Oh, for the days when all dress slacks were pleated trousers. Those were the days, right? Well, they may be returning. More men are looking to pleated trousers as an alternative to today's hyper skinny pants. Men are looking for the comfort that pleated trousers offer.
In part one of this series, we looked at why men are returning to pleats and the two different types of pleated trouser designs. Just to refresh your memory, there are both forward and reverse pleats. Forward pleats are considered more formal where reverse pleats offer a bit more room to move. Either style is perfectly acceptable for professional attire.
In this post, we will offer some tips for wearing pleated trousers as a business professional. As always, don't forget your shoes. The shoes you pair with pleated slacks can make a difference. We assume you want shoes that look good no matter the occasion, so invest in a pair of GC Tech waterproof overshoes to guarantee that this is the case.
Don't Do Pleats and Skinny
The first rule of thumb is not to do both pleats and skinny. In other words, do not buy a pair of trousers that offers one or two pleats at the top followed by skinny legs that hug every inch from the thighs down. Why? Because they will look like balloon pants. Remember the 1980s?
There's nothing wrong with a pleat-skinny combination for casual wear. It doesn't work for professional dress. Either go pleated with straight cut legs or go fully skinny. But don't mix the two.
Do Two Pleats for a More Refined Look
Pleated trousers usually come in two options: single or double pleats. A single pleated pair has one pleat on either side. Double pleats have two. Whether you go with one or two depends on the look you are trying to present. Two pleats offer a more refined look that tends to go exceptionally well with a nice sweater and/or tweed jacket.
That might be the look you're after as an attorney or judge. Single pleats would be more appropriate for business professionals. However, there are no hard and fast rules. Wear as many pleats as you are comfortable with.
Don't Forget the Socks
There are some proponents of modern men's fashion who believe it's okay to skip the socks – even wearing business-appropriate attire. We disagree. You should especially avoid this fashion faux pas when you're wearing pleated trousers. Pleats suggest a certain amount of class and refinement. There is nothing classy or refined about going to a business meeting without socks.
Bigger Is Sometimes Better
The whole point of adding pleats to trousers is to provide extra fabric to make them more comfortable. As discussed in our previous post, pleats give you more room to move. They make it easier to sit and twist. The only downside is that the extra material might make you look bigger than you want to.
You can overcome that look by wearing a bulky sweater with enough extra material to rest on your hips. Obviously, a sport coat with a straight cut will do the job as well. The point is that going a little bigger with the clothing on your upper body is sometimes better with pleated trousers.
So now you know that pleated trousers are making a comeback. Needless to say, we are not disappointed. If you are planning to invest in some new pleated slacks, be sure your dress shoes match. And as always, a good pair of waterproof shoe covers from GC Tech will take care of those shoes.