Spring 2010 Pleated Pants

 After years of telling us that flat fronts are so slimming and that big pleats add weight to the figure, fashion insiders will soon do an about face and begin extolling how a  billowy pants front really does hide those excess pounds. 

I don’t have an opinion either way and I only make this pronouncement because more and more I am seeing voluminous pleated pants in the fashion mags.   As the designers resurrect the 1980’s we can expect to see fewer flat fronts offered and those pleats which we have been taught to hate over the last decade will become the cat’s meow again. 

So if you have not kept your now vintage patterns from the early 80’s and you have noticed the same trend you might want to look for an updated pleated pants pattern.  Most of the pattern offerings are of the current flat fronts but each company is offering a few pleated pants patterns which as of today look surprisingly similar to what I remember from the 80’s.  We’ll see what spin the designers eventually give this look but for now here is what is offered by the major pattern companies.

Basic Pleated Pants Suitable for Work


This one by the Palmer/Pletsch line of McCall’s offers three options, a side zip flat front, a front zip flat front and a front zip pleated front.


Claire Shaeffer for Vogue Patterns offers a very nice simple pleated front pattern.  It looks much more understated than the ones I am seeing in the fashion magazines and is a nice transition for those of us who have gotten so used to the flat front look.

Casual Trousers


Tacked down pleats with a tie front in this simple casual look from Simplicity.


Very interesting pleated front in a vintage pattern.  I don’t know if I could pull off the waistline but the overall effect on the model is lovely.

Really Retro! For those who willing to take the plunge back to the 80’s.


A curved front yoke with slouchy pleats hanging off with a pegged ankle.  I think I had several in denim during my high school years.  I had actually forgotten this look until I saw it in the McCall’s sportswear section. 


Again I wore a lovely plum pair, peg bottoms and all, given to me by my mother when I was thirteen.  I recall this style to be so flattering to the virginally svelte.   I have yet to see how the pegged ankle comes across now that I carry  post-partum hips and thighs. 

And to each her own – The Dhoti Look. 

Not exactly from the eighties but I am seeing a few examples of this one here and there in the mags.  This one is pleated and self-belted.


I haven’t had a chance to sew any of these up as of this posting date though I am leaning towards the Classic Pleated Pants.  All of the trousers are in very soft flowing thinner fabrics which still must be opaque. Resist the traditional heavy bottomweight that we have grown used to in the past decade.  This look is still too new for it to be offered in a lot of different fabrics so if you choose denim you may look more retro than you hoped.  As you shop remember to pay close attention to  fabric drape and stick with flowing and soft.

Next Post: February 4, 2010; Pressing: Put Your Hands Together for the Clapper


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