SS14 Trend: The Pleated Trouser

With the new year not yet upon us, I know it may seem somewhat hasty and premature to start harping on about Spring / Summer ’14 but let’s face it, once the Christmas presents have been opened and the money you received has been spent on the last vestiges of one’s winter wardrobe, come January your winter clothes shopping will be done and we should all be setting our sights on what the new season has to offer.

After every fashion season, when the catwalks of Milan, Paris, New York and London have been dusted down for another year and the gaggle of fashion scribes, bloggers and stylists mull over the shows they have just witnessed, there are always three or four trends which stand head or shoulders above the rest.

Upcoming Trends

From floral prints to summer pinks, oversize t-shirts to geometric shirts, with every new season there is a certain cut, colour or print which takes it place atop the style podium. One of the most prominent trends to emerge sashaying down the catwalks this season came in the guise of the pleated trouser. And not only were they pleated, they were generally a tapered fit with a widely cut thigh leading in to a slim-line ankle for an extreme silhouette.

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I don’t know what designers personal inspirations were for their forthcoming collections but from the look of the trousers, it would appear the perennial chameleon Mr. David Bowie was pinned to many a mood board while designers and their teams contemplated their particular designs for next summer.

This year has certainly been an eventful one for The Thin White Duke and his legion of fans; from the wonderful Bowie retrospective at the V&A to his new album, Bowie, his fashion and his music has once again found its way into a new generation of homes across the UK and around the globe.

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It did not matter where you were this season, from Prada to Marc Jacobs, Christophe Lemaire to Paul Smith, Balmain to ACNE, John Galliano to Lanvin, the menswear collections were awash with Bowie imitation pleated trousers in a splendour of colour and ranging in cut from slim legged all the way through to flares. 

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For the past decade or so, and ever since The Strokes, the bands that followed in their wake and designers such as Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane arrived on the scene, the cut of men’s trousers and jeans has become slimmer and slimmer to the point where we rival our female contemporaries on the skinny front.  However, the human body can only conform so much to the whims of fashion and designers – after the best part of fifteen years trying to squeeze us into ever narrowing silhouettes – are now beginning to change their style ethos.

A Bold Trouser

The pleated trousers, like all new adventures in fashion, shall not be to everyone’s taste – many men are still acclimatising to the skinny jean phenomenon – but any gent who is willing to take a chance and isn’t afraid to stand out from the masses should embrace a trouser that has been around since the 1920’s and is finally finding its feet in the world of men’s fashion once again.

At this moment in time you may not be able to find an abundance of stores or online sites stocking pleated trousers mainly because the new collections won’t be hitting the shops until early next season (after the January sales no doubt) or they are simply too scared, waiting to follow the fashion leaders. Thankfully there are a number of online sites who with their finger firmly on the fashion pulse are never shy in coming forward.

MR.PORTER: Sometimes I feel as though I give too much time to Mr. Porter in my articles for MFM but then I realise it’s simply because they are one of the best at not only stocking the best products but also predicting future trends. Pleated trousers may not be on the tip of everyone’s tongue but judging by the Mr. Porter website, I’d be very surprised if Mr. Jeremy Langmead were not sat at his desk wearing a pair already.

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MATCHES: Another of the e-commerce giants who aren’t afraid to put their neck on the line, Matches provide an insight in to what we can expect from pleated trousers in 2014. Be it Paul Smith and those vibrant colours he is famous for, Raf Simons with his distinguished, stream lined trousers or the youthful exuberance of the Alexander McQueen McQ range, you can always rely on Matches to provide the latest in modern menswear.

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LIBERTY LONDON: While online shopping is all well and good, Liberty’s of London and that mesmeric Tudor facade make a tangible shopping experience more than worthwhile. Plus stepping foot in to a store also gives you the opportunity to try on those pleated trousers with a fine pair of brogues or relaxed sweater to complete the outfit.

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Conclusion: Before I even had a chance to finish this article an email from ACNE appeared in my email inbox informing me the first drop of their spring / summer collection was now available online with a long haired model wearing a pair of large pleated trousers. This proved not only my point that leading fashion brands are taking said trouser to their heart but also the fact before Christmas has even arrived, the endless cycle of fashion marches to its own perpetual drum.

Trends live and die on the whims of public opinion so make sure you embrace the pleated trouser this winter because let’s face it, anything David Bowie has worn can only be a good thing.