The Best Pleated Skirts

Pleated skirt coral color and sneakers.

Buying Guide for Pleated Skirts

Close-up of a girl holding a beige hat and wearing a light-green pleated skirt.

Why buy a pleated skirt?

Simply put, a pleated skirt is a lovely staple to your closet and won’t go out of style. The pleats add a bit of drama to your basic skirt while also allowing freedom to move. They can be worn in warmer and cooler weather, depending on the material you choose. If you’re a student needing one as part of a school uniform, there are plenty of knee-length options. If you’re particularly sensitive about your stomach or hip areas, the pleats can smooth these out and draw attention away from them.

What should you look for in a pleated skirt?

  • Material/Purpose: A pleated skirt can come in polyester, nylon, silk, chiffon, cotton, or spandex. Most of these will be lightweight, breathable, and easy to move around in; however, there are certain materials made for certain types of activities. If you’re a sporty gal looking for a pleated skirt to play a round of golf or tennis in, you’ll most likely want to go for nylon, polyester, and spandex that can absorb sweat. Whereas, if you need something a bit fancier for formal wear, silk, chiffon, and cotton are your best bets.
  • Length: The length goes along with the purpose behind a pleated skirt. Shorter pleated skirts make sense for physical activities or casual wear, whereas longer ones are meant for dressing up for a nice day or night out.
  • Design: Just like other skirts, pleated skirts come in solid colors and cute patterns like polka dots, stripes, plaid, and floral. Longer pleated skirts tend to have thinner pleats, while shorter or knee-length pleated skirts have wider pleats.

What are some tips for making sure your pleated skirt stays pleated?

Taking extra care of your pleated skirt can be a bit tedious, but if you don’t, you may lose the iconic look and style that makes your skirt stand out. First, the main housekeeping tip is to not haphazardly throw the skirt in the closet or fold it up in a drawer. This can make them lose their shape. Second, you’ll want to consider the fabric. Pleats are more likely to fall out of silk because of moisture or sitting on it for a long period of time. If you want a skirt that requires less maintenance, you can opt for a wrinkle-resistant or synthetic material. Third, you can iron your pleats. However, be aware that improper ironing can remove or mess up pleats, so be extra cautious and use a low heat setting. Lastly, hang your skirt by the waistband with a hanger that has clips that won’t dent the skirt.

Our Picks for the Best Pleated Skirts

Pros: You’ll be able to swing around town or on the dance floor in this stunning A-line pleated skirt that slims you down in an instant. It is made of polyester and viscose and has an elastic waistband to give you plenty of stretch and movement. There are two lengths to choose from: regular (midi) and short (above the knee). You also have multiple styles and colors to select from, including solid with a belt, gradient, gradient with prints, and color block. Because of the more delicate, thin material, be extra cautious to only hand wash this skirt.

Cons: Because of the large amount of flowy material, this skirt may swallow more petite frames.

Bottom Line: Slip on this lovely pleated skirt for a sweet date night or a feminine look for work. It’s the perfect combination of girly and classy.


Pros: You can bounce from school to the park in this pleated skater skirt that won’t restrict you from having fun. Its stretchy flared silhouette gives off a flirty personality, and it comes in multiple colors and patterns ranging from polka dots to plaid. Easily pull it on without fiddling with stuck zippers or an uncomfortable waistband. Last but certainly not least, it can be thrown in the wash for a quick, simple clean.

Cons: Unless you are on the thinner side, the waistband may turn over when you move and twist the fabric of the skirt.

Bottom Line: The thick, high quality of this skater-style skirt along with its flouncy flair make it a versatile choice for most settings. Pair it with sneakers or heels for those moments you need a quick transition from day to night.


Pros: This structured cotton pleated skirt is perfect for tea parties with the ladies or a day when you don’t want to wear normal pants to the office. Its knee-length style fits well into professional or casual settings, while the high waist gives it an elevated look. What’s even better is that it has pockets on either side for your small essentials and a zipper closure in the back for extra security. It comes in several colors and designs.

Cons: The skirt runs a bit large on more petite gals, and it may lose its shape after a few wears.

Bottom Line: With such a modest, classy fit offered in tons of unique prints, you’ll be reaching for this pleated skirt for almost every occasion. It’s a style that doesn’t reveal too much but still catches the eye.


Pros: This stretchy, sporty pleated skirt will have you turning heads on the court. It sits high on the waist with a wide elastic waistband and flows from the back with a pleated pattern. Underneath, you’ll find lined shorts built-in for extra coverage when you’re on the move. There are three pockets—two on either side and one in the back for your smaller items. This athletic pleated skirt comes in plenty of solid colors and fun patterns to mix it up when you want.

Cons: The built-in shorts are loose-fitting.

Bottom Line: Enjoy your next outdoor adventure or tennis match with this adorable athletic pleated skirt that keeps you comfy in all the right areas. You won’t have to suffer in the heat in this lightweight, stylish option.


Pros: Hit up your favorite sporting event or dress up as your favorite athlete in this adorable pleated tennis skirt that hits mid-thigh. It’s made of 100% nylon and fits conformed to the waist to give you the ideal cinched-in look. There is plenty of stretch with the elastic waistband and zero worries of getting a zipper caught. Because of the durable material, it should be able to last through many washes without showing wear or tear.

Cons: This skirt runs small, so you’ll want to size up.

Bottom Line: If you’re going for a more bold look and want something that packs a bit of personality, consider this high-waisted pleated tennis skirt. You’ll stand out on the sidelines.

Final Thoughts

Pleated skirts may have been a thing of the past, but they are still a thing of the present. Tweak the traditional look with a long, flowy style with thinner pleats or with a sporty style that has convenient pockets. While pleats may seem like a minute detail, they create enough interest to set you apart from the crowd.

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