Pleats for Work and Play

This surprisingly versatile trend will be your wardrobe winner this summer

maven46-pleats please-ss16-trend-pleated skirt

Words by Síomha Connolly
May 24th, 2016

While it may bring back memories of school days and dreaded skirt uniforms, this season sees pleated pieces get a serious upgrade. Pleats have had the ultimate fashion make-over and they are just what you need to update your summer wardrobe. From the wardrobe staple pleated midi skirt, to pleated blouses, trousers and accessories, the high street is full of pleats this season. The beauty of this trend is that it can be worn both for both work and play, bringing you right through the work week and into the weekend.

Issey Miyake’s ‘Pleats Please’ label has been the biggest player in the pleated trend since the its inception in 1993. However, this season pleats are getting a new look as designers are showing just how versatile this fabric-folding technique really is; Alessandro Michele brought some flirty fun to the Gucci SS16 show with pleated skirts in rainbow stripes, Proenza Schouler showed fantastic white pleated trousers in their spring 2016 collection, while Stella McCartney went sports-luxe with her pleats and produced a range of pleated clothing in bright neons. The main thing to note with this trend is that you should aim for lightweight fabrics that will flow easily so that the pleats add volume without bulk. Read on to see how we’d style this trend for both work and play.

maven46-Pleats Please-ss16-trend- Gucci
Gucci SS16
maven46-Pleats Please-ss16-trend-Proenza Schouler
Proenza Schouler SS16
maven46-Pleats Please-ss16-trend-Issey Miyake
Issey Miyake SS16
maven46-Pleats Please-ss16-trend-Stella McCartney
Stella McCartney SS16

Monday to Friday:

Perhaps the easiest way to wear pleats is in the form of a pleated midi skirt. From metallics to florals and bright pops of colour, the pleated midi comes in a range of styles. Victoria Beckham’s pleated check midi will add a pop of colour to your 9-5 look, worn with a pair of lace up flats or mid-heels and a crisp cotton blouse this skirt will be a key player in your work wear wardrobe this season. If check is not your thing go for a pleated skirt in a plain colour and dress it up with a printed or floral blouse, this Mango version nails the off-the-shoulder trend too so you’re mastering two trends in one look. This outfit would work well with a pair of lace-up sandals for a fail-proof summer look, but if your office doesn’t approve of open toe shoes go for a pair of black leather loafers instead. If you are a more subtle dresser but still want in on this trend, why not try a shirt dress with pleated detailing like this one from DKNY. Wear with a pair of platform loafers or brogues and a minimal accessories for a no fuss summer office look.

maven46-pleats please-ss16-trend

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Weekend Wear

Pleats for the weekend can be worn in a range of ways as shown in the three looks below. For a casual weekend look style a pleated midi skirt with a bardot top and simple slides to let the skirt do the talking by day, and for night swap the striped skirt for a metallic style and pair with strappy heels instead. This Mango dip-dye pleated dress is an ideal look for both sunny days and special occasions, taking you from Saturday evening drinks to summer weddings- the perfect look for those who sway away from traditional occasion wear. Worn with deep brown and gold accessories this look promises ultimate summer vibes. The real winner of the season though is the introduction of pleated trousers, a new take on the trend which you can find at Topshop, Issey Miyake and Proenza Schouler among others. The cropped styles that Topshop currently have are perfect for an on-trend daytime look worn with slip-on trainers and a printed t-shirt like this Marni one.

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So whether you’re looking for an outfit for work or play, shop some of our favourite pleated pieces of the season below.