, and now pleats are lending themselves to the look. They add volume while still allowing the trousers to hang naturally for a contemporary silhouette. If you don't have a pair or two in your wardrobe yet, perhaps it's time!  

Here’s what you need to know about pleated pants. 

Not your grandpa’s pleated pants

Pleated trousers are more flattering than ever. Today’s iterations are not as full and billowy as pleated pants of the past, so don't pull out the old pleated pants that have been stored away in a trunk in your attic hoping for the same look.  

Not just a fashion statement

Pleats were originally developed to be functional. They allow the pants to expand when you sit, which is not only more comfortable, but it also prevents issues like puckering pockets and unnecessary seam tension. Even though today's pleated pants are a little more trim than the ones from before the turn of the millennium, they will still be quite roomy and comfortable to wear. 

Single or double

Single pleat

A single pleat is the gateway to full pleated pants. It’s subtle, slimmer, and has a more contemporary appearance. A double pleat will give you more room in the thighs, creating a fashion-forward look.

Forward vs. reverse pleats

Forward pleats are folded toward the centre of the pants, whereas reverse pleats are folded outward. Forward pleats create a cleaner silhouette, but reverse pleats are more fashion forward. We like both options. 

Let loose

The best way to wear pleated pants is on the loose side. If it’s too tight, the pleats will pull and it won’t look as easygoing. 

Wear them casually

Pleated chinos are like jeans on the ladder of formality. A flat-front dress pant should still be your go-to for more formal occasions. Wear a woven or thinner casual belt with them to complete the look. 

Keep it balanced

Don’t go too tight on your upper half. A relaxed crew neck sweater or a polo with an Harrington jacket will look much more proportionate than a fitted jacket.

Watch the ankle

The pants should have a subtle taper to them, allowing the trousers to keep a slim appearance. Cuff the pants at the ankle to add visual weight to the bottom, balancing out the look. 


More questions about how to pull the look off? Get in touch and we can help you put it all together. 

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