ICYMI: Pleated Skirts Are Going Viral On Instagram (Again)

How to wear the style this winter.

Written by Kelsey Stewart
Originally Published: 
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There’s no denying 2022 was the year of the pleated skirt. A quick recap: Miu Miu’s low-slung look set the internet abuzz, Chopova Lowena’s plaid iteration was a favorite among celebrity tastemakers like Dua Lipa and Olivia Rodrigo, and, more recently, Instagram has been rife with pictures of pleated skirt outfits (shall I go on?). Suffice it to say the schoolgirl-inspired style has reached peak popularity — and there’s no sign of the trend fading away anytime soon.

If you find the uber-buzzy micro-mini look a tad daunting, there’s no need to commit to the leg-baring style. Fortunately, the style has proven to be a trend everyone can incorporate into their wardrobe. Gaelle Drevet, founder of The Frankie Shop, ensures, “It’s a versatile piece that can be styled in many ways and for various occasions.”

What’s more, as we head into single-digit temperatures, a slightly longer pleated silhouette can be a saving grace. Fletcher Kasell, co-creative director at Tanner Fletcher points to the classic midi skirt for more coverage. “It’s perfect because it gives a winter version of the mini,” he explains. And if you’re set on an itty bitty hemline? Take some styling advice from Mickey Freeman, a celebrity stylist who works with Keke Palmer and Nafessa Williams. “I love to incorporate a wide array of textures and layers when styling a pleated skirt,” he tells TZR. His outfit suggestion is a chunky cable knit sweater over a poplin shirt, finished with leather high-heel boots. (A toasty puffer and fleece-lined tights won’t hurt, either.)

As for colors and prints, Kasell suggests going with a perennial print like plaid or a sleek solid hue that won’t quickly fall out of trend, and can be worn again: “Next year or practically any time of year, for that matter,” he ensures. And for the maximalists at heart, there’s also a fair share of out-of-the-box styles to pick from, too. (Did you know pant skirt-hybrids are a thing?)

Find eight creative and influencer-approved ways to style the season’s must-have skirt below, and shop each look for yourself.

The New 9-to-5

Yes, you can wear a pleated mini between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The trick? Team the bottom with your trusty office staples — like a crisp button-down, understated pullover, and solid tights.

No Tights, No Problem

If you’re hoping to forgo hosiery, an ankle-grazing trench is perhaps the next best thing for your legs. Underneath the topper, team a sporty jacket and polished plaid mini for a cool juxtaposition.

Must-Have Midi

Not particularly keen on the mini skirt revival? Consider sticking to the classics, like a khaki midi. The tried-and-true bottom will become a wardrobe mainstay (if it isn’t already). Pair it with a sleek tonal top (love the idea of a vest) that’ll easily transition from work to happy hour.

Barbiecore Approved

The Barbiecore craze is still going strong, so don’t be afraid to fully embrace the aesthetic. For a fresh way to test drive the buzzy look, reference the photo above and pair a bubblegum pink bomber with equally bright tights. Ground the in-your-face outfit with a neutral pleated mini.

Luxe Leather

Fact: Leather is synonymous with winter style. In other words, you can’t go wrong with a buttery pleated skirt for the next few months. Keep even the shortest of lengths refined (and toasty) with a minimal turtleneck.

Hit Knit

Winter is, of course, the time to bundle up in snuggly knits — which goes for the bottom half of your look, too. Opt for a knitted midi in a rich shade, and go full-on cozy with a solid sweater on top.

Print Party

Dopamine dressing prevails! Couple striking, feel-good patterns for a surefire way to lift your spirits this season. Follow Freeman’s advice and incorporate tactile textures into the outfit, like a soft, fuzzy sweater.

Part Skirt, Part Pant

Can’t decide between a pant or a skirt? Good news: You don’t have to. Emerging label Nφdress offers the best of both worlds with its Gray Faded Denim Jeans featuring a detachable pleated skirt. Crank up the cozy by adding a plush pullover into the mix.

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