Spring is the time we shed weighty coats and boots for airy cottons, linens and silks. And in this year's crop of spring and summer collections for women, you'll see many of these lighter fabrics folded into playful pleats on maxi halter dresses, sheer blouses and short skirts.
So forget about the dowdy, school-uniform-skirt kind of pleats. These silhouettes are all about dimension and movement.
The French fashion house Chloé showed a spring collection filled with easy accordion pleats on sheer blouses, sleeveless draped dresses, skirts and halter tops. Colors ranged from a soft minty green to chic corals. Outfits were accented with jaunty nude-colored hip-slung belts.
At Celine too, models sauntered down the runway in sheer drop-waist pleated skirts featuring simple button-up sleeveless blouses or crisp graphic sweaters paired with platform pumps and wide white belts worn at the hips.
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Color comes into play with a vibrant drop-waist dress — another spring trend — from the label Ali Ro, featuring a pleated skirt. And in May, look for a pretty, maxi nude-colored pleated skirt from Ann Taylor, perfect for pairing with a simple white top for an easy summer look.
Pleats add interest to shorter styles, too. The Jason Wu Collection at Target has modern details such as sheer panels and floral prints paired with pleated mini skirts and shifts in thigh-grazing lengths.
As for accessories, besides a hip-slung belt, consider eye-popping platforms to pair with these modern pieces.