You are currently viewing What Are the Best Ruffles for Your Style and Body Shape

Ruffles occur in music, zoology and clothing. In the latter, the term refers to a strip of fabric gathered along one side and sewn on a garment to create a decorative trim. Of course, this sewing technique can easily give the illusion of carrying around more pounds than you actually weight. Not to mention the cuteness factor. Read how you can pull of ruffles while still looking serious and lean. Find out which are the best ruffles for your style and body shape.

  1. Are Ruffles a Trend or Evergreen?
  2. What to Wear with Ruffles over 40?
  3. When Your Different Life Identities Ask for Different Styles
  4. Cute Gamine Bias-cut Slip Dresses/Skirts for the Preppy Style Personality
  5. Best Ruffles for the Pear-shaped Body Type
  6. Which Ruche-style Works with Punk?
  7. Best Ruches for the Bohemian Gal
  8. Vintage-inspired Flounce Works for American Classic and Euro Chic Style
  9. Eclectic Style – It All Depends on the Collection
  10. All Types of Ruche Work with Romantic Style
  11. Can You Wear Frill in Casual Style?
  12. Stylish Monday May Romance and Ruffles Linkup
  13. Conclusions on the Best Ruffles for Your Style and Body Shape


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


Are Ruffles a Trend or Evergreen?

This clothing decoration is a key element of Romantic Style. In this sense, it’s an evergreen. Perennially, this trim pops up as a trend like at the moment. When your this is your primary or secondary personal, now it’s the time to stock up on high quality pieces in colors that work for you.

This trends gives you a greater choice than ever!

However, there are also other styles that use this clothing detail even though in quite different ways. Many of the garments of Bohemian Style have this embellishment.

Interestingly, you can style this clothing decoration for many occasions from work to play to special occasion at any age. Furthermore, the trend is great to balance your body.


post logo showing a black woman in sexy ruche dress


What to Wear with Ruffles over 40?

Ruffles are tricky on anyone over 12. They look cute on little girls. Nevertheless, frill can look great on 40+ women when you wear it in a sophisticated way. Paired with a velvet jacket, tweed skirt and court pumps or boots a ruffle blouse becomes office appropriate in a business casual style work environment.

A white shirt with ruffles down the front (aka jabot) looks great with jeans and pumps. It’s especially flattering for women with small breasts and/or with banana shape (aka straight-up-and-down or ruler shape). This tuxedo-inspired shirt is also a key element of punk and Rock’n Roll.


When Your Different Life Identities Ask for Different Styles

In all my identities – scientist, dancer, speaker, author, stylist, blogger, I love sleek clothing. For any female scientist, anything too feminine is a NoNo. Thus, American Classic Style is a safe territory to wear at work and how to dress for success at a science conference. In other words, for everyday clothing I avoid ruffles 99% of the time.

over 50 years old woman in trendy ruffle hem 3/4 sleeves summer dress
Outfit details: Coach shoulder bag, Hipstik pantyhose, statement belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Winkwood pink purple mirrored sunglasses, L.K. Bennett patent leather wedges, enamel Thai dangling earrings, and Dalmatian black and white print dress c/o Femme Luxe


This means this dress is just a tryout of the current trend. See my review of this inexpensive trendy ruffle dress. When ordering it, the plan was to cut the ruffle off if I wouldn’t like it. I am still undecided whether to cut or not to cut it off. The dress looks posh and sleek. What do you think?

As a stylist and blogger, curated street style chic in an eclectic way is my thing. Thus, frill occasionally makes the cut when it is designed in an unexpected way like the pleated layers at the black skirt later in this post. Full disclosure, originally, I bought it for dancing.

In my identity as a dancer, flounce is a Must-Have. However, my 1960s based preference for sleek (think Miss Twiggy) asks to have them in small doses or at least keeping a lean line. The two skirts made from old shirts show how you can achieve this with ruches. The pink tulle skirt in another example that the decoration doesn’t necessarily have to give the illusion of being heavy or even unflattering.

street style blogger in tired skirt, T-shirt, motorcycle jacket, fishnets
Graham & Spencer motorcycle jacket, fishnets, DIY tired skirt, Coach bag, Salvatore Ferragamo snake pumps, Covered Perfectly Top, Anne Klein polka dot scarf, Tayler’s Gold’n Stone earrings, emerald belt buckle


dancer in high-low hem skirt with flouncy hem
DIY silk skirt, pantyhose, sun protective top c/o Coolibar


Cute Gamine

Amy from Amy’s Creative Pursuits likes clothes with extra details. She has made looking cute her signature and it works for her because of her body type and face shape. To look grownup she wears her frill in unexpected fabric like chambray. This skirt is flirty and works on her much better than a plain A-line skirt would.

