26 In Style

My Pleat Conversion

I’ve never ever been a fan of pleated skirts.  They’ve always looked like upside down cupcake casings to me.  Am I right?

Amazon cupcake casings

Or, they just seemed frumpy and Miss Marple-ish… like something the Queen wears when she’s going to feed her horses.

Queen in Pleats

Remember in the late 1980s when Issey Miyake launched his (terribly unflattering) ‘Pleats Please’ line? My answer then (and now) was always an unequivocal ‘NO THANK YOU.’

Issey_Miyake_Pleats_Please_Electric_Blue_Poncho_1_of_11 Issey Mikaye wrap (Photo: amarcordvintagefashion.com)

But if there is one thing I have learned in the world of style and fashion, it is to NEVER say never.  Never will I wear culottes.  Never will I wear boho.  Never will I wear flats. Never will I wear sneakers with a skirt.  Tick, tick, tick, and tick.  I’ve done them all now, plus countless other ‘nevers.’

So there I sat, Miss Pleat-Hater, poring over all of the photos from the recent Fashion weeks, and what did my eyes keep lingering on?  PLEATED SKIRTS.  I blame it all on Alessandro Michele (the new Creative Director) at Gucci.  I saw one particular image from the Gucci runway that made me suck in my breath with the newness, the originality, and the sheer Wes Anderson bonkersness of it all, and this one photo completely (compleately?!) changed my no-pleats policy.  Here it is below.  You may hate it, but I love every. single. thing. about it… from the brown beanie at the top to the pink metallic slides at the bottom and the Gucci heritage stripes in between. Granted, bling is my thing, so if you make something glittery or shiny, I’m so transfixed by the sparkle that I obviously forget all about my prejudice, even against pleats.


Gucci offered a few other amazing pleat variations. Lace pleats, equal parts prim and sexy.  I love this.


Colour blocked foil-candy-wrapper pleats.  I dreamt of things like this for my Barbie when I was little, instead of that pink floral nonsense.


I’m not a fan of prints (I say this now, but watch me do a post on a print I’ve fallen madly in love with at some point, damn it) but if Ottoman Cowgirl is your vibe then this is just for you.


I also usually have a lot of love for whatever Stella McCartney does each season, and what do you think she is doing for Spring Summer 2016?   PLEATS. Effing pleats. Have a look.  Can’t you just see yourself swishing around in these architectural pleats on a very hot summer day?  Each little pleat joyfully catching the breeze and rippling just so?

stella mccartney pleats 2016

stella mccartney pleats 2016

After seeing these runway pleats, I set about scouring the internet for an equivalent.  I’m NOT SPLURGING on pleats, as per the rules in my last post. I turned up this bit of pleated perfection below at Zara.  This is shiny, modern, stylish, and needs to be in my closet (they’re separates too, so extra points for versatility).  Silver and Black are my life; I can really see this slotting into my wardrobe.

Zara metallic pleats

Also at Zara is this pleated faux leather skirt in a my-pet-has-colitis colour that doesn’t really work for me, but it does have a certain vintage appeal.  It also comes in black, mercifully.

zara pleated skirt

This forest green satin skirt at Topshop looks really versatile, and could be super for the holidays with a little sparkle or some red thrown in.

Topshop green pleated skirt

Here’s a lovely bronzey-gold lame one from Topshop that is nearly sold out (apparently I’m not the only one in a metallic pleat frenzy).  This is the closest to the Gucci one that I’ve been able to find, although it is a much more restrained colour than the brassy gold at Gucci.

Topshop gold lame pleated skirt

I of course have done the least sensible thing, and I’ve gone and ordered this one below (also Topshop) because it is on sale for less than a cocktail.  It is shorter than the Gucci ones, so it may not be as good as the Zara option, but we’ll see.

silver pleated Topshop skirt

I might add that if this silver skirt I ordered doesn’t look like an upside down cupcake casing, then I don’t know what does!  See?

silver cupcake casing

Below are two photos which show how beautifully and easily an accordion-pleated skirt can be styled for everyday (i.e. off of the Gucci runway).  I love these pleats toned down with a sweater.  What do you think?  Are you a pleat lover, a pleat hater, or pleat agnostic?

(image via elle.com)

43c325bd8d5441622e8c8999cba0ec08-600x900(image via katewaterhouse.com)
(Gucci and Stella images via Vogue runway)

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  • Reply
    October 7, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    I have loved pleated garments for years. I even have a sapphire blue Isssey evening coat that clings and drapes gracefully over my form. Even though it is long, it works on my short self.
    Fabric and proportion are everything: they have to drape and move over the body. That photo of the Queen in wool made me laugh! I have a gorgeous dress that is vertical stripes of cream and navy, and the pleats are mesmerizing.
    That said… I don’t have shiny lame pleats! Love! Very 1930s evening wear, but for day!

    • Reply
      October 7, 2015 at 2:40 PM

      Well, I’ve CLEARLY been missing out. Now I’m going to have to pleat up my wardrobe, starting with lame! xx

  • Reply
    October 7, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    Pleats, you’re saying! Hell yes, I’m saying! I love pleats, I always did. For me they they’ve always presented this good girl image with a bad girl attitude. I even wore them to my civil wedding ceremony (mini pleats with shimmer and a sexy top, and heels like in the elle.com picture). I find them feminine and naughty (especially when the wind blows) – like the picture before last. Thank God I never associated them with your first picture – would have been such a turnoff:)

    • Reply
      October 7, 2015 at 2:39 PM

      hahaha! I’ve finally seen the light, Abby! I’m stocking up on pleats now. xx

  • Reply
    Little Red
    October 8, 2015 at 12:34 AM

    Purple lame!!!! To die for. Now, how does one look good in it when one is short and dumpy? Good heels seem essential.

