The Eighties are a big influence in the fashion world this season, with metallic textures, puff sleeves and other exaggerated silhouettes proving popular on the runways and the high street.

Ruching, another of the era’s top trends, is also making a comeback – and the good news is it’s a lot more wearable than the first time around.

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Back in the actual Eighties, ruched dresses were made with miles of taffeta and came with huge bows or puffball skirts. For spring/summer 2020, we’re seeing the softer side of the look.

On the catwalks back during the spring/summer shows, designers like Tom Ford and Rejina Pyo added ruched detailing to dresses and jumpsuits in vivid, saturated colours.

On the high street, there’s now a mix of prints and pastels, with chintzy florals and polka dots adding extra Eighties flavour.

Model Jo wears a Helen Anderson creation - a sequined dress in pure silk and ruched lace with a portrait collar, priced at £750.
Vintage vibes: a ruched dress by Helen Anderson from 1988 (PA)

There is an element of bodycon with some form-fitting dresses, but the great thing about ruching is that it shows off your curves without being too clingy.

If soft and loose is more your thing, there’s also a host of beautiful ruffle-edged dresses in floaty fabrics, perfect for teaming with espadrilles and basket bags.

As for separates, blouses and tops with gathered sleeves or fronts give you the option to adjust the length to suit your mood (or the weather).

Shop the retro ruching trend with these stylish buys…


Mango Ruched Floral Dress, €49.99

River Island Pink Long Sleeve Frill Ruched Mini Tea Dress, €61

(Miss Selfridge/PA)

Miss Selfridge Black Ruched Dobby Midi Dress, €55 (was €85)


ASOS Design Sheer Top with Ruched Sleeve and Coin Trim, €42.30 (was €47.01)


Topshop Yellow Ruched Top, €22