Pleats, Please: How to Wear This Summer’s Breeziest Trend

A quick search of the word “pleated” on Zara is all it will take to convince you that pleats — micro and otherwise — have most definitely returned to the fashion fold. Thankfully, much like ourselves, the fabric-creasing technique has evolved beyond the days of plaid schoolgirl skirts.

Pleats on display on Altuzarra's Spring 2016 runway.

Pleats on display on Altuzarra’s Spring 2016 runway; Image: Imaxtree

Pleats walk the runway at Boss Spring 2016.

Pleats walk the runway at Boss Spring 2016; Image: Imaxtree

Back in 1993, Japanese designer Issey Miyake made a dent in designers’ imaginations with his revolutionary, technology-driven Pleats Please label. Now, the great minds at Altuzarra, Boss, Victoria Beckham and Proenza Schouler, among others, are manipulating all manner of apparel into streamlined yet edgy silhouettes or creating architectural marvels that add pizzazz to once-stiff getups.


A photo posted by Alexa (@chungalexa) on

Pleats are great for fashionably hiding yourself away (re: a wide-leg palazzo pant) or showcasing your boldest, most avant-garde self (re: anything the aforementioned Miyake puts forth). They instantly (quite literally) elevate blah monochrome ensembles — or any outfit, for that matter. Plus, to counter the summer’s humidity, they allow tons of breathing room. And even the coziest swivel chair in your office couldn’t put a wrinkle in their style.


A video posted by Alexa (@chungalexa) on

Alexa Chung and others have made quite the case for pleats, but don’t just take it from her…take it from us. This season’s tops, tunics, pants, jackets, culottes, midi skirts — heck, even bags — all have serious wardrobe-volumizing potential. Now, we invite you to step inside the box for trend-tailoring ideas galore and, of course, a roundup of our favorite pleated everything.

Option #1: Give a midi the cold shoulder and make the most of the season’s most coveted trends.


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Option #2: Pleat detailing gives a subtle flair.


A photo posted by miwa (@___m__w___) on


A photo posted by tangers (@tangers_sg) on

Option #3: Let a dramatic shape shine through by keeping things otherwise neutral.


A photo posted by COVET readytowear (@covet.rtw) on

Option #4: Let’s talk lengths and layering. A pleated tunic, vest or jacket instantly adds interest to your look.


A photo posted by MsCastroRides (@mscastrorides) on

Option #5: Upgrade your LBD.


A photo posted by MINUSEY (@minusey) on


A photo posted by Jyotsna ( Jyo ) (@cuppajyo) on

Option #6: Metallics FTW.

Option #7: Say “screw it!” and go all out.

Now for the fun part, shopping time: