Archive for Monday, August 15, 2011


Mass St. Chic: Pleats take stage in lightweight fabrics

August 15, 2011


A pleat is a pleat, right? Wrong. Pleats are a construction tool that can lead to incredible elegance in a garment; however, for fall 2011, not just any old pleat will do.


Look for whimsical, lightweight pleated garments for fall 2011. Avoid your typical cotton or wool, schoolgirl pleated skirts; instead, opt for fabrics like silk and tulle. Also, look for a floor-length, semi-sheer pleated skirt. This length and weight is perfect for late summer and early fall dressing. The long hemline is elegant, and the light fabric is ethereal and youthful — not to say a pleated skirt is age-restrictive! A long, pleated skirt is sophisticated and appropriate for women of all ages.

Fall 2011 fashion from designer Jill Stuart is modeled during Fashion Week Feb. 12, 2011, in New York.

Fall 2011 fashion from designer Jill Stuart is modeled during Fashion Week Feb. 12, 2011, in New York.

On-trend pleats:

For all clothing pieces this fall, knife pleats and sunray pleats are the most in-style. Knife pleats, the simpler of the two, are singular, one-direction folds. Sunray pleats, on the other hand, start with small folds that gather the fabric, gradually widening toward the bottom of the garment to release more fabric. A sunray pleat creates a gorgeous, flowing effect from the top down. They are perfect on simple, monochrome dresses — the fitted, tailored pleats on top turn slowly into full, feminine swirly skirts below.

Styling your pleated pieces:

While the weather is still warm, shorter-length pleated dresses are breezy and fun. Pair an above-the-knee, pleated skirt with a crop-top, platform pumps and a straw fedora for an edgy, summery look. Boxy shirts and blouses are a fun shape to pair with a pleated skirt, their wide shape contrasted by the vertical pleats of a skirt. As temperatures start to change, above-the-knee pleated skirts can be paired with tights, and floor-length skirts look great with socks and wedges. For a dressy look, a fitted blazer and metallic blouse are easy, in-style tops. For a more urban, rocker look, pair your pleated skirt with boots and a motorcycle jacket.

For more styling ideas, check out pleated garments on the runway.

l At Jill Stuart Fall 2011, the designer showcased a fabulous, color-blocked pleated dress. Beige, black, coral and gold were combined to create the ankle-length dress.

l The Chanel Fall 2011 Collection incorporates black, pleated trousers. Some are worn with long, fitted blazers and heavily textured, feminine tops.

l Additionally, Vera Wang’s Fall 2011 collection includes a nude, dress with tons of pleated construction. This dress in particular is amazing — despite all of the manipulated fabric, the garment looks easy and dreamy.

— Caitlin Donnelly can be reached at


Wadde 6 years, 8 months ago

"Pleats collect dirt from city air life especially downtown" try using scotch guard on your pleats to wash away city dirt with ease.

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