I recently got this bright pink pleated dress. I love how classic the style is, yet the bold color makes it so perfect for spring. Pleats are such a classic style and definitely a wardrobe staple. I can still remember a teal pleated skirt I had back in the mid-2000s. It’s one of those pieces that always made me feel so special. Now, I can’t recall why I got rid of it, but it was about time to add a new pleated piece to my wardrobe. This pink pleated dress is definitely a piece I will break out any time I want to feel pretty.
What are Pleats?
A pleat is folded fabric that is created by doubling fabric and folding it upon itself. Some pleats are pressed or ironed so they have sharp creases. Other pleats are folded more loosely and fall into soft folds. Pleats are used in both clothes and upholstery. There are many different styles of pleats including the box, accordion, fluted, kick, etc. You can read more about pleat styles here.
History of Pleats & Pleated Dresses
Believe it or not, pleats date back to ancient Egypt. Egyptians used pleating in their tunics. Back then, they used only natural fabrics including silk, wool, and cotton. All pleating was done by hand, so it was seen as a symbol of power and wealth. Pleating remained popular in the Elizabethan era. I’m sure you’ve seen images of aristocrats with those pleated adorned collars, known as a ruff. In the UK, pleats have been a wardrobe staple in Scottish kilts. Yet, historically, pleats extend much more broadly. In the Greek national guard, they wear fustanella, which is similar to the Scottish kilt, which dates back to the 3rd century BC.
The pleats we know today, the permanent pleat that is sewn into place, were developed after WWII. There have been a lot of advances in clothing production which makes pleating much simpler. If you want to learn more about pleats, this article is great.
How to Style a Pleated Dress
Most of the pleated dresses I feature below are quite dressy. I would say that a pleated midi dress, like mine, is perfect for a professional work environment or for an evening affair. Some of the dresses could also work for a daytime wedding. All of the dresses will look best with heels because they are knee-length or longer. If you wear flats, it will make you look shorter, so I would suggest a 3-inch heel or higher. Strappy sandals are always a great choice because they are more flattering for your leg line, especially when wearing a long dress.
Since I styled my dress as a work look, I topped it with a long ivory trench. I thought the look needed the long jacket to break up the bright color. My dress is definitely an attention-getter, so I felt more comfortable toning down the bright color with the jacket. I chose to pair mine with suede heels because I wanted a neutral shoe since the dress is so bright. I also chose a neutral light pink bag that goes with the pink while being quite subtle. Since other accessories were pretty neutral, I went with a bold gold chain link earring.
If you’re looking for more spring fashion, click here.