Pleated Chinos for Men: What They Are And How To Style Them

Paulina Kulczycki

Guess what fashion piece is making a grand comeback? Pleated trousers! While the past few seasons saw the reign of easy-breezy and casual flat-front trousers in men's fashion, the sophisticated charm of pleats is now stealing the spotlight. Pleated chinos bring in more volume, a natural drape to the leg, and a contemporary silhouette. Here at SANVT, we explain pleated chinos for men, what they are and how to style them, so you can rock the pleated pants trend with confidence.

Pleated chinos are hotter than ever – and much more flattering than ever, too. Forget the images of our grandfathers or the old James Bond films with those overly billowy pleated pants. Instead of digging out a vintage pair of pleated pants, we recommend finding a new model with pleats or, even better, adding a crease to the smart SANVT chino to make a bold fashion statement!

What are Pleats?

But what exactly are the pleats in pleated chinos, you ask? Pleats are those vertical folds created by overlapping fabric, starting at the waistband and often running all the way down to the hem. And they're not just for aesthetics; pleats add functionality and freedom of movement to the trousers. They allow the pants to expand when you sit, making it not only more comfortable but also preventing unsightly wrinkles and unnecessary seam tension. Even though today's pleated chinos are less capacious and sit lower on the hips than the models from the pre-millennium era, they still offer the same comfort and an even more elegant fit. 

Features of Pleated Chinos for Men

But not all pleats are created equal. The folds at the waistband can either face towards the zipper, called forward pleats, or towards the pockets, called reverse pleats. British trousers tend to lean towards forward pleats, while reverse pleats are more common in Italian trouser models. Typically, pleated chinos have a double fold at the waistband, but you can find four folds and asymmetrical pleats as well. Another typical characteristic of pleated chinos is a higher waistband. However, even more contemporary, lower-rise chinos can feature subtle pleats or be given creases to achieve a similar effect.

Styling Pleated Chinos for Men

Just like regular chinos, pleated chinos are incredibly versatile and can be styled for various occasions. Even if you don't own a pair of pleated pants yet, you can judiciously iron a fold into the smart chino from SANVT to get the desired pleated look. Our advice: opt for a slightly looser fit.

Pleated Chinos for Men SANVT casual



Pair our navy creased chino with a tucked-in white t-shirt and white sneakers for a laid-back look that suits both the office and leisure time. Easy-going and sharp! For a slightly edgier, yet still minimalist look, swap the navy chinos to black chinos and the sneakers to chunky loafers. 


For a more sophisticated twist, match our beige creased chino with a beige knit sweater, a matching beanie, and brown Chelsea boots. Add a brown straight-cut coat, and you've got a fall-toned ensemble that elegantly showcases your pleated chino.

Pleated Chinos for Men SANVT Shades of Grey

Shades of Grey

For a subtler and more minimalist style, wear our grey creased chino with a tucked-in grey turtleneck sweater. Throw in black loafers and an oversized, unbuttoned black cardigan, and you're good to go! For an edgier touch, swap the loafers for patent leather shoes and throw in a hat or beret.

Pleated Chinos for Men SANVT dapper



And more formal occasions, a pleated chino can easily rival the classic suit trouser. Give our black chino a crease, wear it with a tucked-in and slightly unbuttoned white Oxford shirt, and black Derbies to upgrade a rather boring suit look. Throw on a blazer to complete the perfect sophisticated styling – whether it's to impress at family gatherings or to make a competent entrance at business meetings.


Pleated trousers don't always need to be paired with elegant pieces. The structured detail in the pants can effortlessly blend with a relaxed sweatshirt or hoodie, creating a cool and laid-back style. Pair our beige creased chino with a grey sweatshirt, off-white sneakers, and a black cap for a casual everyday look. This style also works with our black hoodie and a black trench coat.

Pleated Chinos for Men SANVT Relaxed

Pleated Chinos for Men: Conclusion

Creases, pleats and folds are undeniably back in style! Even if you're not fully convinced to get a new pair of pleated chinos, start by experimenting with a crease in the smart chino from SANVT to slowly ease into the style. Allow yourself to experiment with this new trend and elevate your regular chino outfits with a touch of sophistication. Pleats, gentlemen, can be the way to go this season and beyond!

Photos by SonnyChris del MarleChris FraasHelmut Barrosso, Julian Piket & Ulrich

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