Ruffles are one of fashion’s greatest onomatopoeias. The word itself sounds like the frilly, flouncy, and flirty fabric manipulation that it is. And the shape of ruffles themselves couldn’t be more feminine, if you catch my drift. And if you don’t, look no further than the nude pink dress that was sent down the Spring 2016 Gucci runway.
Naturally, Alessandro Michele gravitates towards ruffles. Not only are they reminiscent of the sixteenth century blouses and collars worn by queens and kings alike—and later Farrah Fawcett’s 1970’s hair flip—but they also have an inherent sexuality to them. They can be romantic like Rodarte, girly like Chanel, or fanciful like Gucci. Regardless, they always invite you to play.
On the runways, ruffles came with the resurgence and reclaiming of pink, and celebrities were early adopters. Dakota Johnson wore a ruffled pink Gucci gown to the premiere of Fifty Shades Darker, for example, as Elle Fanning also wore a pink tulle Gucci number of her own to the premiere of Neon Demon.
How Cool Girls like Cara Delevingne and Zendaya Wear Ruffles
Cara Delevingne attends a dinner hosted by Doutzen Kroes and Lucy Yeomans in honour of Save the Elephants at The Orangery on June 12, 2017.
Margot Robbie is seen walking in Soho on July 28, 2016 in New York City.
Sophie Turner attends the Game Of Thrones fans event photocall at Palafox cinema on June 28, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.
Elle Fanning attends The Neon Demon New York Premiere at Metrograph on June 22, 2016 in New York City.
Emma Stone arrives to the opening night and special screenings reception for the films La La Land and Arrival during the 39th Mill Valley Film Festival at The Outdoor Art Club on October 6, 2016.
Alexa Chung attends the 2016 Museum of Modern Art Film Benefit presented by Chanel – A Tribute to Tom Hanks at Museum of Modern Art on November 15, 2016.
Zendaya arrives at the Glamour Women Of The Year 2016 at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 14, 2016.
ady Gaga seen leaving The Langham Hotel on December 2, 2016 in London, England.
Anais Gallagher attends the Mulberry show during the London Fashion Week February 2017 collections on February 19, 2017.
Dakota Johnson attends the Fifty Shades Darker premiere at Kinepolis Cinema on February 8, 2017.
Brie Larson attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017.
Hailee Steinfeld arrives at the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017.
Alicia Vikander attends the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2017.
Felicity Jones attends the “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between” Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017.
Kendall Jenner out in a white dress on June 3, 2017 in New York City.
Jessica Alba attends the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 26, 2017.
Sofia Boutella attends the The Mummy New York Fan Event at AMC Loews Lincoln Square on June 6, 2017 in New York City.
On the red carpet, large, billowing ruffles are a great way to make a statement, and quite literally wave to photographers with your dress. But for the rest of us, they’re a fun and flirty summer wardrobe update. And it goes without saying that they’re also fantastic Instagram bait.
Influencers like Kaia Gerber, Laura Harrier, Jeanne Damas, and Alexa Chung have all taken to the ruffled dresses and tops of the new French brand, Réalisation Par, making your entire feed look like they’re living it up on the Riviera. Meanwhile the urbanites of New York and London are more interested in the frayed denim ruffles of Marques Almeida.
No matter how you take your ruffles this summer, whether they’re on your body or in your body as a salty snack, the trend isn’t going anywhere—so there’s no such thing as too many.
Watch all of W’s top videos, here:
21 Ways to Wear Ruffles This Summer
A look from Gucci’s Fall 2017 collection.
Rebecca Taylor ruffled Victoriana collar cotton top with ruffled shoulder panels, $234, matchesfashion.com
Marni ruffled spaghetti strap slip midi dress with tassel details and tie-on straps in starlight pink, $1,730, modaoperandi.com
Brock Collection Stacey linen pencil skirt with taffeta ruffles and off-center slit, $2,190, matchesfashion.com
Johanna Ortiz Cacoa cropped ruffled cotton-blend top featuring ruffled shoulders, sweetheart neckline and waist ties, $850, netaporter.com
Réalisation Par ruffled short-sleeve dress in daisy printed navy silk crepe with adjustable string tie closure, $180, realisationpar.com
Rachel Comey dramatic ruffled one-shoulder crisp cotton-blend top with Velcro fastening should straps and smocked open back, $415, modaoperandi.com
Altuzarra silk-blend Mesilla dress with plunging v neckline and ruffles in poppy red, $1,619, machesfashion.com
Caroline Constas ruffled striped cotton Oxford mini fit-and-flare dress with choker collar neckline, $495, netaporter.com
Chloé sheer emboirdered tulle blouse with ruffles with underlying black tank top, $2,795, chloe.com
Magda Butrym ruffle detail long sleeve asymmetric silk midi dress with ruffle collar, v neckline, button detailing, $2,060, modaoperandi.com
Ellery ruffled stretch cotton cropped top, featuring an elasticated neckline and cold-shoulder cut-outs, with free-flowing ruffles draped from the elbows, $635, matchesfashion.com
Maje ruffled saffron, white, and black floral-print crepe mini dress with asymmetric hem, $440, netaporter.com
Miu Miu fitted rose print crepe de chine dress with bow details, $2,875, miumiu.com
Self Portrait stiped cotton poplin cutout off-the-shoulder neckline with oversized ruffles, $410, modaoperandi.com
Rosie Assoulin lava red and ivory floral print corkscrew ruffled-shoulder seersucker top, $1,695, matchesfashion.com
Maggie Marilyn ruffled sustainable silk satin top with cut-out shoulders, ruffles on the neckline, and oversized cuffs, $360, netaporter.com
Carven ruffled asymmetrical skirt in red and pink floral art deco printed georgette, $340, orchardmile.com
Gucci ruffle-trimmed silk and wool blend cady straight-leg slim fit trousers with cropped hem, $1,250, matchesfashion.com
Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini ruffled off-the-shoulder neckline cotton cropped top in fantasy yellow print, $340, modaoperandi.com
Lisa Marie Fernandez Imaan ruffled swimsuit in lava red stretch fabric and skinny shoulder straps, offering medium coverage, $675, matchesfashion.com
Preen Erchart one-shoulder ruffled fil coupé silk-blend floral printed dress, $2,245, netaporter.com
Isabel Marant Étoile classic black linen dress with feminine ruffles and self-fastening wrap around waist tie, $430, matchesfashion.com