Is it just me, or is anyone else a few years out of college feeling a hint of back-to-school FOMO? Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to spend my entire day shuffling from lectures to labs. But from a shopping perspective, I can’t help but reminisce on the end of summer wardrobe updates to get the ‘new year’ started. So since September is quickly approaching and has often been referenced as the fashion new year, I felt it only right to celebrate with plaids and pleats just like the good ol’ days. Except, the dress code is a bit looser this time around.
Many designers played with plaids, checks and pleats this season, very fitting for a transitional fall wardrobe. But, few combined the various motifs as seamlessly as MSGM. While this is a brand known for quirky remixes of various styles, this Princess Diana street style infused round-up of classic prints and contemporary cuts is surprisingly uncomplicated. I was equally intrigued by the Pre-fall 2017 collection from Sacai that introduced their version of hybrid garments by mixing pleats, prints and fabrications. Long pleated folds meet colorful knee-highs and feminine prints, giving these uniform themed elements a post-grad rewrite.
So how do we shop these looks without totally reincarnating grade school uniforms? It depends on the styling, for instance, I really love a good structured blazer paired over loose, more feminine silhouettes. Practically any plaid piece from the Blazé Milano blazer archives will do, and I particularly love hybrid pleated pants from Junya Watanabe to complete the look. Or if you’re more partial to dresses, try checked options from Preen Line and Stella McCartney in a double-breasted blazer version. And you can’t really discuss pleats without referencing at least one skirt, in which case, I’ve separated them into minis and midis. Sacai, Max Mara and Sea have great pleated midi skirts which are great for the transitional weather to come. But if you’re anything like me and can’t resist a pleated mini, definitely look to Miu Miu for traditional tartans and Isabel Marant for a high-waisted neutral. Tops are also easy add-ons and updates to your seasonal rotation, especially crisp pleated poplins from Sea and plaid off-the-shoulder looks from Racil. Not to mention, there’s a plaid bolero from Stella McCartney that’s impossible to pass up.
This summer is drawing to a close, and I will certainly be welcoming the seasonal shift. I won’t be resuming another semester of classes, so I’m channeling my excitement for fashion week instead. Our school days may be over, but we can still reminisce through plaids and pleats.
Brands we love: Blazé Milano “High Kingdom Everyday” Checked Blazer, Preen Line “Uri” Plaid-checked Shirtdress, Stella McCartney “Cass” Double-breasted Hound’s-tooth Checked Dress, Racil “Dorset” Checked One-shoulder Top, Isabel Marant “Parma” Pleated Faux-suede Skirt, Sacai Asymmetic Printed Plissé-georgette Wrap Midi Skirt, Christopher Kane Pleated Silk-blend Lamé Skirt, Sea Pleated-collar Cotton Blouse, Tibi “Bianca” Wide-leg Cropped Trouser, Miu Miu Appliquéd Tartan Mini Skirt, Sea Pleated Cotton-twill and Poplin Skirt, Max Mara Pleated Camel Hair Midi Skirt, Valentino Printed Silk Crepe-de-chine Mini Dress, Stella McCartney Checked Bolero, Junya Watanabe Pleated Crepe Pants
By Ariel Serano