Ruffles. As various designers and brands from Valentino to Zara, to Dior, to Primark incorporate ruffles into the collection, it’s clear they are a trend for 2019 and trend predictor WGSN says they are here to stay. See, the thing about ruffles is that they are often associated with pieces that are more girly, or a little more bulky due to the volume they give - or just even, big. Maybe a little too out there? I’m here today to break this stereotype and help you embrace the trend. Because there is mileage left in the ruffle. Ruffles are versatile and can be worn in various ways, by all body types, and all aesthetics.
My favorite thing about them is that they can be worn during various seasons. They make for gorgeous detailing to sweaters, workwear in the winter and make for beautiful dresses, shorts, camis and skirts in the summer. Throughout this article I’m going to be pulling out a few example pieces from the brand I feel is doing ruffles best this season: Marigold Shadows. Previously dubbed ‘the goth Zara’ (though don’t be fooled by the nickname, they have beautiful pieces in color too), Marigold Shadows has a whole ruffle-inspired collection allowing you to experiment in the way that you feel is right.
Versatility in occasion pieces with ruffles can be plain and they can be stand-out. We often associate ruffles with ‘maximalism’, but they can be toned down beautifully to add detail and texture to an item that would be otherwise plain. If
you’re a fan but are not sure where you would wear them to, know that not only can you purchase pieces that feature ruffles in various cuts and styles, you can also purchase a single piece that fits various environments. An example of this is the AO V-Neck Blouse. In a navy blue, it’s the perfect in-between color: neutral, but not boring.
The peplum-style cut is stylish and has a secret benefit: It’s easy to hide it when you’ve had a little too much to eat and feel bloated. Plus, with the tie at the waist, you can still cinch yourself in the right places and create the illusion of an hourglass figure. You can wear it under a blazer for a business-casual look at the office, in the summer with your favorite pair of shorts (just imagine it with some white shorts) and even in the fall as despite being sleeveless the neckline isn’t super low - you could get away with throwing a jacket over it and calling it a day.
Versatility in Cut
When it comes to wearing ruffles, I believe creating interesting, unique, and unique proportions is key. Embrace asymmetric ruffles and stepped hems as they are important design details and can make what you are wearing that day make you stand out from the crowd (in only the most positive way ever). I mean, you can’t tell me that the Pleyay Khaki Strapless Dress is not totally badass! The
pockets are stiff and structured, held together by carefully placed seams but almost looking like they stand on their own. The strapless, sweetheart neckline is very flattering on the chest and the fit and flare quality of the dress makes your waist look smaller. In this piece, it’s clear that the ruffles were paired with another
key trend for this year: Button-down. Buttons are now more widely used as decorative objects and not just for their functionality. Kill two trends in one go with this piece.
Textures & Tiers
I had to mention the Alvarez Asymmetrical Ruffle dress. It has black, cascading ruffles and plays on shapes. This dress just makes you feel something. It reminds me of something I’d see on a Rick Owens or Rei Kawakubo catwalk and is even slightly reminiscent of a dress released by Gucci a couple of years ago - the cut may not be the same, but the feeling of craftsmanship is definitely there. You can pair the Alvarez dress with heels if going to a black-tie event or with sneakers for a casual, carefree look.
Romantic, not girly
I mentioned before that a big reason why people are afraid to wear ruffles is they may seem too girly or too ‘frilly’. Even if you are girly, ruffles can feel a bit uncomfortable when they are overdone. The key here is to focus on pieces that are romantic, not girly. For example - Aygi Shoulder Bow dress does this right. In a stunning baby blue shade with a black tie, off the shoulder bow straps. If this dress was pink with white straps the chances of it looking overly girly/’babydoll’
would be high. But as is, it looks sleek, edgy and fashion-forward. It has the asymmetric hem we are loving so much this season, and the model looks stunning pairing it with sneakers.
As a Statement Piece
Now, the fun part. Not all of us want to tone down the ruffle or counteract the ‘maximalist’ effect. In fact, I am all for making a statement, especially when it’s with a trend as ‘delicate’ as frills and ruffles. I loved them when I was younger and made to reserve them for special occasions, and now that I am grown and decide what to eat, where to go and (perhaps most importantly) what to wear, I find myself getting excited at the prospect of wearing them in some way any
day and I found just the piece for that. The Bilha Ruffle Blouse is white, sleek, and has impressive detailing all around it. A zip-up back, button-down front, and zip detailing on the shoulders, leading into the ruffle create a ‘waterfall’ effect. The model wore it under a the Musset Vegan Leather Dress and looks stunning.
You can also wear it tucked into your jeans, tailored work trousers, or pencil skirt. If you want your outfit to be more on the flowy side, wear a pleated skater skirt and stroll out filled with texture! Overall, the key to wearing ruffles is finding items that offer you versatility. That way you can experiment with the trend and find what works for you without being intimidated. Fashion is just clothes at the end of the day so have fun and try different things out - if you don’t like it, taking it off is just as easy as getting it on was!