Think pleated trousers are a thing of the past? Think again. While this style was first popular in a more “old-fashioned” era decades ago, high-waisted pleated trousers are making a notable comeback. And while some men may feel quite uncertain about incorporating this pant style into their wardrobe, we would suggest that the reason may simply be because they aren’t sure how to put together flattering, fashionable outfits with them. But that’s about to change. In this post, we will talk about the appeal of high-waisted pleated trousers for men and how to wear them.
Pleated trousers are known as pleated trousers because of the “folded” look and design of the pants. This fold is usually seen between the fly and the pocket. If you have heard of pleated trousers and pleated pants, know they are not interchangeable; they are two distinct styles. Pleated pants generally have more room than pleated trousers, while pleated trousers are more fitted. And even within the category of pleated trousers are different pleat styles. There are forward pleats in which the pleat is seen running down the front of the trousers, making it very noticeable. With reverse pleats, the pleat is seen at the base of the seat of the trousers. Trousers made with a modern pleat mimic the front-facing style of a forward pleat, but the pleat may not be as obvious down the front as it would be on a pair of traditional forward pleat trousers. Modern plants also tend to be more relaxed and roomier than traditional pleats, thus allowing for more stretch and comfort. If you are interested in adding pleated trousers to your wardrobe but can’t decide which style would be best for you, our best recommendation is to have the trousers tailored to specifically fit your legs.
Now let’s get into the fun part: styling pleated trousers. If you are going for a dressed-down look but still want to project an air of sophisticated style, wear them with a Cuban collared shirt, crisp white tee, or a short-sleeve men’s dress shirt. Since pleated trousers are inherently old-fashioned, they will always give off a vintage, old-fashioned vibe. That’s why pairing them with a Cuban collar shirt creates such an appealing, unique look.
In the winter, heavier tops like men’s fleece and men’s sweaters pair well. Remember, the focal point of your outfit is the pleated trousers, so the shirt (no matter what style shirt) should always be tucked into the trousers. This will also help keep your look polished and organized.
Of course, your outfit wouldn’t be complete without a pair of shoes. Even though pleated trousers are known for their extra fabric, you don’t want to have the pleated trousers end up covering the shoe. That’s why it’s a good idea to stick to chunkier shoes since they will match well with the trousers. Oxford brogues are an excellent choice when deciding what shoes to pair with pleated trousers.
When you are wearing pleated trousers, understand that you are making a fashion statement. It’s hard for anyone to ignore that this is a truly vintage look, even if we are wearing them in modern times. As we mentioned earlier, pleated trousers should be treated as the focal point of the entire outfit. With that said, you can accessorize pleated trousers when you know the right ways to accessorize. A slim, brown leather belt, for example, can nicely accent the whole look. A belt like this will look great if you plan to wear wide pleated trousers with an open, tailored blazer. If you really want to play into the vintage look but give it a modern twist, complete your outfit with a brown leather crossbody bag and a pair of aviator sunglasses. For the final touch? A gold wristwatch.
When you are new to the world of styling pleated trousers, it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what you should do. To begin, it’s never a good idea to pair pleated trousers with sporty clothes or any type of activewear. Leave the muscle tank or the comfy hoodie out of it. Secondly, don’t invest in pleated trousers that are too big on you or too baggy. They should be fitted to your silhouette, especially if you are wearing pleated trousers with tailored shirts and jackets. Finally, and this is probably the most important point to remember, don’t wear pleated trousers too high. Sure, pleated trousers are inherently high-waisted, but you should always wear them right at the waist, never above your belly button.
Thinking about investing in your first pair of high-waisted pleated trousers? Shop Lands’ End today to find a wide selection of pleated trousers and other men’s pants styles.