What To Wear With A Pleated Skirt

Pleated skirts are comfortable yet feminine and can be worn nearly all year long. They have been a wardrobe staple for years because of their soft and feminine charm. You may wonder exactly how to best style this popular clothing piece, so we have compiled all the best pleated skirt looks just for you.

Pleated skirts come in various materials, lengths, and colors or prints. They are typically worn in the following styles:

  • Casual
  • Athletic
  • Professional
  • Chic
  • Boho
  • Alternative

Extremely versatile, a pleated skirt can be easily worn in a multitude of ways.

To properly style a pleated skirt, a few tips and tricks work particularly well depending on which look you are trying to achieve. Tops, footwear, and accessories are all important and can define the entire look when wearing a pleated skirt.

Woman posing in sweater with pearls and pleated skirt, What To Wear With A Pleated Skirt

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Popular Ways to Wear a Pleated Skirt

1. Casual

Romantic girl in long gown sitting by the window

A pleated skirt can have a great casual look, perfect for summer get-togethers. Typically longer, these skirts are light and airy and allow for airflow in the hotter months. Aside from being comfortable, they can look relaxed yet stylish.

How do you wear a pleated skirt casually?

To keep it looking casual, go with a sleeveless top or tee that is simple in color and design. Basic black, white, and other neutrals look great paired with a more interesting skirt. Patterns like small floral prints, stripes, and polka dots are lovely and can add a pop of color to your look and work well for summer socials.

On your feet, opt for a flat sandal or wedge. Strappy sandals that expose most of the foot go well with this look and remain cohesive with the billowy, beach vibe of the skirt. If you find a pair with more simple strapwork, you can even add an ankle bracelet for a cute and dainty accessory.

What can I wear with a pleated skirt in the summer?

Casual is a great way to go when dressing in a skirt during hot summer months. Skirts are light and airy, allowing the wearer to keep cool. A thinner cotton, linen, or chiffon pleated skirt works great for a day at the beach or a family barbeque. Keep to sandals and exposed shoulders to complete the look. A large sunhat can also be a functional but fashionable accessory.

2. Athletic

To look a bit more sporty in a pleated skirt, go for short and high-waisted white, black, or brightly colored. A pinstripe around the skirt looks nice and sticks to the sporty nature of the bottom. Tennis skirts and skorts can be a great pleated skirt look. Match with an athletic top, like a sports bra, tight-fitting crop top, or tight tee.

Click here to view this Werena pleated skirt on Amazon.

What do you wear with high-waisted pleated skirts?

High-waisted pleated skirts of all lengths have a bit more of an active or tucked-in look to them. The top under a high-waisted pleated skirt should always be fully tucked in to highlight the smaller waist defined by the skirt's top. Keep the shirt tight to the body, no loose or billowy tops unless the waist is so high it can be worn at the top of the ribcage, just under the chest like an empire cut.

Pair short high waisted pleated skirts with tennis shoes for an athletic look. White or black look nice, sometimes with a pop of neon on the shoe's logo or design can look stylish but functional. Slip-on flats like boat shoes can also add a casual but active look to a shorter pleated skirt.

3. Professional

Slim attractive woman wearing full length black skirt and yellow blouse in fitting room

To wear a pleated skirt in a professional setting, keep the skirt length below the knees. A darker or thicker fabric can look nice and be worn in cooler months with tights as well. Wear a chiffon blouse with a signature detail, like a tie front, ruffles, or unique collar to add a touch of glamour while keeping it classy.

For footwear, consider a black, white, or nude flat or heel in warmer months. Wear pantyhose underneath in cooler months and tights in winter. Stylish boots, like suede ankle boots, can be worn with a pleated skirt in the winter. For more ideas on when and how to wear tights, click here.

On the top, again, if you are in a work setting, be sure to keep the majority of your shoulders covered, but consider a larger open lace pattern or tops with a front or back keyhole. If you are showing off your shoulders or arms, make sure the chest area and neckline are reasonably well-covered for particularly professional settings.

Click here to view this Romwe sleeveless top on Amazon.

4. Chic

Part of a black pleated skirt and black shoes

For a night out, a simple short black pleated skirt with heels can look super chic. Dark purple, emerald green, and red velvet pleated skirts look particularly high fashion as well. When showing this much leg, you might want to consider wearing nylons unless it is in the hottest months of summer.

What top goes with a pleated short skirt?

Nylons in black, lace, or patterns work well to add some detail to the look. Just make sure to keep them relatively simple. Your legs should be the eye-catcher, not some wild print on your tights. Keep your heels simple but tall. Solid colored stilettos look best.

Click here to see these Dream Pair faux suede stiletto heels on Amazon.

For a top, tight or a little revealing is not going to be devastating to this style. A bit more skin adds to the glam look of the entire outfit. Lace, exposed shoulders, and v-necklines look sexy and sleek. For more pointers on how to wear a lace top, click here.

To remain classy and covered when there are large groups of people or in between venues, pair with a sharp black or charcoal gray blazer or wool coat if it's colder out. Hair can be worn up or down but pulled back into a sleek low bun always looks great with this style.

Click here to view this Sheln lace top on Amazon.

5. Boho

Woman posing in sweater with pearls

A long pleated skirt can work great as a part of the bohemian style. This look is typically a bit eclectic and can vary wildly. It's more about going with your intuition on how to achieve a bohemian look. Long, wavy, natural hair and sandals work well with this look.

What looks good with a long pleated skirt?

Bright colors and fun accessories can be worn with a long pleated skirt; make sure not to have too many clashing colors or patterns. Generally, two different patterns are more than enough to achieve a boho look. Diverse and interesting textures are also encouraged. A velvet or silk skirt with a cashmere sweater or scarf can look beautiful and unique.

Add a large-brimmed hat for sunny days and to compliment the overall look of a long pleated skirt. Other accessories like dangly jewelry can look nice with this style as well. Make sure to wear an earth-toned fragrance like a floral or musk and natural-looking makeup to achieve the full effect.

Click here to see this Furtalk woven sun hat on Amazon.

6. Alternative

Attractive young woman wearing blazer and pleated skirt

To grunge up a pleated skirt, opt for a simple top and tennis shoes or flats. Wear a printed tee or solid-colored top with a leather jacket or dark blazer. Studs and rhinestones can bring a little punk to your style, and bright lipstick or dark eye makeup helps bring it all together.

A longer or more feminine pleated skirt paired with boyfriend tops and shoes is a cool mix. Sporty or rocker meets dainty and feminine to create a look that comes off as edgy and on-trend. If you overdo the dark colors, leather, and rocker girl accessories, however, the look can become quickly overwhelmed and may seem outdated.

Drop a hint of feminine charm by using a lighter color, like pink or yellow, and wearing dainty jewelry. Feel free to go all out on the hair by incorporating braids and buns or a combination of both. Glitters on clothes, in hair, or on the body can be used sparingly as well to add a little shine. Stick to silver grommets, studs, and accessories.

Click here to view this Milumia pleated mini-skirt on Amazon.

Can you wear boots with a pleated skirt?

Boots can be worn casually with long pleated skirts in colder months but can also be worn with shorter pleated skirts to obtain a more alternative look. A dark-colored chunky boot, like steel-toed or combat, can look great with this style. Some women opt to wear knee-high boots paired with a vintage graphic tee and jacket.

Pleated Skirts Are Versatile And Fun

Pleated skirts come in so many cuts and colors that they can be worn in just about any style, making them a great addition to any wardrobe. Comfortable, flowy, and fun; pleated skirts work well nearly all year long and can be paired with different accessories to be styled however you like.

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