Hey There Fancypants
The thing about pleated pants is that they are disastrously unattractive. I don’t know what it is about certain people that makes them think that this phenomenon does not apply to them — a lack of style? a failed understanding of the very concept of aesthetic beauty? — but they exist.
When I was younger, I miscategorized many things, from how fancy a given sit-down restaurant was to my own socioeconomic class. Among those things miscategorized was pants. I thought there were two types of pants: nice pants and not nice pants. I didn’t like to go outside in sweat pants and I hadn’t yet discovered that jeans came in any fit other than spandex-tight. (Turns out my mom didn’t understand that not being able to put my hands into the pockets meant maybe I needed a bigger size. Who knew?) So, for reasons of comfort and looks, I wore “nice pants”, and at the time, I thought “nice” meant pleated.
But I digress. Yes, I was the kid in school who didn’t wear jeans. That made me lame. Even more unfortunately, I didn’t dress up. That’s right, I wore “nice pants” with t-shirts. Every day.
I had friends. I do not understand why.
Eventually, when I started having a say in what I wore, I realized jeans suited me better. When, for Christmas when I was 12 years old, I asked for jeans, my mom rejoiced. I ensured that I specified size and fit (Levi’s 550 relaxed fit, 30 waist/30 inseam), and I stopped wearing nice pants. Only then did I see the evils of pleats.
As specified in this post on It’s a Man’s World Consulting, pleats distort your hips, making you look significantly wider than you are. Hey, guess what, America! Most of us are fucking fat! We don’t need wider hips. And guess what: if you need pleated pants because flat fronts don’t fit you properly, it’s time to get on the treadmill, tubby. Even little kids shouldn’t dress that way; the person I am now would, if given the opprtunity, beat some sense into my younger self, for this and many other reasons.
Luckily, it seems that most people agree with me on the pleated front. (See what I did there?) A friend of mine used to work at the GAP. She and her coworkers always made sure to bury the pleated pants at the bottom of the piles of clothes that people might conceivably look good wearing. Every time I’ve mentioned my strong anti-pleat stance to anyone who was buying me clothes in the past decade or so (read: girlfriends), the response has been as powerful or moreso than my own revulsion. (The best one: “Do you think I’d be sleeping with you if you wore pleated pants?” Touché, girl who I later realized was crazy.) I don’t personally know anyone under the age of 50 who wears pleated pants that I can recall off the top of my head, although that may be selective amnesia. I do see people on the street wearing them, though, and on occasion I’ve been moved to dwell on just what the fuck possessed them that morning to put on something so fucking stupid. I should probably just ask one of these days.
That said, if we’re lucky, maybe pleats will go the way of the dodo. Except, you know, without all the mythologizing and lament for their passing and metaphorical meaning and stuff.