Just when we have become accustomed to men appearing sleek and trim in their body fitting flat front trousers, designers are introducing pleated-front slacks in their fall 2012 collections.
I love the look of flat-front trousers – on the right person. These slacks appear trim and clean cut on the right body. However, they don’t work for everyone. In fact, I don’t think they work for the majority of men.
Flat-front slacks are excellent on the slender man with a flat tummy, trim legs and a smaller derriere. Not so much the man with a protruding tummy, larger legs or a fuller derriere. That’s where pleats can make a difference.
I recently worked with a man who had the athletic build of a runner. He was very trim through the upper part of his body but had muscular thighs and a larger derriere. He had trouble finding well-fitting trousers. Pleats would allow more room for this kind of a build while still hanging smoothly from the waist.
Men with large tummies look best wearing slacks with suspenders holding them up at the natural waist. Some pleating on the trousers is generally preferable. Without suspenders, the pant slips down under the tummy creating an unattractive fold in the rise.
Pleated trousers look best with cuffs to give a grounded look at the bottom while flat-front pants are generally better without a cuff. Whether pleats or flat font, men should avoid wallets and car keys being visible in their pockets. Maybe introducing men’s purses would be a more practical fashion innovation! (My husband, for one, would look with disdain on that option but has no problem with placing glasses, keys and other items in MY purse.)
All pleats are not created equal. I notice most mainstream designers are using just one small pleat. However, Dior Homme for example, introduced two, deep pleats in their Fall 2012 line. Most men would be swimming in this look. I’m sure this is but the beginning of the return to pleats.
How I wish designers would offer options to work with different body builds each season instead of limiting us to “the look” of that season. If pleats in men’s trousers are coming back, can women’s be far behind?