Demurely delicate or boldly displayed, ruffles can add flair or interesting detail to an outfit. While the idea of donning such a potentially voluminous design may seem rather prohibitive in everyday dressing, undulating or pleated details can be surprisingly easy to wear without being overtly frilly. The wide array of colors, varied proportions, and placement available mean endless possibilities for casual and formal wear.
To avoid looking too girlish (no princess-inspired personas) or too rigid (think Victorian-inspired sans the rigidity), consider incorporating structured swagger made possible with quality materials that lend structure and deliberate substance. This prevents creating a haphazard or garish vibe that undermines the entire look. Undulating hemlines, pleated necklines, scalloped sleeves, and layered skirts or dresses all can add character to any outfit. Styled just right, a feminine piece can be spiced up with an edgy leather combination, metallic accessories, or footwear such as spiked heels.
Due to its volume, ruffled pieces contrast well with slimming silhouettes such as fitted dress pants, jeans, skirts, or shorts if the piece in question is a top. Similar to creating a bold lip or dramatic eye-color when applying makeup, a deliberately ruffled piece that draws attention should act as the sole focal point. If an elaborate ruched blouse is the choice of flair, continue building the rest of the outfit with foundational, neutral pieces that offer clean lines and simple structure. Possibilities include classic tailored pants, pencil skirts, or well-fitted jeans. Amp up the look with lace-up flats, pointy heels, or leather wingtips.
Alternatively, downplay the ruffle so that it becomes one of many features that lend feminine interest to an overall look instead of the main attraction. Seamlessly blend ruched detail for a less standout look by selecting a sensual material such as silk or lace. Go casual cool with a ruffle-trimmed shirt, which can look great when teamed with a pair of trusty boyfriend jeans and loafers. Who knew that ruffles could be part of the everyday fashion lexicon?