The e-mails, phone calls and comments poured into work last week in response to my column on Monday. Seems as though many of you guys out there like your pleated pants just fine, thank you, despite what J.V. Johnston, of Johnston's men's clothing, had to say about them. Johnston told me he's selling flat-front pants like crazy, and that it's the strongest trend he's seen in a long time.
It was my pal Bucky Walters who had the most puzzling question of the week: "Can you take pants in and get them unpleated?"
As a person who has done some sewing, I think turning pleated pants into a flat-front style sounds about as much fun as a summer cold, so I called an expert.
"Oh, yes, we've taken pleats out of men's pants," said Satish Chary, who owns Quick Stitch at 550 N. Rock Road with his wife, Julianna.
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It's not an easy job, and it is time-consuming because the waistband has to be taken off and the front of the pants completely reconstructed, he said.
"With box pleats you have four times as much fabric as flat fronts, but it can certainly be done."
The cost of a pleat-ectomy at Quick Stitch will range from $40 to $65.
A caller who didn't leave his name on my voice mail said he didn't have the physique to wear flat-front pants. "There's a lot of us out here who are over 40 and we're going to keep wearing our pleated pants."
My friend and co-worker Tim Epperson e-mailed me to say that now he feels like he needs a whole new wardrobe because of the peer pressure to get rid of his pleated pants. Not only that, he said, but he also is going to have to lose weight to look good in flat-front pants. And won't the folks at Goodwill and the DAV be happy to get his old pleated pants? Of course, he was kidding. Mostly kidding.
The always dapper Lee Frye voiced concern, too. His son Bryan warned him some time back that pleats were going by the wayside.
"Well, I guess the answer is to wear jeans," Lee said with a chuckle.
But it's J.C. Combs who echoed a popular opinion. "I like pleats and I'm wearing them. I know double breasted is also out, but I'm still wearing it. It will all come back," he said.
When I asked my husband, "What do you think about pleated pants?" he answered, "I don't." It was obvious he hadn't read the column and wasn't the least bit worried about whether his trousers were pleated or not. Like so many men, he looks nice in his work clothes, although he prefers his work-out clothes. And he's not concerned about being on the cutting edge of fashion.
To pleat or unpleat, that is the question. You guys decide.
I'm just the messenger.