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Yes Pleats: The Timeless Appeal of Pleated Pants for Modern Men

CEO Tinh Phung
Great style is not just about clothes; it's about how you wear them. One crucial detail that separates a well-dressed man from the rest is the position of his trousers. For years, trousers have hung...

Great style is not just about clothes; it's about how you wear them. One crucial detail that separates a well-dressed man from the rest is the position of his trousers. For years, trousers have hung low on the hips, creating an unflattering silhouette that makes even tall and slim men look shapeless. But times are changing, and designers like Armani, Cucinelli, and Caruso are leading the charge towards higher waistlines and more relaxed fits. And with this shift comes the revival of a long-forgotten detail: the pleat.

The Pleat: A Stylish Solution for Comfort and Fit

A pleat is a simple fold of fabric that adds an extra inch of material to each leg of the trousers. It is a functional and stylish solution to the natural shape of the male body. Men have narrower waists than their buttocks, which are wider than their thighs. Flat-fronted trousers, created during wartime fabric rationing, struggle to accommodate a man's seat comfortably. Pleats provide the necessary breathing room without compromising the fit around the waist.

There are two types of pleats: forward and reverse. Forward pleats point towards the fly and are typical of English tailoring, while reverse pleats fold towards the pockets and are favored by the Italians. Both styles offer different aesthetics and shapes. However, it's best to avoid excessive pleats, as more than two on each side can be overwhelming.

Forward Pleats On Trousers Forward Pleats on Trousers | Image Source: Edward Sexton

Reverse Pleats On Trousers Reverse Pleats on Trousers | Image Source: Brunello Cucinelli

Embracing the Modern Pleat

fashion trends come and go, but the best ones stick around. And the revival of pleated trousers is a testament to its timeless appeal. Pleats provide an abundance of fabric, allowing for comfort and freedom of movement. Whether you opt for luxury brands or more accessible options, pleated trousers add a touch of luxury to your outfit without sacrificing comfort.

How to Wear Pleated Trousers

Here are some styling tips to help you incorporate pleated trousers into your wardrobe:

Dress Them Down

Pleated trousers can be both traditional and casual. For a relaxed yet stylish look, pair them with a Cuban collar shirt tucked into straight-leg pleated trousers. Layer a white t-shirt underneath for a modern touch.

Reiss Pleated Trousers Reiss Pleated Trousers

Double Down

Embrace the trend fully by opting for double-pleated trousers. This bold choice shows your commitment to the style. Double-pleated trousers can be dressed up with tailored pieces or dressed down with a classic Breton-stripe tee.

Brunello Cucinelli Pleated Trousers Brunello Cucinelli Pleated Trousers

Material Matters

When it comes to pleated trousers, don't be afraid to experiment with different fabrics. The younger generation is embracing heavyweight cottons and seersucker fabrics to add modernity and interesting shapes to their outfits.

Whistles Pleated Trousers Whistles Pleated Trousers

Mix Up Your Footwear

To balance the roominess of pleated trousers, opt for footwear that adds structure to your ensemble. Double-buckled shoes with a chunky, commando-style sole can elevate the look and create a smart and stylish appearance.

Closed Pleated Trousers Closed Pleated Trousers

Hit the Street

Pleated trousers are not just for formal occasions; they can also be incorporated into streetwear-inspired outfits. Pair them with box-fresh sneakers and a bold-hued sweatshirt for a stylish and effortless look.

Urban Outfitters Pleated Trousers Urban Outfitters Pleated Trousers

Seasonal Pleating

Choose the right fabric for each season to make the most of your pleated trousers. Lighter fabrics like linen or linen-cotton mixes are perfect for the summer months, while flannel provides warmth and a touch of old-school luxury during winter.

Windsor Pleated Trousers Windsor Pleated Trousers

Stay Focused

Let your pleated trousers take center stage by keeping the rest of your outfit clean and understated. Pair them with a clean-cut tee and slip-on shoes or brogues for a contemporary and fuss-free look.

Todd Snyder Pleated Trousers Todd Snyder Pleated Trousers

The Dos and Don'ts of Pleated Trousers


  • Update your pleated trousers with contemporary pieces to avoid a dated look.
  • Embrace tucking in your shirt to showcase the pleats and maintain a polished appearance.
  • Discover your natural waistline by wearing your trousers slightly higher than the hips for a flattering fit.


  • Opt for overly casual fabrics like scuba or sportswear-inspired materials, as they are too thick and structured for the elegance of pleated trousers.
  • Overwhelm your outfit by pairing oversized tops with wide-legged trousers. Maintain balance by opting for slimmer-fitting tops with relaxed trousers.

The Best Pleated Trouser Brands

If you're ready to embrace the timeless charm of pleated trousers, consider these reputable brands:


This Italian tailoring dynasty offers some of the world's finest bespoke suits and pleated trousers. Their Manny trousers, inspired by the uniforms of Nepal's elite soldiers, are double-pleated and cut loose for a stylish and comfortable fit.

The Best Rubinacci Pleated Trousers

Edward Sexton

Tailoring maestro Edward Sexton introduced the Hollywood top trousers, which feature a casual yet sophisticated design. Crafted without a traditional waistband, these trousers offer comfort and contemporary style.

RUBINACCI Manny Pleated Stretch-Cotton Twill Trousers - click to buy

E. Tautz

With a focus on wide-leg, pleated trousers, E. Tautz has set the standard for British military-inspired fashion. Their trousers are a favorite among style-conscious men, including label boss Patrick Grant.

RUBINACCI Straight-Leg Pleated Striped Cotton-Seersucker Trousers - click to buy


Known for its minimalist aesthetic, COS offers pleated trousers as part of its Uniqlo U collection. These trousers, with their relaxed fit and elastic waist, strike the perfect balance between comfort and elegance.

RUBINACCI Manny Pleated Stretch-Cotton Twill Trousers - click to buy


Under the creative direction of Christophe Lemaire, Uniqlo U presents wide-but-tapered pleated trousers and even offers pleated shorts for those who dare to make a bold statement. Embrace relaxed elegance with their carefully designed pieces.

RUBINACCI Straight-Leg Pleated Herringbone Linen Trousers - click to buy

In conclusion, pleated trousers are a stylish and comfortable choice for modern men. With their ability to add volume and impact to your outfit while maintaining a formal and neat appearance, pleated trousers deserve a place in every man's wardrobe. Embrace the pleat and elevate your style to new heights.