In this article I will talk about difference between pleated and flat front (non pleated) pants. So, if you are in the store shopping for a pair of pants you should know if pleated one will suit you more or if your best option are flat front pants. What’s the difference you will ask! Well it depends on your body type, but we will get into this a bit later.
Tradition and trends
Traditionally most trousers were pleated. Today, most pants are flat front. Pleats are considered old-fashioned. Flat front trousers were very popular in the middle of the 20th century, but in the 80’s with its baggy style, pleated pants had a revival. Later it all changed for the more lean, slim looking silhouette and flat front pants came back. It seems that flat front pants come back and go out of fashion, but pleated pants are always present making them more traditional.
Differences between pleated and flat front pants
Pleats are creases on the front of the pants, with two of them on both sides. The material is folded and sewed before it is attached to waistband. In flat front pants material lies flat. Pleated pants are worn on the waist, just above your hip bone. This also means that pleated pants have a higher rise. Flat front pants are worn bit lower, on your hips, making them slim looking and better fitting.
Since pleated pants have higher rise this makes them more generous in the middle. As you might have guessed pleated pants are better suited for larger men. If you have large back and large bottom you should definitely choose pleated pants.
They will give you more freedom of movement and you will feel more comfortable. Wear them on your waist since if you wear them on your hips, your thighs will look huge.
Another detail that should be added to pleated pants is cuffs. If you opt for pleated pants you should add cuffs, because this will complete the classic look of your pants, and it will add weight to your pants making fabric drape naturally.
Slimmer men can wear pleated pants only in a suit combination, never alone by themselves since if worn alone they will make extra room around middle section and this will look sloppy.
Flat front pants
Also you should leave your pants cuff free, since they do not need extra weight at the bottom. Slimmer men can wear cuffs on their pants only if the pants are from heavier fabric. Tweed or such, which is worn in winter cold days. In this way the pants will drape better.
If you are a larger modern man you should avoid flat front since it will be too tight for you and they will feel uncomfortable. Flat front pants will also emphasize your belly.
If you are somewhere in the middle, neither big, neither slim, you should try both options and see how they feel. Sit down in them, walk around, stand up and be sure they are comfortable in every situation.
Try them out with pairing suit jacket and see how it looks, but your comfort must be your priority . If you think you need some alternations to the pants, ask for them.
Tailored fit is definitely worth the money.