Style File: Playful Pleats

One spring trend that is popping to the top is playful pleats. But the bulky
box pleat is out – this season it’s all about the mini pleat! In today’s style
file Studio 5 fashion contributor Heidi Allen shows us how to pull off the
pleated look.

When you think of pleats you may think of heavy fabrics, school girl skirts,
and maybe even your grandmother’s fashion. But this spring and summer a
smaller, more feminine pleat is all the rage. They’re slim, chic, classy,
feminine and romantic, and as a bonus they’re made from lightweight
fabrics. With this new style of delicate pleats, you will find just how
versatile they really are.

There are few things to note when wearing pleats. Pleats act as a spotlight
on your figure and draw attention wherever they are. Pleats will accentuate
and add dimension, but not bulk. Make sure you wear your pleats to create
balanced proportions.

Go Bold On Top

If you have a smaller upper half, narrow shoulders and maybe even a small
chest, wear your pleats on top. Pick a lightweight fabric that will flatter your
figure. Make sure you balance out the volume with a tighter pant. Again,
the pleats are not meant to add bulk, but instead character and dimension
to your outfit. Another fun way to wear a pleat is over a fitted top. Note the
pleated shrug compliments a fitted tank underneath. This laid back look is
paired with a wide-leg pant to add a 70’s feel to the ensemble.

Purple Pleated Chiffon Top, Dillards, $30.80
Pink Flouncy Shrug, Forever 21, $22.80

Balance Out The Bottom

Wearing pleats below are for women with an apple shape. If you have broad
shoulders you can add pleats to your lower half to balance out your
features and accentuate the smaller part of your body. Two things to note
with pleated skirts: wear the pleats below the hips, or above the hips. If you
are going for the look below the hips, a slimming wide band will help
elongate your torso. The pleats can start below the band, adding some
structure and character to your outfit. If you want to start the pleats above
your hips, make sure you accentuate your waist. A tight band around your
waist, with free flowing accordion pleats help elongate your body and glide
over your hips with ease.

Blue Pattern Skirt, Nordstrom, $198
Grey Pleated Chiffon Skirt, H & M, $17.95

Head-To-Toe Folds

If you’re brave enough to wear pleats head-to-toe, a pleated dress is the
way to go. A pleat dress works best on a more boyish figure – straight up
and down. The best way to find your figure through the pleats is to add a
fun belt to your natural waist. But, you can find dresses that have pleats
just on the bottom, or pleats just on the top, and those would work with a
variety of shapes and figures.

Green Pleated Dress, Dillards, $48

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