When I hear the word “pleats”, I usually think of preppy school uniforms: pleated skirts for girls and pleated khakis for boys. Like many things in fashion, pleats have undergone a modernization and are no longer reserved for schools or stuffy environments. All kinds of pleated trousers have appeared on runways and celebrities and there’s a new air of chic about them.
I’ve found pleated trousers easy to wear with lots of room for creative styling. They work extremely well in the office paired with a traditional cotton dress shirt and round-toed pumps. I suggest a dress shirt with great details in texture, colour, and perhaps even French cuffs. Be sure to tuck the shirt in and as an option, add a skinny belt. If you’re looking for something with more movement, try a silk blouse like I did.
Pleated pants also work well with blazers with structured shoulders or the boyfriend blazer paired with a simple tee or tank. When you’re not limited by an office dress code, play around with dressier cropped tops, striped boatneck tops for a French feel, or try a military inspired jacket with slouchy socks and booties. Don’t forget to experiment with rolling up the hems a couple times or even pulling the legs up during warmer months.
Proenza Schouler / Pleated Bodysuit Pant, $625
Pleat flannel trousers Charcoal, 150 GBP
When shopping for pleated trousers, look for fabrics with lots of movement like silk, cotton, and lightweight wool. I find skinny or straight leg options to be the most flattering. Also try trousers that hit you at different spots of the waist to find the best fit for your body type. Finally, be sure to try up a size or two. With pleated trousers you want to avoid the pleats spreading out too much as this creates an unflattering and unpolished spread along the mid-section. I’d love to see how you’re wearing my new favorite trousers so e-mail me pictures of your looks: firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a compleatly fantastic weekend!