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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Ben Pearson: On Pleated Trousers

I asked Ben Pearson, a long time supporter of Le Noeud Papillon and sometime contributer to our blog whether he had anything he had noted of recent in menswear. Ben has raised some concerns regarding pleats, concerns I myself have. It is as though there is a latent fear emerging that pleats are on their way back into fashion and if so, will we as slaves to menswear trends join in or finally take a stand?

 Here is Ben:

There is, of course, a profound difference between style and fashion. Most simply, I’d say that style is timeless and fashion is temporary; beyond that, I offer no value judgments.

Or at least I try not to.

Lately I’ve found myself wondering about the fate of pleated trousers of all things. No one was happier than I was to see them go; my own leg is rather large, and rather than making me look svelte, pleats have the unfortunate effect of splaying out widely, as if they’re hanging on for dear life.

I tried to avoid this fate for years, to no avail. Admittedly I never went the bespoke route, which surely would have helped, but the long and the short of it is I’ve never looked good in pleated trousers -- not once.

On top of that, anyone daring to wear them nowadays has the misfortune of looking hopelessly out of date. Pleats are associated most closely with the ‘80s, and like many other accoutrements of menswear from that time, they are now relegated to the dustbin of history.

Now, all that being said, this is the question that was on my mind: pleats look bad on me, so naturally I hate them, but do they truly look awful on everyone? No, of course not.

And what if they make a comeback? It’s far from impossible to imagine. Low rise trousers are already somewhat passe, and if those waists go back up to where they once were, pleats can indeed serve a functional purpose to cinch one’s waistline in a bit and have an overall pleasing effect (at least in theory).

Would I wear pleats if suddenly everyone else was? I can’t help but think that no, I wouldn’t. I suppose I’d look like the elderly gentleman proudly wearing his Don Draper-style suit of yesteryear, nary a thought of current trends in his head.

Will I be equally proud? I’d like to think so, but more than that, I’d like to think we’ll never find out.

Sean Connery, the last man to make pleated trousers look fantastic...

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