The Box-Pleat Skirt

The box-pleat skirt.  Suede, leather, plaid—it doesn’t matter what type, they’ll look great.  The box-pleat skirt is slightly more sophisticated than your average schoolgirl skirt and yet it’s more fun and flirty than a pencil skirt.  But here’s the kicker—THEY LOOK SO GOOD WITH FLATS.  Yes those words just came out of mouth.  For some reason (unless it’s winter and you’re wearing boots) these skirts don’t look right with heels.  Maybe it’s because of their “younger” feeling, or perhaps it’s because the hem is typically on the shorter side and heels make you’re outfit less parent-appropriate and more Julia Roberts in the first half of Pretty Woman-appropriate.

Now you may be asking what is a box-pleat skirt, how is it different from a regular pleated skirt, and what is lacking in my life that I’m sitting here thinking about all of these questions? Well, since obviously I have a lot of time I’ll tell you.  There is no such thing as a “regular” pleat. And in fact, if you Google it, you’ll find upwards of 10 different types.  As intelligent as I once hoped I was, all I could figure out from tirelessly scouring through all of these definitions is that essentially a box-pleat skirt is a pleated skirt in which the pleats start and expand outwards from the waistline, to create a fuller look.  Now you can rest easy.  YOU’RE WELCOME.

Boxing Rules:

  • Stick to skirts that are above the knee.  Or go work on the prairie.  Your call.
  • Only tuck in your shirt if the skirt actually fits you and starts at your waist.  Otherwise you will look—for lack of a better work—boxy
  • Box-pleat skirts are not for windy days.  If you decide that I’m wrong, you might want to at least wear some cute underwear
  • Plaid is fine—but avoid pairing them with white button-downs if you’re not on the set of a …Baby One More Time remake
  • When it’s cold out, they look great with tights.  Stick to solid tights because the pleats have a habit of making everything look a little too busy.

Box-Pleat Options:



Cherry Pleated Skirt by Cooperative

Available online from Urban Outfitters

Alice + Olivia

Milo Box Pleat Suede Skirt by Alice + Olivia

Available online from Shopbop


Pim + Larkin

Neon Jacquard Pleated Skirt by Pim + Larkin

Available online from Piperlime

Robert Rodriguez

Graphic-Strip Box-Pleat Skirt by Robert Rodriguez

Available online from Neiman Marcus


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