Frilly Not Silly: How to Wear Ruffles Properly

Few textures represent femininity more than ruffles. From birth, little girls’ bedrooms and wardrobes are overrun with ruffles of all shapes and sizes. 

But ruffles can offer style beyond girlhood. Here are a few tricks to incorporating frilly tops into your wardrobe without looking like a child.  

Mind the Lines

Not all ruffles are created equal. Layered ruffles create full, bell-shaped outlines on dresses and skirts.

Single-layer ruffles provide more trim to a blouse or skirt and are less noticeable than multi-layered garments. Whether the ruffles look silly or not depends on the rest of the lines in the garment.

Layered ruffles on a fit and flare skirt look elegant on formal wear. On casual attire, the same skirt might appear more like a Flamenco costume

On dresses, ruffles below the waistline look best. Adding ruffles to the bodice of a dress only works well when there are fewer ruffles on the skirt. 

Ruffles offer busy lines to an outfit. Seek to balance them out with at least twice as many straight lines in your look.

Keep It Sexy

Follow the lead of lingerie. Choose synthetic fabrics that contour to your body when wearing ruffles.

Dresses with short ruffled skirts are flattering to your legs offering a subtle sex appeal to your outfit. Sites like Marva Fox feature a range of bohemian style mini dresses that allow ruffles flatter your figure without looking frumpy. 

Don’t Cover Up

Ruffles layer ruffles. Nothing else.

Cardigans, jean jackets, blazers and basically any other top you can think of is a bad idea over ruffles.

Ruffles are the star of the show. If you don’t want to look like it’s your first day of kindergarten, let your ruffles flow without any other part of your outfit getting in the way.

Frilly Tops

Frilly tops are tricky to pull off. There’s no one silhouette that flatters most body types.

Always try on ruffle tops before purchasing. Trendy cuts like asymmetry and crop styles completely transform the way the garment hangs off your body.

If you are new to wearing ruffles, aim for a top that hits your waistline and shows off your shoulders. Off-the-shoulder tops are a hit during the summer months allowing you to go from day-to-night. 

Sweaters with ruffles are much simpler to choose. Avoid sweaters with ruffles over your midsection as this usually looks frumpy.

The exception to this rule is with peplum tops. Peplum tops offer a single ruffle at your natural waistline that hides muffin tops.

Are You Trendy?

Ruffles aren’t for everyone. Generally, the trendier you are the easier it is to add ruffles and frilly tops to your wardrobe. 

Conservative shoppers should ease ruffles into rotation by choosing pieces with small ruffles instead of multilayered ruffles. Small embellishments on tops and dresses are much easier to incorporate than a pair of ruffle bellbottoms. 

Take a chance in flaunting your femininity with ruffles. For more style tips, please check out the fashion section of our blog.

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