Required Reading (If You Haven’t Already Heard the Gospel):
“It’s no secret that while the perennially trend-setting Duke of Windsor loved his Scholte coats, he opted to have his trousers made across the pond in New York City. Word is he favored the lower-rise, sometimes pleat-free American cut over the traditional British style with its double pleats and high natural waist. He wasn’t alone, and the twentieth century (with the exception of a small blip in the 1980s) saw men’s trousers get lower, slimmer, and flatter.
That’s not all bad, but I want to stand up for the high-waisted British trouser. I’m talking about a trouser with two pleats (regular or forward-facing), a wider leg, side-straps instead of belt loops, that sits on the natural waist, and almost always carries a hefty turn-up. The classic.
Not only is a proper British trouser more comfortable, but it wears better and keeps a flattering shape longer. We all know what happens when a pair of wool trousers that are tight in the seat begin to stretch - the wearer gets the dreaded “diaper butt” and end up with cloth flapping about under his posterior. A trouser that drapes straight down off your backside, rather than hugging it, not only creates a cleaner line, but it does not deform the trouser every time the wearer sits down.
The same benefits accrue in front. The pleats give the crease some room to breathe, and creases lasting longer and stay sharper. And the wearer does not have to *ahem* “adjust himself” when he sits down, as the higher rise combined with the pleats keeps everything moving as it should.“
— image and text via A Suitable Wardrobe
I look best when comfortable. After I realized this I gave away all of my “skinny” and low-rise pants. It’s not practical to be uncomfortable (and if you’re on this page you probably already know a well-made suit is one of the most comfortable things you can wear). As for the other concern — I don’t think women know or care.
Better perhaps to emulate the forward pleats James Bond sports than the reverse pleats Will (of A Suitable Wardrobe) favors. At the moment they seem a little less old-mannish.
As a side note: all this emulation of Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor, for his sartorial ability is certainly not surprising, but obviously no one is infallible. Though he could perhaps match patterns better than any man, in addition to his preference for a lower-rise, all signs point to his having been a Nazi-lover.