A ruffle, a frill, a ruff; a furbelow; whatever you call this ornamental gathering of fabric on a garment, ruffles are one of the biggest fashion trends right now. These undulating strips of fabric showed up for Spring, and they seem to be charming their way into the upcoming Fall season as well.
But just because random ruffles are wafting down the runway, it doesn’t mean that women of a certain age necessarily need to adopt the adornment in each and every guise. A trend your twenty-something self might have embraced whole-heartedly, now requires a bit of discernment.
Usually adorning a collar or cuff, and sometimes a hem, ruffles are flourishes with a long fashion history. Popularized by Queen Elizabeth 1, a trend-setter in her day (now known as the Elizabethan era: 1558-1603) she wore exaggerated neckline frills and set the ruffle on its 600-year stylish course.
Ruffles tend to be typecast as romantic; the very sic qua non of femininity. Ruffles are never wasted on the young.
But a ruffle can be so much more than demure. It can be rendered dramatic, sophisticated, boho, or even edgy in attitude. And this season, ruffles take a decidedly elegant turn. Ruffles for grown-ups.
RUFFLES IN HISTORY
Marie Antoinette was a famous lover of ruffles, thus endowing the simple design element with an aura of opulence, extravagance, and luxury.
Princess Diana’s fairytale wedding dress is undoubtedly the most famous ruffled dress in history
Even androgynous and minimalist dressers shouldn’t rule out ruffles. Just use restraint.
To avoid looking overly girly, keep the rest of the outfit streamlined and understated. Pair a ruffled blouse with tailored trousers and plain pumps. This keeps the focus on the ruffles. Because right now, ruffles rule the fashion spotlight.