Style Glossary: Types of Pleats
Resembling—you guessed it—the bellows of an accordion, these narrow, often heat-set pleats create a raised zigzag pattern and widen slightly toward the bottom, which is why they’re also referred to as sunburst pleats.
See the pleats in action: Find a pleated dress that’s right for your shape.
Pleats made in fabric cut on the diagonal. They’re usually stitched down only at the top and left unpressed so that the folds look soft and drapey, similar to what you would see on a Grecian-inspired dress.
Fabric folded to create a wide, flat area at the top. Can be used as a single pleat (for instance, at the back of a shirt yoke) or as a series of pleats (like a cheerleader’s skirt).
Very fine, sharply pressed pleats that lie flat and overlap each other the way vertical blinds do. You’ll often find them spiffing up tuxedo shirts.
Hollow, tubular pleats that create a fluted effect. Designers sometimes use them to make a mermaid-style gown flare out toward the bottom hem.
Two folds brought to a center point and pressed. An A-line skirt will frequently have a single inverted pleat in the front that forms an upside-down V. A kick pleat at the back of a pencil skirt is a mini version.
The most common style, these pressed pleats are generally about one inch apart, all facing the same direction. Usually used in multiples. (Think kilts.)