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The Globe and Mail

Spring fashion must-have: think sheer and pleated

Deborah Baic / The Globe and Mail/Deborah Baic / The Globe and Mail

While he wasn't referring to fashion, Kenny Rogers got it right when he said that "you gotta know when to fold 'em." The Gambler's adage echoes nicely in one of spring's biggest trends: pleats.

Once reserved for prim school uniforms and stodgy substitute teachers, the pleats strutting down the runways this season were sheer, bright and thoroughly modern. Making them work for the office doesn't have to be a gamble, either – as long as you play by the rules.

1. Bright colours are one of the distinguishing factors of the new, updated pleats, so feel free to pick a piece in an eye-catching hue. Citrus shades like tangerine and lemony chartreuse are especially fresh this season.

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2. If you do go for an intensely hued pleated piece, make sure you pair it with neutral add-ons to keep it workplace-appropriate. The matchy-matchy Christian Dior look is too much for the office.

3. Wearing a sheer fabric like chiffon to work can be tricky. Your best bet? Ground your pleated piece with closed-toe shoes and a structured jacket. Top it all with a statement necklace for an added bit of fun.

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