The 10 Best Pleated Skirts, According to Stylists

Twirl to your heart's content.

model wearing a pleated skirt with the overlay The Essentials in white font
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Welcome to The Essentials, our weekly series highlighting a must-have classic, the key to building a timeless, pulled-together closet.

Pleated skirts have been a wardrobe staple for over a century. In the 1920s, pleats were strategically sewn into skirts to give women extra room for walking. Now, a century later, creases are embraced for their classic cool factor. Rest assured that the best pleated skirts of today go beyond the tartan-clad parochial school versions from your childhood (although those are having a trendy renaissance). Look to the plaid and punky options by the British-based, Bulgarian-inspired Chopova Lowena, which stylist Tyler Minor praises for "[giving] us a much different approach on the pleated skirt through bold colors and prints." 

But it's not just indie labels updating the humble pleated number: Legacy fashion homes are also offering a redux. "Christian Dior's Spring Summer 2023 collection offers many beautiful examples of timeless pleated skirts," describes Minor, directing you to the midi iterations crafted from multi-fold leather and breezy cotton. And there's Miu Miu, too, which kick-started a pleated micro miniskirt movement last spring but lengthened its hemlines to just-below-the-knee this season.

Peter Do, Miu Miu, Chopova Lowena, Christian Dior

Pleated skirts on Spring/Summer 2023 runways at Peter Do, Miu Miu, Chopova Lowena, and Christian Dior.

(Image credit: Getty)

As you can tell, Spring 2023's variations on pleating run the gamut. Ahead, more insight from Minor and fellow stylist and creative director, Mary Fellowes on the best pleated skirts to shop right now—from miniature accordion creases at J. Crew, luxe leather creases at Alice + Olivia, and twirl-ready silk styles at Banana Republic.

The Best Pleated Skirts

Meet the Experts

Mary Fellowes
Mary Fellowes

Creative director, stylist, editor, and now sustainability expert Mary Fellowes has operated in the top echelons of fashion and media for two decades. Based in London, she currently styles leading Hollywood entertainment talent for promo and red carpet while also consulting with fashion and luxury brands on being responsible, ethical, and transparent.

Tyler Minor
Tyler Minor

Tyler’s keen eye for detail and ability to take abstract ideas and bring them to life landed his name and work in many renowned publications. Those publications include Vogue, Inside Weddings Magazine, The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings, Elegant Magazine, iMute Magazine, Country Weekly Magazine, People Magazine, and many others. His talent has also landed him jobs with clients and celebrities such as HBO, Amazon, Zappos, Dillard's, Trisha Yearwood, The Food Network, Jesse James Decker, Eric Decker, Motley Crue, and Tanya Tucker.

Emma Childs
Fashion Features Editor

Emma Childs is the fashion features editor at Marie Claire, who writes trend reports, long-form reported features, and shopping guides. Previously, she was Marie Claire's style editor, and wrote for The Zoe Report, Editorialist, Elite Daily, Bustle, and Mission Magazine. She studied Fashion Studies and New Media at Fordham University Lincoln Center. When she's not writing fashion deep-dives, you'll find her stalking eBay for designer vintage, reading literary fiction on her Kindle, and baking in her tiny NYC kitchen.