I never noticed it until the other day. There I was, innocently cruising the aisles of the local department store with my husband who was on a quest for new black pants, when he pointed out the obvious. "There's nothing but pleated pants here." "Is that weird?" I replied. "Haven't you noticed that so many of the men folk around here wear pleated pants?" I hadn't.
I am not a fashion moron nor a savant nor a fashionista. I regularly read fashion magazines and even check out the Satorialist on a semi-regular basis and therefore consider myself "in the know". But the pleated pants syndrome had escaped me...until now. Row upon row of khakis and slacks in the department store with their neatly pressed pleats hung there waiting for average guy to take them home. If jeans could have pleats, I'm sure they'd sell them there too.
Maybe it was just that store. I decided at that very moment to do an informal survey of every guy I saw for that day and every day going forward. (I'd probably forget after a day or two but it seemed like a great social experiment nevertheless.) It would prove to be a bit tricky, staring at men's lower halves, without coming off like an over-sexed cougar or a castrating man-hater. I had to be casual, sneaking sly glances at all times.
No sooner had I stepped out the door did I almost ran into two guys wearing you guessed it, pleated pants. Khakis to be exact. Wow. It could have been beginner's luck, I told myself. As I crossed the street toward my car, I pretended to look for traffic, but instead did a quick pedestrian scope. Pleats, pleats, pleats, wait; shorts. It was unbelievable. I felt like I was witnessing a clothing cult of some sort.
What is it about this town that loves the pleat? I was sure it was just another male fashion faux pas until I spotted a woman walking downtown in a pair of pleated pants later in the week. Khakis again. I hit the brakes and risked a rear-ender when she passed in view. Could it be spreading?
In a complete panic that night, both the husband and I scoured our drawers and closets looking for any sign of pleats. As he pulled out an older pair of khakis, a "HA!" erupted from my lips. Wait, they weren't pleated. Good to know they still made khakis sans pleat. What I really need to know though is whether the pleat is unique to Charlotte or not. Any feedback America?
I'm thinking a "What Not to Wear" marathon is in order for this town. What do you think?