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A Guide to wearing Womens Pleated Skirts

Pleated skirts are smart, feminine and flattering, and more interesting than plain skirts. They have been fashionable for decades, althoug they are often linked with school uniforms and mini skirts for the youthful, and they also have a long association with garden party frumpiness. Yet the pleated skirt is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Here is a brief guide to wearing womens pleated skirts in a way that is elegant and suitable for all ages.

What exactly is a pleated skirt?

A pleated skirt is the name given to a skirt that has pressed folds or creases of fabric. A pleated skirt can have a few folds at the side or multiple creases falling from the entire circumference of the waistline; these are known as accordion or conertina pleats as they resemble the appearance of the extended instrument. Pleated skirts are not flowing, they usually have a rather stiff and formal appearance, which means that they are often a key feature of a work suit.

Types of Pleated Skirts

There are many different types of pleated skirts and some are more flattering to various body shapes than others. Here are some of the most common:

Box Pleats

This type of pleat has the fabric folded in such a way that there is a wide flat area at the front o the skirt and is most often seen in school uniforms. However, flared box pleated skirts are also popular with women. They are ideal for apple body shapes as the cut of the pleat can help to minimise a large tummy.

Inverted Pleats.

Inverted pleats are a style with two folds of material that are brought to a central point and then sharply pressed. This style of pleated skirt is ideal for women with a pear-shaped or hour-glass figure as it emphasises a small waist and skims over hips. A-line skirts frequently have inverted pleats and close-fitting pencil skirts often have a kick pleat, which is the same as an inverted pleat, but at the rear of the garment rather than the front, thus giving a sexy sway to the hemline.

Knife Edged Pleats

These are a very widely seen type of pleat and are used in skirts such as kilts. The pleats are the same distance apart-usually one inch- and are firmly pressed in the same direction. A well fitting knee-length skirt with knife pleats is flattering for a petite woman as it is smart without being overpowering.

Bias Pleats

Bias pleats can make all shapes look great. The pleats are cut on the diagonal along the waistband, only stitched a few inches and are usually left unpressed. The result is a skirt with folds that are softly draping and very slimming.

Skirt Lengths and Fabrics

The length and fabric of your skirt will always have a big impact on the overall appearance of your outfit. Piling is also something to consider, as some fabrics do not respond well to being creased; the resulting friction leading to tiny balls of fabric appearing on the surface of the material, and a garment that can quickly look well-worn. Choose natural fibres if possible as synthetic fabrics are more likely to experience piling.

Different looks that can be achieved with a pleated skirt are:

Dressed Up

For a crisp Autumn day, why not pair a mid-calf length accordion pleated skirt with a dark coloured polo neck? With a pair of knee length good quality leather boots, you will be embracing three of this season's hottest trends. Avoid over-layering with longer pleated skirts to avoid the danger of a clunky silhouette. Alternatively, you could wear a knee-length kilt with a loose cable knit jumper, embracing the vibe of style icon Marilyn Monroe's famous later beach shoots. Team with a pair of loafers; also bang on trend in 2015.

Finally, whatever style of pleated skirt you choose; rest assured that it is likely to be a purchase that will remain looking a stylish part of your wardrobe for many years to come.

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