    • Reply
      October 8, 2015 at 6:55 AM

      I know, isn’t the purple fabulous? I think heels are fairly essential with pleating, especially this accordion-pleated stuff. I’ve never found pleats particularly flattering on me, but I’m really trying! xx

  • Reply
    October 8, 2015 at 5:24 AM

    I just purchased the last lame skirt from TopShop…Thank you for the tip! I’ve been loving the antique bronze/pewter metallic vibe for daily sparkle


    • Reply
      October 8, 2015 at 6:52 AM

      Oh YAY! I’m so pleased Vivian! Sparkle forth xx

  • Reply
    October 8, 2015 at 1:23 PM

    Bloody hell you do make me chuckle woman! I’ve never had an aversion to pleats but saying that I’ve never actually worn them, perhaps I’m scared of looking like Ol’Lizzy? Do you remember the silver foil pleated skirt & matching cami Whistles did last year? I toyed with the idea of that outfit but chickened out… You’ve given me a lot to think about here & I’m really into the mustard skirt from Zara so I may just give it a try.
    P.S. I’m really enjoying your blog x

    • Reply
      October 8, 2015 at 1:50 PM

      Thank you Michelle! I didn’t see the ones from Whistles last year, but I’m really into the Zara one this year. I can see you doing groovy retro things with that mustard Zara skirt, for sure!

  • Reply
    October 9, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    I haven’t worn pleats for years, but they used to be a favorite. I think the key is the fabric, so that it drapes nicely. I do like the one you chose, and the green one from Topshop could be the beginning of a lovely holiday party outfit!

    • Reply
      October 9, 2015 at 8:04 PM

      I think so too, Lana. Let me know if you get pleated for the holidays! xx

  • Reply
    Gilly Maddison
    October 9, 2015 at 2:32 PM

    Ok – I’m going to whisper because I shouldn’t really be here commenting on a blog about style (and I don’t want to destroy your street cred by being seen here). If they did pleated yoga pants, I’d be first in there. Pleats look beautiful on people who wear actual clothes. One day, I may surprise my family by getting some myself. It’s lovely looking at the gorgeous clothes here and thinking, wow, some people really do get dressed in the morning. I’ll go now because I’m making the place messy 🙂

    • Reply
      October 9, 2015 at 8:06 PM

      Hahahah, Gilly! Pleated yoga pants…I smell a trend! You are ALWAYS welcome on this style blog. Go get yourself a pleated skirt and shock your family xx

  • Reply
    Mithra Ballesteros
    October 9, 2015 at 2:45 PM

    Gak! Pleats! I’ve always hated them because a) I am waist-less and b) something about their shadowy enunciation of the groin area always made me self-conscious. (Sorry for using the word ‘groin’ in your comments. Twice, now.) Anyway, you present a strong visual argument and I’m reopening the case.

    • Reply
      October 9, 2015 at 8:08 PM

      Groin groin groin groin groin. Let’s just make sure my blog comes up for anyone doing a google search for pleats + groin, shall we?! Yeah, I’ve hated pleats until Gucci SS16. Dammit. xx

  • Reply
    Carol Cassara
    October 9, 2015 at 2:57 PM

    Ok, you have the most fascinating post today. I used to wear pleats but I love these modern takes on them.

    • Reply
      October 9, 2015 at 8:11 PM

      I think it is time you got yourself some nice swishy pleats! You’ll get lots of wear out of them in California. xx

  • Reply
    Janie Emaus
    October 9, 2015 at 5:23 PM

    These are so much nicer than the pleated skirts I wore in school. I want them all!

    • Reply
      October 9, 2015 at 8:12 PM

      *Exactly* my thinking, Janie! xx

  • Reply
    D. A. Wolf
    October 15, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    This is a beautiful selection of pleated skirts, I must say… I think they elongate as long as one isn’t “hippy” to start with, and length is important, especially for those of us of the Lilliputian Persuasion.

    Personally, my “go to” skirt is a nicely fitted pencil skirt. That said, one of my favorite skirts of all time (that I still wear) is basic black, impeccably fitted, and with sexy car wash pleats. It’s a marvel!

    (Now about those cupcake casings… You’ve gone and made me terribly hungry for sweets… )


    • Reply
      October 15, 2015 at 9:11 PM

      Yeah, me too D.A., I’m much more at home in a pencil skirt; they’re much more flattering on me. Your car wash pleats skirt sounds gorgeous, and very 2015!

      Mmmmmmm, cupcakes. xxx

  • Reply
    Bastoni di fashion
    October 16, 2015 at 6:37 PM

    great style

  • Reply
    Marina Ingvarsson
    November 20, 2015 at 1:21 AM

    Great post!


    • Reply
      November 20, 2015 at 1:25 PM


  • Reply
    December 29, 2015 at 7:17 PM

    I LOVE pleated skirts! They can be incredibly girly but also edgy if you know what to pair them with. The new materials that have been showing up on the runways recently (i.e. purple lame) look even more amazing.

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