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16 Jan 2015
We recently launched our ‘Ask the Tailor’ competition, inviting you to ask our in-house tailor Juan Carlos (JC) your questions about tailoring. Our latest question was sent in by James from Gloucestershire… Q: I am looking to have a bespoke suit made. I favour classic style but I'm undecided whether to go for pleated or flat fronted trousers. I'm quite tall with a generous tummy, which style do you think would suit me best? A: The case for pleated versus flat fronted trousers has long been debated - and a question I get asked a lot. There is no sartorially correct answer, it really comes down to personal choice, though there are gentleman and trouser styles that are more suited to one than the other. The pleated style of trouser has remained in fashion for over 150 years; as you favour a classic style, pleated trousers hit the mark here. In contrast, flat fronted trousers are considered more of a fashion trend. Their popularity peaked during the mid-twentieth century, and again more recently through the arrival of the ‘skinny fit’ which has seen many fashion brands favour the flat fronted style. The pleat is a simple fold in the cloth which is tailored by doubling fabric back over on itself and securing it by a small stich hand-sewn to the garment. Whilst the pleats provide a design detail, they also deliver a second important function; providing extra fabric to release the strain created through movement. Pleats help prevent creasing and allow the trouser to sit more elegantly. As a rule, pleated trousers are more flattering and comfortable – and especially so for a larger frame. Flat fronted trousers are more suited for gentleman with a tall, thin stature as they create a straight, elongated silhouette with better proportions. When worn as part of a suit, flat fronted trousers are usually unworkable unless you are very slim, though it’s interesting to note nearly anyone can wear the flat fronted style successfully with casual trousers as they demand a less tailored look. Pleats deliver on both form and function; a classic, elegant style that is comfortable and less prone to creasing for any gentleman, and especially the larger frame. For your bespoke suit I definitely recommend you go for pleated trousers.