How To Style a Pleated Skirt: 9 Ways to Making a Dressing Statement

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Do you want to know how to style a pleated skirt effortlessly?

When it comes to skirts, pleated skirts are the ultimate game-changer. It’s not hard to figure out why – no matter what your shape or your size, walking in a pleated skirt is just easier than wearing anything that doesn’t have vertical lines. 

Wearing a pleated skirt can take an outfit from boring to striking and on-trend in no time.  These skirts are a versatile wardrobe staple and can be worn with the latest fashions or with classic pieces to make timeless looks.

pleated skirt 2
Img Src: Aimee

They give you instant pizazz without requiring you to do anything. And, while they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and fabrics, there’s more than one way to style a pleated skirt.

From the right balance of structure and hang to matchy-matchy outerwear options; we’ve got you covered!

How To Style a Pleated Skirt: 9 Ways to Making a Dressing Statement

Pleated skirts can make even the most casual of outfits look formal, or the most casual of skirts into a statement piece. And when you learn how to style a pleated skirt, it becomes easier than ever before. 

So, here are our top nine tips on how to wear a pleated skirt effortlessly.

1. Keep Things Simple

You don’t need much to style a pleated skirt. It’s the details that make all the difference, after all. So, if you’re on a budget, keep the look simple. You can opt for any bright color pleated skirt and a simple crisp white shirt for a sharp, yet affordable look.

how to style a pleated skirt
Img Src: Mariana Oprea

However, if you’re up for an edgier and fun look, try adding a denim jacket over it. When paired with the masculine denim jacket, the feminine pleated skirt strikes the ideal balance.

You can complete this outfit with a pair of white sneakers and big loops to perfectly ace this look.

2. Balance Structure and Drape

Some pleats are more pronounced than others, which can make for a structured look or a more drapey look. So, you can choose to accentuate the structured elements or tone them down with the drapey elements.

pleated skirt with sweater
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If you’re wearing a top with a looser fit, you can also add a belt. This will help pull the fabric a little closer to your body and can make a pleated skirt look very slimming.

Another way to style a pleated skirt with flair is to give it a dramatic look that looks great with a casual top that is tucked in to keep it from being too much. This way it will create a sleek and structured look, while the drapey fabric will add some texture by blending the edges together.

pleated skirt drape
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Both are great choices and work well with a variety of outfits. You can either stick with one look or mix and match depending on the occasion.

3. Work With Your Fabric Type and Color Palette

Depending on your fabric type and color palette, you can create a number of different looks. This season, pastel colors are very popular, and a pretty pale pink pleated skirt would go well with a white or black top.

Pastel pleated skirt
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You can also go for a more relaxed and effortless look by wearing a muted-colored pleated skirt with a shawl-collar top, a pair of sandals, and a small clutch bag. 

If you want your pastel outfit to read more classy than cute, focus on your accessories. To elevate this feminine skirt attire, carry a leather handbag with designer branding.

pleated skirt with cardigan
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But if you want a more formal look, try pairing a dark skirt with a top in a neutral color and a pair of earrings for a trendy outfit that is sure to turn heads.

4. Go for a Monochromatic Look

Pleated skirts usually come in a variety of colors, making them a perfect choice for creating a monochromatic look from head to toe. You can create a more harmonious outfit by pairing a top and skirt of slightly different shades but of the same color family.

monochromatic look

You can go for a more neutral palette and pair a beige blazer with a brown pencil pleated skirt. It’s perfect for days when you want to put some effort into your outfit.

Here, when your outfit is a balanced blend of neutral tones, you really need a statement piece to set it out. A bag with a real or faux animal print can add just the right amount of visual interest to your outfit.

5. The Classic Tailored Look

A pleated skirt is a no-brainer when it comes to a classic tailored look. It’s the perfect balance between a pencil skirt and a flared skirt and will work well with minimalistic or grungy ensembles alike. 

classic tailored look
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If you want to pull off this style, make sure to combine your pleated skirt with a tailored jacket or a shirt that can be tucked in. Adding a tailored coat that skims over the hips is a great way to structure a flowy skirt and keep it from feeling like too much fabric around your middle.

