Penniless Socialite: Pleats and Polka Dots...Oh My!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pleats and Polka Dots...Oh My!

Two of my favorite fashion trends seem to be pretty popular this fall: pleats and polka dots.  They are every where.  I think they were also here last fall, but I wasn't writing a blog then.  So, since polka dots and pleats are still here, I'm writing.  I was inspired by the resurgence of pleats to pull out an old favorite the other day: a Banana Republic blue pleated skirt.  My Kate Spade iphone cover is polka dotted, so the outfit really ties this post together.

Skirt // Banana Republic (similar here)
Shirt // Marshalls? (similar here)
Yellow flats // MJM Shoes (similar here)
Iphone cover // Kate Spade
Marc Jacobs' fall fashion show back in February featured several dotted looks.  The polka dot print (when done right) brings a sense of whimsy to an outfit without feeling childish.  However, if done wrong, you look like you're wearing a Minnie Mouse costume. 
You should also match the dots to your stature.  Taller ladies can wear more substantial dots, whereas us petite gals should stick to smaller dots.  Marc Jacobs mixed polka dots, but for a more wearable outfit, try doing polka dots on just one large piece (like a dress) or two smaller pieces (like a clutch and a hat).  I've heard that more daring ladies mix polka dots with other prints like leopard and floral.  I'm not that daring and fear looking like a crazy person.  If you've successfully mixed polka dots with prints, send me a picture.

Dotted runway look from Marc Jacobs'
 Fall /Winter fashion show
A similar tale can be told for pleats.  Pleats can make an outfit look polished, while giving you that hint of playfulness.  But, pleats can turn on you and evoke visions of naughty school girls.  My rule of thumb, pleats + plaid = bad.  You also need to be careful about fit and quality with pleats.  If it doesn't fit right the pleats won't lay right and if it's cheap, your pleats will un-pleat after a few wearings.  The only downside to pleated clothes is that they HAVE to be dry cleaned and most dry cleaners charge you extra to clean and press the pleats. 

AND, shut up, Lauren Conrad's fall line includes a PLEATED POLKA-DOTTED DRESS!  I hate to admit it, but I am in love with Lauren Conrad's style.  I really wanted to hate it, but this girl (if she's actually designing any of the collection) has great taste (or at least taste similar to my own).

Lauren Conrad Polk-Dot Pleated Dress // Kohl's
Sadly, I tried on this dress and it's a bit narrow in the hips.  The pleats do not lay right on wide hips.  I did not bring this dress home, but I think it'd be a great purchase for someone with narrower hips.  The quality is great for the price and the color would look great on any skin tone.  This blush/rose pink is really popular for the fall.  The polk-dot pattern is small and subtle, making this dress work-appropriate with a cardigan and nude heels.
I did, however, take home a similarly-colored pleated skirt from LC's collection that's included in the Polyvore set below.  

Here's a few of my favorite dot and pleat looks that I found around the internet. 
Pleats and Polka Dots

Leifsdottir block dress
$298 -

TopShop dot dress
$60 -

Emily and Fin dot dress
$78 -

Lauren Conrad polka dot top
$25 -

Bow skirt
$39 -

Lauren Conrad chiffon skirt
$35 -

Charlotte Taylor zipper skirt
$337 -

Oasis knee length pleated skirt
$70 -

Poetic Licence maryjane shoes
$90 -

Chooka boots
$45 -

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