I love to incorporate pleats into any designs I make. I feel that pleats can be gorgeous for any occasion from work to a party to play time. There are so many varieties of a pleat. I always prefer a small pleat very similar to a pin tuck on a man's tuxedo shirt. The regularity and rhythm of a row of pleats can create a perfect contrast on a woman. On Rubicon tonight Maggie was wearing the most beautiful blouse with pleating from the neck to the end of the kimono sleeve.
Pleating as detail is best when it is subtle like soft or in the same fabric as the rest of the garment. Pleats are a simple way to add a femenine amount of volume without adding tons of bulk. Many designers add pleats to allow for a fuller skirt without a full gathered waist. A pleat is usually sewn flat and can flatter a waist by flattening out a curvy area. However, small pleats are perfect at drawing attention to the area with the pleating. They are just so majical!!! :)
I find that the pleat should match the occasion. The an entirely pleated dress is overkill for work or daytime but perfectly acceptable for an evening event. In contrast a slight pin tuck accent is a little underwhelming as it is not dramatic enough. Pleating is so easy to wear that I don't see why you wouldn't attempt it. Any fabric can be pleated and just become more elegant.
I just love pleats and all I can say is I really like the girl in the red dress' class!!!