Pleated Trousers: Function, Design & Style

double pleat trouser

An outfit featuring pleated trousers.

While many think of pleated pants as an aesthetic embodiment of the powerful yet nonchalant look of the ’80s and ’90s, their original and enduring purpose was, and is, comfort.

Pleats are small folds of fabric on the lap of the trousers that were originally added to provide extra room in the garment. They visually break up the expanse of cloth across the lap (a trick particularly beneficial to larger men), and can give your trousers a flattering crease line from waist to cuff. Pleated trousers tend to maintain a sharp crease better than No Pleat (Flat Front) trousers, too. 

Design Tips for Pleated Trousers

  • A cuffed leg opening on a pleated trouser makes for a classic look. The cuff also ensures a very clean drape down the leg.
  • Belt loops will give pleated trousers a traditional, practical vibe, and are particularly helpful if you’re a larger guy who feels the need to wear a belt.
  • Side tab adjusters will give pleated trousers a clean and more sartorial vibe.

Styling: Tips for Wearing Pleated Trousers

The possibilities are almost endless, but here are just a few hints to get you inspired.

  • Pair pleated trousers with workwear-inspired pieces—shirts with flap pockets or trucker jackets, for example—to play into the enduring practicality they represent.
  • A Camp shirt will give them a laidback, retro vibe.
  • Wear a white t-shirt and white sneakers with a pair of pleated trousers for a thoughtful casual look.
  • Give your pleated trousers a good iron before wearing, making sure to get the front crease nice and crisp.

How to Order Pleated Trousers

Before you can order trousers with Single or Double Pleats, you must have a trouser size that supports pleats. Just a couple of tweaks—this page will take you through it.