How to pull off pleats

Pair micro pleats made of soft materials with a plain top for understated sexiness

Pleats are a pain to iron, but a joy to wear.

The trend this season is to wear micro pleats, as opposed to structured and wide ones, and in soft materials such as chiffon and silk.

The soft material will drape beautifully on your body and swish dramatically as you walk, as seen on the Spring Summer 2016 runways of high-end fashion labels such as Christopher Kane, Sonia Rykiel and Altuzarra.

As American fashion designer Michael Kors puts it, it is sexy in a subtle way.

Here are some tips on wearing pleats:


• Pleats are commonly associated with skirts or pinafores worn by schoolgirls. To avoid that look, make sure the hemline of your skirt or dress falls past your knees.

• Take inspiration from Gucci's boy-meets-girl look: contrast the soft drapes of a pleated skirt with a sweater top or slim-fit knit polo shirt.

• Layer a long pleated skirt underneath a shorter tunic and let the pleats peek out. Not all tops need to be tucked in at the waistband.

• Keep it simple. An easy way to wear the trend is to pair a pleated skirt with a plain T-shirt. Wearing a top with details such as drapes, frills or texture can look messy.

1. Striped lurex silk-blend skirt, $2,610, from Gucci

This shiny skirt is great for parties, but it works just as well for everyday wear - pair it with a plain top and brogues.

2. White jumpsuit with pleated bottom, $209, from Collate

This jumpsuit can be dressed up and down with the right accessories. Pair it with peep-toe ankle boots and an armful of bangles for an edgy look.

3. Pleated Cayla skirt, $189.90, from Sabrina Goh

Go for a full-on monochrome look with this black-and-white pleated skirt, or pair it with primarycoloured separates for a different look.

4. Orange pleated curved hem dress, $179, from Warehouse

Lift your mood with this brightly coloured dress. Pair it with white shoes and accessories to make the colour pop even more.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2016, with the headline 'Pleasing pleats'. Subscribe