How to Draw a Pleated Skirt

Long associated with schoolgirls, kilts and Marilyn Monroe, it may surprise you to learn that the origin of the pleated skirts actually have a history in military and ceremonial events for men. The history of pleating itself however goes back even further, with evidence of the technique being discovered in Ancient Egypt, making this a style truly fit for queens and pharaohs!

Over the years, the pleated skirt has been a regular feature in Scottish ceremonies and battles, Greek military celebrations and, of course, the instantly recognizable uniform of the private school system.

The reason for their popularity is clear; the pleated skirt is practical, comfortable, and simple – and fortunately for you, super easy to conjury up through the magic of art!

Tutorial Video

Step-By-Step Images and Instructions


How to draw a pleated skirt step 1

Get a blank sheet of paper and a gray pencil. Begin with two long, thin rectangles, one slightly shorter stacked upon a slightly longer shape, placed in the center of your page, around an inch from the top.


How to draw a pleated skirt step 2

Next, draw two smooth, slightly curved lines coming down on either side, descending from the top rectangles. On the right hand side, add a shorter curved line coming from around halfway down – this will create almost a “triangle” shape to the right of the skirt.


How to draw a pleated skirt step 3

Connect the three lines with a wavy line across the bottom.


How to draw a pleated skirt step 4

Now for some pleats! Divide the width of the skirt into five sections, by drawing four sets of lines – these should be narrow at the top, and flare out as they reach the bottom of the skirt. Make sure they are roughly an even distance apart so that you have neat, tidy pleats.


How to draw a pleated skirt step 5

Now, return to the rectangles you started with – these are the waistband of your skirt. Add a long, thin strip across the top to form a belt, and add a large “C” shape in the middle for the buckle. Next, add three small circles to display the belt holes, and a thin clasp to secure it in place. You will now have a belt across the top of the waistband – finish with a few strips bisecting the belt to represent the belt loops.


How to draw a pleated skirt step 6

Add a brown outline with a brown pen to the shape of the skirt, and belt you have just created. Next, shade in the belt loops and the top of the skirt with the same shade.


How to draw a pleated skirt step 7

Add the same brown outlines to each of the pleats in the main body of the skirt.


How to draw a pleated skirt step 8

And then fill in the sections between the pleats with the same shade – this will leave you with four “triangle” shapes in the center of the skirt, as well as a belt to still be filled in.


How to draw a pleated skirt step 9

Add some color to the belt with a solid black shade, adding silvery tomes to the buckle, clasp and holes. Use a black pen for this step.


How to draw a pleated skirt step 10

Now, fill in the four pleats running across the skirt with the same bold, black shade.


How to draw a pleated skirt step 11

And finish your creation by simply tidying up the edges, and making sure everything looks great!

Now that you know how to create a pleated skirt, why not turn your attention to the other possibilities – craft your whole wardrobe, try new colors, tones and designs, or simply enjoy the chance to design and innovate with a range of styles. Remember, the pleated skirt was deemed fit for royalty and military heroes – it comes with a huge number of possibilities!

How to Draw a Pleated Skirt Gallery

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