Pleats are an expression of a textile’s richness and depth, but many women shy away from them and don’t know how to wear or style them. Here is everything you wanted to know, and everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about pleats.
As a dresser and stylist, I found myself returning again and again to pleats, similar to how I returned to tulle or silk: every time I wanted to add variety, majesty, excitement, gentleness or nobility to my wardrobe. Just as there are connections between color and mood – blue creates an atmosphere of coldness and film noir, yellow evokes homey warmth, and white gives a feel of modern alienation – fabrics can also carry these associations because of the extensive system of values traditionally associated them.
Pleats were once a symbol of wealth and status; a pleated skirt would be made of rich fabric and creating and maintaining the folds required constant work. Today, the production of pleats has been made easier by synthetic fabrics that can be ironed at high temperatures to create effects that last even in the wash. Slightly different variations of the pleated skirt appear every few years, and the current revival has lead to the design of a pleated tee in two colors, black and gold. With two sleeve lengths, one suitable for those who prefer more coverage and the accompanying sleeveless blouse perfect for the Israeli summer, I cannot decide which one I like better!
There are numerous ways to style these new blouses.
Skinny jeans pair well with the tees, a bright wash lending itself to a more casual look or a dark one for an easy evening out. Those of us excited for higher temperatures and the summer sun can throw on a tailored pair of shorts and fun stilettos with their textured top for summer lunch dates.
Black dress pants create a sleek, formal look, while the addition of a skirt highlights the luxurious image I mentioned before. A mini skirt and high heels worn with the mock turtle version of the tee can conjure a classic, 60’s style vibe and a maxi skirt worn with the sleeveless iteration will look more bohemian. Adding a belt with a dramatic buckle will only amplify this effect.
In terms of coordinating colors, the black shirt suits every occasion and matches everything, of course, and the gold shirt worn with black bottoms creates an atmosphere of Hollywood glamour. All shades of denim work well with the gold, especially white bottoms, from shorts and jeans to any length of white skirt.
What about combining textures?
Well I believe in fashion as fashion: “Never Say Never”. A pleated shirt can even be worn with a pleated skirt. Of course, the secret is to make sure the amount of pleats you’re wearing is appropriate for the type of event you’re attending. Take into account that too much pleating might lead to a cluttered look so you should make sure the skirt is a similar style to the top in terms of fabric and not overpowering.
The best part is these shirts won’t become irrelevant next season, or in ten, compared to a pleated skirt that disappears and returns every few years. And the style can be varied even more by adding a leather jacket or a blazer for a cool or professional feel, or even a denim jacket to give the outfit a more relaxed tone.
In conclusion, whether you choose a more laid back pleated look by matching with casual pieces or choose to emphasize and maximize the pleats to their full glory, you’ve made the right choice. I love these items!