What happened to pleated pants?

Originally published at: What happened to pleated pants? | Boing Boing


Because they balloon up when you bend or sit, and overall don’t flatter as well as a single pleat or flat-front pant does.

Pleated pants need to stay in the late 80s along with all of the other balloon fashion, TYVM.


Because the waistline dropped and instead of accommodating the lower belly as intended, the pleats fell at the hip joint making the hideous “bulging herfus” that @DiveGirl mentions.

ETA:At least that’s my TL;DW take. 21 minutes of pleats is 20 minutes too long for me.


kool aid 80s GIF


The worst of the late 80’s is all over women’s fashion right now. Ridiculously high-waisted pants, cropped shirts, balloons sleeves, lace. All of it. I, for one, am having none of it.


Street Gang 80S GIF


I was born in 1954, and I’m not sure that I ever owned a pair of pants/trousers with any pleats; if I did, it was a long time ago, and they would have had hardly any wear. I used to wear cheap jeans until I started working, and the first things I bought was a couple of pairs of 501’s, which also involved the obligatory soak in the bath!
I once made a promise to myself I’d never have a job that required me to wear a suit, or dress smartly - I’ve got to nearly 68 and managed to keep that promise.
Flairs, on the other hand…
I won’t be ever seen wearing those again.


Screen shot taken just now from a popular retailer:


Cult Classic Fashion GIF by Turner Classic Movies


They may come back into style sometime in the future, but outside the pages of GQ and Esquire I doubt it will be much more than an individual choice. After 20+ years of dot-com office apparel and two years of pandemic, combined with the BS right-wing insistence that heterosexual men don’t care about fashion, a semi-formal style that isn’t flattering in drape to at least 50% of men isn’t going to be taken on again en masse anytime soon.

I think one of my few remaining pairs of suit trousers has pleats, but it’s been years since I’ve worn a full suit for any reason. Honestly , I doubt my current frame could rock those pleated trousers – even with braces, which make a big difference – as well as my more svelte and younger one could.


Pleated pants are a style that fits and flatters a slim to skinny man. Since we seem to be evolving as a population away from being slim to skinny, adaptations must be made.

I say this with another observation: skinny tight suits and other clothes as currently worn so fashionably by slim and skinny men look awful on chubby and above men, ranging from unflattering to parody. It’s a very unfortunate stylistic convention too many men of a certain shape are suffering through right now. Yet this too shall pass, and years hence the pictures will be shared at aging birthday parties, and gasps of “jesus, what was I thinking?” will be uttered.

(Fun video - thanks!)


Let’s do French Cuffed Pants next. I religiously do this to my pants, regardless the social function.


I’ve owned plenty of pleated trousers in my day. The requirements of office work and what was available. Also, had a really bad experience with some flat-fronted trousers in the late 90’s and avoided them for a long time. Let’s just say… no, not going to say.

But since getting a job with my current organization in 2010, I’ve worn what I wanted. The policy is “office wear is nice, but wear what you want to feel comfortable.” Refreshing coming out of jobs that mandated trousers and button down shirts (sometimes even ties) for computer techs who spent their days crawling around desks and dismantling systems. Never understood why they did that. And now I WFH, so it’s jeans… sometimes just a bathrobe all day (like today).

Good video though. Interesting in depth review of the history of pleated pants.


Personally I prefer more pleats.

Like. . .corduroy level.




Because when you sit down wearing them you look like you have boner.


Im a second hand shopper and never really fully acknowledged my pleated pants vs non pleated, they were all just pants. It was my fiance that noticed…

I do that to my pants because I have a short inseam, no interest in hemming them myself and less interest in paying someone to do it. Nice to know I could be fashionable somewhere!

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I say forget the pants all together. They are restrictive and inhibit me being able to express myself, which I’m sensing is THE thing right now.


Believe me, the future will be worse…