How to Wear Ruffles

Another day, another fashion revival. The number of retro fads that have made modern-day comebacks is always growing—sometimes, leaving us in a near-constant state of cringe (skinny brows, anyone?).

Though 2019’s ruffles trend might not initially seem to fall into this bucket—it’s not as decade-specific as, say, shoulder pads—I can’t seem to separate it from visions of my youth. Growing, my mom used to dress me in the girliest, frilliest pieces she could get her hands on. She wasn’t wrong to do so—toddlers look absolutely adorable in ruffles. But what about city-dwelling 20-somethings? Ruffled-neck onesies look adorable in baby pictures, but on Instagram? I wasn’t so sure.

Still, as a fashion writer, I’m down to give any up-and-coming trend a try—no matter how out-there it is, or how much it reminds me of my first years of life. (I draw the line at ruffled-neck onesies, though. Only infants can pull those off.) And 2019’s ruffles trend has definitely earned its status as an “up-and-comer.” The look pervaded spring/summer runways at September’s New York Fashion Week, meaning it’s starting to trickle into retailers circa now.

So I dove head-first into the frill-covered movement; I stocked up on all kinds of ruffled pieces and challenged myself to style them in veritably adult ways. Then, I photographed my efforts. (Because as with anything that happens in this era, pics or it didn’t happen, right?) And spoiler alert: As I skipped around New York City in various ruffle-covered looks, I felt delicate, dainty and delightfully like a kid again—without actually looking like one. I basically floated everywhere I was headed (the light texture of the ruffles definitely helped me achieve this vibe). Did I just find the sartorial fountain of youth? Lmk.


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