It was late March 2020, barely two weeks into the pandemic, when I succumbed to a thought I’m sure a lot of us had: These lockdown clothing sales are insane. I gotta cop SOMETHING, right? This’ll all blow over by fall at the latest, and I’ll have plenty of opportunity to get some fits off again.
The something I settled on: a pair of Homme Plissé Issey Miyake pleated trousers in deep forest green, nearly half off at Need Supply (R.I.P.). Miyake’s signature pleated polyester has been cool forever, of course—ever since he began experimenting with the stuff in the late ‘80s, it’s hard to think of any fabric more instantly recognizable or closely tied to its creator. It’s an enigma of a material: about as resilient and wrinkle-averse as your hardest Carhartt gear, but also more graceful and effortlessly polished than a Charlie Parker solo. It looks like heavy corduroy, but feels like fresh linen bed sheets. I’d been lusting after a pair of Miyake pants for ages, especially once my dude Steven Yeun began hitting dinger after red carpet dinger in head-to-toe Homme Plissé a couple of years back.
Of course, my theoretical pandemic timeline was the teensiest bit off. A return to publicly serving looks on the regular was not in the cards for 2020. But a funny thing happened once my Miyake pants arrived in the mail a few weeks later: I started wearing ‘em anyway. Like, a lot. As my colleague Cam Wolf, a fellow Plissé convert, recently put it: “They are perfect pandemic pants in that they make me look very elegant and put together, but also have the ability to stretch out like an accordion. In lieu of a fashion show this year, Issey Miyake put out a video that shows models dancing and leaping in their pleated pants and shorts. There is no better pitch for a pair of pants this year than that.”
It’s true. If you find yourself trapped between fantasizing about setting all 17 pairs of sweatpants you’ve purchased in the past 11 months ablaze while also feeling not quite ready to dive back into the rough-and-tumble waters of denim, these pants are it. They are comfortable enough to wear while mainlining a pint of Half Baked during a Fast & Furious marathon, flexible enough to throw on for a morning yoga session, and chic enough to remind your partner how well you clean up on your next at-home date night. They go great with boxy tees, with dress shirts and ties, with tank tops or cardigans or knit polos or jean jackets or turtlenecks or hoodies. In other words: with whatever you got.
That versatility has not been lost on the IG sneaker community, who of late have co-opted the Homme Plissé trousers as the calf-selfie-pant-flex du jour—they bring a sophisticated crispness to everything from trashed Dunk Highs to box-fresh Bottega stomper boots. Perhaps that immediate trendiness is a turn-off, but let me assure you: not only will Miyake’s pleats remain cool long after sneakerheads move on to their next collective favorite bottom, they’re so cool that they’re still cool right now, no matter how many dozens of times they pop up on your Timeline today.
The storewide fire sales are long behind us and the global lockdown is decidedly not, but Issey Miyake’s pleated trousers remain as bulletproof an investment as ever. And with a grip of fresh spring tones on shelves right now—to say nothing of the illest matching face mask we’ve ever seen—there’s no better time to buy in.
Homme Plissé Issey Miyake black basics trousers
Homme Plissé Issey Miyake purple tailored pleats 2 trousers
Homme Plissé Issey Miyake pink & green hologram stripe trousers
Homme Plissé Issey Miyake navy heather pleats trousers
Homme Plissé Issey Miyake yellow heather pleats trousers