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You are probably wondering whether or not pleated skirts are suited for everyone. Then, you have come to the right place. We’ve looked into what style experts have to say when it comes to pairing body types with pleats, so you’ll know exactly how to choose your next skirt for that eye-popping look.
Pleated skirts do suit everyone; you just need to know which one will look best with your body. Of the many ways to accentuate your body’s features, using pleats can be flattering for many body types.
Keep reading to learn more about wearing pleated skirts. You will learn whether or not pear shapes should wear pleated skirts and if apple shapes can wear pleated skirts. We’ll discuss how to wear a pleated skirt with your stomach and how to rock a pleated skirt when you are over 50 years old.
Everything You Should Know About Pleats
Pleated skirts are stylish for any occasion. Pleats are folds of fabric that are stitched either at the top or bottom and sometimes both. The stitching holds the fabric in place to give off a specific look that pleated skirts provide. Incorporating this sewing technique into fabric adds volume to what would otherwise be flat.
In some instances, pleats are pressed along the whole piece of fabric from top to bottom. In other cases, pleats are only pressed at the top of the fabric. You want your fabric to be hemmed before adding pleats.
Clothes are not the only instance where you will see pleats. Sometimes the pleated fabric is used for the corners of a couch and the top of curtains. Pleats add a fun sense of style. The best way to get pleats to remain after washing is to use permanent press fabric or by stitching the top of them down.
Cotton, wool, and silk are optimal for holding pleats when pressed. Permanent press fabric tends to hold pleats best. You have to consider the weight of your fabric when thinking about if it will hold pleats.
There are flat pleats, soft pleats, and open pleats. Flat pleats, also known as knife pleats, are most commonly used around the waistband of skirts. These are handmade pleats that are firmly pressed and all facing one direction. Usually, these pleats have one side longer than the other.
Softly folded pleats do not have defined folded lines. Soft pleats are folded in such a way that they connect into the seam but lose their definition as they move away from the seam. Open pleats are loose pleats. These are sewn into the waistband and are not ideal for thicker body types.
Types of Pleats
There are several different types of pleats:
- Box pleat
- Inverted pleat
- Kick pleat
- Knife pleat
- Accordion pleat
- Pintuck pleat
The Box Pleat
Box pleats are folded outward. This type of pleating is seen more often in curtains and for other projects rather than for skirts. They can be used for skirts to suit certain body types, though. Box pleats can be single or double-layered. When box pleats are close together, they form inverted pleats in between them. Box pleats are made by pressing fabric outwards at equal distances.
The Inverted Pleat
Inverted pleats are secured at the top of the fabric instead of being pressed all the way down. Many dresses and skirts are made using inverted pleats. The fabric underneath the pleats is typically the same, but an insert can be used to add a pop of color. Unlike the box pleat, the inverted pleat is folded in rather than out.
The Kick Pleat
Kick pleats are actually a type of inverted pleats. Kick pleats are often used on tight skirts to help you be able to walk. When tight skirts fall below the knee, you need pleats or a slit to be able to take a more normal step than one of a few inches. Kick pleats are often pressed into the back of the skirt with a small slit at the bottom in the middle.
The Knife Pleat
Knife pleats all face the same direction and can be either large or small pleats. These are most commonly used for skirts. Knife pleats can be sewn into the waistband or they can begin below the hips. Knife pleats are pressed completely down.
The Accordion Pleat
Accordion pleats are evenly spaced and are often used for dresses and skirts. These are used in fabric considered to be permanent press. This is so that the accordion pleat can extend all the way down to the hem of the skirt.
The Pintuck Pleat
Pintuck pleats are small pleats. These are typically seen as decorative pleats. Pintuck pleats are stitched along the entire length of the fabric. The name pintuck comes from pintuck pleats being only the width of a pin. Instead of adding volume the way that other pleats do, pintuck pleats add texture to the fabric and give the fabric definition in a different kind of way.
Tuxedo shirts are a perfect example of a pintuck pleat. Pintuck pleats are sewn in different directions in order to create a three-dimensional look. These end up appearing to be tiny folded pleats. When they are sewn close together, you can not see the stitching.
Can pear shapes wear pleated skirts?
Pear shapes can certainly wear pleated skirts. The best way to elongate your silhouette is to choose narrow pleats instead of box pleats. Heels will also help elongate your silhouette. If you have a pear-shaped body, a pleated skirt will likely make you appear to be slimmer. They take the focus off of your hips and help give you a flattering appearance, giving your body definition.
Can Apple shapes wear pleated skirts?
Apple shapes can absolutely wear pleated skirts. Knee-length pleated pencil skirts look best with apple-shaped bodies. The skirt’s pleats should start below where your belly is with the goal of not making you appear to be bigger. You can disguise your mid-section by wearing knife pleats to highlight the curves of your body. Knife pleats provide a look that does not focus on volume.
How do you wear a pleated skirt with your stomach?
If you want to hide your belly and make your figure appear slimmer, pleats with a wide drop waist are for you. Pleated skirts provide a flowy feel. Stitch-down pleats usually lay more flat than other types of pleated skirts, which pairs well with a larger stomach. Stitch-down pleats help to give off a slimming effect.
Are pleated skirts flattering?
Yes, the well-known vertical style of pleated skirts is flattering universally. A pleated skirt can be worn for a casual look, as part of a work outfit, or for an occasion where you want to dress up.
If you have an hourglass shape, accordion-style pleats work great. Accordion pleats, which have long vertical lines, will help show off your figure. The accordion pleats are typically fuller through the hips, which helps accentuate the hourglass body type.
How to wear a pleated skirt over 50?
Pleated skirts that fall below the knee are the best look for women over 50 years old. You can choose a floral print, paisley, checkered, or plain fabric for your skirt. Whatever suits your favorite style. Lighter fabrics tend to drape the body rather than making it appear bulkier.
Wide drop waists help to flatten the belly and slim you down. Wide pleats go best with wide hips, and pleats that extend from the top to the bottom of the skirt will help elongate your figure.
Other Tips and Tricks About Pleated Skirts for Your Body type
If you have short legs, choose a pleated skirt with a higher hemline. When the hemline is higher in the middle and the length is shorter than your knees, your legs will not appear to be as short as they actually are.
A curvy figure matches best with a light, flowing fabric. When your pleated skirt flows more easily, it does not gather at your hips and helps elongate your figure.
Wearing your shirt tucked in will make your waistline stand out. Both t-shirts and blouses are tucked in to create a slimming effect. That is one reason pleated skirts are a favorite amongst many.
One style of tops to wear with pleated skirts is plain t-shirts or v-necks. Neutral colors, bright colors, and detailed prints all look good with pleated skirts. Blouses are another type of shirt that goes great with pleated skirts. Tightly fitted sweaters can also be rocked with pleated skirts.
Pleated skirts are a universal favorite. Pleated skirts suit everyone as long as you choose the right type for your body. Some help to give an illusion of your body being lengthened; others accentuate your waist. Think about your body type when choosing the best kind of pleated skirt for you.
Before you go, check out the following links to gain more knowledge about your favorite styles: