There are certain pieces that even the most open-minded fashion editor just can't wrap their head around. Of course, there are trends that come about with the purpose of dividing opinion—low-rise jeans are probably one of the most recent we've seen lately—but then there are others which are generally inoffensive but seem to spark a similar debate. Ballet shoes are one, as can be clutch bags. Another? The pleated midi skirt.
I, for one, fully subscribe to the notion of pleated midi skirts. From plissé to concertina to box, pleats of all shapes and sizes crop up in some of my favourite skirts, and I continue to find myself drawn to new styles when they drip into the new-in sections of my go-to brands. However, my colleague, affiliate editor Emily Dawes, has a different outlook. "There's just something about pleated midi skirts that makes them look frumpy, at least on me anyway. I'm petite, and I just don't think they do my frame any favours. I'd much rather spend my money on well-cut trousers or jeans. But, then again, I see them on other people and think, 'why don't they look like that on me?'. It would be nice to have a skirt I can throw on just as easily as my jeans, but I'm yet to find it."
BACKGRID COURTESY OF MANGO
After seeing Katie Holmes step out in a Mango skirt—yes, a pleated style—Dawes finally be onboard with them. "Katie Holmes's Mango pleated skirt, however, is in a league of its own." The most significant difference I can see is in fabrication; where other pleated skirts come in floaty materials or feature formed pleats in starched viscose, Holmes's style is made from leather, and the silhouette is more reminiscent of a kilt complete with large box pleats. That, coupled with the on-trend brown colour makes it feel all the more cooler than its counterparts. "It is cool, isn't it?" says Dawes when I show her. "Even I'm tempted to buy it and try it." If you're familiar with Dawes shopping column, as well as my own, then you'll know it takes a lot to impress us, so nicely done, Mango and Katie Holmes. I've also just come back from London Fashion Week, where I saw a lot of skirts of a similar ilk, so I just know this nuanced take on the pleated midi will be a big thing this season.
Styling it with a neutral knit, knee boots, a shearling jacket, oval sunglasses, and wet hair, Katie Holmes is the epitome of cool. And thanks to Mango, you can have a slice of that for yourself. It's genuine leather, so the skirt is more expensive than you might expect for the high street brand, but I think it is (and looks) worth every penny.
I've shopped it out for you below, followed by other modern takes on the pleated midi skirt you might enjoy. Scroll on for more.