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Tulle’s journey to becoming a veritably chic fabric has been long and somewhat complicated. The textile initially embodied the feminine delicacy of graceful ballerinas adorned in fluffy tutus, as well as elegant brides enveloped in dreamy veils. But juxtaposed with Madonna‘s inherent sex appeal in the 1980s, tulle became a mode of edgy self-expression—and a bona fide fashion statement that extended well beyond the dance and bridal spheres.
Over the course of its sartorial history, tulle has been reimagined time and time again. Its transformation has spanned tiered skirts, textured tops and transparent maxi dresses. It’s become both a holiday staple and a dreamy fashion statement (sported, especially, by those who seek to emulate Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City). But despite its diverse and varied presence in the style zeitgeist, tulle has long proven difficult to style. How do you wear a tulle skirt (or dress, or top) without skewing too ballerina, too bridal or too ’80s pop star?
Thankfully, our favorite style stars have done a lot of the mental work for us. Each tulle outfit they’ve worn serves as an answer to our question—leaving us certain of how to style tulle and convinced that it’s possible to do so without veering into fashionable-but-too-on-the-nose territory.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up 17 of our favorite tulle outfits. May you never be uncertain of how to wear tulle, again.
This monochromatic ensemble speaks to one of tulle’s inherent strengths: It can add texture to anything.
Oversized sweatshirts and bold heeled boots don’t always play well together, but this ruffled tulle skirt helps them find common ground.
Sequins and tulle make for a seriously dreamy combination. And when dressed down with a fluffy sweater and chunky sneakers, the look skews underrated cool, rather than over-the-top.
Because sometimes, tulle demands to be the focal point of your outfit.
This dress could’ve swerved into bridal or ballerina territory, but the contemporary accessories keep it feeling distinctly fashion-forward.
There’s nothing wrong with the tried-and-true sweater-and-tulle-skirt combo. After all, i’s a classic for a reason.
Patchwork tulle covered in embroidery? Pure dynamic, textured heaven.
Whether you take advantage of tulle’s shiny or transparent potential (or both), you’re sure to turn heads.
Tulle maxi dresses are sure to help you cool off during summer’s hottest days—and help you make a statement while doing so.
Because tulle dresses in bold tones are always a good idea.
Karlie Kloss’ approach to wearing a tulle skirt feels straight out of the aughts—and since we love a good fashion risk, we’re on board.
Maximalists will surely approve of this texture-on-texture approach to the tulle trend. Who knew tulle would pair so well with mesh and fishnets and glitter and sequins?
Definitive proof that sometimes textiles are more fun when they’re wrinkled.
An expert lesson is wearing transparent tulle skirts during any season. (Just layer them over what’d you’d otherwise wear.)
Tulle power suits? We’re on board.
The easiest way to skew edgy? Stock up on tulle skirts in neutral colors—then pair them with your clunkiest black boots.
Remember, in your most extra moments, you can always go full ballerina by layering a tulle-sleeved blazer over a millennial pink tulle evening gown.