Perfectly Pleated

One of the key pieces of this ladylike look is pleated skirts and I’m not talking about the brown nana plaid kind.  The new pleated skirts are modern but with a vintage feel, while being really comfortable and easy to wear.  They aren’t a new trend, but pleated skirts can be seen as a tricky one due to their added volume, and a common question stylists get is how do you wear them and who do they suit?  

The answer is that they can be worn by most body shapes. The trick is to keep the top half of your outfit more fitted and not bulky.  Think slim knit, tailored top or fitted t-shirt on your upper half to balance out your silhouette.  Pleated skirts certainly add volume, but in a beautiful, flowy way, and the movement they create while walking is actually really cool. If you’ve seen them on the runway or on the street, you’ll know what I mean.  I always feel that much more graceful walking in mine as it swishes along with me.  

One of my favourite versions of this look is from local designer Juliette Hogan, whose semi sheer and floaty pleated skirts come in the most sublime fabrics and colours.  Juliette has been working and reworking this look for a few seasons now in different lengths, prints and as dresses.  Her long, elegant versions are totally covetable and it’s no surprise the look has spread to other labels now as well. 

Juliette Hogan SS11/12
 
If you love these gorgeous garments but are after a cheaper version, Forever New, TopShop and Glassons also do charming pleated skirts of their own.  Whether you choose a plain one or a print one, make sure you go for a length that suits your height.  Try and avoid anything too long if you’re petite as it will potentially overwhelm your frame.  Also, remember if you’re going for the more sheer versions to either add leggings or a slip of some kind underneath for a little more modesty.  
 
Forever New
 
There are several ways to wear this versatile look, if your personal style is more laidback you can wear it with a fitted tee and cardi, add a belt for more definition at the waist.  If you’re after a more formal look, wear it with a pretty tailored blouse, vintage inspired jewellery and a blazer for warmth.  To avoid any trace of nana-ness with your lovely new skirt, choose modern or brightly hued shoes to complement your outfit.  
 
Karen Walker AW11
 
My advice is to be brave and embrace the pretty potential of the pleated skirt, I’m sure you will be amazed at how many garments you can work it with.  
 
By Evelyn Ebrey
 

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