Fall TrendsThe Most Important Thing to Remember When Wearing Pleated Pants This Fall
(Yes, you can wear them again.)
Like many of 2016's trends—tucked-in T-shirts, the mighty return of socks, dad hats—pleated pants were once banished to the menswear retirement community but are now back in fashion. But as with any resurrected trend, there are rules the second time around. If it's cool again, that means it was pretty recently not cool. So you need to be very intentional in the way you wear it now (that way friends, co-workers, significant others won't be confused about the year you think we're in).
Actor Ralph Fiennes in his exaggerated double-pleated khakis may be too much fashion for most men, but what's important to notice is the way he's wearing his trousers. The pants aren't a basic here—they're the showstopper. They're the focal point of his entire fit, paired with a tucked-in shirt and neutral penny loafers. You'll want to do the same thing when wearing yours. Now, for those of us who aren't Ralph Fiennes, here are a few suggestions for your foray into pleats.
Not All Pleats Are Created Equal
When you're trying out a new fit of pants, you need to try on several pairs before you commit. Are you a single-pleat man or a double (which Fiennes is wearing)? Are you looking for pants that are slouchy and louche or tailored and neat? Decide which kind of pleated man you want to be (taking a look at three of our favorite pleated looks from the Fall '16 runways below should help), and get shopping. The good news is, brands you already wear, know, and trust—J.Crew, Banana Republic, H&M, Suitsupply—are all stocking good options at the moment.
Enlist Expert Help
Just as not every pair of pants fits perfectly off the rack, the fit of pleated pants can be tricky. The difference between looking like you borrowed your grandpa's trousers and looking like a style master all comes down to tailoring. Fiennes is wearing his pair wide as a barn door. But you should make sure yours have a slightly tapered leg—which is a piece of cake request for any tailor worth his salt.
Wear the Hell Out of Them
Treat your new pleats like a shiny new suit and let everyone see ’em. Pair them with your best dress shirt and blazer at the office, or tuck your favorite band tee into them and add a brass key hook and some kicks for a twist on the usual off-duty fit. However you choose to wear them, just wear them a lot. It took this long to let pleats break back into your wardrobe—who knows how much time this round has left?