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.

01
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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.

02
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Layered Pastels

Woman wearing blue blouse and pink pleated skirt

Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images

 

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.

03
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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.

04
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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.

05
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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.

06
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Wear Head to Toe Color

Woman wearing green top and green pleated maxi skirt

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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.

07
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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.

08
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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.

09
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Corset Style Top and Pleated Skirt

Woman wearing corset style top and yellow pleated skirt

Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

 

There are times when you don't need to look formal or overly fancy, but it's important to stand out from the crowd. We're thinking of first dates, or swank parties where you're meeting your sweetie's friends. Here's an amazing street style outfit that is fairly easy to pull together, and is sexy and eye catching in the best way, without any need to show skin. Copy this fashion influencer and layer a corset style top over a basic white t-shirt, tucking them into the waistband of a long, colorful, accordion pleated maxi skirt. We love the bright gold style seen here.

Styling Tip: This outfit is shown with sneakers, which are undeniably cool and young looking. For a dressier look, though, you could also wear this look with strappy black high heel sandals, or even flat black gladiators with ribbon ties around the ankle.

10
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Blue and Mauve

Woman wearing blue sweater and purple pleated skirt for street style fashion

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

 

Moody blues and bruised purples have a sophisticated vibe that can make you look dressed up, even when you're wearing basics. Take a look at this easy, stylish outfit, and you'll see what we mean. A soft blue sweater makes a pretty companion here or a lavender pleated skirt. You could wear this outfit to art gallery openings, cocktails, dinner parties, and evening dates.

Styling Tip: Metallic accessories help a simple outfit to look more expensive. Go for the gold in gleaming high heel shoes and a statement necklace, as pictured here.

11
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Printed Blouse With a Maxi Skirt

Street style fashion woman in a colorful pleated skirt

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

 

Color blocking continues to be fashionable, and this multi-tonal skirt is right on trend. When you're thinking about how to style a pleated skirt in multiple colors, such as this one, we suggest choosing a color from your skirt, and trying on a top in that color. Whether your chosen shirt is printed (as seen here) or a solid color, the matching shades on top and bottom will to create an outfit that's pulled together. We really like this outfit for creative offices, or for meeting your girlfriends for dinner.

Styling Tip: An outfit as bold as this one calls for substantial shoes. Skip the skinny stilettos and opt for a platform heel, a mule, or even an ankle boot.

12
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Leather Jacket and Pleated Skirt

Sophisticated outfit for women leather jacket and pleated skirt

Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

 

One of the most popular — and fashionable — ways to wear a pleated skirt now, is by layering a leather jacket over top. Don't feel like you have to stick to tough, moto style black leather jackets, though, if that's not your vibe. As seen here, a buttery leather jacket in a shade that's close to your skirt's color is a softer, more feminine way to add sophisticated edge to outfits.

Styling Tip: When your outfit is a harmony of beige, it does call for something that adds pizazz. A bag in an exotic animal print (either real or faux), as seen here, can add the right touch of visual interest to elevate your look.

13
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Wear a Sweatshirt With a Pleated Skirt

Street style fashion woman wearing a Gucci sweatshirt and pleated skirt

Christian Vierig/Getty Images

 

The athleisure trend is hot in fashion this year, and everyone from fashion bloggers to editors have taken to wearing gym basics such as track pants and sweatshirts to dressed up events. Meanwhile, designers at all levels are offering more cute casual wear, making it easy to find pieces that suit your style and wardrobe. Get inspired to wear sweats in your daily rotation by this fashion influencer, who has boldy paired a bright green, tiger adorned sweatshirt (it's a Gucci), with a pretty, slim red pleated skirt and high heel shoes, for every day wear.

Styling Tip: High-low fashion combinations can be more challenging to pull off than you might expect. A good formula to follow is, if your top is slouchy, your bottoms should be slim and streamlined. Fancy looking accessories also help to keep your outfit looking intentionally styled, and not sloppy.

14
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Checks Please

Woman wearing a gingham coat and top with a pleated skirt in orange and black

Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

 

Checkered prints and gingham are a fashion trend that super hot this year. Pairing checkered wardrobe pieces with the also super-trendy pleated skirt was an idea that had to happen. We love the eccentric outfit created by this street style star, which clashes stripes and checks in the most delightful way.

Styling Tip: When you're mixing prints and patterns, do try to find a common element to tie the pieces together, whether that's a color, a pattern, or the scale of different prints. Here, each piece has some black running through it, which is also stylishly underscored by the choice of black shoes.