The Case for Flat Front Trousers
Friday, July 5, 2013
By Davis Wilder
Ok, I know this title is going to cause some of you to cringe with discomfort. You’ve been wearing pleated trousers for as long as you can remember, and you love the room and comfort it provides. Flat front trousers are for kids and fashion models, not for you.
Let’s start with a brief history lesson. The most common argument I hear from a gentlemen that won’t try a flat front pant is that “I’m just a traditionalist”. Ironically enough, flat front trousers, not pleated, are more traditional. Flat fronts pre-date pleats. Of course, throughout history, there have been changes in style. While flat fronts were the only way to go in the 50s and 60s, in the 70s and 80s, looser fitting pleated trousers came into style. The marketplace has been trending to flat fronts for quite some time now, however. This isn’t some brand new concept, it’s based in history, and it isn’t a trend that’s going to go away.
I often hear that, “I’m too big to wear flat fronts.” or, “They just don’t fit me right”. I always hate hearing that, because that most likely means that you’ve been sold the wrong pair of trousers in the past. Flat fronts CAN fit almost any body type!
For example, I’m about a 36 waist, but a 42 seat. If I was sold an off the rack pair of 36 dress trousers, I’d look like I was stuffed into a sausage casing because of how prominent my seat is. Yet, I wear exclusively flat front pants. I either go custom or size up in the waist to get a fit that suits my seat. From there I’ll take in the waist. The result is a pant that is flattering and truly fits. Instead of having a trouser leg that looks like I should be in a MC Hammer music video, I have trousers that give me plenty of room to sit, stand, walk, do jumping-jacks, or whatever my day may call for. The right flat front pant takes 20 pounds off of my silhouette, while maintaining comfort. How could I ever pass that up?
Don’t get me wrong. If pleated trousers are just your personal preference, by all means buy some! I’m not saying there is only one way to do things. We want to cater to every man, and sometimes a pleated trouser just works! If, however, you’ve been passing on flat front trousers for the wrong reasons, I’d ask that you consider trying something new. No matter your shape or size, a gentleman always looks best in a garment that fits HIM, not a garment he is fitting himself in to. I have the utmost confidence that an educated clothier can get you into a pair of flat front trousers that look great and flattering, while maintaining that ever important priority: comfort!