Drapey Dresses Are The Elegant Trend Elevating Bodycon Style

When it comes to fashion trends, dresses can sometimes end up lost somewhere between formal and casualwear, ending up as a bit of an afterthought or even left out of the conversation completely. However, there seem to be some major signs that 2023 is about to be a year of change for dress trends. Saint Laurent and Versace's summer 2023 looks are full of dress features that haven't seen the limelight in quite some time: drapes and pleats.

If you've never really adjusted to the form-fitting bodycon dresses of the past decade, it's your time to shine. Drapes, folds, and pleats allow you to dress up in full glamor or elevated casual styles while you accentuate the areas of your body that you love most and diffuse those that aren't your favorites. Here are some of the best examples of draped and pleated dresses to inspire you to embrace this much more forgiving era of dress fashion. 

Green goddess

Looking for a way to honor the earth's transition back into the vibrant greens of spring and summer? Embrace your inner nature goddess with flowing, drapey, earthy green fabric that screams natural beauty. Cinch the waist with an elegant belt that features a floral or vine design and pair with an earthy brown, bronze, or taupe sandal or pump.

Witchy woman

Not feeling the earthy green vibes when it comes to your fashion choices? You can never go wrong with black. Time to get witchy with a flowy, asymmetrical draped black midi dress with bell sleeves. Pair with a black ankle boot, of course, and some crystal jewelry for maximum spring occult aesthetic. 

Classic pink pleats

Who says you have to stick to tight, clingy bodycon dresses to dress up in fun, bright colors for spring and summer? Pick your favorite flower and then look for a dress to match. A long, pleated silhouette makes for a flowing, feminine look that won't leave you wondering if your shapewear can handle one more drink at the end of the night. 

Flowy rainbow joy

Can you imagine anything more joyful and freeing than covering yourself in flowing layers of draped rainbows? If you haven't quite received the full spirit of spring into your heart yet this year, we dare you to recreate this look and try not to be completely reborn. 

Bold retro patterns

Pleated dressed and skirts were a major staple of the 1970s and '80s, so if you're going to pay homage to the style, it makes sense to also consider embracing a bold retro print. Anything with a floral or tropical pattern will always be a hit as summer approaches. 

Bright citrus gown

Bold colors and warm weather go hand in hand. If you've been sticking to muted hues and neutrals all year, now is the time to take a risk and step into something like lime green or sunny yellow. Pleats can help bring visual interest to a solid color without the need for a print. 

Short draped corsage dress

If you're not completely sold on the vintage nature of a long draped or pleated gown, go short. A corsage dress with a draped tulip skirt can provide the same flowy, luxurious feel with a more modern short silhouette that better suits your summer dress needs.