Cornell Daily Sun, April 5, 1956
Watching 'The Graduate' (1967) the other night on Turner Classic Movies, I coveted Dustin Hoffman's wardrobe, his preppy button-downs and flat-front chinos. Steve McQueen and Sean Connery's James Bond set off similar pangs of sartorial envy.
Looking for a little historical perspective, I asked John Weitz, the 77-year-old designer, about pleats versus flat-front.
"Obviously, it all goes in circles," he said. "The modern-day circle started after the war, when the men came back wearing what are now unfortunately known as chinos but were then called suntans, because they were a tan pant and they were flat." Until then, Mr. Weitz continued, "the only people who wore flat pants were the upper classes. You saw them in Brooks Brothers and the Ivy League. The rest of the country wore great big pleated pants in a rather bad imitation of the Duke of Windsor."
NYT - On the Pants Front: The War of the Pleats