While style pages are filled with the biggest trends for the upcoming seasons, distracting us with inspirational images of colour, silhouettes and prints, it’s easy for the more subtle looks to slip under the radar despite being key pieces in pulling those big trends together.
One of those looks that we’re absolutely loving at the moment is pleats – pleated tops, pleated dresses, pleated skirts (especially the oh-so-trendy midi skirt), wide pleats, pleat detailing…we could go on. It has also been given super-stylist Gok Wan’s seal of approval on last night’s Gok’s Clothes Roadshow, although his pleated catwalk look was slightly more daring than the outfits we might put together!
However pleats are worn they always manage to look elegant and sophisticated, much to do with the light flowing fabrics that are usually used to create the effect, and the gorgeous detail that is created without using a print or embellishment. Such a versatile look, it lends itself perfectly to so many trends, whether you’re channelling the glamorous 1920s style or the laid back 1970s vibe that it is so on-trend for Spring Summer 2011.
So if you’re loving the pleats as much as us, but aren’t sure how to wear them, just read on!
For extra feminine pleats, go for longer length skirts that really show off the details and the flowing fabric. Take it to the extreme with this cream Love Label pleated maxi skirt, the maxi is going to be just as big as it was last year, and adding some pleats instead of a bold print brings it right up to date for 2011. Take things a bit shorter with a pleated midi skirt, the hottest skirt length at the moment and definitely the most ladylike piece you’ll have in your wardrobe. Wear with mid-height heels and a simple fitted top to complete this chic look. If you want to go shorter still, this above the knee pleated skirt is one of Coleen Rooney’s favourites and comes in a pretty lilac or an earthy print. Wear with ballet flats and a cute cardi for a retro style.
The pleated trousers
You may have heard about how popular the pallazzo trouser is set to become this Spring. Wide legs in flowing fabric, covering a multitude of sins that the skinny jean was so happy to put on show to the world, and a lovely alternative to the maxi skirt – sounds perfect. Well throw a few pleats to the equation and it really is perfect! Add a fitted vest and a cute cropped denim jacket, and let the pleats do all the talking!
Go for a relaxed voluminous look and let your pleated dress hang loose, or create a silhouette by adding a waist belt. The creased fabric you would normally have around the middle is disguised by the pleats, which are then left to flow over your hips and legs. Go all out with this pussy bow dress, which is spot on for the 1970s trend and has pleat detail on the sleeves and a pleated skirt, not forgetting that waist belt for shape. Or for a bit of glitz, this silver pleated tunic comes with a skinny belt and would look fab on a night out with some coloured heels and a statement clutch – no need for more accessorising when you’re wearing a dress like this.
Such an easy style to wear in so many ways, if you’re not one for following the big trends just add a bit of pleating to your wardrobe and you’ll be right up to date!