A little ruffle goes a long way with style trend
Ruffles exude femininity — a dainty effect that flutters in the breeze.
“A touch of ruffle is like a touch of lace or a touch of leather,” says Erica Miller, owner of One Brilliant women’s clothing and accessories boutique in Aspinwall. “With ‘touch’ being the operative word because when you have something like a ruffle, it’s feminine by itself. You don’t need all-over ruffles. All you need is a ruffle at the bottom of a skirt or dress or across one shoulder on a blouse.”
Miller says ruffles — a detail that is being seen on everything from skirts and dresses to blouses and even shoes — will carry into fall collections.
A single, bouncy ruffle or cascades of tiered ruffles can be a show-stopper, says Suzanne Mauro, a stylist from the East End and instructor at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s fashion department.
“Keeping it simple can take you from office to cocktail party,” Mauro says. “Something like a denim ruffle tiered skirt and a tiered print blouse is definitely on trend.”
The asymmetrical ruffle is the new way to try this look, says Marissa Rubin, senior market editor for People StyleWatch, such as a one-shoulder blouse with a ruffle across the other side.
“The ruffle trend is always around to some degree,” Rubin says. “Ruffles are the perfect detail on summer tops. They add an architectural look to clothing and a little bit of a modern accent. They feel the most fresh in neutral colors. I feel like an all-over ruffle can be romantic, but a single ruffle is more modern. It is a show-stopping ruffle because it’s more dramatic. It adds a little bit of volume but still looks sleek.”
Ruffles have carried over into swimwear, she says. They are a great detail for adding some volume if you have a boyish shape or for helping to camouflage or hide imperfections. Women often get nervous and think ruffles will add volume, but it depends on where it’s placed, Rubin says.
Ruffles in swimwear are quite interesting, says Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom fashion director.
“It’s about both accentuating and concealing,” Andrews says. “If you want the illusion of a fuller bust, a ruffle detail is a great way to do that.”
Today’s ruffles are more of an exaggeration of the style — not a stiff and structured ruffle, Andrews says. Women love to look feminine but not necessarily girly. Today’s ruffles give a woman a feminine look while not going overboard.
“You only need one accent, such as a blouse with a ruffle,” he says. “Juxtapose it against something clean like a pair of straight-leg jeans. It is always safe to invest in a piece with a ruffle because it most likely won’t ever go out of style.”
A dress full of ruffles can be beautiful and gorgeous, says Lynette Pone McIntyre, fashion market editor for Lucky magazine. Ruffles that are softer are more modern and fresh while still being feminine, she says.
“These are ruffles you don’t quite notice at first because they are a little more toned down,” Lynette says. “They are still really nice and feminine, which is great for summer apparel.”
Caring for a garment with a ruffle requires some attention because a lot of times the fabric is silk or chiffon and the ruffle isn’t lying flat, so it is usually best to dry clean, experts say.
Ruffles — as well as other details such as pom poms, lace and fringe — add intrigue to a piece of clothing, says Sheli Bungard, owner of The Line women’s clothing and accessories boutique in Irwin.
“It’s flattering and they add fun to a garment,” she says. “They reflect a music-festival kind of vibe and are perfect for spring and summer.”
Ruffles tend to be on trend as there are always customers who dress with a feminine sensibility, says Abbey Samet, Macy’s fashion director. As we move into summer, she says, we will see shapes soften and fabrics become more drapey. Voile, silks and linens all lend themselves to the softness of ruffles. There is newness in how ruffles are placed each season, such as on sleeves, the waist of a blouse or as a detail on the front of a top, Samet says.
“We see them tiered and layered,” she says. “Overall, they create a very feminine, yet sophisticated look.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at [email protected] or 412-320-7889.