Ask the Tailor: How do I Decide About Pleats?

Photo by Michael

Each month we ask our expert tailors to address one of your most frequent questions. This month we’re addressing the issue of pleats. How do you decide whether they’re right for you?

To pleat or not to pleat? That is the question. 

One of the major benefits to investing in bespoke premium menswear is that you will be presented with tailoring that’s entirely of your own choosing. The flip side of this, of course, is that you’ll sometimes have to make decisions on style conundrums you’re not sure you’re qualified to address.

Pleats can be a contentious issue. Some gentlemen love them, some aren’t fans at all, and many probably aren’t sure why we’re dedicating so much time to discussing them! 

Not sure where you stand? Pleating is a traditional tailoring method that involves gathering fabric at the seam line in order to add movement to the rest of the garment. In suits they’re most commonly found on trousers, though pleating is sometimes also used on jackets.

Pleats are more traditional than flat-fronted styles, especially on suit trousers. However, over the last couple of decades pleats have been out in favour of tighter ‘skinny’ trouser styles that are far more fitted. 

The good news for pleat fans is that pleated trousers are making somewhat of a resurgence. There has been a move towards more comfortable, laid back trouser styles, which all include pleats. 

So which one is right for you?

If you prefer greater freedom of movement in your trousers (and perhaps appreciate a slightly more forgiving cut) then talk to your tailor about adding modern pleats to your suit.

Alternatively, if you’re a big fan of skinny jeans and want to carry a similar silhouette over to your tailoring, we’d suggest that you skip the pleats altogether and opt for a flat fronted look. 

Next month we’ll be asking our tailors to share their best dry cleaning tips. How often is too often? Sign up to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it.