how to wear pleats for spring

May 21st, 2015


I bought this top about two years ago, right before February fashion week.  It felt like sort of an odd indulgence, since it was sleeveless and very spring-oriented and I was heading up to snow in NYC, but I just couldn’t resist.  To make it appropriate for winter, I paired it with a leather jacket and earmuffs and boom, suddenly it was fit for freezing New York winter temps.  I fell in love, then and there: it proved to me how versatile the right pleated pieces could be, no matter what the temperature or event. 

Pleated pieces have been all over the runways for the last few seasons, and I’m curious: Have you worked them into your wardrobe?  Pleats can be a little tricky, so I thought I’d post some tips to help you guys tackle this trend. 

Mix Textures: You don’t have to limit your pleated pieces to the textures you’d expect, like airy chiffon or silk.  Think about incorporating heavyweight fabrics for a totally different take on this trend: in the outfit I’m wearing above, the pleated skirt in this outfit is actually pale pink leather, while the top is an airy, lightweight fabric.  Both have great movement and add a ton of visual detail to an otherwise simple outfit.

Simplify Without Bulk: Pleats add a lot of volume to an outfit, which is part of why they’re so fun.  But if you’re nervous about pulling off a lot of fabric, pair a pleated skirt with a slim-fitting, simple top or bottom.  The easiest way to dive into this trend is to limit it to about 1/3 of your outfit: try pairing a solid-color boat-neck top with a pleated maxi skirt or a pleated, mega-volume top with skinny jeans and flats. 

Streamline Accessories: The biggest risk with pleats is that they end up looking a little schoolgirl-y when done wrong.  (Won’t lie; this was a look I was very fond of in high school!) Combat that risk and keep your image grown-up by grabbing a ladylike purse and a bold pair of shoes to minimize the schoolgirl-chic vibe. 

Or take the opposite approach: Embrace it!  Grab your favorite pair of kitten heels and a white button-down shirt, and you’ve got a chic statement look that’s on trend and adorable. 

What are your favorite tricks for wearing pleats this spring?

Photos by Kate Robinson.





Tags: style

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 // May 22, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Thanks For Sharing….

  • 2 alicja // May 23, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    again, shoes much too big. Do you *really* not see how ridiculous they look? Please take a step back and go look at the photo of the shoes. They look like a joke and I don’t mean they look fun. They look awful – opposite of fashion. At least 50% of the problem is their too big size.

  • 3 Rebecca // May 25, 2015 at 1:42 am

    What an awesome skirt! I love pleated leather.

  • 4 Rachel // May 27, 2015 at 2:46 am

    Girl, size down on the shoes! And work on that posture, good grief. You slouch so badly.

  • 5 lalji // Jun 2, 2015 at 8:58 am

    it’s call style .it’s amazing find any more visit

  • 6 iheartheels // Jun 14, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Shame on the girls who come here to be MEAN GIRLS. I love this look, Katy, especially those heels! Squeal!! xo


  • 7 Befunkies // Jun 26, 2015 at 4:13 am

    Wow! Beautiful Collection. Dress is awesome. Nice outfit and design is outstanding.

  • 8 Quaintrelle Georgiana // Oct 11, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I am obsessed with pleated skirts, I think they can look really classy. I have quite a collection, usually knee-length or midis. Recently I thrifted this long yellow skirt, it has a summery feel but I used it in an autumn outfit anyway and think it looks nice, doesn´t it?

  • 9 Pleats, Please! – The Styletti // Feb 22, 2016 at 11:34 am

    […] For those of slender thigh and hip, the traditional pleat never looked better, especially with a neutral or black somewhat-fitted top and understated footwear. Since the eye is immediately drawn to pleats, it is generally a good idea to stay away from too much detail in other parts of one’s ensemble unless you have the coordinating skills of Katy Atlas. […]

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