Sometimes an item of clothing has strong associations: Don’t Look Now might have put you off red coats forever, one waft of a nemesis’ signature perfume can make you shiver. For me, Issey Miyake Pleats Please has powerful links to my fashion editor days (in the 1990s power dressing involved Pleats not shoulder pads). Let’s just say The Devil Wears Pleats, and move on. And I think I have moved on. It started with the Bao Bao bag, last year – suddenly everyone in central London was carrying a gorgeous prism tote (available HERE and HERE) – and now I’m finding Pleats are pleasing me. Reconciled, I’m able to look at this wonderful fluid fabric without my shoulders concertina-ing up around my ears. Pleat me up, Issey…



These images of lovely Pleats Aficionodos by Lucy Fitter are from Graduate Fashion Week.

23 thoughts on “Pleats Please Me (at last)

  1. Ha ha re-watched TDWP last night and thought of you 😉
    Fab pleats, I’d particularly like the Issey flutter jacket outfit, including the silver mules – very me!

  2. I love the idea of pleats but, at 5’2 and on the curvy side of a 12 the reality is usually hilarious. However, the bags…you may have me. I shall carry one and pretend to be tall and wafty.

  3. LOVE pleats. Love these pleats. But why are they always in 100% poly which my skin hates? I know it is easier, but years ago I did see them in natural fabrics and blends. Textile manufacturers please take note!

  4. I was wearing one of my Pleats Please jackets today – over a charity shop dress and with my leopard print desert boots . I live on a boat, space is at a premium, these clothes get screwed up and come out looking perfect – they get smallest grandson baby vomit on them and get washed and are like new. Instant boat and baby proof glamour!

  5. Never wanted to wear these nor do I now. Feel the same about Bao bag. I do see “women of a certain age” wearing these garments but don’t want to myself. Now the real pricey Miyaki clothes when they first appeared at Joseph on Sloane street in the 80s is a different matter. I used to go and admire them but couldn’t afford to buy. I had one wonderful Japanese dress in a crinkly fabric with huge black and white check which I loved. A natural fabric part cotton part wool. I also liked the Apoc dresses by the metre which featured in the big Japanese fashion show at Barbican.

  6. My favorite pleats will always be the pleats in kilted skirts. Perhaps it is because I wore pleated skirts to school as part of my uniform. But all through my life, I’ve always been a bit in love with short, plaid, pleated skirts.

  7. Love fortuny pleats and how they drape. When I bought a long sunray pleat skirt in the 80s from Richard Shops, the only way I could get it to look right was to pin every pleat before ironing it. Binned it, life is too short!

  8. I’ve been wearing these since my early 20s, the time I saw its debut feature on a magazine when I was in school. I know Pleats Please has been always considered the one for older people, however, I always wear it with jeans or suits to make it fresh and interesting. Some items I have are almost 20-year-old and still going strong. I love Pleats and I will.

  9. Some pieces (the tighter ones) look quite nice on the pictures but some make you look like a ‘kulturtant’ (=swedish expression for an older woman, usually overweight, who tends to often go to cultural (art, theatre) performances with her ‘kulturtant’ friends and who usually dresses in bulky clothes with bright scarves…). I ordered a longsleeved top via internet and was so disappointed. Horrible, polyester fabric… I sent it back immediately.

  10. “If you’re pleated in your face already, this is not a good look”, I learned so by a costume designer.
    And I echo Catherine, pleats in kilted skirts are great.

  11. Barbara @9:47am
    Your comment is one to remember. I love it. Yes, this style has a very certain age, thick in the waist look.

  12. Alyson, I think the various responses illustrate very well your point about associations. For me, I wore this kind of pleated outfit back in the day, in my thirties, when I weighed about 100 lbs. And although the outfit I am thinking of was not tight, it was form fitting. So not architectural/kultural, not thick waisted. 😉

  13. I love the expression used by Caro : kulturtant. And her definition. That’s exactly who I be seen in these clothes. I’m in this category yet don’t like synthetic fabrics if I can avoid them no matter how wash and wear they may be ! And they were always on the pricey side. Everyone to their own.

  14. I have a cream turtle neck PP blouse that’s great for travelling and goes with jeans or black trousers etc etc. I was very chuffed to see Elin Kling copied me (hah!) and wore one for a while not so long ago. But like you I once knew a Fashion Editor who lived in PP and it put me off for a while.

  15. I realize that the pleats Alyson is referencing probably aren’t the kinds of pleats for which I have affection. Like Catherine, when autumn comes I want to wear a pleated plaid wool skirt and hoist on a matching cardigan and a new bookbag.

    This old heart still loves what the young heart loved. <3

  16. Thank you for the Kulturant description, you have helped me decide. I have a vintage Pleats Please top that I have been hanging onto as I love the colour (khaki) – noticing the pleats around this season I had buoyed with the idea of resurrecting it. Caro’s comment nailed the feeling I had that it wasn’t really my style when I first bought it. So I now feel freed-up the send it to the charity shop along the voluminous, black, monk-like Issey Miyake raincoat that has been occupying my ‘nostalgia’ trunk!

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