16 March 2007

Pleat Me (or) Flat Frontal

I normally just wear my suit pants for interviews and it's been awhile since I've had a job where I had to dress up -- summer 1999 I believe. What that means is that all of my dress pants aren't exactly in style anymore. It's actually pretty questionable if my dress pants were ever in style (I'd say half of them I stole from my dad and had re-tailored), but let's ignore that. I have a whole rack of balloony dress pants hanging in my closet at home from ten years ago. It's very New Jack Swing; in style and color selection. Anyway, if forced to wear nice pants now, I don't know what I'd do.

Two weeks ago when I went to LA to work in an office environment, a few of my co-workers/friends made fun of my pants. See, my pants had pleats. Sure, it was my suit pants, but pleats are bad, even I know that. I may look sartorially challenged but I'm really not. I have a very keen eye for fashion, just not an overly robust wallet. You can be rich and have no style, but it's (generally) hard to be stylish without some money.

So after a week of pleated shame, I vowed that I would purchase new dress pants worthy of admiration and befitting my role as office professional. Today I took my cheap ass to Mervyn's and dropped $75 on three pairs of pants -- it may not sound like much but that amount represents a serious clothing commitment for me. Here's what I found out during my personal fashion show: I look better in pleats.

It's disgusting, I know. I mean, here I am ready to erase pleats from my wardrobe and it turns out that I'm just a pleats guy. I can't even figure out why. According to some online research I did, "Pleats are generally more conservative/formal and flat fronts are more trendy/casual." I'm the epitome of (wannabe) trendy/casual and here I am encased in pleats. It's terribly unfair.

Usually, flat fronts look best on guys who are tall and slender. I'm tall and slender. The catch is: "The flat front pant emphasizes a good build and a well proportioned body." Oh, right. I'm missing the good build and the well proportioned body. Maybe that's why I need pleats.

For those of you wondering why pleats are even around in the first place, it's an engineering thing; they allow for greater comfort and range of movement. Good for kung-fu I suppose, not good for coolness. For those of you wondering what a pleat versus flat front is, well, you can look at this picture but really, why bother? You're already lost the war my friend, time to throw in the towel and join me in pleat-land.

If you're trying to make me feel better by saying that "real men wear pleats" or something like that, check out this picture. Even a suave hunk like this looks super dorky in pleated pants (the cuffs and short length don't help either). Us normal men have no chance.

Five Things to Look For
1. Pleats vs Flat Fronts
2. Cuffs or No Cuffs
3. Length of the pant leg; no highwaters please
4. Don't make the waist too tight, but don't sag either
5. Make sure your butt doesn't look funny