Monday, April 11, 2011

Crazy for pleats.

It seems as though every single piece that catches my eye has some sort of pleating to it. To me, pleats are the more casual, versatile version of lace that I apparently cannot get enough of (says my last 3 purchases). This classy detail can either add a touch of whimsy or structure depending on the fabric type. Lighter, more gauzy fabrics help create flowing lines and girlish silhouettes while thicker fabrics with a tighter weave offer a more polished, tailored effect.

Personally, my eyes head straight for tiny, cute, little gauzy pleats that fill the garment from head to toe and end up looking like a pattern with tons of texture. Like this Halston dress that I have been drooling over for what seems like forever now (the dress, not the shoes).

New to pleats? Stick with silhouettes you know flatter your figure (i.e. halter top with a-line skirt) and instead expirement with various sizes and shapes of the uniform folds. This way you can focus on the actual pleating instead of trying to figure out shape and detailing.

Not sure how to wear? To avoid looking too prim, proper and preppy, try balancing the ensemble with something that has more of an edge. For example, pair with black (or gold) lacquer leggings, a nubby vest, a beat-up leather jacket (try camel or cream!) or even a sweatshirt (as seen below). Similar to a home, mixing and matching different styles is a must to get that eclectic, effortless look that becomes simply your own.

Here are some of my (more affordable) faves.

modcloth (with gold leggings and heels)

anthropologie (sub the sash with a thick, woven belt)

gap (add a large, shiny ornate brooch)

lulu's (notice the belt and add a blazer)

zara's (sub the leather belt for a tassle belt)

urban outfitters (tuck into a tweed pencil skirt)

topshop (wear with that nubby vest!)

free people (maybe lace up boots?)

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