Ruffles: take ‘em or leave ‘em? There’s no question ruffles are a girly detail tied to our youth. Whether it’s a memory of a doll’s dress or our own Sunday best, ruffles mostly speak to our cutesy side. But then we grow older and our relationship to ruffles changes slightly. We may wear them less, just a sprinkling here or there, or save them for a special day like, say, our wedding day. Or, we may discover in ourselves a style sensibility that’s decidedly romantic or bohemian and find a few frills popping up in our wardrobe more often than not. For followers of fashion, then there’s an eye to what the designer can do: cut a swath of cloth so billowy and sweet that a ruffle becomes a luxurious cascade to covet. Look to French designer Isabel Marant for such an example. Her designs have been called both bohemian and streetwise i.e fashionable but wearable. Her approach to style is pragmatic and she has been quoted as saying that she is her own muse. A fact she traces back to design school where she was given the advice that a designer should wear clothes that he/she would wear —and the sensibility stuck.
SHOP THE OUTFIT: THE RUFFLE IT-DRESS
As far as I can tell, the current ruffle obsession spanning 2017 right up through to this season can be linked to one Isabel Marant dress from her 2017/18 Étoile Collection. At least for me, that dress inspired my infatuation with the ruffled wrap-style I am wearing here. I first saw Marant’s Delicia dress last year in a Beverly Hills department store and it’s feminine charms of wide ruffled sleeves with matched flirty and mini hemline stayed with me. And with the rest of the fashion world, apparently. Almost every department store, retailer, from fast fashion to high-end designer seems to have their take on the frilly, ruffled wrap dress this season. And I’m not opposed. Whether it’s Marant’s own Delicia, or Cynthia Rowley’s near-cousin confection in it-girl hues of candy pink or sunny yellow, I’m smitten.
SHOP RUFFLE DRESSES
The second coming of the ruffle wrap dress sensation can then be linked to, perhaps my favorite blogger, Jenny Cipoletti, of Margo and Me. Jenny fueled this Instagram ruffle obsession last summer, you may remember, when she wore Storets fast-fashion version. It’s $69 price point had Jenny’s fashion following swooning, this girl included, as she posted more and more photos of the Storets dress in black as a chic alternative to summer dresses. It sold through fast and then they brought it back immediately and dubbed it the Jenny. It’s similarity to Marant’s at such a low price and what looked to be an equally flattering version, was impressive. While I usually seek out the highest quality I can, my curiosity won out and I placed my order. I was not disappointed. Now I’m happy to wear it again a second season, and as Jenny did, proclaim my love for black as a chic alternative to most of summer’s typical lighter hues. I added the Cult Gaia bag with its sleek minimalism to balance out all the frilliness and some espadrilles to keep it summer chic.
Pro tip: This season look for a larger ruffle. Unsure about all the frilliness? Try a darker hue like black versus say, pink or white and in smaller doses scattered here or there. Want more? Max out this season’s styles with a billowy dress and ruffles in unexpected places that can feel edgy, like on sportswear separates, a blazer or tuxedo pant. I’ve rounded up all the frilliest dresses to thrill this season, If you love ruffles, I hope you find your match. If you don’t, I hope you’ll reconsider, there’s really so much about ruffles to love.