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.