In middle school, my mom used to pressure me into pleated skirts and frilly dresses despite my determined tomboy resistance. Pleats were just entirely too girly for my undeveloped, youthful sensibilities.

Well flash forward to adulthood and suddenly I’ve come to recognize the potential charm and sexiness of this signature schoolgirl look. Fortunately, pleats are back and glammed up for this spring/summer season. Designers from Proenza Schouler to Ferragamo have crafted pleated pieces in silks, chiffon, cotton and beyond. Depending on how you choose to style it, you can don a sporty, ladylike or even futuristic look. Bottom line, you’ll look crisp, sexy and on trend.

I wore pleated pants from Urban Outfitters (similar here and here), paired with a Zara blouse (similar here) and studded satchel bag also by Zara. Accessorized with Fendi cuff and D&G belt.

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maxi-skort-zara-blouse-studs-aviators-1Photography: Jen Au