Ruffles have been around for quite some time. For years, mothers ran around town still wearing their tennis whites after playing a match, often pairing them with frilly panties showing underneath. These women also styled their frosted hair in pigtails tied with bright yarn bows. Then, one might not be able to understand why grown women wanted to dress like toddles. Well, fast-foward a few decades later: There’s a new kind of ruffle in town that’s all grown up.

Runway Inspiration: Dries Van Noten

Celebrity Inspiration: Rooney Mara in Lanvin

Why We Love This Look:
1. There’s nothing froufrou about these frills. Fanciful? Yes, but also sophisticated because they are used in unexpected combinations—for example, cutting across a crisp white blouse or floating down the shoulder of a sharp red sheath dress.

2. A structured ruffle trim lends a sculptural flourish to the fashion classics: an oxford shirt, slingback sandals, even a tough cuff bracelet.

3. We like to think of them as an extra layer of texture as opposed to a furbelow (a flowery word for a ruffle).

Start building your ruffle wardrobe with these key pieces:

Above from left: Wren shirt, silk, $275; shop.wrenstudio.com

Kevin Sweeney

From left: Tibi skirt, cotton-nylon, $398; tibi.com. Topshop dress, polyester,topshop.com. Alexis Bittar cuff, powder-coated metal, $245; alexisbittar.com. Clu tank, rayon-spandex, $100;shopbop.com.

Dyad Photography, Kevin Sweeney (3)

From left: Ralph Lauren Blue Label dress, silk chiffon, $598; ralphlauren.com. L.K. Bennett sandals, leather, $375; lkbennett.com. Juicy Couture trenchcoat, cotton, $248; juicycouture.com. CH Carolina Herrera top, cotton, $250; at Carolina Herrera, 310-276-8900.

For more tips, pick up the February issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.

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—Cindy Weber Cleary

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