The runways of New York Fashion Week have spoken: Rufflemania is here to stay. Frilly dresses, flouncy skirts, and flutter-sleeve tops have become a street-style staple this summer, and for fall, the trend is migrating to cashmere sweaters, velvet jumpsuits, and voluminous tiered blouses.
At this point, even those of us who long dismissed ruffles as a relic of our childhood wardrobes are kind of bound to start reconsidering—anchored with denim or leather, the unabashed girlishness takes on a subversive edge, and even in small doses—say, a flared cuff or a flouncy hem—they add a bit of interest to a basic silhouette.
But while the fashion world has embraced the trend with gusto (see: the ubiquitous off-the-shoulder ruffled top you’ve likely seen all over Instagram) we wanted to see how it easy it was to wear IRL. So, three of my colleagues picked out their favorite frilly pieces in stores right now, and styled them with pieces from their own wardrobes. Here’s how they made out:
Bibi Deitz, News Editor
“I am generally pretty ruffles averse, but I fell in love with this cashmere-blend Alice + Olivia sweater, which is thick enough to be worn without another layer underneath, thin enough to slip beneath even the tiniest of fall jackets, and soft enough to skip a camisole. I styled it with a pair of well-worn jeans from Braxton, denim Zalo loafers, and my favorite vintage rings.”
Alice + Olivia Anila Ruffle-Sleeve Sweater, $285; at Shopbop
Nicole Price, Campaign Manager
“I tend to lean toward easy neutrals and solids for my daily outfits—but when wearing a more feminine dress, I like to add chunkier (and, most likely, black) accessories. This dress, paired with a ’90s-inspired velvet choker and a structured black watch, is a weekend wear switch-up for brunch with girlfriends.”
Ecote Ashley Lace-Up Side Maxi Dress, $69.99 (was $119); at Urban Outfitters
Laura Valencia, Assistant Producer, Video and Social Media
“I’m not one to wear pencil skirts, but the ruffle on the bottom makes this one more playful. Definitely something to wear on date night with my boyfriend!”
Ocean Blue Dress, $289; at Iorane