How to Style a Pleated Skirt

The pleated skirt trend is one you definitely won’t want to miss this season. With its longer length and cinched waist the popular pleated maxi skirt flatters all figures, creating a womanly silhouette. Because we love this pretty, pleated trend, we’ve rounded up our favorite pleated skirt outfits from street style, to give you ideas for how to wear a pleated skirt now, for so many different occasions. Also included are tips for taking your look to the next level, with accessory advice and tips for how to style this feminine fashion trend.

With a Striped Blazer

Woman in striped jacket and purple pleated skirt
Christian Vierig/Getty Images 

Wearing a pencil skirt with a blazer? Obviously fashionable. But wearing a trendy pastel pleated skirt with a matching t-shirt and an oversized striped blazer? That’s next level fashion genius — and a cute going out outfit, when you want to show up in something a bit unexpected. So why not skip the little black dress for your next evening out, and put together a fresh, fashionable outfit in a colorful pleated skirt and a matching top, with a long striped jacket or cardigan layered over top, as pictured here.

Styling Tip: White accessories, such as the purse and ankle boots worn by this street style influencer, are a fresh choice when your outfit is already colorful, and they feel fresher than black for summertime.

Layered Pastels

Pastels are a huge fashion trend this season and a pretty, pale pink pleated skirt could be easily matched with a white or black top. But we love this street style star’s idea of pairing a soft pink maxi skirt with a baby blue blouse, for a gentle clash of pastels that reminds us of bubblegum ice cream.

Styling Tip: To take an outfit in pastels from sweet to sophisticated, pay attention to your accessories. A designer (or designer look) leather purse is a smart choice for dressing up this girlish outfit with a skirt.

Wear a Crisp White Shirt

Woman wearing white shirt and pleated skirt street style
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images 

French girls (and fashion editors worldwide) know that true style often involves contrast. Think of how an expensive purse can elevate an otherwise basic outfit in jeans, or the way a boyfriend blazer can instantly make a pretty lace dress feel more cool and edgy. Pleated skirts are feminine by nature, so they’re perfectly suited to matching up with boy-inspired tops. Here, a menswear-style white button-down shirt, done in a sheer summer fabric, makes a polished counterpoint to a swingy pleated maxi skirt in muted hues.

Styling Tip: When you mix girlish and boyish pieces in the same outfit, you’ll always look stylish by keeping your accessories on the feminine side. Here, this year’s super trendy pointed sunglasses, and sexy ankle boots, add polish and trendiness.

Back In Black

Woman wearing black top and black pleated maxi skirt with colorful silk scarf
Christian Vierig/Getty Images 

You may think of the long pleated skirt as a frilly, feminine style. You can absolutely style a black pleated maxi skirt to look sophisticated and fierce, though, when you wear it with a matching black top, as pictured here. This outfit would work for so many occasions, from creative job interviews and client presentations, to art gallery hopping and cocktail events.

Styling Tip: Adding a pop of color to an all-black outfit is not only fashionable—it can be your face’s best friend. Wake up your complexion with a pretty silk scarf in a hue that you love, tied artfully around your neck.

Red and Pink Outfit

Red and pink outfit for women with a pleated skirt
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images 

Wearing red and pink together was once considered a fashion don’t. Now, it’s one of this year’s trendiest color combinations, showing up all over fashion blogs and in street style photos. Here’s how to wear the pink and red trend with a pleated skirt, by matching a long red skirt with an easy cotton top in candy pink.

Styling Tip: Pink and red together are a lot of color—so don’t confuse your look by adding more. Black accessories are best with this fashionable clash of colors.

Wear Head to Toe Color

Woman wearing green top and green pleated maxi skirt
Jared Siskin/Getty Images 

Pleated skirts are often colorful, making them a great choice for styling into a head-to-toe outfit in a single color. Take a look at how cute and eye-catching this can be, as pictured here. A slim, lime green sweater is tucked into a bottle green pleated maxi skirt, for a trendy outfit that is sure to turn heads.

Styling Tip: Want to dress to balance a fuller bottom half? Try wearing a top in a slighter lighter shade than your skirt, as shown on this street style star, to pull attention upward on your figure, for a more balanced overall look. A higher waisted skirt is also super flattering on a pear shape body type.

Add Pattern With a Coat

Street style woman in green pleated skirt and patterned coat
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images 

Do you like the idea of one color dressing, but crave more excitement in your outfits? The easiest way to add visual interest is with a great coat in an eye-catching pattern. Here, a classic three quarter length coat in a tropical leaves print makes this outfit look both more fun, and more expensive.

Styling Tip: Matchy-matchy shoes are suddenly back in style. Look at how adorable green boots look with the green pleated skirt on this street style star.

Wear a Denim Jacket and Pleated Skirt

Woman wearing a denim vest and pleated white skirt
Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images 

The denim jacket is an essential in most women’s wardrobes. This versatile closet piece is perfect for dressing down fancy skirts, and making them feel more fresh and modern. Here, a sleeveless denim jacket is layered over a pretty, striped pleated skirt, for an easy summer outfit that’s no harder to style than a simple t-shirt and jeans, but looks so much more pulled together.

Styling Tip: Adding a pretty silk scarf to this outfit instantly takes it from basic weekend wear, to date worthy look.

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