Pleated dresses never wrinkle, flatter the figure and look super elegant in the office

Pleated dresses, the complete package: they never wrinkle, flatter the figure and are super elegant in the office

  • Dinah Van Tulleken Gives Advice For Embracing Pleated Dresses This Season
  • She advises pleated dresses have been slowly burning but are now up to the cool
  • Also says that pleated dresses are in fashion and should be worn brightly










The stalwart fold has been on a slow burn – shedding those award-winning and appropriate director connotations took a long time, but this year they’re seriously cool.

Japanese designer Issey Miyake has been at the forefront of pleating technology for decades, but his designs are as expensive as they are fashion-forward. He’s not the only designer to play with pleats.

Oscar de la Renta’s sun-pleated silk-blend lamé dress is almost too good to wear, which is good, because at £8,000 it’s also far too expensive for mere mortals to dream of. Prada sent floral dresses with accordion pleats to its catwalk and Valentino’s lightweight pleated chiffon from Valentino will look great for your next gala dinner, but at £6,000 it’s less suitable for the school run .

Dress, £49.99, and heels, £79.99, Zara.  com;  earrings, £24.99, tkmaxx.com

Maxi dress (left), £74, debenhams. com; platforms, £89, kurtgeiger.com; earrings, £14.99, zara.com and dress (right), £49.99, and heels, £79.99, zara. com; earrings, £24.99, tkmaxx.com

Dress, £380, Pleats Please Issey Miyake at fenwick.co.uk;  heels, £29.99, zara.com

Dress, £126, karenmillen.  com;  heels, £159, kurtgeiger.com;  earrings, £8, boohoo.com

Dress (left), £380, Pleats Please Issey Miyake at fenwick.co.uk; heels, £29.99, zara.com and dress, £126, karenmillen. com; heels, £159, kurtgeiger.com; earrings, £8, boohoo.com (right)

The good news is that what happens on the catwalks always spills over into the real world. The High Street had a fling with pleated skirts for a few seasons, but now it’s all about on-trend dresses. And the warmer the better – January is pretty dark.

These pleats are forgiving and easy, instantly sleek, there’s freedom of movement, and they’re never sticky. After Christmas, they’re not only wonderfully comfortable, they’re also flattering and timeless.

The best piece? They don’t wrinkle. The material bounces back perfectly, which means the pleat carrier always looks stylish.

Yes, these dresses may be beautiful, but they are also practical. All Karen Millen bar designs are machine washable and do not need ironing. They come out of the machine ready to be worn again. Paradise!

Dress, £515, isseymiyake.  com;  heels, £79.99, zara.  com;  earrings, £29.99, tkmaxx.com

Dress, £225, Pleats Please Issey Miyake at fenwick.co.uk;  heels, £79.99, zara.com;  earrings, £125, merola.co.uk

Dress, £515, isseymiyake. com; heels, £79.99, zara. com; earrings, £29.99, tkmaxx.com (left) and dress, £225, Pleats Please Issey Miyake at fenwick.co.uk; heels, £79.99, zara.com; earrings, £125, merola.co.uk (right)

Dress, £49.99, and heels, £29.99, zara.com

Dress, £176, online puzzle.  com;  shoes, £130, dunelondon.com

Dress, £49.99, and heels, £29.99, zara.com (left) and Dress, £176, jigsawonline. com; shoes, £130, dunelondon.com (right)

If you’ve had a frugal Christmas, treat yourself to something from Issey Miyake’s iconic Pleats Please collection – the pale blue stripe and bright pink are equally spectacular.

Not feeling satisfied? Zara’s high neck blue sleeveless number belts beautifully at the waist and is perfect for when you need to look put together. If you’re looking for an eye-catching design, Karen Millen with its floral print should be your first port of call.

And if you really want to stand out, nothing says it better than scarlet pleats with statement sleeves.

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