Accordion pleats, box pleats, crystal pleats, knife pleats, sunray pleats…it’s safe to say that if I could choose a signature style or look for myself then it would have to be a pleated skirt or dress. There is something so soft & feminine about these pieces and I always feel super pretty wearing them. My adoration of pleats started almost a decade ago and I can remember the exact item of clothing which made me fall in love with pleats… it was a beautiful cream pleated dress from the Aussie fashion brand, Review Australia!
I ended up pulling this pretty piece out of my closet last year, during my massive wardrobe cull of 2019 – I edit my wardrobe at least twice a year but last year’s effort was on another level! I remember looking at this dress and thinking about how much I still loved it; the pretty accordion pleats which floated from the waist down, the defining waist sash, how sweet the pleated shoulder ruffles were and the adorable almost crochet-detailed flower pattern on the bust. As it had been hanging on a coat hanger from the shoulders for so many years, the elastic material had given way and stretched to double the original size. I realised that I’d have to take it to a tailor and get the elastic replaced – or I could just sell it amongst the huge pile of clothes I felt didn’t suit me or I hadn’t worn for a year or more.
Ultimately I chose to take the dress to my tailor and replace the elastic on the sleeves. This remains one of the wisest wardrobe choices I’ve ever made. Usually when doing my bi-annual wardrobe cull I tend to abide by the rule of “if I haven’t worn this in a year or two, it must go”. But there are exceptions to this rule and this dress is my perfect example. I realised I hadn’t worn this floaty number of perfection in so long, purely because I’d never really worn it and had forgotten about it as it was relegated to the back of my closet – out of sight & out of mind.
Review have been one of my favourite brands for many, many years – at which one point, I’d say over 70% of my clothes were purchased from their collections. And whilst the years have passed and I’ve discovered a range of other brands to balance out my wardrobe, Review’s clothing remains distinctly feminine. They create gorgeous designs and produce not only good quality basics for workwear but also items for the weekend and special occasions.
Another pleated dress I’ve had for years is from Review and travelled with me to Europe last year; pictured below in front of the Astronomical clock in Prague. This dress still has the sunray pleated skirt style as the cream one, but this time with a sunshine yellow colour and a white lace detail on the bodice and cap sleeves. It’s perfect for those Instagrammable travel photo moments as well as wearing to the races, cocktail parties or spring/summer events.
My love for pleats has now extended from dresses to skirts. I’ve graduated from being a fan of a knife pleat knee-length skirt (from back in 2017) and have started experimenting with midi-length skirts in 2020. Wearing pleats is fun and I think a big part of that is all down to the design – movement creates interest, a feeling of Chloe-esque floaty & dreamy vibes and a ladylike essence which is always elegant. I’m slowly moving away from fitted pencil skirts for workwear and embracing my own personal style favourites; items which can be worn any day of the week and with an abundance of footwear.
To check out Review’s beautiful range of clothing you can visit their website, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. I hope you have enjoyed this article on my style obsession with pleats! Let me know if you’re a fan of this style too in the comments below!