How to Wear The Newest Pleats Trend When You Are Over 40

how to wear pleats blouse skirt dress fountainof30

Pleats are back again for spring, and you are going to see a lot of them! Most notably, you will recognize knife pleats or accordion pleats on skirts, dresses, tops and blouses. These tiny knife pleats are just what you need to update your wardrobe for spring. If you are over 40, I know this is a trend that you lived though before, but you definitely can (and will want to) wear pleats again. Here are some tips on how to wear the latest pleats trend when you are over 40. You’ll be happy to learn that they fit extremely well and are made even better than before.

Pleated Skirts, Dresses and Tops for Women Over 40

Pleated Skirt Trend

When you are over 40, skip the mini-skirts. Luckily mid-length and maxi skirts are totally on-trend and they are sophisticated and flattering in pleated styles. Look for sunray pleats, which are basically accordion pleats that start out smaller at the waist and get larger toward the hem. These are very slimming because they stay flatter near your waist and get fuller towards the hemline. The same line is created when pleats are cut on a bias, or stitched down from the waist to the hip. The last thing you want is more fullness at the waist!

What are the best fabrics for pleated mid-skirts? Stick to soft fabrics, like silk or chiffon because they will lay better than stiff fabrics such as woven cotton. Most of the skirts I have seen for spring are made with these softer fabrics. Shop for solids or florals, or try slimming vertical stripes. Have fun making a statement with interesting geometric patterns, too. These are not your parochial school-girl pleated skirts – they have grown up!

What should you wear with a knife pleat skirt? Pair it with a t-shirt and a soft bomber jacket for a 2019 runway look. You can also contrast the hard edges of knife pleats by wearing your skirt with a soft blouse. The beauty of pleated skirts is that you can tuck in a top, or wear one out to hip length. A thin v-neck sweater can work over a knife pleat skirt for a more casual look.

Pleated Dresses

There are plenty of age-appropriate pleated dresses to choose from this season. Avoid skinny straps, halters, girly styles, tent styles and mini lengths. Instead, buy pleated midi-dresses or maxi-dresses. A wonderful option is a long-sleeve shirt dress or wrap-style dress that has a knife pleated skirt. You may like dresses that are pleated from top to bottom, but I recommend that you try them on or order a few sizes before you buy one online. Pleats on a dress need to lay together, skim the body and not open up. You may find you need to try a size up for the proper fit.

Some designers have designed what I am calling “pleat blocking.” For example Tibi offers dresses with blocks of pleated fabric combined with areas of smooth fabric to create a mixed-media effect. These dresses are modern, original, loose fitting and perfect for women over 40.


Pleated Tops and Blouses

Maybe you don’t get dressed up in skirts or dresses very often but you can wear the pleats trend in the form of a top! You will find tops with all-over pleated fabric, which are loose and forgiving. Make sure these tops fit well because you don’t want them to overpower you, or you might look like you’re wearing a mumu. A safer alternative is a blouse or top that is only pleated on a fews of the elements, such as the cuffs or sleeves.

How will you be wearing the newest pleats trend this season? Will you get a skirt, dress or top?

Carol Calacci

You may also like to read How To Style The Boho Chic Trend When You’re Over 40 and How To Master The Neon Trend When You’re Over 40.

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Comments (2)

  • Shari E 12 months ago Reply

    Thanks for the great tips. I particularly liked the pleated tops.

    Lauren Dimet Waters 12 months ago Reply

    I love the tops too! I’m crazy for pleats. It’s going to be hard to stop me from wearing them head to toe.

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