Q. I’ve noticed that ruffles are back in fashion – and although I do love a bit of frill and flounce – I do worry that this trend will be very difficult to wear. How can I wear ruffles without adding bulk to my frame?
A: LOVE is in the air (or at least in high street card shops), so there's no better time to try out spring's most romantic look - soft ruffles. Seen on trend-setting catwalks such as Balenciaga, Gucci and Chloé, the ruffle look is all about embracing your feminine side.
Frills, frou-frou and bits of chiffon were attached to every kind of garment, from coats to summer dresses. Even Irish designers such as such as JW Anderson were keen on adding a bit of ruffle to liven up their spring/ summer collections.
Ruffles come in so many satisfying styles: big and fluttery, small and bunched, gathered, pleated, wide, narrow, tiered and edged. This ultra-feminine detail is not just for after five or "dressy" pieces.
And it's not just for clothing.
Accessories from shoes to hats to handbags have ruffles this spring. While this romantic trend might smack of girlie charm, ruffles needn't just be a youthful accessory. Indeed, a well-placed piece frill can add touch of glamour and interest to any outfit.
Off the runway, it's best to sample this trend as a soft detail, not a heavy focal point. Stay away from shirts with ruffles on the collar, bib and sleeves - they were meant for Mozart, not modern-day dressing. And keep it to a few ruffles in the same colour as the rest of the garment, unless you're putting together a tango costume.
Placed strategically they can help show off your best assets - around the neckline they accentuate the face and worn vertically on a jacket or cardigan they can make you look taller and slimmer.
In general, you should keep ruffles away from areas of your body that are already full, so wear them in areas that you may want a bit of volume, such as your cleavage. Pair a single ruffley item with something plain, like a simple pencil skirt or a pair of cigarette pants and you’ve got the balance just right.