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If you only buy one thing this fall, invest in a pleated midi skirt. We know, it sounds much fussier than it actually is. Despite the delicate and precise pleating, most of these skirts don’t need ironing. It’s not your responsibility to keep those pleats looking pressed! And midi just means mid-length, so the skirt length is somewhere between your ankles and your knees — and it’s much more flattering than you think. It won’t make your calves look wide if you buy the right skirt, we promise.

The best part is that, styled right, you can rock a pleated midi skirt just about anywhere and with anything. Heels? Yes. Sneakers? No problem. Sweater? For sure. Denim jacket? Of course!

Why we love it

The pleated midi skirt is both trendy and ladylike; a combination that can be hard to come by these days and that’s perfect for fall. But thanks to new fabric technology, it’s not fussy. You don’t have to worry too much about how you sit for fear of squashing the pleats, nor do you have to worry about ironing. Some are even machine washable!

When choosing a midi skirt, make sure that it stops just below your knees to make you look taller or just below the widest part of your calves. Buy a fuller skirt to create curves — or even hide them. A skirt that flows over hips in an A-line can flatter a curvy silhouette. And finally, buy one that sits comfortably at the waist or just slightly below. You don’t have to buy a binding, high-waisted style, but this is not a style meant to be worn on the hips.

How to wear it

No matter the occasion, there’s always an outfit you can wear that includes your new skirt. We’ve picked three everyday situations with an ensemble for each.

Parent-Teacher Interviews
Parent-Teacher-Interview
From left: Wilfred Bezout Blouse, $110, aritzia.com; Zara Pleated Faux Leather Skirt, $79.90, zara.com; Forever 21 Oval Rhinestone Studs, $4.80, forever21.com; Michael Michael Kors Flex Textured Leather Pumps, $100, net-a-porter.com

You want to strike a balance between cool mom and force-to-be-reckoned-with, right? The midi skirt gives you the sophistication you want with the trendiness even your kids will appreciate. A faux-leather skirt will offend no one while making you look just tough enough. Lighten the look with your best heels, delicate jewelry and a pretty, printed top.

A Trip to the Farmer’s Market
A Trip to the Farmer’s Market
From left: French Connection UK Daria Degrade Jumper, $78, fcuk.com; Aldo Nydiarwen flats, $70, aldoshoes.com; Zara Silver Full Midi Skirt, $59.90, zara.com; H&M Wool Hat, $29.95, hm.com; Club Monaco Mayle Roomy Bag, $289.50, clubmonaco.com

What could be better than shopping for fresh produce and delicious pastries on a crisp autumn day? The pleated midi skirt will give you a slightly bohemian yet polished look perfect for buying organic greens and artisan cheeses. And yes, you can — and should — wear a silver skirt. Just pretend it’s black and style it like you would any neutral-coloured piece, with gorgeous flats, a novelty knit and a fun, fall hat.

A Walk in the Park
A Walk in the Park
From left: H&M Top in Slub Jersey, $9.95, hm.com; Midi Skirt, $59.90, zara.com; Gap 1969 Denim Jacket, $79.95, gapcanada.com; Lace-Up Canvas Sneakers, $14, oldnavy.gapcanada.ca

Whether with little ones or on your own, a walk through the park in autumn is all about taking in the gorgeous fall colours in comfort. You’ll love feeling the swish of your skirt as you wade through red, orange and yellow crunchy leaves. Wear your skirt with low-key sneakers (not your brightest, most athletic pair), a perfect white tee and a denim jacket.