This will ensure that you have a polished look. The key to this look is in the details: add a few accessories, like a clutch and black high-heeled pumps, but don’t overdo it.

6. Layering Up for Cozy Winter

Pleated skirts are incredibly versatile and can be worn year-round in a variety of ways. To get a chic and sophisticated wintertime style, try layering the pleated skirt with other pieces and playing with proportions.

pleated skirt winter look
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You can balance out your pleated skirt by putting on a long trench coat or wool coat over a turtleneck top. You can also team it with a scarf to create an effortless winter look.

If you’re going for a sportier vibe, an oversized sweater or fun sweatshirt is another good option but it can be hard to pull off.

pleated skirt with oversized sweater

To style it right, try tucking in your sweater just a little bit to give it some shape and structure. However, stay away from sweaters that are too bulky, which can make the waist look bigger.

7. Add a Blazer on Top

A blazer over a pleated skirt is a sleek way of dressing up any outfit. The key here is to choose a blazer that is versatile enough to be worn in both casual and formal situations – it should go with almost anything!

skirt with blazer
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With a blazer and a pleated skirt, you can make a very stylish outfit that can take you from day to night. Just make sure your blazer is tailored to fit your body while keeping the whole look streamlined and polished.

Next, you can also try styling your outfit with a simple tee or short-sleeved top underneath the blazer. This will help to create contrast between the materials and add another layer of warmth and structure.

8. Style With Statement Tops

Not every occasion calls for a stuffy suit and tie, but it is always worthwhile to find a way to make a strong impression. When this occurs, simply reach for one of your many statement tops and pair it with your pleated skirt.

pleated skirt with statement top
Img Src: Golden Ladies Style

Statement tops are an exciting way to create a bit of intrigue and add some pizzazz to any outfit. But you don’t want to go overboard with the statement pieces—they should be balanced out by other elements in your look.

You can wear a statement top with ruffle sleeves and pair it with a bright or bold-colored pleated skirt. This will make your top pop even more and make it easier for people to see it when you walk down the street.

9. Create a Formal Look

Pleated skirts are a great way to add some formal office style to your day-to-day look. They are flattering and can be paired with any kind of top, from a blouse to a cardigan. 

formal pleated skirt
Img Src: Summer Albarcha

You can easily pull off a chic formal look by pairing your black pleated skirt with a suit, or tailored jacket. Also, when you wear a button-down top, make sure to tuck it into a pleated skirt or wear a formal shirt with a pleated skirt for a professional look.

Similarly, while dressing it as office wear outfit, consider the type of pleated skirt you are wearing. It is best to steer clear of wearing louder metallic fabrics to professional events. 

pleated skirt for office
Img Src: Summer Albarcha

Instead, choose a pleated skirt in a muted solid hue or one with a pattern that is acceptable for the workplace, such as paisley or plaid.

10. Coordinate Your Skirt With Shoes

It is possible to pair several different styles of shoes with pleated skirts. However, always pick your footwear depending on the occasion you are heading to.

ankle boots and skirt
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Without any thought, you can always pick your favorite black heels or nude pumps to style with your pleated skirt which is a common fashion combination.

This is perfect for giving your skirt an elegant and vintage look, whether you’re going out for a fun night on the town or to a formal event.

skirt with ankle boots
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For a casual look, you can simply wear sneakers with a t-shirt and pleated skirt. Whereas, if you want a look that is somewhere in the middle between casual and formal go for a pair of flat shoes.

Wrapping Up: How To Style a Pleated Skirt in Different Ways

That’s all! A pleated skirt can be styled in a number of ways to create a different look for your outfit. From a simple pleat to a more elaborate hand-pleated skirt with optional pleats, there is a wide array of options available. 

If you are not sure how to wear a pleated skirt, you can check some of the above tips to help you get started. So, if you haven’t yet, make sure to get your hands on one before they fly out the closet door!

We hope this guide has helped you understand how to style a pleated skirt.  Let us know in the comment how you like to style them

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Swaliha Baza, born and raised in Mumbai, India writes fashion-related blogs focusing on modest fashion. She provides readers with a wide selection of modest clothing ideas, outfit inspiration, and styling guides in order to assist them in finding the right modest style for themselves.

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