Amy in chambray skirt with decorative hem details shows the best ruffles for gamine style
Amy Johnson


Bias-cut Slip Dresses/Skirts for the Preppy Style Personality

Nancy Baten from Nancy’s Fashion Style has a preppy style. While ruffles are not a key element of this style, she owns one beloved blouse with this trim.  Her skirt features the “frill” of  Ivy League Style as preppy is called in the US. A bias cut partial of a circle sewn to a waistband with a zipper closure either in the back or at the side. Together with her preppy style, the blouse creates a hint of punk to the look.

Nancy in preppy outfit with jabot
Nancy Baten


Best Ruffles for the Pear-shaped Body Type

Andy from Pearls and Pantsuits has a pear shaped body type. When dressing for your body type with ruche, the triangle body type calls for ruche decoration on the top to create balance. Another option is to go for the details at the sleeves. The floral print finishes the romance trend.

Andy in blouse with frill
Andrea Schwartz


Which Ruche-style Works with Punk?

Emma from The Style Splash has a 70s inspired style with a hint of drama style personality. She wears a lot of ruffles and frills especially on blouses for a bit of drama.

Emma in 70s punk inspired look with frills


Suzanne from Ask Suzanne Bell personal style includes romantic.  Here she features how to wear a tuxedo shirt in a punk inspired outfit.

Suzanne in punky tartan pants and tuxedo shirt
Suzanne Bell


The best ruffles for women with small boobs are ruffles on the chest.


Best Ruches for the Bohemian Gal

“Shelbee” from Shelbee on the Edge‘s Dramatic Style asks for big flared bell sleeves and dramatic flounce when it comes to ruches. Sure that this means also a denim mermaid skirt paired with a mixed pattern wide flounce kimono. Why doe these garments work for her Dramatic Style? Two reasons: The drama aspect is the unexpected decoration on these traditional straight pieces. Second the contrast of West (denim) meets East (kimono). More on the traditional kimono style.

Shelby shows the best ruffles for Bohemian style and plus body shape


Vintage-inspired Flounce Works for American Classic and Euro Chic Style

Ada from Elegance and Mommyhood wears the flounce trend going for a vintage inspired 1920s style dress. To keep the look modern she avoids accessories from that era. The straw hat and sandals make the look 21st Century. In addition, Ada takes the Pantone color of the year.


Ada in a Euro Chic classic 1920s inspired dress
Ada Furxhi


When you are the Coastal Grandma style gal, this style works for you too.


Eclectic Style – It All Depends on the Collection

Lucy Bertoldi from A Montreal Fashion Diva uses frills as a way of telling the world not to take styling too seriously and to loosen up. On the other hand, nothing in her outfit is accidental. She combines her clothes from different epochs, and styles in a very eclectic way so they work with each other. Rocking this style needs the right attitude. Read more on Eclectic Style.


Lucy in eclectic romance look with floral skirt
Lucy Bertoldi


over 50 years old fashion blogger in all black street chic with skirt, leather vest, charm belt, top and wood clog sandals
Nicole Mölders. H&M skirt, Moda International leather vest, Judith Leiber belt, Festina watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle, top c/o Covered Perfectly, and Mousse & Cloud clog sandals c/o coolway


All Types of Ruche Work with Romantic Style

Brigitte from Brigitte Marie Foret Blog has Romantic Style. Thus, ruffles are a key element of her everyday looks. She uses the frill to achieve a subtle feminine look. Sure that this embellishment is also great to wear for special occasions. When your personal style is romantic, wear your trims where they are best to balance your body.


Brigitte in romantic white print summer dress
Brigitte Marie Foret



Can You Wear Frill in Casual Style?

Yes, Julie from Fashion Trends and Friends  has a colorful posh casual style. Since she keeps her casual looks on the elegant side, she can add this detail for interest. Ruffles on the shoulders are great for all who have a body shape with narrow shoulders. It wouldn’t work with a sportive or outdoor casual style.

Julie shows which ruffles are best for posh casual style and narrow shoulders
Julie Augustyn


Stylish Monday May Romance and Ruffles Linkup

How do you wear your ruffles?

Entrance to the Stylish Monday ruffle and frill party



There are two important things to look great with ruffles over 40.

  1. Find pieces that have a grownup tailored cut and color.
  2. Stay away from anything that looks girly, kitschy, costumy or like a requisite from a Western movie.

Don’t let your outfit be a random thing. Wear the right look in every situation by looking up what to wear when in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy now.

Photos of me: G. Kramm
Other photos: Courtesy to the respective blogger

© 2013-2021 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Lucy Bertoldi

    Love your ruffled look!! But I am drooling over that salmon tulle ruffled skirt!! I am nuts about it!!! YOu look fantastic!

  2. Great insight into styling ruffles! The dress is beautiful!

  3. So many lovely looks and ideas for how to wear ruffles.


  4. Amy Johnson

    No, I don’t think you should cut the ruffled hem off your dress, at least not yet. The “prairie look” is so in-style right now, when it goes out, and you still feel you want to cut it off, go ahead. I really like how you summarized everyone’s looks to fit the topic of your post.

  5. shelbeeontheedge1

    This is a really fun post, Nicole! I love how you categorized all of our different styles! And I really like all of your ruffled outfits!