Recently, while rampaging around the shopping mall for errands, I noticed all the stores had one clothing item in common—pleats. While pleated clothing is spotted occasionally, the surplus of them was a clear sign that the style is in the spotlight once again. This microtrend ideally fits into the upcoming Fall-Winter season with its variety of sizes and styles. Additionally, a plus point about pleats is that it is luxe-looking. Similar to leather and animal-skin, pleats have a very distinguished look which makes your outfit look lavish.

Pleats, or more specifically known as plissé, is a material with a crinkle effect which is characterised by the micro-pleats on it. There are three common types of pleats—box, knife and accordion. To help you differentiate:

  • Box pleats—commonly seen on school uniform skirts, the fabric folds are in opposite directions.
  • Knife pleats—neatly pressed pleats that face one single direction.
  • Accordion pleats—a miniature version of knife pleats, this is the most intricate kind.

You can find pleats in all styles of clothing. Incorporate elegance into your wardrobe with archetype skirts, dresses, shirts, pants and even jumpsuits. The puckered effect has a way to instantly freshen up your look and make your entire ensemble more interesting. Moreover, the crinkled feature of the fabric lending a luxe-looking effect that disguises as wrinkles only ensures your outfit looks put-together all day long. It also is an ideal way to add some drama and movement to your look!

Look into luxury brands such as Pleats Please Issey Miyake that feature this microtrend as the star of their collections. Also, for more affordable options, high-street retailers such as Mango and Zara are stocking the crinkle style, as well.

To get started, have a look at our 6 favourite pleated items:

1) Midi-Skirt

A midi-skirt is a staple item which is perfect to start your pleats journey with. There are infinite ways to style this beauty for the months ahead. However, to wear a pleated skirt correctly, pay attention to your body proportions to avoid looking bulky. For instance, if you are pear-shaped, avoid wearing intricate pleats on your butt area as it can create a heavier illusion. For a more flattering look, pair a slim-fit top with your box-pleat skirt. This helps to balance out the volume that gets added to your silhouette. Once you nail the basics, explore options by dressing your skirt up or down with blouses or t-shirts to fit the occasion. Moreover, have fun with your footwear as pleated skirts look great with heels and boots!

2) Printed Dress

The expensive look that pleats add to an outfit makes them wearable to the office as well as for an evening out. Juxtapose some pretty patterns onto a pleated dress and have yourself an elegant and trendy outfit. If you have a slim body type, a dress with pleats that run all over with a defined waistline helps will make you look curvier. Alternatively, if you are curvy already, opt for a dress with a fit-and-flare style which has pleats from down the middle. Make a statement in your dress with little additions that will help you stand out further. For instance, inspired from the look below—a belt on the waist, neckerchief scarf and high boots will make you look straight out of a Fall-Winter catalogue.

3) Top + Pants Set

No one does plissé like Issey Miyake, and his brand Pleats Please Issey Miyake is the perfect platform to experiment with unique garment pleating. If you like your vibrant colours and funky style, the brand’s wide-leg pants and a one-shoulder top are unique and trendy. The diagonal pattern along with the pleats in the same direction is energetic and lively. As a result, adding volume to the overall design. When styling this look, keep it minimal with a neutral colour or no accessories. Moreover, the top and pants will look great styled sans each other as well.

4) Stylish Top

For those who aren’t confident about wearing pleats, try out the trend by starting off with a top. We love the design below by Georgia Hardinge in a rust hue with cut-out shoulders, ruffles and accordion pleats. The combination of many details of the top make it so appealing and stand out from the rest. Styling this is relatively easier as the top does majority of the work. All you have to do a pick a bottom that matches will the top. Consider going for a similar Fall-Autumn palette of rusts and browns that work well paired together.

5) Jacket + Trackpants

We all have those lazy days where we wish to be on-trend but with no effort. And for those times, a pleated sweatshirt and track pants do the trick. The texture of the pleats and rich chocolate brown shade instantly upgrade the attire from casual to luxe. Keep it simple and tuck a fitted, white or black inner, accessorise with some gold jewellery and you will look fashionable enough to hit the town.

6) Mini-Skirt

Reminiscent of our school days, a pleated mini-skirt is a fun and flirty style to sport. Play it safe with black in a sturdy leather textile that allows it to become a wardrobe staple for seasons ahead. If you are going for an old-school vibe, match a graphic tee and chunky sneakers. Otherwise, for a more refined look, the pleated skirt would look great with a delicate, lace blouse and some block heels. Depending on your vibe, a monochromatic pleated mini looks great when styled with different options and jackets layered over. It can also act as a fashionable fix in the winter by throwing over a sweater and some knee-high boots for those hurried days.

Now that you are caught up on pleats, what is your favourite style? Let us know in the comments below.

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