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How to Wear Pleats

With pleats, you are bound to find a type that flatters your body shape.

With pleats, you are bound to find a type that flatters your body shape. Whether it is the sharp knife pleat or the much more subtle accordion one, don’t give up just yet. There’s a type of pleats meant just for you!

Read our handy guide to find out how to wear four different kinds of pleats:

Knife Pleat

When wearing knife pleats, it is better to keep things classy and end up with an ensemble that you can easily wear to work. However, don’t wear them to work too often, so the look is even more eye-catching when you do break out these pleats!

For knife pleats, pair them with something that will not detract attention from your bottom half. That means you can create an ensemble with a chambray shirt of simple make and color.

Black knife pleated skirts look even more elegant than other colors would and can be worn with almost anything due to their high degree of versatility. Avoid opting for a layered look with your knife pleats.

Tall ladies should keep things as simple as they can manage. Therefore, if you are going to be wearing a maxi skirt, then pair it with a simple shirt for a sweet look. Your accessories should be minimal and not chunky enough to draw eyes away from the pleats.

Here are some more amazing ideas that you can with your knife-pleated skirts:

  1. Grab a mini skirt in a bright color, such as turquoise, and pair it with a printed blouse. Pull on a white jacket and a pair of boots with pointed ends for an awesome outfit.
  2. If you love wearing stripes, then wear it in the form of a midi skirt. Add to it a black simple top, a white blazer, and pointed-toe pumps to complete the look.
  3. Another look involves a chic outfit that you can pull off by pairing a high waist mini pleated skirt with a sleeveless printed top.

Box Pleat

Box pleats remind most people of the private school uniforms to be taken seriously. However, it could be that you haven’t yet come across the box pleat that is perfect for you!

If you want to deviate from the schoolgirl look, then you can do so by choosing a midi skirt that looks elegant enough to be worn to a cocktail party. If you don’t like the muted shades, then there are metallic tones for you to enjoy. Box pleats are also available in plaid for women who like adding quirky to their outfit.

Keep in mind that you will need to take some care while ironing out your box pleated skirt. If you focus on getting that done right, then you will be ready to wear the skirt as part of a smart, official looking outfit.

If formal is what you are going for, choose a box pleated skirt that is modestly long. It will not only look official, you will also be able to wear it to work comfortably.

In summers, you can pair your box-pleated skirt with tank top for a summery look. Alternatively, if it isn’t too hot, then go for a tee shirt, tucking half of it in, and complete the look with a pair of cute sandals.

When the mornings get cooler, then you can pair your box-pleated skirt with a denim or cargo jacket. The peep toe sandals can be substituted for booties in colder weather. You can also pull on a cardigan, if the weather gets chilly.

Accordion Pleat

Accordion pleats are so named because the folds are thin like an accordion (the musical instrument). Instead of the formal look that the box pleats bring with them or the sharper one—courtesy of the knife pleats— these subtle pleats simply give your outfit that extra swirl!

However, if you feel like jazzing things up a bit yet not have to wear knife pleats, then you can achieve that look with accordion pleats too. Simply, pick a skirt that is a metallic color or is made from leather and you will stand out in most crowds. If you don’t like those choices, then you can dress in a completely monochromatic outfit and watch the pleats steal the show!

Keep in mind though that if we were to pick a pleat that it is the hardest to pull off, then we’d put the accordion pleat on top. After all, it is the pleat that you will find most on the fashion runways of the world.

The reason behind the extreme popularity of the accordion pleat is that it can create an illusion of volume without seeming too bulky.

The idea is to focus all eyes on your waist and make it look amazing when wearing accordion pleats. Accentuating the waist involves keeping the skirt on the slimmest part of your waist. Next, put on a belt so that the waistband becomes the highlight of the whole ensemble.

Lastly, no matter what your body shape, any shirt that you pair with these pleats needs to be tucked into your skirt. You can end up looking shapeless and boxed, if you forget to do so!

Crystal Pleat

Identifying crystal pleats is easy enough, if you know what you’re looking for are extremely fine pleats. They are pressed sharply so they won’t project outwards and overlap just as you see the pleats on a vertical blinds doing.

If you want a graceful look, then try pairing your crystal pleats with a good blouse and modest pumps. Choose a neutral color for the skirt, so that you can comfortably wear it to work. The blouse should be silk to balance the delicate look that comes from the chiffon skirts.

If you don’t want to go down the formal look, then you can wear the skirt with a tank top and a pair of sandals. If you want a look that isn’t too casual yet not beach wear either, then go for a white collared shirt with your skirt and enjoy the weekend looking amazingly classy but not stuffy.

Crystal pleated skirts are another favorite of the fashion experts because they can be worn in all seasons. Their versatile nature makes them a staple in every fashionista’s wardrobe. Here are a few more ways to wear them right and look gorgeous:


For a look that works well during the daytime, you can wear your leather crystal-pleated skirt with a silk blouse and over-the-knee boots. Hang some sparkle in your ear and make a statement!


After-dark means that you can let your sensuous side out. Wear faux fur with your leather crystal-pleated skirt. Pull on a jacket and complete the look with stilettos.

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