Why the knee length pleated skirt is one of the Queen’s favorites?

knee length pleated skirt

What do we know about the history of the knee length pleated skirt? Everyone has heard of Queen Elizabeth II, but what do we know about her style? Why does she choose the outfits that she wears? Queen Elizabeth II has always been stuck to a classic look and simplicity from their coronation to now. This length pleated skirt has appeared frequently in official images over the years and is thought to be one of the special fashion pieces that she wears with some regularity.

In this article, we will find out why this knee-length skirt was among the favorite fashion styles of Queen Elizabeth.

The History of the Knee Length Pleated Skirt

By the 1960s, knee-length pleated skirts were becoming more and more popular with everyday women who loved their classic look. For many of these ladies, the pleated skirt was a status symbol that separated them from their classmates and coworkers. Pleats were seen as something of a complex construction that just wasn’t easily mastered – but as skirt lengths moved up in the 70s and beyond, so did the possibility for new designs that adopted both trends into one elegant piece.

A knee-length pleated skirt, or a pinafore as they are called in the UK, has been Queen Elizabeth’s signature look since her young age. Queen Elizabeth has the uncanny ability to make most of her pieces seem classic and effortless. 

Why the knee-length pleated skirt is Queen’s favorite?

Before discussing knee-length pleated skirts, let’s start with why they’re so beloved by royalty; when it comes to formalwear, there are a few more strict rules than casual wear. A long skirt is flattering and elegant and an easy way to show your respect for tradition and authority. For these reasons, knee-length pleated skirts have been popular among royals for centuries. Queen Elizabeth has worn her signature pleated skirt since she was a teenager!

As a member of a royal family, Queen Elizabeth is one who always dresses neatly and casually. A knee-length pleated skirt is one of her favorite fashion styles. As with many details about her life and fashion choices, it stems from her position as monarch. When a woman marries royalty, she adopts their rank (and clothing code) alongside their name. So when Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip in 1947, she became known as Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor. She also adopted his surname, which means that all female members of British royalty have been expected to wear skirts that fall down their knees ever since.

Queen Elizabeth is rarely seen without a dress and has a wardrobe of dresses so vast it could rival Imelda Marcos. The knee-length pleated skirt is one of her favorite fashion staples, all that she wears consistently with a shirt and jacket set. Queen Elizabeth’s preference for knee-length pleated skirts was most likely influenced by her mother, who wore them often during official engagements and in public life.

Most people associate Queen Elizabeth II with her striking green eyes, her stunning coronation crown, and her knee-length pleated skirt. When it’s to her fashion choices, which by their very nature are somewhat constricted, the knee-length pleated skirt is constant in all, a style that seems both old and new at the same time. Pleats have appeared on and off for centuries, but with each trend resurgence, the variations seem to get more comprehensive than ever before

What makes Queen Elizabeth’s knee-length pleated skirt unique?

It is inspired by Victorian fashion, and it features a gathered pleat below. By using a pleat, Queen Elizabeth will have more room to walk when attending parades. Instead of using darts to make skirts wider, Queen Elizabeth used gathers at her waist to give her extra space. As Queen gets older, she often wears loose-fitting clothes that allow her more ease in movement when attending events. 

A knee-length pleated skirt gives her just enough movement without having too much weight or fabric on her body. Also, knee-length pleated skirts are not as restrictive as floor-length gowns. A floor-length dress requires a lot of leg strength for standing up and sitting down over time. However, a knee-length pleated skirt allows Queen Elizabeth to be seated quickly while still looking formal. 


Although there is no formal designation of an official national dress in Great Britain, it is widely believed that if such a thing existed, Queen’s Majesty would wear a pleated knee skirt. However, given her dedication to not only upholding tradition and culture but also doing so with respect and dignity, she’d find comfort in wearing an outfit steeped in history—and one that she could pull off to significant effect.

Can you wear a maxi dress for a wedding? This length of knee length skirt could now be starting to emerge as the latest length for a wedding dress.