Up until the 1990’s, finding pants that weren’t pleated was difficult. The once-dapper pleats combined form and function, adding a crisp crease to the pant and allowing room for men to move without losing a slim, flattering fit. Once the mid-‘90s rolled around, double and triple pleats became de rigeur, and clothes makers abandoned the subtle, discrete single pleat for these atrocities. The over-pleating trend went so far that designers eliminated pleats from the scene altogether in the 2000’s.
Single pleats reemerged on the runways and in stores this year, however, and they look fresh and modern compared to their flat-front counterparts. Most options cost a pretty penny more, too, but it takes dough to look good. Here are three versions that define why the trend is here to stay.
Club Monaco Pleated Dress Trouser: Club Monaco delivers on-point, well-made renditions of runway favorites without being copycats, poseurs or emblematic of fast-fashion. In fact, they’re ahead of the curve with their Pleated Dress Trouser. The navy hue looks good on any guy, and the cut goes well with anything from a dress shirt and shoes to a gray t-shirt and white sneakers. And since they’re on sale for $59, they’re as inexpensive as pleated pants get.
Unis Davis Chino: Unis arguably led the renaissance of single-pleated pants with the introduction of their Davis Chino. Eunice Lee’s understated label is known for their modern, simple takes on classics like chinos, and her deft touch is evident in the Davis as well, with a high waist rise and tapered leg. The Davis is as casual as pleated pants get, and the pants are perfect to slip on for a Saturday morning run to the farmers market.
Loro Piana Slim-Fit Cotton and Linen-Blend Trousers: If you have $485 burning a hole in your pocket, spring for these luxurious Italian pleated trousers by Loro Piana, one of Italy’s best known fabric purveyors and clothiers. The cotton-linen blend makes this a perfect summer pant because of the breathability the fabrics allow. You can wear it when it’s 95 degrees out, and you won’t break a sweat. They’re also nice pants to wear to an internship or wedding, or if you just want to dress up when going out on the town.