About eight to ten years ago the fashion industry flooded the market with ruffled items, bringing with it an onslaught of ruffled blouses. It was extreme and put most of my clients, friends, forum members off ruffles for a very long time. The trend ran its course and ruffles disappeared, which I believe was a good thing. The disappearance of a mainstream trend makes you appreciate it so much more when it comes back as a fringe trend several years later. This is what has happened to the ruffled blouse.
The pictures show the types of ruffled blouses and tunics that are a fringe trend right now. Ruffles can be subtle or dramatic. Either way they are soft, romantic, flouncy and cascading. Not stiff and structured like they were back in the ‘80s. Peplums are a subtle form of ruffle. Ruffles that are found along the edges of high collars are a nod to the ‘70s and the Victoriana trend. Layered ruffles and shoulder ruffles have an ‘80s vibe — only this time, no shoulder pads. Ruffles that float down a long sleeve look new, as do ruffles that waterfall across the front of the blouse. Ruffles that cascade vertically down the front of a blouse add vertical integrity to an outfit. And asymmetrical ruffles look architectural. Choose your ruffle placement carefully so that they flatter the contour of your body and they aren’t bossing you around.
The beauty of the ruffled blouse is that it can be dressed up or down. Wear it tucked into a pencil or flared skirt for the office. Wear it tucked or semi-tucked into high-waisted trousers for a dressier vibe. Wear it untucked over tapered trousers or jeans, semi-tucked with flares, or over short shorts. Sport a ruffled tunic over leggings for an extra comfy rendition.
You CAN toughen up a ruffled blouse by wearing it in black and adding a hard-edged support act like black waxed denim jeans, leather leggings, leather skirt, tough boots, studded belt and a moto jacket. Or you can embrace the retro vibe by wearing it with tweed, flares and brown leather. But the easiest way to wear a ruffled blouse is to match it with jeans, dressy shoes and clutch. Add a topper for warmth.
The absence of the mainstream ruffled blouse has made my own heart grow fonder. Its soft, pretty, dressy and retro integrity looks fresh amidst a sea of trendy oversized casual slouch. My current love for Retro Futurism means it’s time to add a ruffled blouse back into my wardrobe. What’s your verdict?