- Noun. A garment or material that has been folded or creased, creating a crimped effect.
- Noun. A strong, plain-woven fabric made into cords so as to provide a textured effect. Not the material itself. See: tabbinet.
Now that the definitions are out of the way, one question remains: why pleated poplin? In fact, why pleated at all? Aren’t all pants and shorts better off in a flat front, with natural creases?
Believe it or not, pleating has a rich history in the American culture. To many people, you’re not truly wearing a suit unless your trousers are pleated, giving them a tailored, folded look. You may remember being a kid and trying on your first pair of pleated pants, wondering where those mysterious folds were coming from.
As for poplin: poplin is a rich weaving style that offers plenty of comfortable texture, making pants both light and strong no matter what their source fabric.
If you can “nail” the pleated poplin look, it means you’re capable of wearing business-formal or business-casual, maximizing comfort without ever looking like you’re dressing “down.” It’s a tough look to achieve, but with a little guidance, we think you’ll master it:
Pleated Poplin Pants
Men, meet the pleated poplin pant. Available at our own store in shades of blue, white, khaki, grey, and orange, you can do a lot with these pants—but the key to pulling them off in a complete outfit? The shoes. Pleated pants with raggedy old tennis shoes simply won’t do. You can wear dress shoes, if you like, or chukkas. But the key: dress up the poplin pant a little bit. These are pleated pants, after all: they have a little more flair than their flat-fronted brethren. So, too, should the rest of your outfit.
There’s another critical item to pay attention to here: the belt. Make sure you wear a belt with the proper width (with just barely enough wiggle room in your belt loops) and that you match your belt approximately to the same hue of your shoes. Avoid mixing your brown pants and black belts—or vice versa—and you’ll generally pull off the color combinations properly.
One last word: fit. Your pleated poplin pants should not be overly billowy, because the creases will only make it look like your pants are puffing out in some sort of skirt-pant combination. Not a good look for men.
Pleated Poplin Shorts
Pleated shorts? Yes, pleated shorts. Available in blue, orange, light/dark khaki, and the always-bold red, pleated poplin shorts offer a hint of sophistication to the usual short-and-polo combination. Pleated poplin shorts can be occasion-appropriate for just about any outdoor event you’ll have, from golfing to charity banquets to backyard barbecues. They’re a little less casual than their flat-fronted cousins, which makes them a better option for wearing to work on those casual Fridays.
The key to pulling of pleated shorts: no socks, or no-show socks. Wearing tennis shoes with ankle-length gym socks will have you looking more like a tourist and less like a native—and that’s true no matter where you go. Like the pleated poplin pants, you can wear a belt here, as well, particularly if you’ll be tucking in that button-up shirt you have to go along with the rest of the outfit.