Art of Style

Shopportunities: Pleats That Flatter

BY May 5, 2014


Dear Cheryl,

I’m seeing a lot of pleated dresses and skirts this season and want to add some to my wardrobe. What should I consider when choosing?

—Kellie H., Cape Coral

I couldn’t be more pleased that pleats are back again for spring and summer. In technical terms, a pleat is an advanced way of controlling fabric in a design; in aesthetic terms, pleats are the perfect way to give movement to a garment. Pleats can be delightfully feminine or deeply frumpy—and for this latter reason they often receive unfavorable reviews. Key elements to picking your pleats are placement and fabric. The propensity of pleated skirting to add bulk (typically at the hips) can be avoided by selecting designs in which the pleat construction is sleek (or stitched vertically) over the hips. Light, airy fabrics georgette and sheer silks for instance give this season’s pleats a fresh, modern slant. And there are some truly innovative options, such as metallic and foil-printed fabrics, that give edge to otherwise traditional pleats. There are other ways to wear the trend without going full-on, such as a structured jacket with a panel of pleats at the back, or a skirt with a couple of inches of pleating at the hemline.

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Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters International, answers your questions each month. If you have a question for Cheryl, send it to



This gloriously named event benefits the Winged Foot Scholarship Foundation, which recognizes characteristics exemplified by the highest standards in sportsmanship, the desire to excel and to compete with a sense of fairness. This year’s banquet—which is the 25th anniversary event—is being held at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples on May 22. Business attire is the order of the day: Gentlemen, as a change from a suit, I’d suggest donning a suitably sporty blazer in either navy or black, and a shirt and tie, teamed with a pair of gray pants. Ladies, a sleek day dress or dress and jacket would be perfect, or some tailored pants and a stylish blouse accessorized with multiple necklaces (or pearls) would be effortlessly elegant.


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